September brings with it the first hint of fall, with leaves changing colour, a familiar chill in the air, and the reminder that you have spent a long, hot summer spending all your disposable income. No need to despair! September is ALSO the time for you to regroup, and organize your finances before heading into the winter months. We have a handy checklist for you to use in order to make this a walk in the park:
- After summer vacation, most of us have to actively reset our brains into ‘work mode’ – and that includes when it comes to our finances. A great way to do this is to create or revisit your budget, check if anything has changed recently, and make sure that you have a good balance between the non-negotiable expenses like rent or mortgage, taxes, car payments, etc. and the negotiable ones like entertainment or travel.
- Check your credit card balances – heading into the slow season with a pile of credit card debt can set you back considerably. Now is the time to start focusing on paying off some of your balances. Pay off in full where you can, and maintain monthly payments for the rest. Check which of the cards carry the highest interest rates, and make these your first priority.
- Cut costs where you can – look through your bank account statements, and figure out what small and unnecessary costs pile up. If you can actively reduce these, you will find that you can save considerably.
- Take a close look at your investment portfolio – are you still on track for your unique financial goals? When was the last time you checked on your investment growth? Speak to a financial advisor and they can help you whittle down your portfolio to investments that make you money, rather than waste your time.
- If you can, take a look at how else you can boost your savings – by trimming expenses here and there, and not automatically spending what you have saved, you can build up a savings account in a short amount of time.
Now might also be a good time to talk to your school-aged kids about money and budgeting. The more we empower kids to understand money and choose where to prioritize spending, the more we set them up for success later in life.
The bottom line? Sometimes it feels like it’s easier to sweep financial conversations under the rug, but whether you feel under control or overwhelmed, a few simple changes can get you on the right track and head into the holiday season and new year on a high note.
Remember – we’re here to help you! A financial advisor is not someone reserved for the wealthy alone. By partnering with someone who speaks finance, you not only set yourself up for great long-term decisions, but you also have support when things are feeling a little rough. If you have questions about how to properly manage your finances or where to direct your money, send us a message and book a free consultation with Steven today.