Finance

4 Smart Financial Moves to Make this Summer

4 Smart Financial Moves to Make this Summer | www.TheHeavyPurse.comSummer is officially here, and our thoughts naturally turn to vacations, picnics and lazy afternoons at the beach. We want to relax and focus on fun! While I definitely encourage everyone to slow down and make some wonderful summer memories, it’s also a great time to make some smart financial moves.

4 Summer Money Moves Everyone Can Make

In between all your summer activities, here are few money moves to consider to keep your financial foundation strong and put some extra money back in your pocket.

1. Review Your Fiscal Well-Being

How frequently you chose to review your financial foundation is up to you, but make sure you at least do it quarterly. It’s very easy to set goals and put your financial house in order, then forget about them. This is a mistake. You want to review your progress regularly to make sure you’re still on track to achieve your goals. A few areas to review:

Can You Increase the Amount You Save/Invest?

We all have multiple short-term and long-term goals. How are your goals tracking? Is there a way you can boost your savings, even if you are on pace? Achieving your goals early and having more money to create the life you want are generally wins for most people.

Do You Need to Rebalance Your Portfolio?

Over time, market volatility will affect your asset allocation as some funds will over-perform and others will under-perform, and you need to rebalance back to your original asset allocation to avoid unwanted risk. You may be tempted to keep your portfolio unbalanced if your returns are high — please don’t. I certainly understand the temptation but strongly encourage you to rebalance your portfolio.

Do You Need to Replenish Your Emergency Fund?

Throughout the first six months of the year, there may have been times where you needed to dip into your emergency fund, which, of course, is exactly why you have one. It’s also easy to forget to replenish the money you used, and you don’t want to get caught short in the future. Take a few minutes to see whether you need to divert some funds to make your emergency fund whole again.

2. Earn Some Extra Money by DeCluttering

We all have things we don’t use or clothes that no longer fit. Summer is a great time to get rid of unwanted goods through garage or yard sales, Craigslist and e-Bay. Turn it into a family project where you can use the money earned for some summer fun. It will motivate everyone to help out and make it easier for them to let go of items if they are working towards a day at a water park or amusement park. Another option is to let your kids keep the money earned from the items they sell to use towards their own save, spend and share goals.

Success Tip: Talk to some of your neighbors and see if they are interested in holding a block yard sale. Having multiples homes in your area hosting garage sales will bring more buyers to your sale.

3. Plan Next Year’s Summer Vacation Now

Some of you may be thinking that you haven’t even gone of your summer vacation yet, and it’s too early to start thinking about next year. I say start now to give yourself a full-year to save for your vacation. Plus, it’s exciting to conclude your big family trip by announcing what the plans are for the following summer. And as an extra bonus it gives you a great answer for your children’s “I wants” (and adult “I wants” too).

4. Stock Up for Next Year at End-of-Summer Sales

At the beginning of every summer, we find there are a ton of things we need and end up paying full-price for everything. The smart move is to stock up when stores are putting summer items on clearance to make way for back-to-school and fall items. It’s a great time to stock up on small items like suntan lotion, insect repellant, pool toys, beach towels and grilling tools. You can also find great deals on larger, more expensive items, such as a lawn mower, grill and patio furniture.

Success Tip: You can buy clearance summer clothes and swimsuits for yourself and spouse, but unless you are very confident what size your children will be next summer, I would wait. Kids always seem to grow faster or slower than we expect. It’s not a bargain if you end up with clothes that don’t fit them next summer.

Shannon

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June 23, 2014  •  46 Comments  •  Finance

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  1. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    I think every one of these tips is great, Shannon. Personally, checking in on my finances for the year so far and what they look like for the remainder of the year is very helpful. And I constantly donate and sell things (usually on Craigslist) because I live in an apartment so there isn't room for all the extra stuff (which is great, I think). I do think I need to get better at buying things that are currently out of season / end-of-year sales; it's just not on my radar, and I can definitely improve and save money this way.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Sometimes storage space is a mixed blessing because it does make it easy to hoard things. In California, storage space is actually at a premium wherever you live so that helps me continually go through my things. It's not always been on my radar to stock up on end-of-season sales either but for some things it really makes a big deal. The trick is not forgetting that you stocked up when next summer rolls around. :)
  2. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Great tips here, Shannon! We are doing #1 and #2 for sure, and maybe even some #4. :-) It's always exciting to me to review our finances, see how we're doing, and most importantly, see how we can do better.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      It is exciting to see progression against goals and very motivating. Once you start setting goals and achieving them, it becomes addictive.
  3. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    These are all great tips Shannon! If we're not doing all of them now, I know we have done them in the past. I love the rebalancing idea, of course. :) I know so many just allow their investments just slide on by as who wants to deal with that in the summer? I think that makes it even more of a reason why you should look at your portfolio now. The last thing you want is to have some deadbeat in your portfolio only to let it slide another 2-3 months and have it drag even more on your overall return.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Rebalancing is something so many people let slide. Some don't realize they need to so and others just keeping putting it off. It's one of those tasks that is easy to forget, although the consequences of doing so can be painful!
  4. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Good tips Shannon, I'm definitely doing the first one. I check my finances every quarter so I will be doing it on July 1st. I keep an eye on my 401k and Roth and I see what I need to change in my budget.

    I also keep telling myself to sell stuff, but haven't gotten around to doing so. Hopefully I'll do it before the summer ends.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Excellent, Aldo! It sounds like you're doing a great job of staying on top of your finances. Yes, de-cluttering can be a time-consuming endeavor and it's easy to put off. But it's also a great opportunity to make some additional money too! :)
  5. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    I do need to go rebalance my investments. Thanks for the reminder. It's only 6 days until my joint yard sale with the neighbor. It always seems like such a good idea in the beginning, but when it's all said and done, I'll probably be making $.02/hour! At least we are getting rid of a bunch of stuff. If only I could find a way from keeping stuff from coming back. I don't feel like we buy that much, but there always seem to be lots of things whenever we decide to do a yard sale.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Good luck with your yard sale! Ah… that is the trick - to not replace everything you just got rid off. :) I am always impressed by how much some people make at their garage sale, although it does take a lot of time and effort to go through everything and hold the sale too.
  6. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Great tips Shannon!!! And I totally agree with you on planning next summer's vacation this summer. I was just meeting with a client who knows she has three weddings to travel to next summer, so we estimated how much it would cost her, broke it down over 12 months and then set up a separate auto draft to her "travel" savings account to cover the wedding so they are not as much of a financial hit when they happen. $200 a month is much better than $2,400 in two months.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      I've been guilty of waiting until the new year to plan the upcoming summer vacation but that really decreases the amount of time I have to save. :) It's definitely much easier when you can save monthly instead of having to come up with one large lump-sum and it feels great when you can travel - whether for leisure or to a wedding - without tapping into your credit cards. It's not much of vacation when you have to worry about how you're going to pay for it.
  7. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Some great tips here! I am working on reviewing any changing a few of my goals for this year as well as finishing up funding my EF. I'm also hoping for no more reasons to use it in the near future! I have also decluttered and made some great cash at my garage sale this year. We are thinking about having another one at the end of the summer if we can round up enough stuff.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      You did have a very successful garage sale this year, Kayla. Hopefully, you can have another one at the end of summer and earn some more money. :) Fingers crossed that you won't need to dip into your EF fund anytime soon, but at least you have one to help out if need be too!
  8. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Good tips Shannon! Our neighbourhood had a Parade of Garage Sales this past Saturday. Unfortunately for us, the things we would like to sell, like "almost new" power tools, are not appropriate for garage sales where everyone wants everything for pennies.

    And, stores here are already having summer clearance sales even though summer just started. So we managed to get some new jeans, shorts and summer tops for 60 to 70% off last week. That will get us through the summer just fine.

    Have a great week!!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Thanks, Sicorra. Yes, unfortunately there are definitely some items that won't move during yard sales. People do tend to look for rock-bottom prices! Isn't it funny how quickly they move through the seasons. I'm sure we'll start seeing clearance prices after the 4th of July. Glad you were able to score some great bargains!
  9. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    We are always planning our next summers vacation early. Usually start in August once the kids go back to school. Planning early really does help secure some sweet deals on travel. Plus my wife is always looking for motivation to make it through the next tax season. Looking forward to a fun vacation seems to be the trick.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      I bet Kim needs all the motivation she can get to make through the crazy tax season! I'm not a CPA and it's a hectic time for me, so I can't imagine how busy it is for her! Vacations are powerful motivations for me and for really the entire family.
  10. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Decluttering! We really need to do that...whether we can make extra money or not, it's worth it to get rid of that clutter. We keep saying it but never get around to it...but we might be moving so that's going to be forced decluttering! We're not bringing our clutter with us...
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Moving is a lot of work, but it does force you to go through your things. :) We donate a lot of our "clutter" too. The girls have particularly gotten use to donating their clothes and toys, which I love. And it's a good habit for them to have.
  11. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    I really need to go through my closet and do some decluttering. I should probably take a picture of it and post it on my blog but it's pretty disgusting how cluttered it is! Right when we get back from this road trip, I will definitely do that. It's a nice way to make some extra money as well!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      I think everyone has some clutter they need to rid of! It's easy to put things away and pretend they don't exist! You've had a super full plate getting ready for your wedding. Now things are hopefully a bit less hectic. It is a great way to earn a little extra money too, which can be the much needed motivation to tackle clutter. :)
  12. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Great list! I will definitely be doing a few of those this summer. My fiance and I are getting married so we're both keeping an eye on our finances & soon will make all of those scary life decisions revolving around budgeting and joint accounts. I'm also going to do a HUGE de-clutter this summer to get rid of a bunch of junk before we move in together. Hopefully some of that stuff I can sell to make a little side money.
    We're also going to be planning our mini-moon for this summer, so lots of things for us to do!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Yes, you two do have lots of big decisions to make around how to handle your finances and it sounds like you are prepared to make them together, which is the most important thing you can do. Decluttering before you move in together sounds like a great idea and excellent way to earn a little money too. :)
  13. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Yeah I'm happy to report I'm doing most of those things. The last monkey off my back is to roll over an old 401K into an IRA I've started this process many times and then life gets in the way, but I'm paying $12 a quarter just to have my old 401k. Not good.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Hopefully, life will give a little breather so you can take care of rolling over that old 401k. You definitely don't want to keep paying to have it. :)
  14. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    I definitely need to do a better job of stocking up at end-of-Summer sales. I failed at the end-of-Winter sales and should have bought a new pea coat - hate paying $150-200 for them!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      It's so easy to get caught up in everything and miss those end-of-season sales, thinking we have more time. It doesn't help that retailers rush through seasons too. It is frustrating paying full-price when you know you could have paid significantly less.
  15. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    We are definitely in de-cluttering mode over in this neck of the woods :) Even though moving is our main motivation, it has really been eye-opening how much stuff we had accumulated! Minimalism is *the* word for 2014!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      I bet you've been doing a ton of decluttering in preparation for your move. Isn't it amazing how much stuff we collect throughout the years and don't even realize it? I like your word for 2014 - I may have to adapt it myself. :)
  16. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    Some great ideas, thank you. I think that lazing at the beach is a great time to think about not only my financial situation, but my personal place in the universe as well. Am I happy with where I am? Do I want to keep going down the same path I am on? That type of question. Of course, those personal questions lead to financial questions. Such as, can I afford to go down another path if I want to? Enough of that. Time for a swim.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Absolutely, Brad! I think you can solve many problems and answer loads of questions while relaxing at the beach. :) Understanding your personal place in the universe is such an important task as it does naturally lend to better understanding your finances too.
  17. Monday, June 23rd, 2014
    I’m right with you on planning next year’s summer vacation now… gives us something to look forward to. Great reminders!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Monday, June 23rd, 2014
      Planning vacations is just plain fun and I find it is really motivating for me. We all need something to look forward to doing. :)
  18. Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
    I love the idea of planning your summer vacation for NEXT year. This year ours was already planned on our behalf. We're headed to Alaska next year to meet my son at the end of his 4,000 mile bike ride!
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
      Wow - a 4,000 mile bike ride! That is impressive and how much fun for Mom and Dad to cheer him on as he crosses the finish line! :)
  19. Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
    Hey, I like these tips! I did some serious decluttering this spring when we had our annual garage sale. I gave the leftovers to charity too and cleared out all the extra space in my garage =)
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
      Thanks, Holly! I remember reading about your garage sale and your after picture of your garage! :) It's nice when you can get rid of clutter. It's amazing how much stuff we accumulate and keep out of habit!
  20. Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
    I like to use summer as a time to check in on all my annual goals and readjust as I need- fiscal or otherwise.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
      Excellent, Stefanie. It's a great time to do a quick check-in to make sure everything is still on target and make those necessary changes. And it's even better when you can reward yourself for doing it with an afternoon at the beach. :)
  21. Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
    Sound tips Shannon. I am currently trying to plan our July budget now that we've settled into our new place to see if we can increase our savings rate and plug some spending holes. We're at approximately 50% savings but there is always room from improvement.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
      Thanks, Kassandra! A 50% savings rate is incredibly impressive and it's great that you're constantly looking for spending holes to plug. We all have some and it's great you stay on top of it. :)
  22. Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
    Decluttering is a great way to make money. You make space and can even get some extra $$ on the side. I def. need to do that but just need to get on it.
    • Shannon Ryan
      Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
      I agree! It's win-win all the way around. :) The hardest part is finding the time to do it but it definitely worth doing!
  23. Saturday, June 28th, 2014
    You hit the nail on the head with #2! My husband and are moving and recently tried our hands at Craigslist. We made a killing off of items what we just would have ended up donating to the Goodwill. I've definitely been missing out on Craigslist deals this entire time.
  24. Sunday, June 29th, 2014
    My husband and I are constantly planning our next vacation early in advance. That gives us enough time to compare prices and really decide what we are going to do on vacation.
Shannon Ryan SHANNON RYAN, CFP®
  • Meet Shannon

    "As a Certified Financial Planner, it is my passion to help individuals and families build a healthy relationship with money. I look forward to helping you raise financially confident kids.” - Shannon Ryan
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