Summer 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
The Heavy Purse Store is now open! My new downloadable Money Club Workbooks are now on sale. Each workbook provides five targeted lessons to help you raise Financially Confident Kids. Please check them out in The Heavy Purse Store.