Summer Financial To-Do List
Summer often brings a quieter season to our lives. School is out. Sports seasons have wrapped up. And, we're ready for some much-needed, well-deserved vacation time with family and friends.
It may not seem like it, but summer is actually a great time to sit down and think about some weightier subjects -- like your finances! With the absence of the issues associated with school and sports, you have extra time to devote to doing a financial check-up and planning for the future. But don't worry, you'll still have plenty of time to soak up the sun!
Set Up Automatic Payments. For summer vacation, it just makes sense to take advantage of online banking and automatic bill pay. You can rest easy knowing that no matter when you leave for vacation, your bills will be paid on time. Having this service set up for the rest of the year helps you fight late fees due to bills just falling between the cracks of your busy schedule. It's a simple and efficient way to avoid unnecessary fees and headache. Set up paperless statements, and you can access your statement online instead of having to file them away at home.
Review Your Employment Benefits. Rather than wait until your HR department holds open enrollment, the summer is a terrific time to ask questions about your coverage. You can make sure you understand what is covered by your plan and if any changes will need to be made during the next enrollment period. Don't forget to make sure all of your life insurance and retirement benefits are up-to-date, as well. You may also want to up your contributions.
Begin Making Your Holiday Budget. It may seem like a long time before the big guy heads down your chimney, but starting your savings plan early can help take the sting out of the holiday hit on your wallet! It can also help you avoid racking up further credit card debt to have the Christmas of your dreams. Saving is like exercise & dieting -- it's most successful when it becomes your lifestyle and that takes time. Set your budget and begin saving in the summer before the holiday pressure begins. (Stick to it ALL of next year, and you'll be in even better shape come the holidays.)
Review Your Student Debt. When a college graduate gets that diploma in had, they're ready for a much deserved relaxation of the mind. But, don't forget that now the real adult responsibilities begin to kick in. And, that may very well start with repaying a student loan. Review your loan and be sure you understand how long your grace period lasts. Read your mail! You should be notified when that first payment is due. Make sure your monthly spending plan and budget will include the costs of repayment. Consider paying more each month to apply toward the principal if your loan agreement allows. Our Student Loan Repayment calculator can help you determine how quickly you can pay off your debt.
Get a Financial Check-up. Summer is a slow time for accountants and financial advisers. Taking advantage of their freer schedule will give you ample time to review your finances, discuss potential changes, and plan for cost saving tax recommendations as you enter the Fall. Getting a jump start on these key pieces of information can help you relax when school gets back into gear!
Taking some time this summer to mark a few items off this to-do list can save you time and money in the future as you continue on your financial journey.