Something about back-to-school season brings that urge to refresh, reorganize, and get to work (and maybe buy a few office accessories just for fun.) If you’re a student or a parent to a student, you’ve probably been buying school supplies, filling out paperwork and savoring what’s left of summer.
Even if you’re not a parent or a student, you can harness the “fresh start” energy of back-to-school season with your finances. Here’s how:
Check in with Your Money
Summer tends to bring pretty pricey expenses. Maybe you took a family vacation, had to pay sign-up fees for your kids’ sports or did some home renovations. Little things add up, too, like ice cream stops and concert tickets.
Get reacquainted with your savings and money goals so you know how to proceed. If you spent more than you wanted to this summer, make a plan to get back on track before year’s end. If you didn’t spend as much as you expected to, find a good place to allocate that extra cash. Always have a job for your money.
Assess Your Goals
If you set goals for the year way back in January, odds are you’ve already strayed from achieving them. Part of the problem is that most people set resolutions in January, work on them for a few weeks, and totally forget about them once life gets busy. Your goals might change throughout the year, so the best way to achieve them is to simply check in with them from time to time.
You might need to tweak your goals depending on what’s going on in your life. Back-to-school season is a great time to do this because we’re heading into the fourth quarter. Figure out what you need to do to finish out the year strong.
Look at your Credit Report
You should check out your full credit report once a year, so if you haven’t done that yet, go here to check yours. This gives you time to look it over before the end of the year so you can fix or pay off anything you need to.
Is there any suspicious activity? Any debts you can get paid off before January? It’s another opportunity to set yourself up for the year ahead.
Review Your Insurance Needs
All those summer check-ups, eye exams and trips to the dentists may have you wondering how effective your insurance coverage is. Open enrollment is right around the corner, so this is a good time to evaluate your current policies and determine if anything needs to change.
Are you overpaying anywhere? Is your coverage falling short in a certain area? Check out our guide on open enrollment to prepare.
Update Your Back-to-School Budget
If you don’t have kids in school, your fall budget might not change much from your summer spending. But if you have activity costs, school lunches and after-school care to pay for, you’ll have to account for that in your budget.
Even if nothing much will change, it’s always smart to take stock of your budget periodically to make sure your spending and saving still align with your overall money goals.
Related: Is your child going off to college this month? Here are four tips for college success:
About Your Richest Life
At Your Richest Life, Katie Brewer, CFP®, believes everyone should have access to financial resources and coaching. For more information on the services offered, contact Katie today.