Ah, the dog days of summer. That peak period of the season when the days are long and the weather is hot, coupled with the feeling that both will last forever. But before the leaves start to change and the reality of fall sets in, let’s talk about five ways to improve your finances in August.
REPURPOSE YOUR VACATION MONEY
In years past, you and your family may have taken an end-of-summer trip as a final hurrah before heading back to school. If that’s not happening this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t end the summer on a high note — check out our list of budget-friendly summer activities for inspiration.
As for what to do with that money you’re not spending? Consider putting it toward your retirement savings, adding to your emergency fund or even upgrading your backyard, which you’ll still be able to enjoy until the weather cools down.
CHECK IN ON YOUR FINANCES
August 14 is National Financial Awareness Day, so it’s only fair that we advise you to check in on your finances. Now might be a good time to review your latest credit report, or maybe it’s been a while since you revisited your family’s budget. Either way, getting into the habit of regular check-ins ensures you’re always on track with your money goals and helps avoid surprises along the way.
THINK ABOUT FAMILY COSTS
Did you know that most babies are born during the month of August? If you’re expecting a bundle of joy or you’re looking to grow your family, you’ll want to make sure you’re fully prepared monetarily. Because before you know it, that baby will grow into a child and eventually a young adult who might want to attend college someday. Each life stage has its own set of costs, and knowing what to expect up front can ease the transition.
REACH OUT TO YOUR SOCIAL CIRCLE
In normal times, coordinating summer schedules can feel downright impossible. That probably hasn’t been too much of an issue this year, but before everyone’s schedules become jam-packed again (as they always seem to do), take advantage of the extra downtime to reach out to friends and loved ones — this list has some cost-friendly ideas for socializing safely. While you’re at it, if you have a money goal in mind, such as paying down your student loans or increasing your net worth, the buddy system can be a good way to hold yourself accountable.
GET INTO THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL SPIRIT
Let’s face it: Nobody knows what “back to school” means this year, whether you’re a parent or a student. But there’s something to be said about the promise of fall that gives everyone a boost of productivity after a laid-back summer. So think about getting a head start on end-of-year tasks, like assessing your tax situation or reviewing your insurance policies so you’ll be prepared for whatever the rest of 2020 brings.