Fall is here! A new season usually signifies a time of change or to try something new. It's easy to put your financial health on the backburner and coast until the end of the year. That's what New Year's resolutions are for, right? Well, at Julep, we think it's important to check in on your financial wellness no matter what time of year it is.
Below are 7 things you can do to refresh your finances this fall!
Review your spending. It's kind of hard to make a change if you don't know what exactly needs to change. Start by reviewing each expense and asking yourself, "do I really need/want this product or service?" You may be surprised at your answer. Are you paying for multiple streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock...the list never ends)? If you are, determine which one you use the least and ditch it! You won't even realize it's gone.
In reviewing your expenses, you can also note which ones may be negotiable. Does your [internet/phone/car insurance] bill seem to be increasing year over year? Sometimes all it takes is a quick phone call to bring that bill down. It never hurts to ask!
Try something new. This goes right along with reviewing your spending habits. If you're feeling like something isn't working for you financially, maybe that's because you've been doing things the same way for too long. Do you typically buy coffee at Starbucks? Maybe it's time to try home brewed. Do you usually pay the minimum on your credit card bill each month? #1: That's a good thing! #2: If you can, try to put some extra cash towards your bill. This is a great habit to develop as you work on paying down debt.
Don't forget about savings too! If your current savings plan (or lack thereof) isn't working or putting your mind at ease like it should, let's change it up! Try this: for each day of the month, put the equivalent number aside in a savings account (ex: on the 1st, $1 to savings, on the 2nd, $2 to savings...on the 17th, $17 to savings, etc.). At the end of the month, you'll have saved almost $500!
Plan for future expenses (yes, including holiday gifts!) If you're not big on budgeting throughout the year, there's no better time to start than now (except maybe yesterday). It seems far away now but the holidays will be here before you know it, aka spending season. Start now by saving a little bit from each paycheck for holiday-related things like gifts (shipping & handling too!), decorations, clothing, eating out, and travel. If you're not sure how much you need, estimate how much you spent last year and go from there.
Book travel NOW. Speaking of holidays...if you plan to spend them at home this year, we can't urge you enough to book your flights/rental cars/trains now. It's no secret that prices spike as we get closer and closer to the holidays. Your wallet will thank you for planning in advance.
Plan an affordable vacation. Speaking of travel...the end of the year is usually a good time to take a vacation as it's usually quiet in the office (and the inbox). A weekend away can help you recharge and destress from everything going on in the world (and maybe from family time too). Apps like HotelTonight, Kayak, and Hopper can help you find hotels, flights, and other travel options that won't bust your budget.
Cash in your PTO. Speaking of vacation....if you've been WFH due to the pandemic, you know that work-life balance seems to be getting harder and harder to maintain. If you have unused vacation days, use them! Many companies don't let vacation days roll over to the next year. If that's the case, you might be letting go of "free money."
Assess old goals and set new ones. A great way to turn over a new leaf (sorry) is to examine your goals and determine whether or not they still apply to you. Think about previous goals that you have set. Has anything in your life changed? If so, it might be time to reevaluate and set some new goals. For example, maybe a year ago your focus was on paying down debt. Now you might want to start thinking of saving up for a house. It's never a bad time to think about your current situation and priorities.
How will you make a financially fresh start this fall? Let us know at email@example.com and we might feature you on social media!