Summer is a time of afternoons by the pool, barbecues and relaxation. It’s a chance to take a break from your usual routine and enjoy outdoor hobbies and time with loved ones. As important as it is to enjoy summer while you can, it’s equally as important to stay financially focused and not lose sight of your financial goals. The following tips can help you remain financially on track throughout the summer months.
#1 – Automate your finances.
Need a break from constantly managing your finances? Give yourself some time to kick back and relax this summer by automating your accounts and investments. Here are a few ways to add automation to your financial routine so that you can spend more time poolside.
- Set up automatic debits with your credit card company, loan servicer, utility companies, etc. This practice removes the stress of having to schedule payments each month. Just make it a point to regularly check in on your accounts and ensure the correct amounts have been debited.
- Set up bill pay with your bank. For any service providers that don’t offer automatic debits, consider setting up direct payments through your checking or savings account. It’s still easier than mailing a check each month.
- Automate your retirement plan contributions through payroll deferrals.
- Establish a direct transfer from your paycheck to your savings account.
#2 – Review your beneficiaries.
Checking this important task off your list can provide you with peace of mind this summer. Beneficiaries can quickly become outdated as your life evolves and your relationships change over time. That’s why it’s important to periodically review your beneficiaries on all accounts, investments, trusts and other estate planning documents. Also, make sure the custodians you’ve designated to care for your children are still the people you wish to name and that your successor trustee remains relevant.
#3 – Rebalance your portfolio.
Use the change in seasons as a reminder to review your asset allocation and rebalance if necessary. Rebalancing to your original (or an updated) asset allocation helps lock in gains from top-performing sectors and ensure your portfolio remains in line with your investment objectives and risk tolerance. Contact your wealth manager for assistance.
#4 – Check in on your insurance.
Want to feel extra carefree this summer? Review your insurance policies to ensure you’re covered should something unexpected happen. Your wealth manager can help review your existing insurance policies and identify any gaps in coverage.
#5 – Plan for summer expenses.
Don’t let summertime expenses catch you off guard. Make a plan to cover the added costs of summer vacations, kids’ camps, childcare expenses for when the kids are out of school, etc. Having a plan in place allows you to comfortably spend a bit more without negatively impacting your other financial goals. If you have a dependent care FSA, this can be used to pay for summer day camps (in addition to daycare and preschool) in a pre-tax manner, assuming the expenses are allowing you to be gainfully employed or look for work.
#6 – Take steps to lower your taxes.
The mid-year point is a great time to check in on your tax planning strategies. Your wealth manager can help you take advantage of tax-loss harvesting, asset location, charitable giving and other strategies to help lower your annual tax liabilities.
Could you use some help revisiting your finances this summer? Creative Planning is here for you. We work with clients to develop custom financial plans specifically designed to keep them on the path toward achieving their vision of financial success. To get started, schedule a call with a member of our team.