Fall signifies a lot of things. Kids going back to school, cooling in the weather, and the holidays peering around the corner. It’s also a time of year that finances can take a hit...unless you take a few of our suggestions. Here are a few things to consider as we move into fall that can help build up your savings and help your finances.
Give Yourself a Little Audit
Ok, ok, it’s not the most fun way to spend a few hours. But you need a starting point for saving, and a quick listing of your monthly expenses is the first step. You’ll be able to tell if you’re spending too much on happy hours or eating out, and assess if you’re really using that subscription service. Cancel the services you don’t need, and consider other ways in which you save money.
Open enrollment usually kicks off in October or November, depending on your workplace. If possible, meet with a benefits specialist to make sure that you’re taking advantage of every possible option. Ask about 401(k) matching, flexible benefits accounts, and any other benefits upon which you can maximize. And while you’re at it, make sure that you’re using your flex spending (hope you saved your receipts) and if there’s any extra contribution you can make before the year end deadline.
Start Your Holiday Savings
It’s not fun to realize it’s December and you have a bunch of expenses. From gifts to travel to entertainment, the holidays might be bright but they’re rough on the wallet. Don’t get caught off guard; open up a holiday savings account and an automatic withdrawal into it. You could also start buying holiday gifts early so it won’t feel like much of a blow if you buy them all at the same time.
Prep for the Weather
Here in our home state of Minnesota, we are alternately blessed and cursed to experience changes in the seasons. Homeowners, increase your home’s efficiency by weather stripping, caulking, insulating and checking your house for other inefficiencies.You could also use a programmable thermostat to keep it cooler when you’re not at home. You’ll save money in the heating bill and other places!
Watch for Fall Sales
Even if you don’t have kids, check out the school supply area for deals on lunch bags or pens and pencils on clearance. Keep an eye open for the other random sales that pop up, like around Veterans Day and Columbus Day. It’s not just Black Friday that has the deals.
Saying goodbye to summer and summer fun makes way for all those things we love about fall...pumpkins, football, cider, and more. Use these tips to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to finances and those things we love a little less...like saving for retirement.