As children, fall signified more of a beginning than an end. Sure, the days of summer vacation were behind us, but we geared up with new backpacks, too-stiff jeans, sharp colored pencils and granola bars, and headed back to the classroom for another year of learning.
As an adult, your summers of complete freedom are likely long gone, but fall is still a great opportunity to sit back, reflect, and hit the reset button. Here are four of our top tips to reset and refocus on your finances this fall.
- Familiarize yourself with your numbers.
Summer can be expensive, from vacations to rooftop brunches to wedding season. Be honest, when was the last time you looked at the books or crunched the numbers? Take the time to review your accounts, go over your summer spending, and revisit your budget.
- Set new goals.
New season, new goals. Part of treating fall as a time to reset includes assessing your goals, and maybe creating a few new ones. As you refocus, take note of how you’re feeling, what you want to accomplish, and what it’s going to take to get you there. Do you dream of buying a new car? Are you hoping to take a family vacation over the holidays? Do you want to increase your monthly 401K contribution? Jot those new goals down and set about making them a reality!
- Give your savings a name.
Saving up for something can be tricky. On the one hand, you know it’s something you really want or need, but on the other, it can be easy to veer off course. Maybe you’re saving for a down payment on a house, but your best friend is getting married next week. You have all of this money saved up – what harm could it do to dip into a little bit of it for your friend’s wedding gift? And so it goes.
A tip to make saving up for something specific a little bit easier? Give it a name. Most banks allow you to name your accounts, so, using the same example, if you are saving for a home, open a specific account and name it accordingly. It doesn’t matter what you call it, – chez moi, home is where the heart is, down payment – seeing your goal spelled out in front of you each time you make a deposit or a withdrawal is a great way to keep your end game front and center in your mind.
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
A final tip (which stretches far beyond your finances) is to stop comparing yourself to others. Social media has a way of making us feel inadequate during any month, but especially coming off of a season of seemingly never-ending travels from friends and strangers alike (plates of pasta near the colosseum, yoga retreats in Indonesia, and backpacking trips in Big Sur, we’re looking at you…) it’s easy to feel down on yourself. Instead of a) sulking, or b) buying the first all-inclusive cruise package that flashes across your computer screen, take the time to reflect on everything you did do over the summer. Maybe you didn’t travel to Costa Rica and try surfing, but you did spend quality time with your kids while putting away money for your kitchen remodel. Refocus your intention and shift your perspective.
We understand that everyone handles change differently, and the changing of seasons is no exception. No matter where your focus lies this fall, whether it’s on securing a raise at work, saving up for a summer home, or reaching a financial milestone, The Humphreys Group team is by your side.