Compared to 2020, the summer of 2021 has been exciting for most people.
Many parts of the country are getting back to normal and there is plenty of fun to be had. But with that fun can come extra spending. Now that we are halfway through the year, this is a fantastic time to check in with your finances.
This week, we are discussing 10 financial tasks for you to tackle before summer comes to an end. Don’t get caught unprepared, listen to this episode to hear which key financial areas you should focus your attention on before the end of the year.
10 Key financial areas to evaluate mid-year
- How is your spending changing now that we are (somewhat) post-Covid? Now that life is getting back to normal, how have your spending habits changed? It’s important to be aware of where your money is going. Start tracking what you have been spending on eating out, entertainment, and travel. Becoming aware of these expenditures will help you create a post-Covid spending plan.
- How has travel impacted your spending plan? Was your travel money previously going towards something else? Can you ease back spending in other areas to increase your travel budget? Make sure to shop around to get an understanding of prices before you rush into a big purchase. Post-Covid, many people are going on ‘one-time’ trips. But ask yourself, is this really a one-time thing?
- How do your childcare spending habits change in the summer? For many families, summer is more expensive since there are summer camps and extra daycare costs. But for private school families, costs may decrease during the summer. If you have a child that is aging out of daycare to start school, don’t let that money simply enter back into your monthly cash flow. Think about how the money could be better spent. Are you maxing out your 401K or Roth contributions? Consider how you could distribute that money to savings.
- Check your recurring services. Many of us increased our subscription services during the pandemic. Now is a good time to reevaluate whether you still need them. Do you still need grocery delivery or Doordash? Consider what you could cancel now that other spending areas are starting to creep back into your budget.
- Revisit your retirement savings. It’s much easier to adjust your savings levels now than to try and play catchup in November or December. Make sure that you utilize your full employer match and consider what to do if you have already hit your yearly max in your Roth or 401K.
- Are you missing a savings opportunity? Your retirement savings may come directly out of your paycheck, but are you automatically diverting other savings? Think about other areas where you could be saving money: an HSA, college savings fund, or even a brokerage account. Listen in to hear about the changes in the FSA limits.
- Consider the child tax credit. Many Americans saw the child tax credit hit their bank accounts in July. Before another one hits, reevaluate where you fall on the tax credit spectrum. Consider how your income will change in 2021 and think about if you should opt out or if you may need to pay that tax credit back come tax time.
- Start constructing your tax plan. Think about how your tax situation may have changed this year. Do you have enough taxes withheld?
- Have your circumstances changed? Did your goals change from 2020? Have you landed a new job? Have you seen a reduction in income or an increase in income? How may this affect your goals?
- Review your estate plan. Do you have all of your documents in place? Reevaluate your documents to ensure that they are current and still make sense.
Focusing on these ten areas now can set you off on the right foot for the fall. Listen in to learn how you can enhance today and enrich tomorrow.
Outline of This Episode
- How is your spending changing? [2:12]
- How does travel impact your plan? [3:15]
- How does summer impact your childcare spending [4:24]
- Take a look at recurring services [5:45]
- Revisit retirement savings [7:28]
- Are you missing a savings opportunity? [8:40]
- Child tax credit [11:06]
- Start constructing your tax plan [13:38]
- Have your circumstances changed? [14:40]
- Review your estate plan [16:33]
Resources & People Mentioned
Connect With Chad and Mike
- Connect on Twitter @csmithraleigh @TeamFSINC
- Follow Financial Symmetry on Facebook