Are your kids heading back to school now?
Are you finally getting back into the routines that dominate most of the year?
While you are luxuriating in early wakeups, structured days, and normal bedtimes, it’s time to do what is a tradition every New Year- make some resolutions!
In most places, school starts in August and September, and if you are a parent, that means the year begins then! Forget New Year’s! For all those who have kids in school, August and September are the real beginning of the new year. As a mother of 2, my year begins now and ends in the summertime! And it’s time for New Year’s resolutions! It is also a good time to plan and set goals for the new year. Having a goal and creating a plan to reach that goal will help you (and your partner, if applicable) actually reach that goal.
Working together as a team will get you on the same page, and you will accomplish so much this year. Being on the same page as your partner and having clear goals will reduce tension in your home over finances. Trust me, I am speaking from experience!
This is a great time to look over your budget and make some plans for different things this year. Make yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea and sit down with your partner (if you have one) and:
Review your Budget– (assuming you have one!- and if you don’t make one now. Or yesterday.) As the school year begins, it is a perfect time to review how much money you can spend. As kids grow older, their needs change, and summer is a good time to map out what you think you may need for this year. Is anyone going to need braces? Teenage girl wanting lots of new clothes? Bike for your 5-year old? Now is a good time to review where your money is going and what you need to save up and budget for.
Set up Systems and Adjust Existing Ones- The best way to save is to set up systems. How? Set up automatic deposits into your savings accounts. Even if you only have $5 a month to spare, ensure that it is regularly deposited into savings accounts. We have hectic lives, and it hard to remember to save every month (especially when dealing with small amounts- it doesn’t seem worth it!)
But when you have the money regularly going into an account, it really adds up. And if you set up automatic payments and withdrawals, you won’t even miss the money! Now is a good time to reevaluate how much money you are putting into savings, how much you actually pay on bills etc. I don’t spend a lot of time budgeting because it’s all automatic, and I don’t want to spend so much time stressing about money. I like to check in once in a while and make sure everything is working well and whether anything in your budget can be improved.
Set a goal– Decide where you want to be financially next summer. Think about what your financial bliss is. Then take steps and step up systems to make that happen. Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Is there anything you can do to end that? Are your expenses more than your income? Then, now is the time to calculate and KNOW YOUR GAP so you can work towards closing it.