October is National Financial Planning Month.
As it currently stands, about 1/4 of non-retired adults in the United States have no retirement savings, a statistic that has remained steady since 2019.
Of those who have retirement savings, many have not taken the time to create a plan to make sure they will be financially ready for the future. Planning for the future does take time, but it's well worth the effort.
We've put together three quick tasks that you can do this fall to make sure your financial plan is on track:
Rake through the pile of bills.
Just like the leaves falling from the trees this time of year, your bills can turn into a forgotten pile if you're not intentional about clearing out the things you don't need anymore. October is a great month to review all of your accounts and make sure that the ones you keep open are still moving you toward your goals and not holding you back.
Take some focused time to close any accounts you no longer need and do a little research to make sure you're not overpaying on any of the accounts you decide to keep open.
Look over your bills and spending habits from this past year and find out where your money went. Did it go where you wanted it to go? If not, what can you do about that?
Once you've double checked your bills and spending habits...
Winterize your budget.
Cleaning gutters, stacking firewood, sweeping the chimney... these are some of the ways Ohio homeowners prepare for the winter months.
But, how do you get your budget ready for the winter?
First, remember holiday spending is coming and plan accordingly. Many people forget to make a spending plan for food, parties, and presents, which causes financial stress rather than the ability to start out the new year with a fresh focus. Create a budget specifically for the holidays. Saying "no" to extravagant spending is always easier if you set your goals ahead of time.
Just like a clean yard and a cozy fireplace can bring warmth to the season, a set budget can bring financial peace to your holidays as well.
Second, double check any of your insurance accounts and make sure that they are still working for you and that there are no options that would better fit your situation.
Finally, make sure you haven't fallen into any "lifestyle inflation" traps. Lifestyle inflation is sneaky because once you start making more money, it's easy to automatically start spending more money on things you don't really need... but feel like you deserve. Double check your budget and see if there are any areas of excess that need trimmed back like those pesky hedges waiting for you outside the front window.
Then, check your tread.
Obviously, one other really important task to remember when looking toward an Ohio winter is to make sure that your tires have appropriate tread. If your tread is worn down too much, this could mean disaster when driving on snowy roads.
Did you know that another definition for the word "tread" describes a specific way of walking? Have you ever heard the phrase "tread carefully." When looking over your financial plan for next year, be sure to tread carefully.
Take some time to define where you want to be in a year and what specifically you'll need to do to make that happen. Unless your goal is measurable and specific, it will be hard to see that you're getting closer.
Are you walking with focus and care into the future? If not, October is a great month to recalibrate and set your goals for next year.
If you'd like help with that, we're here for you. Reach out today.