Longer days, warmer weather, family outings – these are just a few of the benefits of summer. While you may be tempted to “leave it all behind” over the summer, that shouldn’t apply to your long-term financial goals. Today we'll explore four quick tips to help you balance your summer spending and saving habits.
First, it’s important for you to keep tabs on your spending. No one likes to run out of money by the end of the month, and, often what we think we spend is radically different from what we actually spend.
Try this exercise: Write down how much you think you spend in a typical month, and then track your expenses over an entire month to see how close you came to your estimated amount. You might be surprised at the outcome! By tracking your spending each month, you can get a clearer picture of where your money goes and how you can start making specific adjustments, if necessary. You’ll also have a better idea of how much money you have left over for summer fun.
Spending smarter is the focus of our next tip. In fact, there are several ways you can put your spending to work. For example, if you plan to use a credit card during your summer vacation, look for one with the lowest possible interest rate, in case you need to carry a balance for more than one billing cycle. Also, some credit cards offer points based on your spending that you can redeem down the road. Interest rates have increased over the last few months, so it’s a good time to see if your bank offers interest-bearing chequing accounts, savings accounts or GICs. These can help you earn income on your money while still giving you easy access to it if you need it. And don’t forget about automatic payments – you can set up your credit card and other bills to pay automatically while you’re away, so that you don’t miss a payment.
Tip number three is all about goals. Although you might be relaxing on holiday, keep in mind that your important long-term financial goals don’t take a vacation. Some savings goals – such as a summer trip – are short-term. Others, such as saving for retirement, require a longer time frame. But every financial goal requires persistence and planning.
Talk to your advisor about whether a systematic investing program, or dollar-cost averaging, is right for you. This program allows you to automatically invest a set dollar amount at certain intervals. While systematic investing does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss in declining markets, it can help you stay on track with your investment strategy.
Keeping in touch – with more than just a postcard – is the focus of our last tip. It’s always a good idea to stay in touch while you travel. With Online Access, you have fast, secure access to your account information and documents, anytime and anywhere.
For more information on these and other summertime tips, contact your local Edward Jones advisor.
Investors should understand the risks involved of owning investments, including interest rate risk, credit risk and market risk. The value of investments fluctuates, and investors can lose some or all of their principal.
Special risks are inherent to international and emerging market investing, including those related to currency fluctuations and foreign political and economic events.
Diversification does not guarantee a profit or protect against loss in declining markets.
Past performance does not guarantee future results.
This information is for educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be interpreted as specific investment advice. Investors should make investment decisions based on their unique investment objectives and financial situation.