5 ways to avoid wrecking your money this summer

Melty red popsicles, sticky sunscreen, naps on lawn chairs… Summer is finally arriving and we’re all about it. For many of us, it’s a long-awaited chance to spend quality time with our families. Maybe even get out of town.
Summer’s also a great time to catch up on things that we’ve been putting off during the more frenetic months at the beginning of the year, and it’s a chance to get ahead of the busy months to come. 
Today’s quarterly check-in is about taking it easy, while also feeling on top of your game.

1. Reclaim time with your family

If we’ve learned anything from the past few months of juggling kids at home with all our other priorities, it’s that time is more valuable than ever. If we can find a way to claw back any spare minutes for ourselves, count us in.
One way to do this is to automate your transactions. That includes transfers to savings and bill payments. (Still review your bills, though, so you know where you’re spending or if, say, your electricity costs have spiked.)
Image Credit: Jovanmandic/iStock.

2. Do some organizing

Summer’s a great time for going through your closet and old albums. While you’re armed deep in memories, take the extra time to update or write down a list of your important files, accounts, and details so your loved ones would know where to find everything if something happened to you. 
That could range from a copy of your driver’s license to where to find your will and info on your life insurance policy. 
Image Credit: Valeriy_G/iStock.

3. Regroup on your career priorities

Hopefully, the world will increasingly get back to normal as fall sets in. And if so, then we should plan for things to get a little more serious on the professional front when the weather gets crisp again. 
In the meantime, use the lull to list out your career objectives. What do you want over the next year? Five years? Ten years?
If you’re thinking about returning to the workforce after taking time away, this is an opportunity to think about your timeline. The same goes if you’ve recently been set back by the pandemic and its economic crash. 
Think: Who can you network with? What kinds of jobs are you interested in? How will that affect your family’s finances and your childcare needs?
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4. Check in on your credit score

We like to suggest that you check your credit score once a quarter, to make sure that your finances are trending in the right direction and that there’s no foul play on your account. You can use a free service like Credit Karma to get your score—and they have an app, so you can even do it from under a beach umbrella.
Image Credit: DMEPhotography/iStock.

5. Daydream a little

Soon enough, that teething baby will be waiting up for the Tooth Fairy; that ranting toddler will be going on their first date. 
Let yourself daydream about your long-term goals: Are you saving up to buy a house? Do you want to go on a big family vacation? And what about things like retirement and saving for college—are you on track? If not, no need to harsh the summer mellow. Just pull out your phone and do some reading on where you are and where you should be, and make a plan for the future.
This article originally appeared on meetfabric.com