It is halftime in 2023, which means it is a solid opportunity to review how your money has performed so far this year. Have you spent and saved the way you intended to? Have you invested as much as you wanted? Just like a coach of a sports team, halftime is a chance to make adjustments if you spot things that could be going better. It is also an opportunity to push yourself and your money to do just a bit more for you, to level up your financial game as we work through the back half of the year. Here are some ideas that you can implement right now to level up your money:
1. Cut back on how often you are going out as a convenience.
Summer is synonymous with vacation, and we believe that everyone needs to rest and to enjoy some relaxation. But cutting back a Starbucks or two a week, or ordering Grubhub or Uber Eats a little less often, is trading back convenience for cost, which can help you bolster savings. Decide what you are cutting back on, how often is acceptable to enjoy that convenience, and then setup a weekly or monthly deposit of the amount being saved into your savings account so that you don’t “accidentally” spend the money earmarked for savings.
2. Setup an automatic deposit of $20/week (or more) into savings.
$20 a week is an achievable goal to save more money, which over the year will help you nest an additional $1,000/yr (plus interest). Out of sight, out of mind through automation is a terrific way to level up an emergency savings fund that will be there when you need it most.
3. Cut the cord/subscriptions and save all the dollars.
Subscription creep is very real – it is so easy between free trials and discounts and promotions to suddenly have several more apps and services, Twitch channels, OnlyFans, Steam games, whiskey and wine clubs, and other forms of entertainment erode your cash flow. List your subscriptions from most to least used, cut most of the ones on the bottom of the list (which you likely won’t miss), add up the monthly savings, and setup an automatic deposit into savings for that amount so that instead of spending those dollars differently, you actually save them.
4. Increase your retirement account savings by 1%.
Most employer retirement plans save based on a percentage of your salary. Level up your retirement savings by bumping up that savings amount by 1%. You’ll save considerably more each year, which with long-term compounded growth means savings on top of savings. Your future self will be very thankful for you leveling up today!
5. Sin a bit less, save a bit more.
Activities such as smoking and drinking not only have potential health consequences, they have financial consequences as well. Cutting back on the “sin” activities lowers those costs, leveling up your savings as a result. Pour one out into your bank account!
6. Review your spending weekly.
Taking 5-10 minutes each week to see where your money is going is a great way to become more aware of how you spend your money, which in turn can help you make better decisions in the future. Our clients use a platform called eMoney as part of their financial planning experience to see all of their accounts – spending, saving, retirement, mortgage, student loans, insurance, and more .- all in one spot. Reviewing your money consistently is a great way to become more aware and level up your financial decisions.
7. Think “sustainably” with your spend.
When making purchases, buy with the idea of using an item over and over again rather than having a “disposable” mindset. Quality items tend to last considerably longer and save customers money over their cheaper, less durable peers. Take care of what you have, putting effort into storing and maintaining the things you have to stay in great shape. It is better for the planet AND better for your wallet.
8. Let things go that no longer “spark joy.”
Valuing your possessions and your space also means doing some personal editing and letting things go that no longer serve the purpose they once did. If you have boxes in storage or items in a closet that you have not touched in a year or more, it may be time to say goodbye to those things and either sell or donate them. If you really need them again in the future, you’ll likely have the ability to buy them – the internet is full of everything after all!
9. Update your LinkedIn, resume, and attend a professional networking event.
Remember that you should always be working on career development because it is the fastest way to building durable wealth. After all, when you make more money, it is much easier to save more money. You should be updating your LinkedIn and resume every six months at a minimum, and you should at least quarterly be attending a professional networking event or industry convention to make new connections, network with peers, and potentially new and more lucrative opportunities.