Summer Financial Bucket List

Summer is here, meaning we’re more than halfway through the year! Now is the perfect time to review your financial situation and adjust as needed.

Sure, it may not be the most exciting to think about your budget when the beautiful weather is calling your name. But if you stay organized and tackle a couple of these key areas each month, you can easily and quickly maintain healthy finances year-round.

Follow our simple steps to stay on top of your money matters and enjoy the rest of your summer with peace of mind.

1. Review your budget

First, sit down with your spouse and evaluate your budget, or establish one if you haven’t yet. Get a crystal clear understanding of what money is coming into the household and what expenses are going out, write them down, and break everything out monthly and annually. You may be surprised to find what you’re spending your money on!

As you assess your budget, consider:

  • Lifechanges that could result in new income or expenses (e.g., marriage, having a child, job change)
  • Large upcoming expenses (e.g., home renovations, new furniture, vacations)
  • Your financial goals (e.g., saving for the above or starting an emergency fund)
  • Where you can reduce spending or save more money

Track your spending consistently and review your budget weekly to ensure you’re following it and working toward your goals.

2. Pay off high-interest credit card balances

Credit card interest rates are north of 20% now, so if you have any credit card balances, they should be the first debt you pay off! Once you do, be sure to:

  • Pledge to never carry forward a monthly balance
  • Live within your means and stick to that budget you set
  • Schedule automatic payments or a weekly time to pay your bills to avoid more interest and late fees

It’s simply not worth wasting your hard-earned money on credit card interest and fees.

3. Pay yourself first

Do you have a retirement or investment account? If not, it’s time to set one up with an affordable automatic monthly contribution.

So, how much should you contribute to your retirement? The best practice for a starting point is 10% of your gross salary per year. As of 2023, the 401(k) annual contribution limit is $22,500; if you’re over 50, you can contribute up to $30,000 per year. (

Regardless of your age, it’s always a good time to save for retirement. If you have questions about account types or contribution strategy, speak to a Carlson advisor today. We’ll help you set it so you can forget it!

4. Organize & review your estate planning documents

Speaking of long-term planning, you should also take this opportunity to evaluate your estate plan and assets. Gather up all critical documents in one place, including any:

  • Wills
  • Insurance policies
  • Vehicle titles
  • Property deeds
  • Medical directives
  • Trust documents
  • Beneficiary names and contact information

If you haven’t reviewed items like your will recently and your wishes or situation has changed, it is a good time to do so with your estate planning attorney. Once you’ve made the necessary updates, or if everything is still as you want, talk to us. We like to keep copies of your trust documents and assure that your investment accounts are properly titled.

5. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

While we encourage you to prioritize your family’s financial well-being, we also believe in enjoying the life you’ve worked for and focusing on your well-being! So soak up that sun and fresh air with your favorite activities. Now that you have a solid budget and insights into your current finances, you know exactly how much you can put aside for making more memories this summer.

And with a reliable partner guiding your wealth management strategy with your best interest in mind, you can rest easy and live in the moment all season long! Carlson’s advisors are here to help you grow your capital and provide peace of mind so you can do just that.

If you’re ready for a better way to protect and manage your wealth, we’d love to get to know you. Contact us today!

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