Fall is the perfect time to check in on your financial journey so you can end the year without added money stress—and set yourself up for success come January. In fact, we can take a cue from the season itself to help guide us through some simple money actions that can make a difference.
Try one, or all, of these tips this fall to harness the energy of the season and end your year right:
1. What can you shed?
Shedding doesn’t just apply to the trees; it can be a beneficial process to apply to our finances. Remove what no longer serves you so you can put your energy toward the things that matter. Look back at the year and take stock of where you were spending your money. Are there memberships you are paying for you that you aren’t really using? Do you have a weekly food delivery service that you’re not utilizing to its full extent? Multiple streaming services that you could do without? The simple action of being intentional with your spending can have a tremendous impact on your cash flow and your mindset.
2. What can you save?
It’s time to take a cue from nature and store up for the winter. What do I mean? That money you saved by shedding things you no longer need, let’s put it to work for us by storing it where it will benefit us in the future. First thing that comes to mind: your holiday shopping or travel. Heading into the holidays without a plan can lead to a money hangover in January. Now is the perfect time to think of how much realistically you’ll be spending on gifts—and travel costs if necessary. It’s also a great time to take a peek at that IRA (individual retirement account). You have until April of the following year to hit your max contribution of $6,000 (if you are under 50).
3. What needs nourishing?
Unfortunately, the holidays and end of the year can mean increased stress and anxiety for many of us. Fall is a perfect time to identify what self-care you need. Too often, we forget to take care of ourselves, and it can lead to emotional spending. Times of stress are when we need to lean into our self-care even more as it is the foundation for keeping us healthy. Decide how you can support yourself with self-care heading into the holidays and what you want it to look like at the beginning of the new year. Perhaps you want to take a course or try a new gym. Whatever it is, make sure to prioritize your own needs, too.
4. What’s not working?
Let’s face it; most of us keep doing the same things over and over but secretly want a different result. Why? Creating new habits isn’t for the faint of heart, and frankly, we often associate change with being unpleasant. This is the season to look back on your year and identify what felt great and what didn’t feel so great. Did you eat out too much, or did you find your love of cooking? Pinpoint what you want to start, stop, and keep doing. You will need your money, time, and energy to do most things, so get into alignment: Habits take time to form, but with intention you could be in a good place come the New Year.
5. What needs organizing?
Our money loves organization, and honestly, so does our brain. If you were out enjoying the summer, your wallet and your house might need some organization. Identify areas of clutter and start tackling them 10 minutes at a time. In my opinion, clutter breeds chaos, and chaos will affect your money, time, and energy. And while you’re at it, start dipping into your receipts so that you are ready for tax time. There’s nothing like getting that W-2 in January knowing you have everything ready to go.