Just like the seasons in the year, there are also different seasons of personal finance. They are not dictated by your age, but rather, the financial season you are in.
Last month we started with the Spring Season, a season of hope and new beginnings. During the Spring season, you are getting organized, making a plan and just beginning your money journey. This month we are forging ahead into the Summer Financial Season.
The Summer Money Season
Summer is a season of lush gardens and blooming flowers. It is a season full of beautiful growth. Unlike the stormy days of spring, there are occasional storms and showers during the summer season, but the long days are largely filled with sunshine. The seeds that we planted during the spring are beginning to grow, the flowers are beginning to bloom, and our gardens are finally beginning to produce fruit.
After the Spring season of stress and anxiety, while your worries aren’t completely gone, you are making good progress and are beginning to see some positive impacts to your net worth and your personal finances. You are experiencing a little bit of breathing room and the beginnings of peace of mind.
Who is in the Summer Financial Season
As short as the summer season of the year is, it is often the longest of the financial seasons. Most of us will spend the majority of our ‘career years’ in the summer season. Most people in this season are established in their careers and are enjoying annual raises and increasing income.
New beliefs and money habits started during the spring season are now well ingrained.
You continue to develop a monthly budget (which you are now a pro at) and you are living within your means. You have learned to tell your money where it is going and are in control of your money.
Those in the summer season of their finances are working to pay off debt and are no longer using debt to make purchases. Instead, they plan in advance for upcoming purchases, and have set up sinking funds to pay cash for those purchases.
Summer seasoners have some savings set aside for emergencies and have paid down and eliminated some debt. This gives you a bit of breathing room and margin in your budget, which in turn gives you some breathing room and peace in your life. You are no longer derailed by minor emergencies and setbacks.
You are beginning to gain some momentum and are beginning to see the needle move on your goals.
Steps to Take When you are in the Summer Financial Season
Throughout the summer season, you will continue paying down your debt until you become debt free. This includes paying off your student loans. This is a crucial step in moving into the next seasons of your finances and beginning to build incredible wealth.
Master the art of sinking funds; Save and pay cash for upcoming expenses.
Fully fund your emergency savings account during this season. You want to have enough saved to cover 3-6 months of expenses. This is key to really giving you peace of mind.
Review your insurance coverage to ensure the assets you own are covered. Make sure you have health insurance, adequate life insurance, and a will in place to protect your loved ones and your assets.
Begin investing regularly and saving for retirement.
You have professionals in your corner such as a financial advisor, accountant, and legal advisor to help you protect yourself and your assets and make solid long term decisions.
Professionals Who Can Help You During This Season
A Financial advisor will review your retirement and money goals such as saving for college, and help maximize your investments to help you reach your financial goals.
An Insurance Agent can make sure the assets you currently own, such as real estate and vehicles, are protected. Ensure you have adequate life insurance, and any other insurance needs are covered.
An Attorney can assist you in real estate or business transactions, contracts, and help you develop wills or trusts.
An Accountant will prepare your taxes, educate you on deductions, and offer suggestions to minimize your tax burden or prepare tax estimates for the following year.
The HR Professional at work will help you understand your benefits package, and help you maximize and understand your retirement matches or pension plans.
During this season you will finally begin to feel some breathing room in your finances. The steps you are taking during this season will bloom into incredible wealth during the fall season of your finances. You will finally be able to enjoy your money and give generously.
Jenna is an executive, entrepreneur, floral designer, and the owner of Elevations. She loves great coffee, everything “royal”, and adventures in wild places with her family and two dogs.