As a kid, I loved going back to school. There were new things to learn. New supplies. New teachers. New beginnings.
As an adult, this time of year is also my mini “New Year’s Day.” While I don’t write
New Year’s September resolutions, I have a track record of starting new things around this time of year: getting married, moving to Chicago, and starting businesses.
While I inadvertently took the summer off from updating this blog and my newsletter (oops), I figured most of you were out enjoying the summer sun as well. Perhaps you put some of your travel fund to good use.
Now that you’re getting back to a regular routine, it’s the perfect time to check on your finances and do a little tax planning. It’s far enough along in the year to have a decent forecast of your income, expenses, and saving for the rest of the year. At the same time, you still have a little room to make some changes before the end of the year.
Here are a few items to consider:
- Think about your financial goals from the beginning of the year. Are you beating them or falling short? There’s still time to change withholdings and contributions to retirement, investment, or savings accounts. Or if you haven’t opened a retirement account, why not do it now? I can help.
- If you’re falling short on your income goals, do you need to pick up a side hustle to make it through the end of the year?
- Have your priorities or values changed during the year? How does your spending align with your priorities?
- Does a change in priorities motivate you to start a business? Or perhaps stay home with your kids? Do you have an emergency fund in place to make the change?
- Have you reviewed your bills lately? Our cable and Internet bill ballooned once the promotional period ended and a quick call to our provider lowered our bill by $66 per month.
- Do you need to update beneficiaries if you have a new child? How does this affect your life insurance coverage? Have you updated your estate plan?
- If you have kids, it’s the start of a new school year. That may mean new tuition costs or activity fees. Or maybe your kids are going to daycare or preschool for the first time. Have you updated your budget for the change in cash flows?
- If you’re self-employed, it’s a great time to evaluate your pricing, packages, and product or service offerings. It may be time to phase out underperforming products or increase pricing on others.
- With Christmas approximately three months away, are you saving enough for holiday spending? This includes gifts as well as travel and parties.
- Finally, it’s a good idea to review your credit report annually. You can also monitor your credit score and credit report through Credit Karma.
And in the spirit of sharing new beginnings, I wanted to keep you in the loop of my most recent endeavor: Brightwater Accounting, the tax and accounting sister business of Brightwater Financial. While not everyone thinks they need a comprehensive financial plan, everyone needs to file their taxes. And if you run a business, there’s no hiding from the numbers.
As a CPA, I love working with numbers and I’m uniquely qualified to provide accounting, tax planning, and tax preparation services to you and your business. Let me take care of the books so you can focus on your business.
And as your CPA and trusted advisor, I’m in the unique position to understand the details of your financial situation. At the same time, I can help you see the big picture and provide objective recommendations so you can make informed decisions. Managing your finances becomes simpler, clearer, and more effective.
If you’re interested in learning more or working through any of the items listed above, let’s hop on a call!
Your complementary 30-minute strategy session includes: A quick assessment of your current financial situation and goals, a discussion of your most pressing financial question, and a discussion of options available.
I’ll also share an action step you can take immediately to improve your current situation.