For some teachers, summer is a time of rest and relaxation. For others, it’s time to cram in all of the things you don’t have time for during the school year (and hopefully get some rest and relaxation when you can!). I know it can be difficult to make your finances a priority but summer is a good time to do it. While you’re getting in those doctor and dentist appointments, be sure to schedule time with your financial planner, too.
3 Financial Planning Tips for Teachers
For those on either side of the spectrum, these three financial planning tips will set you up for success year-round.
Create a Summer Spending Plan
You are busy all school year long with lesson planning and grading papers, not to mention family commitments. Summer is a great time to focus on you and your family and enjoy yourself. Just make sure that you are doing it within reason when it comes to spending. Start the summer with a spending plan and stick to it so you don’t start the next school year with the added stress of debt.
Better yet, start thinking about how you would like to spend next summer so that way you have a whole year to put money away for the things that matter most. Do you wish you had saved more for vacation, family outings, or time with friends? Start now so you don’t feel the same way next year.
Review Your Financial Plan
Since you have a little extra time on your hands, use it to revisit (or create, if you don’t already have one) your financial plan.
To create a financial plan, start by thinking about what really matters to you. Are you saving for retirement? Are you planning to help your children with their college education? Get specific when it comes to those goals.
Once you’ve clearly identified your financial goals, clarify where you are today by:
- Determining what your current income and expenses are,
- Identifying all of your assets (i.e. bank accounts, retirement accounts, property, etc.), and
- Listing out your liabilities (i.e. credit card debt, student loans, etc.).
Once you have defined your starting point, create a plan that will get you from point A to point B. It might include paying down debt or putting a certain amount of money in your savings and investment accounts each month. You may also want to incorporate assumptions regarding interest rates and investment returns. Remember to give yourself concrete deadlines for each goal so you can plan accordingly. As Napolean Hill wrote, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.”
When circumstances change in your life, it’s common for your financial plan to change, too. Continue to review it regularly and adjust it as needed.
Adjust Your Investments
When was the last time you reviewed your investment accounts or considered your investment objective? If you don’t have someone managing your investments for you, make sure to take the time to review and make adjustments at least once per year. A lot can happen in a year. Interest rates have gone up and the stock market has bounced around, so you want to be aware of the status of your own investments.
If you do have someone who is managing your investments, summer is a good time to meet with them. Discuss any changes in your life that could have an impact on your investment objectives. Are you investing for growth or are you more focused on generating income? Whatever that investment objective is, summer is the perfect time to make sure your allocation is still in line with your goals.
Let Us Help
Part of taking care of yourself this summer includes taking care of your finances. You work hard for those kids in your classroom, but make sure your money is working hard for you with these back-to-school financial planning tips for teachers.
If you need assistance with strategic financial planning so you can reach all of your financial goals, let us help. While I am based in Ohio, I maintain an active online presence and meet with clients virtually throughout the country. Schedule your free consultation today and learn how we can help you manage your money so that you can focus on the things that truly matter to you.