Soft wave of blue ocean on golden sandy beach. Background.

Sadly, summer is almost over. And the last thing you want to think about right now is finances. You’d probably rather be hanging out in flip flops as long as you can. But by taking just a few minutes today, you can help prepare for your transition into the latter half of the year.

So here we go: 5 things that can help you get prepared for fall (well, financially that is).

#1) Look back and assess

It’s easy to lose track of your spending in summer. So take the time now to see where your money actually went the past few months. This will help you figure out how much you may need for the rest of the year, and also give you some insight so you can fine tune your spending next summer.1

#2) End-of-year cash goal

How much money do you want to have saved by end of year? There’s a bunch of studies that show how bad American’s are at saving, in fact, a recent one from the Federal Reserve drew a lot of attention with this statistic: 44% of Americans surveyed do not have enough money saved to cover a $400 emergency.2

How much can you set aside for the next few months? Whether you’re saving for an emergency fund or something else, now can be a good time.

#3) Can you cut stuff?

As your needs change in life, it helps to re-evaluate your expenses. Are there any ongoing monthly costs you can chop? Is there a gym membership you’re not using? Any random subscriptions you can nix?

It’s also a good time to look at your fixed expenses. Try to find a better rate on your car insurance, or if you have credit card debt, consider consolidating it to a card with a lower interest rate. You can even call your cable provider to ask for better deals. Trimming down unnecessary costs is a great way to lighten the load.3

#4) Check in on your retirement savings

Knowing how much you’re putting into retirement savings today can help set yourself up for financial success in the future. Do a quick check-up on your contributions to make sure you’re on track for your retirement goals.4

#5) Non-financial goals are important too

Forget finances for a minute — what do you want to accomplish in terms of personal ambitions before 2017 is over?

Do you want to start a side business?
Is there a hobby you’d like to take on?
• Want to adjust your work-life balance?
• Want to work out more?

Consider mapping out a rough plan. Don’t go crazy, just give yourself a mini goal that’s doable.

Takeaway

Getting your ducks in a row is an easy way to help you feel more on top of your game. It doesn’t take long and will help you ease out of summer mode and into the next phase of good old 2017.