Guide Change: Tips on Money and Aging (Quarterly Report)
Each quarter of the calendar year brings its own set of opportunities and threats to your finances. Heading into the 4th quarter of 2021, prices are still rising, ‘tis the season of spending, and scams are still out there. Here are four tips to help see you through to the end of the year.
Tip #1- Preparing Your Home for Winter
Winter is coming. If you are still in your home, it’s a great time to check out your insulation. This chore can save 10-50% on your heating bills. Money that you can use more productively elsewhere. Even if you don’t have the budget for this type of improvement presently, there are still steps you can take. For instance:
-programming your thermostat to environmentally-friendly, budget conscious temperatures; and
-reversing the direction of your ceiling fans so warm air is not trapped at the ceiling but kept lower to keep you warm during the winter.
For more suggestions, State Farm offers a comprehensive lists of winterization tips.
Tip #2 - Set a Budget for Holiday Spending
Not the most fun part of the holidays, but it is an important exercise to create a holiday budget. Start with how much you want to spend. Then make a list of spending priorities. Don’t forget to make a list of expenses. The holidays are famous for all the extra expenses that pop up. Finally, check your budget weekly to see if you are tracking close to your budget. You can learn more about holiday budgeting from Money Crashers.
Tip #3 - Take Advantage of Social Opportunities
The fourth quarter, with Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays all packed in, is a great time to renew social and community relationships that are so important to Social Wealth. (More about social wealth.) Attend events with family members, friends and colleagues and consider planning a small social event of your own. Look for pre-planned neighborhood events like a fall festival, caroling or a tree lighting to join. Many holiday events are free, so attending won’t impact your finances.
Tip #4 - Watch Out for Holiday Scams
Unfortunately, the 4th quarter brings a heightened risk of being a victim of a scam.
Make sure your enthusiasm for the season doesn’t cause you to let down your guard. Remembering to approach each unsolicited phone call or email with a critical eye. Double that for anyone you don’t know who rings your doorbell. For a thorough look at Holiday scams, see this AARP article.
At Guide Change, we advocate year- round attention to both your financial and your social wealth. Read our blog to stay up to date on current best practices for this important part of your life. www.guidechange.com/blog