Easing into Summer
Summer will look a little different this year for most Americans. COVID-19 restrictions are easing and people are eager to look beyond a global pandemic and get back to some semblance of a "normal life."
Though coronavirus will forever be etched into the fabric of our lifetime, it taught us valuable lessons. Now more than ever, it is vital to take time for yourself, figure out what is important in your life and make those things a top priority.
Summertime is a great time to recharge your batteries and take stock of how your year has been going. After the stressful uncertainty of the pandemic, it's valuable mentally and physically to return to activities we used to take for granted.
Simple pleasures such as a backyard barbecue, eating ice cold watermelon slices on the front steps and bike riding with the kids through the park can help reconnect you with others and relive some nostalgic memories.
In summer, with most schedules more relaxed and a little more free time at your disposal, it's also wise to do a check up on your New Year's resolutions and goals to figure out how you're doing so far this year.
One smart thing to do as we approach the summer and the year's midpoint is to revisit financial goals. Your financial situation may have changed this year because of unemployment, a layoff, a job change or medical expenses. It's wise to take a look at your financial picture and decide if any adjustments need to be made. Is your emergency fund on track? Are you where you want to be in saving for retirement or education expenses? Do you need to make home repairs?
Summer is also a good time to take stock of items that need attention in your home setting. Save on summer energy bills by changing your air conditioner filter every month, weather-stripping doors and windows and running only full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher. Here's a bonus tip from energy experts: running ceiling fans will help you feel three degrees cooler and allow you to turn up the thermostat and save money.
If you're itching to get out of the house and get back on the road, look for family deals on attractions and discounts that you can take advantage of from AAA, AARP and certain credit cards. Search for hotel and flight deals on Kayak, Travelocity and Hotels.com.
Whatever your plans this summer, remember to carve out some time for yourself to enjoy simple pleasures and focus on things that are important to you.
Julie Landry Laviolette is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, health and living well. Find her on Twitter at @JulieLavio.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Ameris Bank is not affiliated with nor endorses any of the companies featured in this article.