From the desk of Tim Poole
What to do with the Vacation Money Covid-19 Kept you from Spending
If you had planned a vacation for this summer and were not able to go because of travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus, undoubtedly you are disappointed. If there was ever a time when any of us needed a vacation to release stress, it’s now. But if you missed a vacation, there may be an upside – you still have the money you had planned to spend on it.
At APEX Asset Advisors, we are here to help you plan how to use your money – and that includes spending it on something special. But we also know that to get to that point requires some savings, so balance is critical. That’s why we put together this blended list of seven ideas for things you can do with the money you expected to spend but still have. We suggest choosing one that makes your outlook a little brighter.
FUND A FINANCIAL GOAL
Pay down a credit card
Most people carry credit card debt of some type. Even the smallest payments to the principal on a credit card mean you play less interest. Paying down a credit card with any extra funds you have is always a good idea.
Build your emergency fund
If there is anything that the pandemic has taught us, it is that we don’t know what the future will bring. That’s why I encourage my clients to build an emergency fund as one of the first things they do. Unexpected costs cause stress in our lives, and having the money saved for when they arise can help alleviate that.
Save for retirement Assuming that social security will not be enough for most of us to live on is a smart assumption. That’s why it is critical to have a plan in place for when you can no longer work. Or, perhaps you want to retire early. You can start your retirement plan with any amount of money, so there’s no better time than the present.
Prepare for college
Do you have children? Now is a good time to tuck away some money for their future. If you think they will be college bound, there are options for saving that will save you money in the end, and investing in those areas is a solid place to start.
INVEST IN YOU
Enjoying life is also important. Here are a few rewarding and perhaps more fun options that will pay dividends in the future.
Improve your home or yard
Is there a home improvement that has been on your list for a long time? Have you wanted to clear away shrubs or plant a garden? Now is the time. Fall is an ideal season for planting, and there isn’t anything more rewarding than finishing a project or enjoying time outdoors. Additionally, real estate is an asset, and any improvements increase its value.
Spend on your health and fitness
There is no more valuable an asset than you. Although a day at the gym or spa may not be possible because of the worries related to Covid-19, there are other options. You can take an online class in an area that interests you or join a virtual workout class. There are many virtual therapists to talk to if you find yourself stressed or unhappy. Or, simply host a staycation – complete with carryout from your favorite restaurant. The important thing is to prioritize yourself, and if you have the extra money you planned to spend on a vacation, invest it right now in you.
See and do
One of the hardest things to do is make the commitment to do something new. With your extra funds, however, you may be able to do just that. There are adventures that are Covid-friendly you can undertake. Buy a new bicycle and take to riding, get the kayak you have long considered and join a friend or learn about the constellations and spend an evening star gazing. Are you looking forward to cooler temperatures? Invest in a quality hammock for your deck or patio and buy a good book. The key is to think outside the box, challenge yourself, splurge a little with your vacation funds and, as Nike says, just do it.
Working with a financial advisor like APEX can help you decide where your money is best served and build a plan that starts now and works well into the future. We are here to help you make life choices that involve money and encourage you to call for a visit if you think we can help in any way – even if it’s starting to save for your next vacation.