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Posted September 24, 2018

Fall is a beautiful time of year – and not just because the pumpkin spice latte is back. The leaves change color, the pumpkin patches surface, and the spirit of giving is very much alive.

Go forth and enjoy some of these seasonal wonders. Just know there are some important things to examine as we begin to look forward to the months ahead.

Prepare for key changes

It’s during fall that we need to make some important decisions for the year to come. One of those decisions involves open enrollment. This is the time to make changes to benefits such as health savings contributions, medical coverage, and others. Think long and hard about this before locking in your elections.

While you’re at it, you may want to review additional services as well. Do your home, renters, or auto insurance policies need review? Ask your provider if there are discounts that may be applied or compare providers and make the switch. For added savings, consider canceling services or memberships you no longer want.

Plan the remainder of the year

Expenses shouldn’t be creeping up on us as we approach the end of the year. We know we’ll be spending a little more during the holidays, so begin planning and saving if you haven’t done so already.

To ensure you’re getting the most for your money, create a gift list early on. Knowing what you’re looking to purchase will help you determine when the best time to buy is. For example, it’s best to buy toys mid-December according to this article by Fortune.

Last but not least, try to finalize your plans for the holidays early to book hotels and flights if needed. This will help you avoid price hikes down the road.

Think ahead but act now

Securing your financial future can be overwhelming but you don’t have to go at it alone. If you need guidance, consider speaking to a professional. As a member of A+FCU, you can set up a one-on-one consultation with a financial advisor at no cost to you.

One matter they can review with you is retirement. Together you can work on a plan that will help you reach your financial goals. If you need to up your contributions, there’s no better time than now.

Weatherize your home ahead of time

While the weather is nice, it’s wise to conduct some preventative maintenance around your home to prepare for the winter months. This will not only ensure your heating system is working efficiently but will help prevent costly repairs down the road.

Recommendations include doing things like cleaning your gutters and checking for air leaks. Gaps near windows and doors allow heat to escape while clutter in the gutters can cause build up that can damage the roof or other areas of your home. Also on the list is cleaning your vents, changing the filters, and testing your heating system in advance.