Back to school

The Ritcey Report

September 6, 2016

September is officially in session, and as summer comes to a close, many of us are thinking about a fresh start. Children are returning to school, teachers are returning to work, and for many of us, a busy fall schedule lies ahead. If you’re a parent, September marks the return of a normal schedule. With kids back in the classroom, our days are more predictable and our calendars more consistent than in those hectic summer months. This is especially true if you have a young family, and have spent the last eight weeks balancing babysitters, day camps and favours from grandparents (we’ve all been there)!

No matter where you are in life, September has a perpetual association with “back to school”. It may be nostalgia from our own school days or simply the change in the weather, but the truth is, we all feel a little more inclined to get organized, set new goals and get ahead. Here are some tips for making the most of that September feeling, regardless of age and stage.

Parents:

September can feel like a less joyful, less exciting Christmas. You’re buying items you never thought you’d need, and some you’ve never heard of. Young children require a lot of small purchases for back to school, whereas older children are looking at laptops, tablets, and even tuition payments. We recommend looking for deals by comparing prices online before buying, buying quality items that will last through several school years (or several children), and sticking to a budget as much as possible. If you have a young family, label everything – you’ll have to buy less replacements throughout the year. If you have post-secondary aged children, it’s a great time to teach them about monthly budgeting as they gain independence and slowly leave the nest. As we mentioned in a recently posted article, personal finance is an important life skill that cannot be under-taught.

Grandparents:

If you’re in back to school mode but don’t know how to help, consider investing in your grandchildren’s future. RESPs are a gift that truly make an impact, and will be appreciated far more than any sort of battery-operated toy. Our team at Scotia Wealth Management would be happy to help you contribute to or set up an RESP. We can also recommend an alternative plan for saving – just give us a call!

Everyone:

Fall is the perfect time of year to sit down and review your financial plan with your wealth advisor. You can discuss your current situation and any changes in your needs and goals, look at your investments and adjust your financial plan as needed. Get it done before the busy holiday season approaches (it sneaks up on us all) and after that, the ever-looming tax season. If you’d like to speak to David Ritcey about your investments, please contact us – both current and prospective clients are welcome to reach out. Now, go enjoy those last few moments of summer!