Hello September. And a warm welcome to the Hebrew month of Elul.

The summer’s winding down, the kids are back in school, and I even felt a little chill this morning.

Change is in the air.

So if you’ve had a tough time staying on top of your finances this summer, I’m hoping you will harness the winds of change to get back in the driver’s seat and move forward.

Let me start by introducing you to three of my clients (identifying names and details have been modified) so you can see how things look in real life even when you’re working hard to get right with your money:

1. Lynne phoned me in late July to share her overwhelm. Between visiting her children and spoiling her grandchildren, Lynne’s expenses were spiraling out of control. Plus, leading a nomadic “Suitcase Grandma” life, Lynne had neither the time nor the space to properly track and plan her spending. “Let’s meet in September,” she said, “when things get back to normal.”

2. Tal and his family were super excited about their upcoming apartment swap and two relaxing weeks by the sea. Unfortunately, their plan came unglued when the other side had to cancel at the last minute. Although Tal and his wife Jenny ultimately settled on a Staycation, they went way over budget entertaining their kids locally trying to make up for their foiled plans. And the out of town guests who were warmly welcomed ate heartily, further challenging Tal’s limited resources.

3. Michelle had wonderful intentions of reviewing her pension plans during August, to uncover where she could lower expenses and tweak her investments. But because of the easy going atmosphere and “so much fun stuff” going on, Michelle simply didn’t get around to it.

Now this may surprise you, but I’m going to let you off the hook.

Yes!

It’s not uncommon for the best laid plans to unravel over the summer, against the background of long, hot, unstructured days.

It’s hard to stay on top of your finances. I get that.

But as we shift back into “normal” it’s critically important to draw a line in the sand and reclaim the driver’s seat.

Here are three steps you can take NOW to get back on track:

1. No More What-the-Heck Spending.

You know how the story goes. You take the kids to the beach and buy them an ice cream. Before too long they’re whining for boogie boards. And you think to yourself – Why not?! It’s just another few dollars and it would be so much fun.

You go for it.

And really, they are loads of fun. Great value for money.

The hours whiz by and it’s time to pack up.

You’re hot, tired and hungry by now. And since you’ve already blown your budget for the day – what the heck?! Let’s grab a pizza on the way home.

And if you’re not careful, the lazy days of summer can go on and on like this while you become more and more disconnected with your spending.

Because you’ve already blown it.

So what the heck! You’ll get back on track tomorrow.Well, guess what? I’m here to tell you that tomorrow is TODAY.

No more what-the-heck spending.

2. Plan the Remainder of 2016

Whether you’re over your summer budget or hanging on by a thread, now is the time to plan out your money for the rest of 2016. Take a look at how your income and spending deviated from your plans this year and take proactive steps to correct and to improve what you can.

Or maybe, you resist planning?

Quite frankly, this is one of the top reasons that people mess up with their money. They say things like they don’t have time to track their spending, they’re no good at math, they can’t stick to a budget or they don’t want to feel restricted.

But these are all limiting beliefs.

The structure and boundaries provided by a spending plan are exactly what shed light on your money habits, keep you connected with your finances and enable you to choose where and how you spend your money.

If you want to ensure that your money doesn’t get away from you during the rest of the year start a spending plan today!

3. Start Planning for Summer 2017.

Huh?

Yep!

Although you might be thinking that I’ve come unglued and not your financial plan, I’m really serious.

Because as surely as day turns to night, and night turns to day, Summer 2017 is going to arrive.

And if you had trouble holding it all together this year, then I have news for you: there are only 300 Savings Days left till summer.

That’s it.

And if you don’t make room in your budget now for the things that you know are going to take place in the future, you will always be playing catch up.

Which reminds me of Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So what are you going to do to protect your sanity?

As we transition from Summer to Fall, change is in the air.

This is your golden opportunity to take the wheel and pilot your finances into a stronger, more connected and loving future where you can enjoy more financial independence and peace of mind.

And if you need some help navigating your money for positive change, comment below or send me email. I’m here to help you.

With dearest blessings for change,
Debbie

P.S. I’ll be speaking next week on two different occasions:

1. Monday, September 12th at 6:30pm. Join me live at the AACI in Jerusalem where I will be speaking with my colleague Baruch Labinsky on Retirement Planning in Israel: Seven Smart Steps for Securing your Financial Future.

2. I’m running a Free Webinar on Wednesday, September 14th
“MONEY TALK: the entrepreneur’s guide to navigating money conversations with your partner.”
Time: Wednesday September 14th at 12:00pm Jerusalem; 10:00am London; 5:00am New York
For more information and registration, click here: http://goo.gl/JnKBaV
I’m looking forward to seeing you there.