There are many great things about summer, from beaches to baseball to barbecues, but affordability isn’t often among its defining traits. Between vacations and weddings, it’s easily one of the more expensive seasons, and Americans take on a significant amount of unexpected debt from June through August. According to a Capital One survey, 87% of Americans report spending more money on socializing during summer than any other time of year.

That makes fall the perfect time to revisit savings goals and spending habits and give yourself a quick financial tune-up before the end of the year. Here are some of our best tips.

Set a budget for the holidays

It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays. The best way to avoid taking on too much debt in December from presents, travel, and other holiday-related costs is to look ahead and make a list.

Account for everything on your list: decorating, round-trip travel, food, and more. Set a limit for each category, perhaps together as a family, to give yourself a baseline budget to work with. From there, track, track track — even all the little purchases. Like summer, the holidays are a season when every dollar counts.

Warm up without racking up a high utility bill

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, America’s 115 million residences collectively use 22.5% percent of the country’s energy output. On average, a single family will spend $2,2000 a year on utility bills.

We’ve previously compiled some tips for cutting utility costs, from energy-efficient light bulbs to programmable thermostats, and more.

Tackle bigger debt head-on

Remember, any kind of debt is an indication that you’re spending above your means, and putting a band-aid over the problem won’t help. Consolidation strategies are not a long-term fix.

In America, Bankruptcy was specifically designed to give you a fresh start. There are options. A Chapter 7 will let you get rid of dischargeable debt, like credit card and medical debt. A Chapter 13 will consolidate mortgages and car payments into an affordable monthly payment. Our lawyers are known for our compassion and results, and we are happy to discuss your options with you.

Call (901) 327-2100 or contact us online for a free consultation.