Shape up your finances for summer

Get your finances in shape for the summer:

Summer is here and this is the perfect time for evaluating progress on those resolutions we kicked off the New Year with. Just as we make fitness commitments and resolutions - often with summer as a target goal -- getting financial fitness goals into shape is also an important and timely exercise!

Kristin Harad of VitaVie Financial Planning offers some common sense tips to keep in mind while working out your financial fitness plan and getting your budget in shape!

Focus on your larger financial muscle groups: In other words, take a look at the big-picture - your largest expenses and how you can reduce them. For many, this is your house, childcare, and food. Can you refinance to lower your monthly payment? Are there creative ways to lower your childcare expenses, like swapping with a fellow mom instead of paying a sitter? Is your pantry full of food you have never used or do you often end up wasting unused food? By lowering your biggest expenses, you can make a significant impact on how much money goes out each month without having to dramatically change your lifestyle.

Interval training: Getting finances in order can feel overwhelming. Break it into manageable pieces and dedicate an hour each week to getting on track.

  • Look at fees you're charged on accounts
  • Make sure you're getting the best rates
  • Update beneficiaries
  • Keep track of your spending via or online banking...
Take regular breaks to recuperate and recharge: Taking control of your finances is like exercise. You need to give yourself a break in order to stay focused and feeling ready for the next steps. Schedule rewards for steps taken and goals reached - a dinner out, a local day trip that doesn't break the budget. Create incentive to stay on track, and your finances will be in much better shape by summer, fall or whatever your timeframe is!

Heavy Lifting: some categories - like education and retirement planning - require more exertion and can be easy to avoid because of that. But, give these your best effort. In fact, if you start by funding these goals first, you'll have the harder exercise out of the way when you have the most energy. Decide what your targets are and work saving into your routine.

Hire a personal (financial) trainer: If you need professional assistance to design a financial workout customized for you, hire a financial planner. The longer you wait to get in financial shape, the harder it will be to have more flexibility and freedom (and fun!) with your budget and achieve important goals!


About Kristin C. Harad:
Kristin started VitaVie Financial Planning in 2006 to service the needs of expectant parents and families with young children. By coupling personal financial planning with coaching, Kristin eliminates her clients' anxiety around money and proactively addresses the issues that arise with the increased financial responsibility that accompanies parenthood.

Kristin has dedicated her career to working in the personal financial services arena. With nearly fifteen years of client management experience, Kristin has worked for major financial players including Charles Schwab, Visa, and Chase Bank (JP Morgan Chase). As such, she has extensive knowledge in retirement planning, credit cards (leveraging what is helpful and getting rid of what is not!), home equity products, and utilizing brokerage services in additional to more general financial planning.

Most of all, Kristin enjoys working with people to help them achieve their goals. To complement her financial knowledge, Kristin is also a trained life coach. She not only completed training through The Coaches Training Institute, but also spent time working at the school to better understand the coaching industry and how it can help in the area of financial planning.

Kristin is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional. She complete her Personal Financial Planning coursework at UC Berkeley and earned her Bachelors of Science in Economics from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Kristin has been a San Francisco resident since 1997. Kristin, her husband, and her two children currently live in the Marina District.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIALPLANNER™ and in the U.S. , which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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