This post is made possible in partnership with ScholarShare. All opinions expressed are my own.
It's almost here! My favorite season of the year. Summer means longer days and warmer nights! As a productivity manager, I am well-versed in the area of time management, but life is not just about rushing through tasks. Over the years, I have found that with a little advanced intentional planning, you can make your summer memorable and purposeful.
Write a message to someone whose event you missed
We all have to say no sometimes in our lives and whether you missed a friend or relative's shower, wedding or birthday celebration. It is nice to take the time to be present for them, even if it is after the fact. Write a note or letter to that great-aunt or friend you have not seen in years and let them know that you are thinking of them. It only takes a few minutes and it really helps to savor the moment and be intentional.
Go through the school year artwork and classwork with your child
With another school year ending, your child will inevitably have notebooks, artwork and other school papers entering your home. Take some time to go through the items with your child, and get a perspective of how the year went in their eyes. These one-on-one conversations can be very insightful and memorable.
I recommend taking photos of your child holding or next to the artwork. Scan any hand-written reports or journals that you want to keep. It is fun to look at how their handwriting evolves over the years. Memory books and hand made art items are a few things that I keep and we put those in a storage box.
Make a summer moments bucket list
Summer bucket lists are meant to be fun and can be very helpful if your kids happen to get to the point where they tell you they are bored. We did this for several years while the kids were young and they really did help motivate and inspire them, since the kids made the lists themselves. Include simple ideas of what to do in the summer, like making homemade ice cream, going to the library or adding to a rock collection.
I truly believe it is the simple things that can be the most memorable. I have very fond memories of enjoying simple pleasures at a slow and easy pace during my summers as a child. While the world seemed simpler then, riding bikes and reading at the beach were uncomplicated things that I liked then and still appreciate today.
Go through summer clothing and "stuff"
Summers come and go and now is a perfect time to go through everyeone's wardrobe and either sell, donate or repurpose clothing that no longer fits. Better to do it now than wait until you are packing for an outing or vacation to discover that things do not fit any longer.
Doing so will reduce some stress and free up space for storage. If you choose to donate, it will be in perfect time for someone else who can use the items. It is also a great time to teach your child how to declutter and purge things we do not need to physically hold on to.
Consider Starting a College Savings Account for your child or grandchild
If you are not aware, a 529 plan allows you the ability to grow your college fund investment exempt from federal taxes. Putting our kids through college was expensive, but we were so glad that we had a 529 plan in place at an early age. Time is your friend when it comes to investing. It can be discouraging when you hear about the high cost of college education, but the key is to stop thinking about it and start small.
There is no time like 529 Day to start one than May 29, 2016. Why 5/29? Because it is 529 Day! ScholarShare is celebrating National 529 Day with its second-annual “You Start It, We Match It” matching promotion. For one day, on May 25, if you open a ScholarShare 529 College Savings Account with $50 and sign up for ongoing automatic contributions of $25 or more per month, ScholarShare will match the $50. Honestly, this is such a great deal because that $50 is going to make the account grow even more.
To be eligible for ScholarShare’s matching promotion, California families will need to: 1) Open a new ScholarShare College Savings Plan with an initial deposit of at least $50 – to be contributed and invested at the time the new account is opened. 2) Enroll in the automatic contribution plan (ACP) for the new account with at least a $25 contribution per month. The matching deposit of $50 will be made to the eligible ScholarShare 529 account on or before 11:59 p.m. PT on Jan. 30, 2017. There is a limit of one matching deposit per new ScholarShare account opened for a new beneficiary.
What is something intentional you are hoping to do this summer?