Matt's Money Must-Do's | May 2018

In honor of Ignacio Zaragoza’s amazing victory at the Battle of Puebla, let’s celebrate with 5 Money Must-Do’s for May.

Home goods

May is a great time to start your budget shopping.  So many home goods go on sale in May, which is great for the summer.  The biggest discount items are grills, air conditioners, mattresses, roofing supplies, pressure washers and paints.  Although May isn’t quite like Black Friday with the fights, brawls, stampedes, etc., I wouldn’t be surprised if Aunt Ethel is ready to throw down for that Frigidaire 250 SQFT window air conditioner to keep her and her iced tea cold during the dog days of summer.

Start researching scholarships

If you have a college-aged kid, I am sorry to hear that because you may have already missed out on some money saving opportunities.  For those who are entering their junior or senior year in high school, May is a great time to start researching scholarships.  The College Board Scholarship Search is a great starting point.  There are thousands of scholarships on the website, most of which aren’t school specific.  For school specific scholarships, simply visit your desired school’s website.  University of Cincinnati, for instance, has a single website for all of their scholarships to all students, while each college offers their own additional scholarships. 

Review recurring charges

This is usually the last thing on someone’s mind on a beautiful spring day, but it wouldn’t hurt to take 30 minutes to review all of your regular bills on a rainy day.   A recent survey by Truebill, an app that helps cancel subscriptions, shows people spend $512 every year on unwanted subscriptions.   Even if that is inflated by 100%, Truebill, or a similar service like Trim, can help you cut costs without sacrifice.

Start planning your summer expenses

Obviously, you have already planned your summer vacation, based on my prior blogs. Now is the time to plan for some of the smaller one-off items that come up.  This might be your first weekend trip of the year, or your friend’s wedding.  If you are lucky like me, most of the weddings I attend are more like banquets and less like soirees, so the registry is usually less expensive.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Cincinnati has a great Cinco de Mayo festival each year, Cincy-Cinco.  Held on Fountain Square, Cincy-Cinco has live music, great food and tons of activities for the family.  Over 15 restaurants will be there this year, each offering signature dishes.  There is also lots of live music with the chance to learn salsa dancing.  The best part about it is there is no admission fee.