Every October it happens. We have to change our clocks back an hour in accordance with daylight saving time as the cold weather approaches.

This all changed in 2007. Daylight saving time was extended to the first Sunday in November, enabling individuals all around the United States to use less energy for an additional week as a result of longer daylight hours. However, daylight saving time still exists and we move into the winter season, accessorizing with scarves, hats, and gloves to deal with the change in temperature.

This November we will all "fall back" as daylight saving occurs. Some of us will find it difficult to adjust and will become thrown off by that extra hour of sleep.

Consider the extra hour of sleep an opportunity to head into the winter season more rested to handle your financials for the future. These days it's very easy to fall behind - between work and volunteer activities. Our time has become scarcer than ever before. It is consumed online with social networks, browsing, and email. Time passes by so quickly, as I know I find it hard to believe that it is already November.

As the days become shorter, we realize that winter is right around the corner. Studies demonstrate that as it becomes darker earlier people become more depressed during this time. Try to have a more hopeful outlook instead of having a pessimistic attitude. Think about the positives in your life - your family, friends, and other fortunes which you can give thanks for later this month, during Thanksgiving. With this positive attitude, it is time to move forward with your finances.

  • Build yourself a prudent reserve. Moving forward into the future you must be prepared for the situations in life which you don't expect. Having funds set aside for the "just in case" situations is a smart way to plan for the future. With a cushion of three months worth of regular expenses (rent, insurance, food, and entertainment) you should be able to live with peace of mind.
  • Pay off current debt. Even if it's a small amount, make sure you are routinely paying off car payments, credit cards, student loans, and other debt which may be outstanding. If you are in a financial dilemma, reach out to these companies and explain your situation. You will find that you're not the only one and they may be willing to work out some sort of payment plan.
  • Glimpse into the future and set goals. Now this may be hard to do, because some people have difficulty aging and accepting responsibility, but try to look ahead. Do you have your 3, 5, or 10 year plans envisioned in your head? I know that in 3 years I'd like to move into my own apartment, have my car paid off, and continue to advance my professional career. 

It's difficult to save for the unexpected situations, pay off current debt, and look into the future. By instilling these habits, you will be more financially sound. I've established a cushion for emergency situations and I have paid off a good portion of my car payment. In the year ahead, I will begin to repay my student loans. Also, I have begun to plan my future.

How are you coping with daylight saving time? Do you have positive plans for your future? What are your plans as you head into the winter season? Will you make an impact on your financial standing?

Tags: Daylight Saving Time, Financial Planning, Debt Management, Goals

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Dov Hoffman

Dov is a contributing writer for the Just Graduated & Starting Out blog.  Dov is a recent graduate of Towson University and has earned a double major in e-Business and Marketing.  Dov shares his college experience writing about student loans, credit cards, budgeting, and other topics affecting recent college graduates who are entering the workforce.  Compensated CareOne Blogger.

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