Your October 2016 Financial To-Dos

Your October 2016 Financial To-Dos

Fall is officially underway, and as the air grows chillier and the days get shorter, you probably feel like shirking your financial responsibilities in favor of an early winter hibernation. But with just a few months left in the year, this is no time to hide under the blankets. By knocking out these five money to-dos, you’ll be that much closer to reaching your financial goals for the year.

1. Start the College Financial Aid Process

Deadline: Wednesday, October 5

If you have a high school senior in the family with his or her sights set on college for next year, then you’re probably familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). And starting this year, the FAFSA application is available starting in October (rather than January) and pulling tax info should be easier than ever. Learn more about the changes here and get a jump on the application to avoid the last-minute scramble later.


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2. Prepare for Open Enrollment

Deadline: Tuesday, October 11

The open enrollment season is upon us, so you may have started receiving emails from your HR department about what your options are for next year and what the timeline is for making your selections. Choosing a health insurance plan that will meet your anticipated healthcare needs (whether for you or your family) is a hefty decision, so it's worth doing your due diligence now. Not sure where to start? These simple steps to tackling open enrollment are here to help.

3. Do Your Final Tax Prep If You Filed for an Extension

Deadline: Friday, October 14

When you filed for a tax extension back in April, you probably thought six months was more than enough time to get them done—that is, until now. The tax-extension deadline is fast approaching, so make sure you check off these to-dos and get your paperwork signed, sealed and delivered by October 17.

4. Start Getting Crafty for Halloween

Deadline: Friday, October 21

If the thought of Halloween being just 10 days away sends you into a panic, don’t run out to the store just yet—you'll likely blow your budget on overpriced generic costumes and cheesy decorations. There’s still plenty of time to tap into your inner DIY-master and make your own costumes and decorations. Not only will you save big bucks, but you’ll also wow your friends and family with your inventiveness.

5. Assess Your Holiday Budget

Deadline: Monday, October 24

Everywhere you turn, you'll likely see reminders that the holiday season is fast approaching. Even though Halloween won't even be in the books yet, the stores are sure to be geared up for the end-of-year festivities. In this calm before the storm, sit down and go over your holiday budget. If you haven’t been setting aside extra funds for the deluge of holiday expenses, devise a plan now, whether it’s taking on a side gig or swapping an expensive habit for a cheaper alternative. That way, you won’t have to feel like Scrooge when everyone else is in the giving spirit.

RELATED: Cyber Side Gig: 5 Easy Ways to Make Extra Cash at Home


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