This post is excerpted from the Ultimate 2014 Financial Calendar.
A new school year is just around the corner, and while it may have been ages since you donned a cap and gown, you’re never too old for homework. That’s why we’ve decided to assign you some money tasks to help you get your financial life in order.
This month we’ll help you take advantage of open-enrollment period, boost your professional connections and do a better job of budgeting. We’ve even got a reminder for parents who want to start saving for their kids’ college education—now's a great time to consider starting.
So pull out a few sheets of loose-leaf and start taking notes—there may or may not be a pop quiz later…
1. Look Into Your Employer’s Open-Enrollment Period. Deadline: Saturday, August 2
Open enrollment is the period of time when employees can make changes to their insurance policies or set up and adjust contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Take some time to go over your current benefits, find out about your new options and decide if you’d like to make any switches. Keep in mind that you can also sign up for long-term disability insurance as well as life insurance if they’re available through your employer.
2. Expand Your Professional Network. Deadline: Saturday, August 9
Job hunters probably already know the value of making connections with people in your field. But even if you’ve already landed your dream gig, it’s important to forge new professional relationships. This month we’re challenging you to reach out to one person whose work you admire or someone you think you can learn from. Flummoxed as to where to start? Check out these secrets from all-star networkers.
3. Re-evaluate Your Budget. Deadline: Saturday, August 16
Last month you may have revamped your budget using the guidelines from the One-Number Strategy. Now it’s time to see whether you’ve been sticking to it, or whether you might have some work left to do when it comes to spending and saving. If you feel like you’ve been struggling to meet your money goals, take a tip from these three people, who manage to live on a budget in one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.
4. Start Saving for College. Deadline: Saturday, August 23
Even if your kid isn’t college-bound yet, the beginning of a new school year is the perfect time to start preparing for the day he heads to campus. Planning early may help lessen your financial burden down the road, so you (and your kid) may not have to take out as many student loans to pay for tuition. Consider setting up a college savings account, like a 529 plan, and begin contributing what you can.
5. Check Your Credit Score. Deadline: Saturday, August 30
Yep, three months have probably passed since you last reviewed your credit score on Credit Karma, and it’s time to consider doing it again. Look carefully for any potential errors or fraudulent charges, so you can bring them to the attention of your credit card company ASAP. If everything’s correct, but you’re disappointed with the number on the screen, check out our handy step-by-step guide to help boost your score.
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc., that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the people interviewed in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.