The last full month of summer calls for a few last hurrahs—like lazy days in the sun, indulgent popsicle purchases, and last-minute weekend escapes. But enjoying the dog days is no excuse for slacking in the money department.
So with the hustle and bustle of autumn just ahead, take a breather—and take inventory of your financial goals, with these five to-dos.
1. Check Your Credit Score. Deadline: Wednesday, August 5th.
Start the month off right by checking your credit score for free online at Credit Karma. If the number surprises you—or if you’re just feeling particularly inspired to work on your credit—you can request a full credit report at no cost from any of three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
2. Focus on College Savings. Deadline: Sunday, August 9th.
With back to school season coming up fast, there’s no time like the present to start saving for college (even if your kid is still years away from matriculating). Do your homework on college savings plans and consider opening a 529 savings account—or, if you already have one, make an effort to increase your contributions.
3. Get a Head Start on Your End-of-Year Tax Prep. Deadline: Saturday, August 15th.
At the moment, tax season seems oh-so-far-away—which is exactly why now is the time to prepare for it. Save yourself from last-minute scrambling come December by using your summer downtime to get your tax files totally organized: collect documents you need, shred those you don’t, review last year’s return, shop for a tax preparer if you need one, and color code to your heart’s content. If you get income from multiple sources, it's a good time to check in with your accountant to make sure you are on track with your tax payments.
4. Grow Your Professional Network. Deadline: Sunday, August 23rd.
As people start returning from summer trips and buckling back down to work, now can be a great time to focus on growing your network. Reconnect with members of your own team who have been out of the office, or finally set up a time to grab coffee with a new connection.
Cat got your tongue? Check out these best (and worst) questions to ask in an informational interview.
5. Give Your Health Care Policy a Checkup. Deadline: Saturday, August 29th.
Check your health care vitals by brushing up on your coverage terms and taking the time to revisit your policy. And while you’re at it, schedule any doctors appointments you’ve been straggling on, so you can capitalize on all your health care benefits before the end of the year.
For a more in-depth plan of action, check out these 7 health care to-dos you’ll want to tackle before summer’s end.
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. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.