Summer might be all about getting some well-deserved rest and relaxation, but when it comes to your financial life, you might consider another type of R&R: re-evaluation and renewal. With half of 2016 in your rearview mirror, use this time to look ahead to see how you can finish the rest of the year strong.
But it is summer after all, and reaching your money goals doesn't have to be all work and no play. So pat yourself on the back for what you've achieved thus far, and use these money to-dos as a roadmap to help you power through the next four weeks.
1. Check in on Your Goal Progress. Deadline: Friday, June 3
Now that we’re at the six-month mark, it’s a good time to see where you are with your various money goals for the year. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution to ramp up your retirement contributions or feeding your home-buying fund, use this opportunity to evaluate where you stand and see what you have to do to reach those financial milestones by the end of 2016.
2. Prep for Your Performance Review. Deadline: Tuesday, June 7
If your company has a mid-year performance evaluation, start jotting down what your big accomplishments were for the first half of the year and what you’d like to accomplish by December. Even if your employer doesn’t have one, use this list as a starting point for an informal conversation with your manager. Does your workplace forgo the traditional assessment? Check out how these different review methods can add value to your work.
3. Freelancers, Finish Your Tax Prep. Deadline: Monday, June 13
Independent contractors and the self-employed have to pay their estimated second-quarter taxes on Wednesday the 15th, but why wait until the last minute? Aim to have all your paperwork ready to go a few days early so you don’t get stuck in the scramble—and potentially end up paying a penalty for missing the deadline. Here's a refresher on filing your taxes as a freelancer if you're starting from scratch.
4. Decide on a Mini Reward for Meeting Your Money Benchmarks. Deadline: Friday, June 17
In honor of National Splurge Day on June 18, come up with a small treat for yourself that will help motivate you to stay on top of your financial goals. Halfway done with paying down your student loans? Perhaps a nice dinner is in order. Made the final payment on your highest-interest credit card? Get tickets to that band you’ve been wanting to see. Just make sure your treats don’t set you back on the progress you’ve made thus far.
5. Double Check Your Anticipated Summer Spending. Deadline: Thursday, June 23
Just because the lazy days of summer are upon us doesn’t mean you can start neglecting your budget. Estimate what you think you’ll spend on your vacations, weekend getaways, backyard barbecues and other costs that tend to creep up in summer. Then use this time to revisit your financial plan to see if you can comfortably cover those costs. You can even get started early on creating a holiday budget so you're not penny-pinching when the weather cools. With a well-thought-out plan in place, you can enjoy the warm weather without the stress of busting your budget.
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. LearnVest, Inc. is wholly owned by NM Planning, LLC, a subsidiary of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.