This post is excerpted from our Ultimate 2013 Financial Calendar.
We're getting to the season of beaches and barbecues, suntans and swimming. Are you ready for summer? And more important ... is your money?
This month you'll do a little basic budget maintenance, tie up some loose ends in your spending and, if you're a freelancer, contractor or small-business owner, file your second-quarter taxes. (Everyone else, you're off the hook for that one.)
1. Check in on Your Budget. Deadline: Sunday, June 2
How are you doing with that budget you set up in January? Does it still make sense? How does it compare with the 50/20/30 rule? Can you cut back in any categories, or do you need to reallocate resources? Reviewing your budget now that we're halfway through the year will help to ensure that you stay on track to meet your financial goals. If you need a refresher course in how budgeting should work, we can help with that.
2. Concentrate on Your Health. Deadline: Sunday, June 9
It’s almost swimsuit season! Aside from looking good, your health and fitness levels can actually have serious implications for your wallet. Studies have shown a correlation between frequent exercise and higher pay. If you’re planning to join a gym, look into reimbursement or discount programs offered by your employer or insurance provider.
3. Pay Taxes If You’re a Freelancer, Small-Business Owner or Self-Employed. Deadline: Sunday, June 16
When you work full-time, you have your estimated taxes automatically withheld from each paycheck. But when you are a freelancer, you may be responsible for paying your estimated taxes every quarter for the previous tax year. In 2013, Q2 estimated tax payments are due June 17.
This is actually better for you, because it’s easier to pay your taxes in small chunks instead of in one big wallop in April. If you don’t file and pay quarterly, the I.R.S. will charge you fines and penalties. For more guidance on doing your taxes as a freelancer or contract worker, see our guide.
4. Plug Your Money Leaks. Deadline: Sunday, June 23
Part of being in control of your money is knowing exactly where it goes. That's the problem with hidden fees and charges. It's not that they're taking $2 from us every month—it's that they're doing it without our knowledge. If you've noticed that your spending seems to be inching upward (perhaps something like these folks), look into these six common money leaks or hop on board these five great money-saving trends.
5. Challenge Yourself at Work. Deadline: Sunday, June 30
How are things going at your job or job search? Comfortable? The usual? It's time to step it up. This month, choose a career-related goal that you'll accomplish by the end of the summer. Maybe it's learning to trust your instincts or seek out risks—after all, those are two important qualities, according to these intrepid entrepreneurs. Maybe it's mastering the answer to a tricky interview question, like "What are your salary expectations?" Maybe you'll join—and become active in—a networking organization like a stiletto network. Choose one, and make it happen.