September is here!
While you might be trying to squeeze the most out of summer before it ends, you have to admit that there's something appealing about the impending change of seasons.
But before you start breaking out the sweaters and counting down to the release of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, put these quick to-dos on your calendar to help keep you on track with your financial goals.
1. Reassess Your Student Loans. Deadline: Friday, September 4th.
Whether you're still in college or a few years out, back-to-school season might be an unwelcome reminder of your looming student loans. If you're on track with your budget, emergency savings and retirement funds, consider reallocating a few extra dollars to pay down your loans faster. Even a little extra each month could spare you a good chunk of change in interest payments. Use an online calculator to crunch the numbers on how you could save by doing this.
2. Pay Your Tax Bill If You're Self-Employed. Deadline: Tuesday, September 15th.
When you work full-time, your taxes are automatically taken out of each paycheck and assessed every April. But if you're self-employed, own a small business or freelance, you're responsible to pay your estimated taxes four times a year. To avoid fines and penalties from the I.R.S., remember to make your third-quarter payment by the September 15th deadline. Going at it for the first time, or need a refresher? Check out our handy guide for paying taxes as a freelancer.
3. Review Your Credit Report. Deadline: Saturday, September 19th.
Now that summer is drawing to a close, start off the season with a clean slate—on your credit report, that is. Take the time to pull your credit report from one of the three major bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax or Experian), each of which are required to provide one free report to you each year when requested. Information from these reports can inform your rates for a mortgage, new credit card, insurance policy and more—and because studies have shown one in five reports have a mistake, checking it regularly can pay off. Here's how to clear your name if you find an error on yours.
4. Create a Holiday Gift Budget. Deadline: Friday, September 25th.
With the holiday season just months away, now's the time to start saving up for the lucky loved ones on your list. That way, when you're in the thick of store lines and disgruntled shoppers come November, the last thing you'll have to worry about is having enough in your account to foot the bill. Whether you consult your previous year's holiday spending or create a list of people to shop for (with their max gift amounts noted), come up with a number to save with each paycheck. That way you can stash enough cash for shopping season. Use our holiday budget calculator to get started.
5. Reframe Your Goals for the Rest of the Year. Deadline: Wednesday, September 30th.
Have you given up on your New Year's financial resolutions from nine months ago? There may still be hope—if you approach them in a different way. A recent University of South Carolina study found that thinking in terms of days, instead of months or years, motivated savers to get moving significantly sooner. Consult our power hack to reframe your long-term goals into bite-sized chunks, and then get to work on achieving them!
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.