Welcome to September! Now that school is back in session, the days feel fuller and busier. Amid all the activity, consider this a reminder not to let important financial moves and career goals fall by the wayside. Here's a money road map to help you navigate the month and keep the end of 2016 in sight.
1. Jump-Start a Job Search
Deadline: Tuesday, September 6
Like other employees, HR professionals are also back to work after Labor Day, which means that hiring is on the uptick. Research shows that September is an ideal time to apply for a new job, so if a lateral move or upgrade has been on your mind, take steps to make it happen. Revamp your resume, update your LinkedIn profile and feel out leads and openings.
2. Pay Your Self-Employment Tax Bill
Deadline: Thursday, September 15
A week before Fall officially begins, the quarterly estimated self-employment tax for freelancers and small business owners is due. Get it in by the deadline, or the IRS will hit you with fines and penalties. And while sending in a check four times a year can be a hassle, it's better than dealing with one enormous tax bill next April. New to the self-employment world or not sure if you need to cough up cash quarterly? The IRS put out these guidelines, or consult our end-of-summer tax to-do list.
3. Hold a Garage Sale
Deadline: Sunday, September 18
All that stuff collecting dust in your garage and basement? Turn it into cash via a garage sale. September's comfy weather makes it the perfect month to attract potential customers, since so many people are out and about in the neighborhood. Purging your stuff can be a big DIY project, but consider the extra dinero you'll rake in and how great it will feel to have less clutter. If you're too time-pressed for a full-on sale or don't have that many items to get rid of, these apps can help you sell stuff fast.
4. Pin Down Your Thanksgiving Travel Plans
Deadline: Sunday, September 25
Hard to believe, but one of the busiest travel times of the year—Thanksgiving week—is just a couple of months away. And though it's not a sure thing, the earlier you purchase airline tickets, the cheaper they tend to be. So whether you plan to visit family across the country or jet to Florida or California to work on your tan, now is the time to nail down your flight details and pick up some smart travel hacks to help with your trip-planning.
5. Tackle Your Remaining 2016 Financial Goals
Deadline: Friday, September 30
With three quarters of the year down, give yourself a round of applause for meeting (or exceeding!) the money goals you set for yourself back in January. Then, take a look at those you haven't yet crossed off your list. Maybe you'd hoped to send in extra student loan payments, meet with your manager to discuss a raise or increase the percentage of your paycheck that automatically goes toward your 401(k). One by one, take steps to make the rest of your goals happen by year's end. Remember, the best time to start is now.