Financial Checklist for September
From boosting an emergency savings fund to getting ready for estimated personal tax payments, here’s the financial checklist to get through September.
Boost Your Emergency Savings
As the holiday season creeps closer, be prepared for any last minute financial emergencies by adding to your savings account. If you already have the suggested three months’ worth of expenses saved, consider putting aside one more month of expenses to have for the unexpected holiday expenses.
How you fund emergency savings is your call, but the key is to make deposits consistently until you reach your goal.
Look for Holiday Gifts You Can Start Buying Now
Your friends and family won’t love you less because you buy their gifts now (in fact, they probably won’t be able to tell the difference). As you begin to see different items discounted in anticipation of the holiday season, you’ll save and stretch your gift budget along the way!
Make your gift list – include everyone who you will be giving a gift and the budget for each gift. Be sure this totals to your overall holiday budget! If not, rework it! Once your list is finished, start shopping and checking names off the list! By the time December 15th rolls around and everyone else is in a hurry to purchase gifts, you’ll be finished and ready to wrap!
Start Winterizing Your Home
Depending on where you live, September is a good time to get your home ready for winter. Some quick tips for winterizing your home now:
-Caulk crack and holes outside your home to keep warm air from leaking out.
-Clean gutters to prevent ice from forming and causing damage.
-Place an insulated blanket on your water heater.
-Switch your ceiling fans to spin clockwise to push warm air down to the middle of the room where it’s needed most.
Check for Any Estimated Taxes Due
If you typically make Federal income tax payments throughout the year, the due date for your third quarter estimated taxes is right around the corner, September 17th. And your fourth quarter estimated tax payment is due right after the holidays, on January 15th (2019). If you’re looking for ways to improve making your tax payments, start researching these options:
- Pay expenses offering tax benefits before next year.
- Increase income tax withholdings for the year.
- Consult with a tax professional regarding tax credits. (New credits are revealed each year, but many only learn of them by speaking with an accountant.)
See the rest of 2018’s Important Personal Finance Dates.
Mark the First Day to File FAFSA for the 2019-2020 School Year
It’s not until October 1st, but now you have just less than 30 days to be one of the first FAFSA applicants for the 2019-2020 school year.
Be prepared! Get together everything you need to file for the FAFSA before the day comes. Here’s everything you need to fill out the FAFSA.
Research Your Credit Card Benefits
According to an Experian report, Americans increase credit card use by 11% during the holiday season. If you’re making extra purchases for the holidays and want to reap the benefits your credit card has to offer, consider it a great tool to do so. Choosing the right credit card benefits for you can have a significant impact, so make sure your research is thorough and includes the best rates and lowest fees.
Want cash back or enjoy earning points for your purchases? Your credit union has Visa® options with low rates.
Plan for Holiday Travel Costs
Traveling this holiday season? You’ll have better options and prices available when booking holiday travel plans about eight weeks early. Plus, knowing you have some of the most expensive costs taken care of well before your trip will ensure for a less stressful travel experience.
Worried about what to pack for your trip? Read: Should I Pack That? Travel Tips for the Holiday.