This is the rainiest summer season I’ve experienced since I moved to the state of Georgia. Of course people complained about the rain, but then again a few summers back there was even more complaining about the serious drought the state was experiencing. Historically the Farmer’s Almanac states that the Dog Days of summer are from July 3rd to August 11th, but with this year’s rain it will likely move closer to Labor Day. So what can you do as the Dog Days of summer wind down to clean up your financial plan? Here are my four smart money moves to consider from now until the end of the year.
1) Get Educated On Your Workplace Health Insurance Before Open Enrollment– With The Affordable Care Act enrollment set to begin on October 1st, 2013, decisions centering around your family’s health insurance are right around the corner. Year after year, insurance companies continually blow up your company’s previous plan before installing a slightly altered one. You should look at websites like www.healthcare.gov to educate yourself on what will be coming down the pike and closely analyze your options at work rather than make an election the night before open enrollments close on you at work.
2) Get Ready For Upcoming High School and College Costs– September is usually one of the big months where bills can hit you for private education costs. Make sure you don’t get spanked with an unexpected bill. More importantly, now is the time to begin having conversations with your junior and senior high school children about college and scouting out scholarships that they can apply to. I’ve blogged about unusual scholarships before, but I would recommend getting focused on what you have saved and the overall plan to earn scholarship/grant money.
3) Do A 3rd Trimester Budget– With the personal financial dashboard software oXYGen Financial offers, you can scrape in your checking account and credit cards to do a real analysis of your overall spending to date. This is a great time to spot the two to three areas where you think you can make some improvement and how you can capture those dollars to put towards your savings goals. It is also a fantastic time to take stock of your net worth and set goals for the remainder of 2013.
4) Assess Your Tax Withholdings Year To Date– Why wait til April? Maybe you sold a rental home this year? Or perhaps your bought a new primary residence? Or you may have sold some stock options or got some restricted stock units? It is possible that you even sold a business? It’s a great time to take stock of what kind of tax money you have withheld this year to date and do some projections to see where your tax liability will be so you don’t get a surprise come tax day.
Take stock of your financial pictures as the summer winds down and use these four smart money move tips to help you keep your money from burning up in the heat!
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Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS® Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc. Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through NFP Advisor Services, LLC (NFPAS), Member FINRA/SIPC. Oxygen Financial is not affiliated with NFPAS.