While you likely have fewer summer plans than in years past (not the worst thing!), don’t fret. There’s still warm weather, outdoor activities and maybe even a family Fourth of July cookout to look forward to. Just because summer may look and feel differently this year doesn’t mean it’s cancelled — and the same can be said for your money goals. Read on for five ways to improve your finances in July.
FILE YOUR TAXES (IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY)
By now you’ve likely heard that the 2019 tax filing deadline was pushed from April 15 to July 15. If you haven’t filed yet, consider this one last reminder to do so. If, however, you end up needing more time, you can file for an extension until Oct. 15 (Note that if you do this, you still must pay your taxes by July 15 — you’ll only be getting an extension on filing the paperwork).
ADD TO YOUR IRA
Another deadline that was extended to July 15? The opportunity to contribute to your individual retirement account (IRA) for 2019. If you are younger than 50, your total IRA contributions for 2019 can be up to $6,000. If you are 50 or older, you can contribute up to $7,000.
Whether you have a traditional IRA (which you contribute to with pre-tax dollars) or a Roth IRA (after-tax money), both can be a great way to help you save for retirement — especially if you don’t have a 401(k) offered through your employer. If you are in retirement, be sure to read up on the recent changes surrounding RMDs as well as the elimination of the stretch IRA.
REVISIT YOUR MONEY GOALS
If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that it’s impossible to predict the future. You can, however, still plan for your financial future. The great thing about financial planning is that it helps you prepare for what’s to come. Whether that means taking some time to look at your overall, big-picture plan or simply tweaking your monthly budget, any step you take is a step in the right direction, which can pay off in the long run.
SCHEDULE A FINANCIAL MEETING — EVEN A VIRTUAL ONE
While the thought of adding another meeting to your calendar might make your eyes glaze over, hear us out. Scheduling some time with a professional advisor — either in person or virtually — can be a great way to check in on your progress or knock something off your to-do list that you haven’t had the time to get to. You might consider meeting with your financial advisor to go over your plan, or speaking with an attorney to get started on your trust or estate plan. Either way, you’ll leave the appointment not only with a sense of accomplishment, but with peace of mind as well.
RETHINK WEDDING SEASON
Summer weddings have been some of the hardest hit events of 2020 (and may be a reason your July calendar feels so empty!) If you were set to be married and have been forced to cancel or reschedule your wedding, here are some tips to recoup some of the losses. And speaking of postponing, you might consider going the virtual route. Not only can it save you some money (and stress), but it might also be a relief for your guests who are hesitant about attending in person.