June’s arrival means that the start of summer is almost here. You’re certainly not alone if you’re looking to make the most of it after last year. So let’s take a moment to focus on your money so that you can get back to enjoying summer. Here are five ways to improve your finances in June.
REVISIT YOUR GOALS
We’re almost halfway through the 2021 calendar year (we can’t believe it either), which makes it a great time to check in on both your short- and long-term goals.
Think back to what you wanted to accomplish financially earlier in the year. Maybe you wanted to give your retirement savings a boost. In that case, have you increased your contributions to your 401(k) or IRA this year? Remember that even a 1-percent increase can help your money grow over time, thanks to the power of compound interest. Or, maybe you set a goal to buy a home in the next few years. If so, have you made progress on saving more money for that eventual down payment? Even if you’re right on track, a mid-year scorecard can give you the motivation to carry you through the rest of the year.
TWEAK YOUR BUDGET
With the school year coming to a close and social calendars filling up by the week, summer has a way of upending everyone’s day-to-day routine. That can have an effect on your spending and saving, which is why tweaking your monthly budget may be in order.
For example, if you’re planning on more dinners out to catch up with friends, you might consider scaling back on spending in other areas, such as subscription services now that you won’t be home as much, and redistributing that money to go toward dining and entertainment. By putting your budget to work efficiently, you’ll be able to spend on the things that matter to you without having to sacrifice your goals along the way.
HAVE A MONEY CHAT
Tackling your finances doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor. Not only can enlisting the help of friends or family motivate you, but talking it out might also help you feel less stressed about your finances. And if you're in a relationship, getting on the same page financially can be easier said than done. But setting some ground rules can help — here’s how this couple avoids money fights.
READ UP ON THE CHILD TAX PAYMENTS
Father’s Day is June 20. If you’re a dad (or you know one), there’s a chance Uncle Sam may have a gift for you starting next month. While you may be used to claiming a $2,000 credit for dependent children age 16 and under, this year that credit is increasing, and starting next month you could start to receive a portion of next year’s child tax credit, which may be as high as $3,600 depending on your child’s age. Here's more about what parents need to know about the child tax credit payments.
USE EXTRA TIME TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
The summer solstice, or the longest day of the year, also falls on June 20 this year. So why not take advantage of those extra daylight hours to finally do the thing you’ve been meaning to get to but never seem to have time for. That could be a financial task, like requesting a credit freeze from all three credit bureaus to help prevent identity theft. Or, you might go the opposite route and dedicate some of that time to your favorite wellness habit. Either way, making an investment in your financial security or self-care is worthwhile.