We’re approaching the mid-year mark, and it’s a great time to evaluate your financial situation. If you’ve been working on financial goals this year, a personal financial checklist by month is a great way to help you keep track. (See checklists for May and April.)
As you contemplate the remainder of the year, here are 6 financial activities for June that can help you keep your money management goals on track:
1. Make Your Quarterly Estimated Payment
If you make quarterly estimated payments, your estimated payment is due on June 15. It seems like tax season just ended, but for those who pay quarterly, tax season never really completely ends.
2. Review Your Finances
Now is the time to take stock of your finances. How have you been with your budget for the first half of the year? What unexpected expenses have cropped up? Has your spending plan been realistic? It might be time to make adjustments to your financial plan, or it might be time to rein in some of the practices that have been slowly creeping out of control. Re-commit to your financial goals.
3. Review Your Bills
Go through your bills and subscriptions and see what you can do about them. Cancel subscriptions to publications you don’t read anymore, and see if you can find alternatives online. Review phone bills, Internet costs and TV costs. See if it makes sense to bundle (it might not), or if you can save money by ditching the landline and using VoIP instead. It might also be time to put a limit on texting, or add unlimited texting to your plan (depending on your needs).
4. Arrange for an Inspection for Your Heating System
Now that the heat is off, and you don’t need the heating system, have it inspected — or do it yourself if you know how. Check the furnace, the ducts and other parts of the system. Make sure it is working properly, and have it serviced if needed. If you have an old furnace, consider upgrading. Plug leaks and clean vents and filters.
5. Consider Making Green Home Improvements
If you want to make green home improvements to improve the energy efficiency of your home, this is the year to do it. Green home improvement credits are set to expire at the end of 2010, so if you want to do replacement windows, get a solar or wind system, get better insulation or make a number of other improvements, you can get a tax credit. Do your research in June, finding out what tax credits are available at the federal and state levels, as well as discovering what special programs your city or utility company might have to help pay for green home improvements.
6. Plant a Garden
One of the ways to save on produce is to plant a garden. You can grow your own food inexpensively. You save money on food, and reap some health benefits. Start an organic garden in your backyard. If you don’t have the space for a larger garden, start a container garden. It is possible to grow a number of different plants that can provide herbs, fruits and vegetables in a variety of settings — including indoors.
Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.