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The air is crisp and the leaves are changing — in other words, October is here! It’s the season of apple picking, pumpkin carving and flannel wearing, but it’s also a great time to work on your financial goals.
We’re officially in the last quarter of the year (crazy, right?!). If you’re not where you thought you’d be, don’t panic. There’s still plenty of time to course-correct. Start by tackling these five money to-dos.
1. Save Money Attending Fall Weddings
If you thought the end of summer also signaled the end of wedding season, think again. Fall was actually named the most popular season to get married. The good news? You don’t have to worry about sweating through your floor-length gown or suit. The not-so-good? You still have to fit those wedding-related expenses into your budget. Luckily, there are ways to save on everything from attire to the gift, so you can be there for your loved ones without jeopardizing your financial health.
2. Prep for Open Enrollment
Most companies start prepping employees around this time for open enrollment season, the period during which you elect important employee benefits like health insurance, life insurance, disability coverage or whether to fund a flexible spending account, among others. Check out your options early so you don’t make a rush decision and miss out on potential benefits — and if you’re not sure what all those acronyms mean, this article can help.
3. File Your Taxes If You Asked for an Extension
Remember back in April when you decided to put off your taxes and filed for an extension instead? Well, that extra time is coming to an end. The deadline to file your taxes if you requested a six-month extension is October 15, so don’t delay. Submit your forms before the deadline to avoid any penalties.
4. Establish Your Holiday Budget
The upcoming holiday season brings lots of activities with family and friends — but also a lot of expenses. Ideally, you’ve been setting aside money all year for your holiday expenses fund, but if that’s not the case, it’s time to come up with a plan, and start setting aside money now. Once you know how much you can expect to save up, you can establish a gifting budget with your loved ones so you can stay within your means.
5. Tackle a Money Fear
In the spookiest month of the year, make sure it’s haunted hayrides and slasher movies that are doing the scaring, not your finances. It’s easy to let the things you don’t fully understand intimidate you, so make it a priority this month to take on one of your biggest money fears, whether it’s your student loans or retirement planning.