September is a month that marks many endings and many beginnings. Summer ends as the warm weather starts to fade away. Kids are heading back to school to meet new teachers and prepare for a new year. From a financial perspective, September is also a great time for a quick reboot of your financial mind-set.
Here’s are some financial moves you should consider this month:
1. Check your free credit report.
You get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. While you can check all three credit report at once, it is usually a better idea to pull them four months apart. If you decided to do just that, by pulling one in January and one in May, then you should be pulling your last free credit report of the year in September.
2. Review your television needs and cut the bill.
Before the fall TV season kicks off, take a look at some of the shows that are a must-watch while noting the ones that have ended. Why pay for channels that you won’t be watching? With the advent of services such as Hulu and Netflix, you might find that the monthly cost of cable TV is not worth it. (You might even use this as leverage to negotiate a lower cable bill.)
3. Take advantage of the ending life cycle of consumer goods.
The end of summer is the point in the year when companies are looking to clear out this year’s items before ramping up production for next year’s inventory. Rebates, discounts and other incentives may be in store for major purchases such as cars and appliances. If you don’t mind using an older model of a consumer good, then look out for the opportunities to buy some things on cheap.
4. Quarterly taxes are due.
If you are self-employed, a freelancer or a small-business owner, remember that your estimated quarterly tax payments are due. The deadline is Sept. 16 — many of you should have marked it on the calendar!
5. Holidays are expensive, so start saving.
Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. Whether its travel or gifts, you’re likely to be spending money for these occasions. Start thinking about any holiday plans and how much you expect them to cost. Getting your costume, booking flights and buying presents are some of the major tasks that you need to start thinking about to avoid the holiday rush. (And, don’t forget about the shopping frenzy of Black Friday.)