Circle These Dates on Your 2018 Family Financial Calendar

By | January 2, 2018

It can be hard to stay organized, even with smartphones, smart appliances and personal assistants that order things online for you. There’s so much to remember, from day to day, and month to month.

This is why we’ve created this family financial calendar for you. If you want to stay ahead of the game and plan out your year, this list of dates may help.

 

January

Dates to circle. The whole month.

OK, it’s January. Time to think about the year ahead, particularly summer vacations, summer camps and, yes, the next holiday season. If you feel like you overspent this holiday season and that you’re going to be in debt for the rest of the year, why not open up a new bank account or a holiday club account at a credit union – and start shoveling money into it every month? Meanwhile, summer camps tend to fill up well before June, so if that’s on the agenda this year, while you probably have another month or two to not panic about whether you’ve signed your kids up, you should start looking. And if you plan on taking a vacation, the travel website CheapAir.com released its Annual Airfare Study for 2017, in which its researchers looked at 921 million airfares, and found that the best time, on average, to buy flights is 54 days before the vacation. So do the fun planning stuff like thinking where you may go now, but if it’s far away and plane tickets are in order, don’t buy them quite yet – it’s a little too early. But if you’re planning a spring trip, jump on things now.

February

Dates to circle. Feb. 4, Feb. 14, Feb. 17-19.

In the market for a TV? Check out the ads just before the Super Bowl, which is Feb. 4. We have to mention Valentine’s Day just because it’s, well, Valentine’s Day. And if you’re thinking of upgrading your bed, President’s Day weekend (Feb. 17-19) is famous for having mattress sales.

 

March

Dates to circle. The whole month.

Do you have a kid starting school for the first time in the late summer or fall? Frequently, March and April are the months when most parents start enrolling their children into kindergarten.

 

April

Dates to circle. April 17.

The last day to file taxes is April 17 (why not the traditional April 15? Because April 15 is a Sunday, and April 16 is a holiday for federal workers in the District of Columbia). Another important thing to consider: If you want to make a 2017 contribution to a Roth IRA, or your spouse wants to open up a Roth IRA or you’re trying to convince your adult kids to start one, 2017 IRA contributions can be made up until April 17.

May

Dates to circle. The whole month. And May 13.

One year ago – in May 2017 – Equifax was hacked. From mid-May until late July, 145 million consumers had their personal identification exposed to hackers. If you never did anything about it, like get a credit freeze, this month would be a good time to go to AnnualCreditReport.com and get a free report from one of the three main bureaus, or get one from all three. (At the website, you can get a free report from each bureau once a year.) So in dishonor of that milestone, you could go over everything and make sure your credit report doesn’t have anything suspicious, like a new car that a thief has purchased in your name. Oh, and May 13 is Mother’s Day, so don’t forget to buy Mom a gift or take her out to lunch.

 

June

Dates to circle. June 17, June 30.

June 17 is Father’s Day, so also don’t forget to buy Dad a gift or take him out to lunch. Meanwhile, June 30 is your last day to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to get federal loans and grants for your future college student. But don’t wait until June 30 if you can help it. You’ll see why if you keep reading and get to October.

July

Dates to circle. The whole month.

We’re now right in the midst of summer vacation season. Have you been saving up? According to a 2016 American Express Spending & Saving Tracker survey that was conducted among 2,000 adults, we’re spending an average of $941, per person, on vacations.

 

August

Dates to circle. The whole month.

Back-to-school sales begin. That said, many shopping experts say that the deals are really to be had in September when stores are trying to get rid of excess supplies.

 

September

Dates to circle. The whole month.

Not much is going on other than lamenting the end of the summer. But if you have young children who are not yet in school, this could be a great time to take that vacation when airfare and hotels are generally cheaper – and crowds are fewer. For instance, according to UndercoverTourist.com, this is one of the best months to visit Disney World.

 

October

Dates to circle. Oct. 1.

Do you have a student who will be going to college during the 2019-2020 school year? Oct. 1 is the day the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA) is available. While you’ll be able to fill out the FAFSA up until June 30, 2020, education experts recommend filling it out as close to the Oct. 1 date as possible. There are billions of dollars that are offered in college grants, loans and work study awards, but your odds of getting some of that will be better in October than in, say, June of the following year.

And if you need new health insurance through your employer, often on Oct. 1 and certainly in the fall, open enrollment typically begins.

 

November

Dates to circle. Nov. 1, Nov. 6.

Assuming it’s still around, and you want a new health plan from the Health Insurance Marketplace (a.k.a., Obamacare), it begins on Nov. 1, and continues to Dec. 15. And then Election Day, for the mid-term elections, is Nov. 6, 2018. That may not sound like something that belongs on family financial calendar – unless you’re voting on anything to do with your community, property taxes or a school levy.

 

December

Dates to circle. The whole month. And Dec. 31.

You want to pay attention to Dec. 31 for tax purposes. For instance, if you donate anything to charity, you’ve got up until the last day of the year to declare it on your 2018 taxes when you do them in 2019. And throughout the month, you may be spending wildly on holiday gifts, but it isn’t stressful because this year you put money away in an account every month, right? And now you have plenty of money for presents, right? If you fear that won’t be the case, go back and take another long look at January.

 

 

This article was written by U.S. News Staff. View full article here.

Related posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.