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July Financial To-Dos

It’s been officially summer for a little over a week now, and we are loving this weather right now! Independence day weekend looks like it will be serving up some amazing temps to go with your hot dogs and fireworks. We know it’s hard to get out of that summer mindset, but  here are some things to consider this month:
1. Continue to Cut Utility Bills – this could be as simple as changing to energy efficient bulbs, replacing the air filters, and unplugging unused electronics. Use the oven less so the air conditioner isn’t continuously trying to keep up. If you really want to make an investment cutting energy costs, consider replacing appliances with Energy Star products. Some changes could be eligible for a tax credit.
2. Review Your Retirement Contributions – Take a look at how much you’re currently saving against your budget and see if you can increase your contribution. If you have a 401k, increase your contribution by 1%. If you haven’t maxed out your IRA, see about directly depositing more every month.
>> Don’t have an IRA? Open one today!
3. Complete a home project – As things slow down to a summer pace, it becomes the perfect time to undertake those projects you’ve been putting off.  Were spring storms unforgiving to your roof or siding? Has the basement or bathroom been in refurbishing limbo? Use this month to get back on track with your renovation plans and read our 6 summer projects to increase your home’s value.
4. Host a Garage Sale – Has clutter overtaken your home? Maybe you haven’t reached Extreme Hoarders proportions, but it could be time to get rid of the excess. Host a garage sale and earn some extra money to fund your summer plans.
5. Plan a Staycation – If you really need to get away, but didn’t save enough scrilla, don’t sweat it! With free summer concerts, attractions and tours, there’s plenty do within your budget limits. Score online deals from Groupon or Living Social for local adventures. And check out our post on 8 Awesome & Frugal Missouri Staycations for great day or weekend trips that any family can enjoy.