July is usu­al­ly hot, stormy, and always unbe­liev­ably busy, so I can under­stand your finan­cial to-do list usu­al­ly takes a back seat.  I, how­ev­er, think you can eas­i­ly accom­plish one of these tasks in less than 45 min­utes out of the 44,640 min­utes avail­able in July.

Re-eval­u­ate your homeowner’s/renter’s insur­ance

Sum­mer is usu­al­ly a good time to take inven­to­ry of any major changes that occurred with your home or apart­ment.  The weath­er is nice enough for you to do a thor­ough inspec­tion of your prop­er­ty and belong­ings.  Pos­si­bly updat­ing your homeowners/renter’s insur­ance over the sum­mer lines up well with how many remod­els, pur­chas­es, and updates take place dur­ing this won­der­ful weath­er win­dow.

Research cars

I hate the new car buy­ing expe­ri­ence.  Hag­gling isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly my favorite thing to do; how­ev­er, get­ting a great deal is some­thing I real­ly like.  One way to lim­it hag­gling from the start is to gen­er­ate a game plan based on the time of year.  Ear­ly sum­mer is when you can begin research­ing the mod­el car you want.  Set­up test dri­ves and you can pit some deal­ers against one anoth­er now.  Then come August and Sep­tem­ber, you can start to see some of the cur­rent year mod­els being dis­count­ed to make way for next year’s mod­els.  With devis­ing a game plan based on a late sum­mer buy, you can pos­si­bly save thou­sands of dol­lars with­out every hear­ing a sales­per­son say, “what’s it going to take for me to get you into this car today?”

Track child­care expens­es

The Child and Depen­dent Care Cred­it is one of the best ways to spend your mon­ey on your chil­dren or depen­dents.  Depend­ing on your income lev­el, the cred­it can off­set up to 35% of the cost of day camp.  Con­sid­er­ing the large num­ber of camps that occur in July, it makes sense to take detailed records of how much you spend on the day camps.  You will prob­a­bly receive receipts show­ing the amount spent, but, for tax pur­pos­es, you will also need the address and camp’s fed­er­al ID num­ber.

These aren’t tall tasks to accom­plish. Heck, your local fire­works dis­play will prob­a­bly last twice as long as the amount of time you need to spend on your finan­cial home­work.