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July Financial Checklist

1. Check in on your credit score
Your credit score determines the interest rates for your mortgage and other loans, so keeping tabs every once in a while is good practice. If you’ve been making all your payments on time and you notice a sudden dip in your score, this could alert you to possible fraudulent activity. >> Read Credit Score Breakdown

2. Cut your Summer Utilities
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.

3. Get Grilling
Tis the season for smoked meats and veggies. Give the oven a break and take your food outside. Not only will it save your utility bill from cranking your air conditioner, but it’s delicious too! Try out these recipes from our Pinterest page.

4. 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. >> Read 12 IRA Mistakes to Avoid

5. Apply for scholarships
Have a kid going into their senior year? Have them apply for all the scholarships they can find this summer. Make their summer chore applying to at least 5 a week. A great resource for scholarships is the Kaplan Scholarships book and can be found at your local library. Free money!

>> Fill the Gap between scholarships and the rest of the tuition by applying for an affordable private student loan from West Community.

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