5 Smart Money Moves to Make in July

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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July has kicked off, and summer is well on its way. But this month is a great time to check in with your summer budget.

You can curb spending on utilities, travel, summer apparel, and outdoor gear. Two holidays this month also could mean more opportunities to check up on your loved ones’ finances, as well, and offer support as they work toward goals.

It’s important to plan for summer fun, and managing your finances is part of that. Here are five moves you should make with your money in July.

1. Book last-minute summer travel

If you’ve put off booking a summer trip because of high prices, your wait might have been worth it. Take airfare, for example. The average July and August prices are expected to be up to $30 cheaper than those in June, according to travel pricing app Hopper.

Keep your eyes peeled for stellar deals, and you could book a summer vacation at a bargain. From July onward, travel sites, hotels, and airlines will offer steep discounts on last-minute travel.

Watch sites such as Groupon, Travelocity, or Expedia through the end of the summer to catch promotions with big price drops. Expedia recently offered a free flight with the purchase of certain vacation packages, for instance. Hotels.com offered up to 40% off for travelers booking last-minute July Fourth travel.

2. Shop for discounted clothes and outdoor gear

Keep an eye out for deals by clothing and outdoor gear retailers. As stores prep for the back-to-school season, they’ll soon start to clear out their summer stock, according to DealNews, which tracks online sales. Watch for 30% to 50% off deals on the clearance rack, too.

Outdoor gear, along with seasonal clothes, could be available at deep discounts even after July Fourth. You could upgrade your apparel and equipment for hiking, fishing, camping, and more by keeping tabs on retailers such as Backcountry, REI, and Walmart. You probably can find a deal this month to match any outdoor summer activities you enjoy.

3. Curb your cooling costs

As the summer heat rises to scorching temperatures, you’ll want to consider tackling your cooling costs. Start by changing home air filters and getting your air conditioner serviced, which should be done about once per year. Consider other home improvements to cool your home more efficiently, such as sealing air ducts, insulating your attic, or planting shade trees outside your house.

If you rent or don’t want to take on home renovation, you can make simple changes to lower your utility bills.

  • Keep your thermostat set on the warmer end, at around 78 degrees.

  • Use fans to cool occupied areas of your home more efficiently.

  • Keep blinds closed during the day to prevent unwanted heat coming through your windows.

  • Avoid using heat-producing appliances, such as your dryer or oven, during the day. Or use them during the cooler parts of the day.

Taking action now to make your home cooler and more energy-efficient can help you stay comfortable through the hottest months of the year — without increasing costs.

4. Review your 2018 tax situation

The 2018 tax year has brought a lot of changes, thanks to the new rules set by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. On top of that, tax changes in 10 states that took effect at the beginning of this month could raise prices for many consumers.

Understanding your tax situation is the best way to take advantage of tax breaks while staying on the right side of the law. Here’s what to do to review your taxes and keep them on track this year.

  • Review state and local tax changes to see if you’re affected so that you can account for these changes in your budget.
  • The IRS released updated tax forms with some significant changes at the end of June. Reviewing the forms can help you avoid being caught by surprise when filing a 2018 tax return, as well as plan ahead for this filing season.
  • Adjust your W-4 withholdings to ensure you’re not overpaying or underpaying under the new federal rules. The updated IRS withholding calculator can help you determine the right amount. If you’re self-employed, review your first two filings of estimated taxes to make sure you’ve paid enough under the new rules.
  • Plan for new retirement account contribution limits and rules on deductions. The new tax bill has changed the rules on mortgage interest deduction, state and local taxes deductions, and more. There also are higher contribution limits this year for certain types of retirement accounts. Reading up on these changes now will give you time to make any moves that could maximize your tax savings.

5. Check in on your parents’ finances

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day have passed, but Parents’ Day is on the fourth Sunday in July. It could be the perfect time to check in on your parents’ finances.

Talking about money issues with your parents isn’t easy, but it’s central to securing their financial stability. Ask your parents if they feel financially secure, both in the present and while thinking about the future. This conversation can help you figure out if your parents could use financial support, and what form that could take. You also can clarify your willingness and ability to help.

If you’re likely to need to support your parents at some point, this month would be a good time to set and work on a plan to do so. Reviewing your budget can help you find some extra money that could be reallocated to help your parents, should they need it. If your parents don’t need help yet, you can start saving toward a contingency fund should they face financial hardship or a decline in health.

Lastly, parents should consider how they can make themselves more financially secure to protect their children. Check in on your own finances. There are many money moves that can protect your family, such as saving money in an emergency fund, having sufficient life insurance, and keeping the household budget under control. A well-funded retirement account also will ensure that your kids won’t have to support you financially in your late life.

Taking time out of your busy summer schedule to manage your money isn’t easy. But if you play your cards right, making the right moves with your money can mean a better summer now — and healthier finances through the rest of the year.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.58% APR to 14.87% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.275% APR to 12.575% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 16, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.275% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.10% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.28% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% – 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% – 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% – 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.