Action Plan: key planning dates for September

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As summer draws to a close and kids head back to school, it’s a good time to assess where you are for the year. Did you spend too much this summer? Do you have sufficient savings as the holiday season approaches?

Here are some dates to watch and money-saving tips to help build your financial action plan:

SEPTEMBER

8: New York Fashion Week begins. Even if you’re anything but a fashion plate, use it as inspiration to update your fall wardrobe. Think creatively, maximize online coupons and promotional codes ? consider using some of those credit card rewards points that are sitting unused.

9: The registration deadline for students taking the Oct. 1 SAT exam. A fee of $49 is required. A late fee of $26 applies to registrations received after Sept. 21. For details visit http://sat.collegeboard.com/register/sat-dates .

11: The tenth anniversary of September 11. The memorial will open to the public on Sept. 12. Visitors must sign up for timed entry passes at the memorial website – www.911memorial.org .

15: Deadline for self-employed individuals and other taxpayers who file estimated taxes to file their third-quarter payments.

24: More than 100 national parks offer free entrance and other promotions. For a list of participating parks by state, visit http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparksbystate.htm . Keep in mind many national parks are free year round.

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Also keep in mind:

? Whether you’re packing a lunch for the kids or for the office, break out of your rut. Google “budget brown bag ideas” and you’ll get cost-saving tips to help spice up your diet.

? September is both National College Savings Month and National Coupon Month. Whatever your situation, use those themes as inspiration to help meet your financial goals.