With summer in full swing, finances may be the last thing on your mind. But August is actually a good time to take care of some important financial tasks.

And if your kids are headed back to school soon, you’ll need to stock up on classroom supplies, electronics, and clothing without breaking the bank.

It’s also a good time to make sure you’re keeping a careful account of any tax-deductible summer expenses. 

Read on for more on those and other tasks that should be on your August financial to-do list.

Save on Back-to-School Shopping

The back-to-school season has already started and many stores are selling backpacks, notebooks, and other essentials. The average family plans to spend an average of $501 per kid on back-to-school shopping, according to Deloitte.

But there are ways to lower that bill. One is to buy only what your child will absolutely need during the first few weeks of school. Ask teachers for a list of must-have supplies. Then purchase everything else later on when stores begin to cut prices.

Also, if you live in a state that charges sales tax, keep an eye out for a sales-tax holiday. Many states specifically make back-to-school items such as clothing, school supplies, backpacks, and computer accessories tax-free during these periods. 

Get more information on back to school.

Document Summer Tax Expenses

Rather than scrambling in April to track down receipts for tax-deductible summer expenses, set them aside now for easy access later.

For instance, if you're sending your child to day camp while you or your spouse (if filing jointly) are working, attending school, or looking for a job, you may be able to write off a portion of the tuition. Depending on your income, the credit is worth 25 percent to 35 percent of the cost of camp, up to $3,000 for one child and $6,000 for multiple children.

Or if you moved homes due to a job change, you should keep track of potential deductions. They could include the cost of moving and even job-related expenses such as schmoozing with clients or attending networking events.

Have a Money Talk With Your College Student

If you have a child who is starting college, he or she may be thinking about how to navigate dorm life and juggle course work. But many students will also be managing their own finances for the first time.

Spend some time with your child to set expectations about what expenses you’ll assist with (if any), and help him or her create a budget.

This is also an opportunity to discuss the importance of building a strong credit profile. You could consider helping your child apply for a credit card, and explain why making payments on time is critical.

It’s also a good idea to teach your child how to prevent identity theft. Your son or daughter shouldn't keep important documents in a dorm room, and should be sure to secure electronic devices with passwords.

Avoid Losses Due to Burglaries

Summer is peak season for home burglaries. According to the most recent data available from the FBI, the average dollar loss per burglary is $2,251. So you may want to do a home-security audit before taking a vacation.

Make sure you’ve got high-quality deadbolts on all of your doors. (Check out our top-rated models here.) You can make existing deadbolts more secure by installing a four-screw box plate and 2-inch screws that go beyond the doorjamb. Then make sure to use the locks on both your doors and windows before you leave town.

Buy Items on Deep Discount

In addition to school supplies, August is an ideal time to find deals on flooring, according to research by Consumer Reports' product experts, who track prices year-round. Depending on the type of material you choose, that can be a pricey project.

Tile or solid-wood floors are the most durable, but they also cost considerably more than vinyl, laminate, or engineered floors. While wooden floors can be refinished, they might not stand up as well against moisture, which might not make them the best choice for a busy kitchen.

You’ll also find sales his time of year on vacuum cleaners to maintain those new floors and on cooking ranges and ovens. Several electronics go on sale this time of year, including headphones, printers, and wireless speakers.