Your taxes are in, you're spring cleaning your home, and it’s time to start fresh. One of the most annoying financial tasks of the entire year (taxes!) is finally over. As you open your eyes again to the world, take a look to see how your finances have fared in the meantime.
1. Have An Organized Closet, But Finances That Are A Giant Mess?
Getting organized is simple. First, sign up for online account access for all of your bank accounts and credit cards. Receiving your statements and bills by email will help you keep track of deadlines (and avoid paper waste). Set up calendar reminders two to three days before your bills are due.
2. Is Your Budget Flying By The Seat Of Its Pants?
Manage your spending by creating and sticking to a budget.
3. Do You Know Your Credit Score? Is It, Umm, Good?
First, make sure you know the difference between your credit score and your credit report (and why they’re both important). Then, check your credit score for free at Credit Karma, and set up email reminders to check it every three months.
4. Are You In Debt? That’s So Last Season.
Start by making a plan to get out of debt. If you’re stuck because you’re not sure which debts to pay down first (or how to balance that with saving money), know this: Start by hacking away at your bad debt, then make sure you have enough money to fall back on in an emergency, and then balance paying off good debt and saving money for the future. Read our article on this exact what-to-pay-when issue.
5. How’s Your Emergency Fund Doing?
No matter how carefully you plot out your expenses, the unexpected does happen. LearnVest rule: You must have at least six to nine months of living expenses stored away, in case you lose your job or have a medical emergency—or anything. We recommend you set up direct deposit from you paycheck into a savings account so that the savings process becomes automatic. Out of sight, out of mind!
6. Who Wants To Retire As A Millionaire?
Totally possible, as long as you start saving early. Decide whether an IRA or a 401(k) is best for you, and don’t waste another second. Now’s the time to start pumping money into your retirement plan!
Think of this as a new year, of sorts. And hey, if we can celebrate the new year in April, who says that Christmas can’t come in July?