Planning Thanksgiving dinner. Coordinating holiday details with relatives across the country. Preparing for our end-of-year review at work. Finding precious time with our kids at home.
Yeah, you could say we’re busy.
At the beginning of every month, we will bring you the top to-dos to streamline your financial life. We’ve thought through everything you need to do … so you don’t have to. Complete these tasks by the suggested deadlines, and you’ll be ready to move on to what really matters.
Check these off your list:
Schedule All Your Child’s Doctor Appointments. Deadline: Wednesday, November 2
Many health plans provide for a certain number of doctor visits and checkups per year. Figure out which appointments will be covered for your child by your policy every year, and schedule them now so you can get in before the end of the year.
If your open enrollment period hasn’t passed yet, make sure you’re currently on the very best health insurance plan for your family’s needs. Here’s how.
Reassess Your Budget. Deadline: Monday, November 7
When budgeting for gifts for lots of people, the most crucial information will be how much money is coming in, how much is going out, and how much you can afford to spend on presents. Track this info through LearnVest’s My Money Center, where you can also adjust your budget if you’re planning any life changes in the near future, like having another a baby.
Choose a Guardian. Deadline: Wednesday, November 9
Over the holidays, we reunite with friends and family that we might not normally see during the year. If you were no longer able to take care of your child, and didn’t have a guardian picked out, a judge would swoop in and choose someone. In most cases the court would first try finding the closest living relative ... which could be your 80-year-old great-aunt, or your third cousin twice removed. Use holiday reunions as a chance to think about who you would most trust to raise your child in your absence. Here's a guide to choosing a guardian, and here's a tip sheet on how to ask the person you've chosen.
Talk to Kids About Charity. Deadline: Thursday, November 17
Start by deciding how much you plan to give to charity this year, and where you plan to give it. After you’ve decided, talk to your kids about why you chose the organizations and causes you did. Focus not on the amount but on why it’s important to help others. Ask older kids what causes they care about and get the family involved by planning a day of volunteering.
Note: Whenever you make a donation of money or items like clothing, remember to keep a record so you don’t miss out on a tax deduction next April. (What you need to know about charitable tax deductions.)
Practice Thanks as a Family. Deadline: Thursday, November 24
Let kids in on the concept of financial gratitude. Sit down as a family to talk about what each one of you is thankful for, and emphasize the fact that some of the things you’re most thankful for go beyond material objects. Ask kids what they’re most thankful for, and, depending on how old they are, consider having them draw pictures to illustrate these things. As for you? Share what you’re thankful for about your finances in the Confessions & Triumphs section of our community forums, LV Discussions.
WHAT TO BUY IN NOVEMBER
Print out your full to-do list, so you can check off your to-dos as you complete them.