1. Finish Your Taxes
Aim to wrap up your taxes in March–well ahead of the April 15th deadline. If you receive a refund, use 90% of the money toward your financial priorities, and set aside 10% for some fun spending!
2. Inventory Home Goods and Property
In the event that your belongings or property are damaged and/or destroyed, you’ll need appropriate documentation to prove their value. Take some time in March to photograph such personal possessions extensively, and compile a thorough list of what everything is worth. Then store this information in a water- and fire-proof safe, along with any other important documents.
3. Start Planning Your Child’s Summer Activities
When school’s out, it can be tricky to keep junior occupied—especially if your schedule is still packed. So start researching options like summer camp, enrichment programs and other activities now, and piece together what your child’s summer will look like.
1. File Taxes
No more procrastinating: Make sure that you file your taxes by the drop-dead date of April 15th. If you’re planning to ask for an extension, the due date is also April 15th!
And if you’re self-employed, a freelancer or a small business owner, Q1 estimated tax payments are due April 15th.
2. Revamp Your Insurance
Take a thorough look at your current insurance situation. If you’ve had a major life event happen recently—you’ve gotten married or you’ve had a child—your insurance situation will likely need to change. Shop for lower home and auto insurance by running a quote online, and then call your current agent to make sure that you’re getting all of the discounts that you’re qualified to receive.
3. Book Summer Travel
Looking to go away in July or August? Book your plans now. Tip: Vacation anticipation can actually boost your happiness for eight weeks—it’s science!
1. Check Your Credit Score
Once again, review your credit score using Credit Karma to make sure that there’s been no erroneous activity that has dragged down your score. Additionally, if you’ve been steadily making headway on your debt, you may see your score improve–which is great news!
2. Pull Your Free Credit Report
Like your credit score, your credit report will show you the record of your financial activity that’s available to creditors. Check that there are no errors, and if there are discrepancies, dispute them with the bureau that released the report. Annualcreditreport.com allows you to pull your credit report from each of the three major bureaus once a year–for free!
3. Check Out Scholarship Opportunities
Is your child entering his junior or senior year of high school? If so, it’s a great time to start looking into scholarships that will help you afford the cost of higher education. Use the College Board’s Scholarship Search to find details on more than 2,200 programs totaling nearly $6 billion in financial aid, and sign up for UPromise, which will help you earn cash for college on everyday purchases.
1. Check In on Your Budget
How are you doing with that budget you set up in January? Does it still make sense? Can you cut back in any categories or do you need to reallocate resources? Making a date to review your budget halfway through the year will help to ensure that you stay on track to meet your financial goals.
2. Pay Taxes If You’re a Freelancer, Small Business Owner or Self-Employed
Q2 estimated tax payments are due June 17th.
3. Concentrate on Your Health
It’s almost swimsuit season! Aside from looking good, your health and fitness level can actually have serious implications for your wallet. Studies have shown a correlation between frequent exercise and higher pay. If you’re planning to join a gym, look into reimbursement or discount programs offered by your employer or insurance provider.