So you spent the winter holed up at home, ordering takeout and clicking "Add to Cart" for a retail buzz. May is here at last, which means warmer weather and even more temptation to blow off your financial goals in favor of warm-weather activities.
Snap out of it! The mid-year mark is soon, so don’t lose steam now! You’ve made a lot of progress, but there’s also more to be made, and these five to-dos will help keep your finances on track this month.
Deadline: Friday, May 5
If spring cleaning fever had you selling loads of those money-making household items and the clothes and accessories you haven’t worn in years, you may be looking at your emptier closet and realizing you could use some new stuff. Before you hit the mall (or the internet), read these personal shoppers’ tips for saving money on spring clothes, so you don’t fall into a spending trap.
Schedule a Checkup
Deadline: Monday, May 8
For those of you who have been putting off your yearly preventative doctors’ visits, what better time to knock them out than for National Women's Checkup Day on May 8? It’s easy to ignore these when you feel perfectly healthy, but catching something early on could mean a world of difference for your health — and your finances. Still not convinced? A new report from CreditCards.com found that 65% of Americans lose sleep over money worries, topmost being health care and insurance bills. So check this off your list and then enjoy a good night’s rest.
Splurge on Yourself
Deadline: Wednesday, May 17
Before you get carried away, we're not suggesting you book a trip to Hawaii without having the funds to back it up. But setting aside time for yourself, whether that means a peaceful hour to read a book or a mani/pedi because you love the way it makes you feel, can have a big impact on your overall health — not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. Need inspiration? We rounded up some self-care splurges that we think are worth the money.
Brown Bag It
Deadline: Thursday, May 25
With all of the summer activities to look forward to (hello, beach trips and rooftop bars!), here’s an easy way to put more cash back in your wallet: Bring your lunch to work. We know, the siren call of Sweetgreen is hard to resist, but you could save $572 a year by cutting out just one takeout lunch a week. If you need extra motivation, May 25 is National Brown Bag It Day, so break out the Tupperware and add up your savings.
Look Into a 529 Plan
Deadline: Monday, May 29
May 29, or 5/29, has been dubbed National 529 Day in honor of 529 college savings plans (see what they did there?). Taking the time now to see if one of these tax-advantaged accounts is right for you could make funding your kids’ future college costs a lot easier — the earlier you start saving, the better. Plus, since 529 plans may soon be the next big employee benefit, why not familiarize yourself with them now?