If your New Year’s motivation disappeared with January, we feel you.
There’s nothing wrong with sinking into hibernation mode this month, mostly because these sleepy days can be a great time to get your finances on track. Think of all the money you’re saving from never leaving your house!
Here’s your week-to-week guide.
1. Change Your Routine
Deadline: Friday, February 2
Did you vow to finally quit a bad habit this year, but are already finding yourself slipping back into your old ways? What better day than Groundhog Day to break this routine once and for all? Creating a new habit takes time (especially if the old one runs deep) but these five tips can help you make a new money habit stick — for good.
2. Prep for Tax Time
Deadline: Thursday, February 8
If you’re thinking you only need to worry about taxes in April, think again. The IRS began accepting 2017 tax returns on January 29, which means you should start collecting your paperwork, make your yearly appointment with your accountant, or block off time to file them yourself. Besides the peace of mind, there are other perks to filing your taxes early, like reducing your risk of tax fraud.
3. Talk Finances With Your Significant Other
Deadline: Wednesday, February 14
According to our 2016 Money Habits & Confessions Survey, one in five Americans has never had a serious conversation about finances with their significant other. But 68% of Americans (and 77% of millennials) also say that money causes more tension than sex in their relationship. So consider a gift that can really help your relationship this Valentine’s Day (not that chocolate isn’t great too) and talk about your finances. Not sure where to start? Here’s how to have the talk.
4. Prep for Vacation Season
Deadline: Tuesday, February 20
There’s still a whole month left of winter, but we bet vacation season is already on your mind. Besides dreaming of the tropical beach you wish you were lying on, though, actually plan out your trip(s) for the year. Spring break will be here before you know it, followed by summer, so the time to check in with your budget is now. Plus, saving for a vacation can actually help improve your finances overall. We call that a win-win.
5. Update Your Professional Profile
Deadline: Sunday, February 25
If the month of love has you thinking you need to update your dating profile, here’s another one to refresh while you’re at it: your professional profile. The start of the year is one of the busiest times for hiring, so if you’re looking for a new gig, make sure your LinkedIn page is up to date and optimized to catch recruiters’ attention.