Spring may not have even sprung yet, but before you know it, we'll be in the dog days of summer. Planning ahead now can help make the months to come — and all the expenses that come with them — that much more manageable. So roll up your sleeves, get organized and tackle these five spring money to-dos to help set yourself up for success.
1. Tackle Your Taxes
Deadline: Tuesday, March 6
If you're still dragging your feet on your taxes, it's time to buckle down and make a plan. We know it seems daunting, but luckily, you don't have to do everything all at once. Our step-by-step guide breaks things down into six weeks' worth of to-dos (hint: that's how long you have until taxes are officially due). So take things one at a time and finish ahead of that deadline. That's the kind of stress-free tax filing we can get behind.
2. Try an Easier Way to Budget
Deadline: Sunday, March 11
You may have lost an hour thanks to Daylight Saving Time, but this budgeting strategy is so simple you won't need it. The One-Number strategy breaks your spending down into four basic buckets — fixed costs, financial goals, non-monthly expenses and flex spending — and takes the guesswork out of budgeting. Find out how set up your One-Number budget with this article from one of our LearnVest planners.
3. Start Saving for Wedding Season
Deadline: Friday, March 16
Soon temps will be increasing — and so will those wedding invites. Don't let your budget get caught off guard when it comes to the gifts, travel and accommodations you'll have to dish out for (and even more if you're in the wedding party). Put money aside now so you won't be forced to scramble later (read: put it on a credit card). And if you're planning your own big day, check out the microwedding trend for some budget-friendly inspiration.
4. Declutter Your Home
Deadline: Tuesday, March 20
Nothing says spring like a good, old-fashioned deep cleaning. Not only is it a great way to declutter and refresh your space, but selling your gently used items can also help you make some extra money. Can't decide what to keep and what to give up? The new decluttering trend, Swedish death cleaning, may give you the inspiration you need. Or read how a closet cleanout helped one woman break her clothes-shopping habit — and save some serious money.
5. Plan Your Kids' Summer Activities
Deadline: Thursday, March 29
If your kids are home for spring break right now, you may be trying to keep them entertained while juggling your own work (and looking forward to the sweet return of the school day). Don't let summer break fall into the same (but much, much longer) pattern. Secure your kids' summer activities now — after all, camps and sports leagues fill up quickly — and start budgeting for them while you're at it. You and your kids will be thankful come June.