This post is excerpted from the Ultimate 2014 Financial Calendar.
Happy Financial Literacy Month!
If you haven't heard, April is the national awareness month devoted to boosting your money savvy. Here at LearnVest, you'll see stories throughout the month that help break down financial concepts to the nitty gritty—as well as personal essays that add a human touch to what it means to be financially fit. And just like any lesson, it helps to tackle some homework along the way to help it sink in.
That's why we've created this month's Financial To-Dos: five painless tasks to consider that can help get your money in tip-top shape—and set you up for a smart spring.
1. Book Summer Travel Plans. Deadline: Monday, April 7
Let's start with a fun one: If you've been budgeting for a trip this year, now's the time to settle on your summer getaway. To help keep costs down, it's usually best to book airline tickets three months in advance—and on a Tuesday. Itching to get out of dodge, but aren't sure where to go? Browse our 2014 travel report of some of the best budget-friendly trips (all under $2,500!) to see if any catch your eye. Argentina, anyone?
2. Re-Evaluate Your Budget. Deadline: Friday, April 11
If you were hunkered down inside during the Polar Vortex, you probably found it a little easier to stick to a lean budget. But does your breakdown still make sense for spring? Warmer weather can equal more temptations to splurge (think: dining alfresco and the onset of outdoor entertainment). Is your budget ready for it?
Go on the offensive by heading to the free LearnVest Money Center now. Pinpoint where you've been overspending in the past, and where you could potentially cut back or reallocate. After all, we want you to enjoy your summer getaway—not stress about the credit card bills awaiting your return.
RELATED: What's Your Big Spending Trigger?
3. Put the Finishing Touches on Your Taxes. Deadline: Tuesday, April 15
Already filed your forms and cashed that refund check weeks ago? Congrats! But if you're, well, a little behind, no worries: You have until the middle of the month to finalize your taxes. And we'll help you get there with our easy-to-digest tax guides (like the ins and outs of filing as a freelancer and the tax breaks every parent should know). April 15 is also the deadline to request an extension, if you need a little more time. Just remember it's a six-month extension to file, not to pay.
4. Give Your Insurance Polices a Once-Over. Deadline: Monday, April 21
'Tis the season for reviving—everything from your overstuffed closet to your cluttered e-mail inbox. Guess what: It's also a good time to consider reevaluating your insurance coverage. Peruse quotes online to make sure you're still getting the best rate, or get in touch with your current agent. Tied the knot or welcomed a little one this year? It's even more important to make sure you've got the right coverage. Learn which policies you may need, and get the 101 on life insurance and homeowners insurance.
5. File Your Financial Documents. Deadline: Friday, April 25
Remember what we said about April being the month for organization? Same goes for your financial documents. If you've been going by the stuff-it-into-the-kitchen-drawer method for everything from bank statements to health records, now's the time to think about shifting course. Start with our guide to financial filing for the ultimate breakdown on which pesky papers to keep—and which to toss (or shred). And if you're feeling inspired, don't stop there: Tackle these six ways to spring-clean your finances. Here's to a fresh start!
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc. that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.