This post has been excerpted from our 2013 Ultimate Financial Calendar.
The month of April has 30 days.
That doesn't seem like a lot of time to bolster your career, file your taxes, revamp your insurance and book a July weekend at the beach.
But we've broken it down into five bite-sized pieces—admittedly, filing your taxes isn't so little, but we're going to go ahead and assume you've started those already!—you can more than tackle in the 30 days ahead.
1. Stop Being So Nice. Deadline: Monday, April 1
We aren't talking about smiling at a cashier or holding the door open for someone—we're talking about a very specific kind of nice: too nice. In March, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg released her first book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead," in which she advised women to "lean in" to their careers. This month, adopt one of her recommendations as your newest work habit.
2. Make Something. Deadline: Monday, April 8
Longer days make us feel productive. Once you've checked off your financial to-dos, channel some of that energy into making a fun, affordable masterpiece, like one of these easily repurposed D.I.Y. projects (some will take you literally ten minutes—we swear).
3. File Taxes. Deadline: Monday, April 15
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.
4. Revamp Your Insurance. Deadline: Monday, April 22
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.
5. Book Summer Travel. Deadline: Monday, April 29
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!