It’s the final countdown …
To Tax Day, that is. Across the country, people are racing around, trying to gather all the requisite paperwork before April 15.
Of course, that doesn’t leave too much mental space for thinking about other, equally important money to-dos. That’s why we’ve created an easy-to-follow guide to tackling five key financial tasks this month.
We’ll address everything from spring-cleaning your finances to arranging your family’s summer plans, and share some ideas to help boost your earning power. It’s bound to be a busy month—so start planning now!
1. Catalog Your Personal Possessions. Deadline: Monday, March 9
As you’re tidying up the house for spring, now can be the perfect time to make sure you’ve documented the value of everything you own. That way, in the event of a burglary or another incident, you’ll be able to let your insurer know exactly what was stolen or damaged. Photograph the items and write down how much they cost—then store those files on a secure file-sharing website (or in a waterproof, fireproof safe).
2. Start Spring-Cleaning Your Money Life. Deadline: Wednesday, March 11
Spring-cleaning your finances doesn’t imply dunking your dollar bills in sudsy water. What it does mean is gaining greater control over your money life by getting better organized. One way to do that is to go paperless by scanning important documents and storing them in a cloud-based filing provider. Another strategy? Stop stressing about paying bills on time and finally automate your finances.
3. Prep for a Pay Bump. Deadline: Monday, March 16
Even if you didn’t score the salary hike you wanted this year, you can still set yourself up for success the next time around. Start by thinking about the exact increase you’d need to help achieve your financial goals. Next, list the behaviors that would signal that you’re excelling at your job—and work on implementing them. When it comes time to negotiate for 2016, you’ll be prepared to make a compelling case for the raise you want and need.
4. Finalize Your Kids’ Summer Plans. Deadline: Monday, March 23
With much of the country still struggling with subzero temperatures, it might be hard to think about sunny days. But if you’re planning to send your children to summer camp or another program, now’s the time to enroll them and start budgeting for it.
5. Finish Your Taxes. Deadline: Monday, March 30
Last but not least, it’s time to put the final touches on your tax return and file away—well in advance of the April 15 deadline. The next step? Coming up with a plan for your potential refund from the government. To make the most progress on your goals, consider allocating 90% toward a financial priority like retirement or paying down debt, and use the remaining 10% for some fun.
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. Unless specifically identified as such, the individuals interviewed or quoted in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.