This post has been excerpted from our 2013 Ultimate Financial Calendar.
Can you feel it?
The days are getting longer, the ice is melting (if you're lucky) and you've packed away your snow boots. It's nearly spring! As tempting as it is, let's not get ahead of ourselves, though: There are still a few weeks of unreliable frosts and cold snaps to get through before abandoning our gloves for good.
Fortunately (and we know you're grateful) we have five simple things you can do to improve your finances as you wait for spring to, well ... spring.
1. Finish Your Taxes
Aim to wrap up your taxes in March—well ahead of the April 15th deadline. If you receive a refund, use 90% of the money toward your financial priorities, and set aside 10% for some fun spending! Make sure to keep an eye out for these ten common tax mistakes, and if you need more guidance, sign up for our free, five-day Ace Your Taxes Bootcamp.
2. Inventory Home Goods and Property
In the event that your belongings or property are damaged and/or destroyed, you’ll need appropriate documentation to prove their value. Take some time in March to photograph such personal possessions extensively, and compile a thorough list of what everything is worth. Then store this information in a water- and fire-proof safe, along with any other important documents.
3. Start Planning Your Child’s Summer Activities
When school’s out, it can be tricky to keep Junior occupied—especially if your schedule is still packed. So start researching options like summer camp, enrichment programs and other activities now, and piece together what your child’s summer will look like.
4. Set a Financial Goal
You're so great about spending and saving responsibly. But what is it, exactly, that you're saving for? There are the major goals, like a financially secure retirement and a healthy emergency fund, but what else? Take some time to figure out exactly why you're budgeting so carefully. The LearnVest Planning Services certified financial planners explain the right way to set a financial goal here.
5. Get Some Support
There's a reason workout buddies are so popular—they make challenging workouts fun. So if you find managing your money challenging, why not get a buddy to help you through? (And hey—if you love managing your money, you should share the love!) This reader paid off $35,000 of debt by starting what she calls a "Money Lunch," and these readers banded together to figure out how to finance new businesses, pay off old debts and more by establishing a monthly money club.