Just as April showers bring May flowers, you may find that the warmer weather is bringing a more jam-packed social calendar.
But between Mother's Day, Memorial Day and all the college graduations and backyard BBQs in between, don't forget to do a final round of spring cleaning on another important aspect of your life—your finances.
We've compiled a list of money goals and deadlines to help you stay on track this month. Spring to it!
1. Request a Free Copy of Your Credit Report. Deadline: Monday, May 9
Just the way a teacher evaluates a student based on her academic performance, a lender assesses a borrower's creditworthiness based on the financial details in her credit report. Factors like paying your bills on time or how much of your available credit you've used can help determine the interest rates you might get on a loan, or even your ability to rent that apartment in your dream neighborhood. Check your creditworthiness by pulling up a free copy of your credit report from one of the three major bureaus: TransUnion, Experian or Equifax. See a mistake? Learn how to correct a credit report error in 10 minutes or less.
2. Have a Financial Chat With Your High-School Grad. Deadline: Wednesday, May 11
Graduation season is here, and soon your high school senior will be starting the next phase of his life as a college freshman. As you and your family celebrate this milestone, it's crucial to have a family financial chat to discuss topics like who's going to pay for what in college, how to keep hidden costs in check or what it means to take out student loans. Don't forget that your student can continue looking for scholarship opportunities throughout the summer. Have a younger kid just beginning to think about life after high school? Help him pave a healthy relationship with money starting with these key skills.
3. Dust Off Your Budget. Deadline: Sunday, May 15
While clearing your closet (and making some quick cash doing so) is one aspect of spring cleaning, consider taking some time to freshen up your financial life, too. If your income, fixed costs or financial goals have changed recently, it might be time to recalibrate your one-number budget to see what you can spend comfortably every week without sacrificing important things like your emergency fund or retirement.
4. Prepare for Shower Season. Deadline: Friday, May 20
Babies, bridal showers and weddings, oh my! If you're headed to one of these celebrations in the coming months, consider these trendy gift ideas for a creative approach that won't bust your budget. And if you're preparing to host your own wedding bash, here are seven surprising ways to cut down on big-day expenses.
5. Get Ahead on Estate Planning. Deadline: Saturday, May 28
When it comes to mourning the loss of a loved one, dealing with financial matters might be the last thing on your mind. That's where having a thorough estate plan comes into play, no matter your age or income. Start with these six key documents aimed at helping you manage health care decisions, distribute assets and keep the family peace during potentially tough times.
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, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies. LearnVest, Inc. is wholly owned by NM Planning, LLC, a subsidiary of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.