Your May 2012 Financial To-Dos


If you ask us, May is pretty much perfect.

We have the flowers (you know, from the April showers), the no-jacket weather and the excitement of summer just around the corner. It fills us with energy … to take care of our finances!

From fast (checking your credit score) to fun (finding brand-new outfits), we’ll channel that energy to whip your finances into bikini shape.

Check Your Credit Score. Deadline: May 1

We recommend you do this once every season, because keeping up with your credit score is a good way to make sure your credit history is free from errors or mishaps. It’s easy—just go to Credit Karma to do it for free.

Make the Most of Your Closet. Deadline: May 6

This is a fun one! If you live in a temperate climate, it’s about time to start swapping out those sweaters for summer dresses. (And if that time was months ago for you, we’re jealous and don’t want to hear it.) It’s tempting right now to run out and buy all new stuff, but you can refresh your wardrobe using what you already have: Follow our 9 Easy Tricks to Maximize Your Wardrobe, and let yourself be inspired by a woman who wore only six items of clothing for an entire month! Finally, consider what your clothes say about you when choosing your favorite pieces for the season.

Reassess Your Budget. Deadline: May 13

Log in to the LearnVest My Money Center to see the different categories of your spending, like nights out on the town and groceries. How does your spending in those areas compare to what you thought you were spending? Make sure to take into account any life changes, like school, work, family, wedding, vacation (how’s that summer vacay planning going?), children and anything else that could change the way you manage your finances.

Spring Clean Your Finances. Deadline: May 20

Face the less interesting financial tasks in your life head on. Now that tax season is behind us (phew!), it’s time to finish up the miscellaneous financial tasks. For example, have you updated the beneficiaries on your accounts? Have you looked into estate planning? Getting your legal and financial infrastructure in place now will save you (and your family) a headache down the road.

Take Stock at Work. Deadline: May 28

Hopefully, increasing amounts of sunshine are giving you vitamin D … and motivation. When is the last time you negotiated your salary? We know that 36% of American women have never haggled over their salaries, but we also know that you’re the only one looking out for you (as illustrated by these skeezy hiring managers). So advocate for yourself by broaching your position and/or salary with your boss. Need extra nerve? These tips will help.

  • Jenna

    In addition to checking your credit score, don’t forget that you can also check your credit report for free annually from each of the three reporting agencies. Pull a different one every four months so you can spread them out over the course of the year! This would be a great addition to LV’s monthly lists.