This post is excerpted from our Ultimate 2013 Financial Calendar.
The holidays, end-of-year tax planning, winter travel ... for many of us, this will be the busiest season of the year.
All the more reason to make sure your finances are in good shape through the next few weeks. Who wants to worry when there's gift shopping to do?
Below, check out the financial tasks you should tick off this November.
1. Check Your Credit Score. Deadline: Saturday, Nov. 2
It's time for the last of this year's quarterly credit score checkups (for free!) at Credit Karma. Is it up, the same or—gulp—down from when you checked it in August? If you're looking to drive those crucial three digits skyward, check out our guide here. Need inspiration? Read the story of one LearnVester who is striving for 850.
2. Re-Evaluate Your Budget. Deadline: Saturday, Nov. 9
With the holiday season looming, now is no time to veer off course when it comes to budgeting. Does the budget you're using still make sense? Can you cut back in any categories, or do you need to reallocate resources? Are you staying true to the 50/20/30 rule? Are you setting aside 60 seconds per day to take stock of your financial picture? Take a look at the Money Center to stay—or get back—on track to reaching your financial goals.
3. Decide on Your 2014 Charity Budget. Deadline: Saturday, Nov. 16
Now that the annual season of giving is upon us, do you find yourself wishing you'd prioritized charitable giving in your budget? If so, start planning for 2014 now. Set up an automatic transfer from your checking to a savings account earmarked for donations, or set up a personal escrow account to make sure you'll have the funds you want to give for the upcoming year. While you're at it, check out Warren Buffett's four tips for giving to charity.
4. Start Researching Financial Aid. Deadline: Saturday, Nov. 23
The government starts accepting applications for federal financial aid January 1, and the sooner you (or your child) submit the application, the better your chances of maximizing aid. You can review the deadlines for your state here. Unsure where to start when it comes to financial aid forms? Check out our guide to filling out the FAFSA.
5. Look Into Your Credit Cards. Deadline: Saturday, Nov. 30
The responsible use of credit cards can be great for your financial health—building a strong credit history and score can help you get a better interest rate on a mortgage or other loan. Not sure if adding plastic to your wallet is the right choice for you? Check out the six signs you don’t need another credit card and the six signs that you might. And if you find yourself in the camp that could use a new card, read about these nine credit cards with super sweet perks.