Every season, we bring you the top to-dos to get your financial life in order. The snow is starting to melt, the flowers are beginning to bloom, and your finances are ready for a rebirth. Here are the key items on your spring to-do list:
Reassess Your Budget. Deadline: March 1.
Our lives aren’t the same as they were a few months ago, so our budgets shouldn’t be, either. Go to the LV Budgeting Tool to make sure you’re sticking to your current budget, or create a new one if your lifestyle has changed.
Check Your Credit Score. Deadline: March 1.
We recommend you do this once every season, because keeping up with your credit score is a good way to make sure that your credit history is free from errors or mishaps. It’s easy—just go to Credit Karma to do it for free.
File Your Taxes. Deadline: March 17.
The deadline to file your taxes is April 15, but we don’t think it’s worth our time to wait in line at the post office—nor the stress to deal with it last-minute. Aim to have your taxes done by St. Patrick’s Day, so you can go out and celebrate with a pint or two. If you're a do-it-by-cell-phone type, check out these top 5 apps to make filing taxes easier; if you need a basic brush-up on your taxes, we’ve got you covered.
Plan Your Summer Travel. Deadline: March 25.
Leaving vacation days unused isn’t good for your well-being—or your productivity. Start planning your summer vacation early, at least several months before you go. From figuring out your vacation budget to picking a location, this little nugget shouldn’t feel like work.
Max Out Your Retirement Account. Deadline: April 15.
You can add to your 2010 IRA contribution up until April 15th this year. If you’ve been putting it off, simply log in to your online brokerage and transfer some money. The transaction takes less than a few minutes and has the potential to save thousands for you over the long run. For guidance on exactly how to make that transfer and the best ways to invest your money, check out our Investing Bootcamp.
Spring Clean Your Home. Deadline: April 22.
Let Earth Day, April 22, be your deadline for cleaning your house, recycling old belongings, and cutting the junk. Separate out all the clothing and other items you’re not actually using and either resell or donate them--all green-friendly acts. Remember to get a receipt so that you can take advantage of the tax deduction.
Spring Clean Your Finances. Deadline: May 25.
Face the less interesting financial tasks in your life head on. Finish up those chores like rolling over your old 401(k), updating the beneficiaries on your accounts, and look into finally getting that estate planning package you know you need.