Your finances should be managed and reviewed each month of the year. This will keep your budget, investments, and savings, healthy and up-to-date.
Follow these 12 tips to keep your finances in check each month of the year.
January: Focus on Your Goals
With the start of a new year likely comes new financial aspirations. Review the goals you achieved in the previous year and make a point to set new financial goals for the coming one. Furthermore, be sure to evaluate where you stand with any long-term goals as well.
February: Tax Preparation
Tax season is on the horizon come February. In order to give yourself, and your tax preparer, plenty of time, use this month to gather all tax documents, review deductions, and begin preparing your finances to pay taxes.
March: Spring Cleaning
With subscriptions abundant, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you pay for. Come March, review all of your monthly and recurring subscriptions and clean house. Get rid of the unnecessary and only keep what you truly use.
April: Create Tax Folders
As taxes get sent in to the IRS, now is a great time to keep yourself organized for next year. Create appropriate folders, electronic or paper, and organize all documents and forms from this year so you’re not scrambling in the year to come.
May: Focus on Saving
Saving is a vital part of keeping yourself financially healthy. Commit at least one month to focus more on savings and less on spending. With the start of a new season, May is a great time to reign your finances in and replenish savings.
June: Review Your Credit Score
While you shouldn’t check this on a daily basis, you should keep track of your credit score. Set a specific month or so to check you score and ensure you’re still in good credit standing. If not, you can use this as a jumping off point to improve it.
July: Evaluate Debt
Although you should keep track of your debt regularly, take the opportunity in July to reevaluate what you still owe. See if you can consolidate any debt and possibly reorganize your debt priorities so you know you’re paying off the one with the highest interest first.
August: Review Your Budget
Your budget shouldn’t stay static. Use August to do a complete revaluation and ensure each category is still applicable and that the amounts in varying categories still make sense. If not, shift some costs and values accordingly.
September: Evaluate Investments
Like expenses, some investments come and go. Come September review your portfolio and the previous years earnings. Decide if certain investments are still right for you and whether or not you should reallocate funds.
October: Set Limits
With the holidays coming up, now is the time to set aside a portion of your budget for holiday expenses. Set financial limits now to keep yourself in check during these extravagant months. At the start of the new year, you’ll be glad you don’t have extra debt.
November: Max Out Contributions
As the year begins to commence, now is the time to max out any retirement, investment, or health savings plan contributions you can and make the most of your financial savings.
December: Yearly Review
Before the start of another year review and examine all of your financial costs, savings, and investments from the previous year. See what went well and was beneficial and where you can make adjustments in the coming year.
Do you set aside time each month to review your finances? What steps do you take each month?
Photo courtesy of: kaboompics
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