The first month of the new year is behind us — and your motivation to stick with your resolutions may have gone with it. You’re not alone: February is typically when most new year’s resolutions are abandoned.
But, if one of your goals for the year is to feel great about your finances, we’re here to help you reach it. Here are five things to add to your to-do list so you can improve your finances in February.
1. TALK MONEY WITH YOUR PARTNER
Trying to show your significant other how much you care this month? Besides the classic Valentine’s Day activities, consider a romantic evening of reviewing your finances. Money can be a huge source of stress in a relationship, but getting on the same financial page can bring you and your partner closer together. Here’s how one couple learned to manage their money together. And if you’re recently engaged, here are four things you should talk to a financial advisor about.
2. FILE YOUR TAXES
The IRS began accepting 2018 tax returns on January 28, so if you haven’t already taken care of your paperwork, make time to do it now. Scheduling time with your tax professional early can help guarantee you get his or her undivided attention, not to mention avoid paying any rush fees for waiting until the last minute. Plus, filing early can help prevent someone else from filing with your name and Social Security number and taking your refund for themselves. And, if you are expecting a refund, here are some smart things you can do with the money.
3. PREP FOR VACATION SEASON
We may be in the middle of winter now, but spring break will be here before you know it — and then, summer. Finalize your travel budget for the year and then get to the fun part, like deciding where you’ll go. If you need some inspiration, these unexpected spring break destinations are sure to be a big hit with the family, as are these memorable trips to take before your kids turn 13. You can even take a page out of this couple’s book and take a dream vacation for a fraction of the normal cost.
4. SET CAREER GOALS
Now that everyone is settled back into office life, it’s a good time to decide what you want to accomplish at work over the next year. You likely received goals from your manager for your specific role, but think about the bigger picture and where you see yourself by the end of the year. Do you want a promotion, a more flexible schedule, to quit your job and start your own business? Decide what your goals are and the steps you’ll need to take to accomplish them.
5. INCREASE YOUR SAVINGS
February ends with America Saves Week, so show your savings a little extra love this month. Between your short-term goals, like paying for a wedding or buying a home, to the ultimate long-term goal of the retirement of your dreams, you have a lot to save for. Luckily, there are ways to make saving easier (hint: your tax refund is one). But, it’s also important to prioritize your savings goals to make sure you’re putting your money in the right places. One example: choosing between prioritizing retirement and your kids’ 529 college savings.