With the holiday rush long gone and the cold weather limiting time outside (at least for those up north), February is a great time to tackle your financial goals. Here are five ways you can improve your finances in February.
CHECK IN ON YOUR FINANCIAL RESOLUTIONS
It’s typical to lose your resolution steam by February — if you even made it this far. If you find you’re not hitting your financial goals, consider enlisting the help of your friends and family to nudge you along. And if one of your resolutions is actually straining your budget, these tips can help you hit your goal without breaking the bank.
COMMUNICATE FINANCIAL GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS WITH YOUR PARTNER
Nothing says “I love you” like talking about your spending habits while sipping champagne at your Valentine’s Day dinner. OK, so maybe that’s not the world’s most romantic conversation. But talking about your future goals is fun. And that’s a good entry to talking about money — because that’s how you’ll pay for all those dreams.
Chatting about money can be tricky, especially if you and your partner are on opposite ends of the financial spectrum. Plus, there are different stages of every relationship. But whether you’re planning on getting married or just starting to get serious with your partner, it’s important to have an open line of communication about money. If you’re not sure where to begin, here are five questions to get you started.
PLAN A TRIP
While saving for financial goals isn’t as much fun as spending money once you hit one, remind yourself that good financial habits pay off. As the winter doldrums start to creep in, set aside some money for a trip. Whether you have Spring Break on your mind, want to volunteer your time or just want a staycation, having something to look forward to will make the colder months a bit more bearable. It can also make it a little easier to stick to your financial goals when you can reward yourself for your hard work.
BOOST YOUR CAREER NETWORK
Use this month to continue mapping out your career goals for the year. With conference schedules and agendas starting to fill out, be on the lookout for any industry events that interest you. And if traditional networking events aren’t your style, making connections on your own terms can be just as valuable. After all, you never know when or where your next career opportunity could come from.
START PREPARING YOUR TAXES
The IRS began accepting tax returns for 2019 on Jan. 27, 2020. While you technically have until April to file, why not be at the front of the line and start doing your taxes now? Doing your taxes early prevents someone from fraudulently filing under your name and gathering your refund. In addition, you’ll get your refund that much sooner. Whether you go it alone, or decide to hire a professional, start by gathering your W2 and 1099 forms. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to getting your refund, which you can put toward a variety of financial goals — like that trip you just planned.