NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Finances by the Month

Finances by the Month

 

            Are the months and years flying by without seeing much change in your retirement fund or your savings account?  One of the newest ways to look at managing finances is by the month.  Many expenditures and opportunities to save happen on a fairly regular basis in our lives.   Check some of the following money management suggestions for March and April to determine if they would fit into your financial calendar.

 

March

            Wrap up Your Taxes: Your goal should be to finish your taxes in March—well, in advance of the April 15 deadline. If you get a tax refund from the government, treat it the same way as other unexpected earnings or gifts: Put 10% toward something fun, and delegate the rest to your financial priorities.

            Start Spring Cleaning:  Take stock of your belongings and decide what you still need … and what can go. In addition to donating items to charity, you can also resell goods on sites like eBay or take gently worn clothes to a consignment shop.

            Take Stock of Your Personal Possessions: Spring cleaning is also an excellent opportunity to document the contents of your home. In case of a fire, flood or if your home is burglarized, you will need detailed documentation to prove the value of your possessions to your insurance company. Spend a few hours photographing the items that made the spring-cleaning cut and create a running list of the value of all household goods. Then lock these files (be they paper or flash drive) in a waterproof and fireproof safe, or back them up on a secure file-sharing website.

            Check in on Your Child’s Summer Plans:  Keep those youngsters busy when school’s out, by checking on possible activities like summer camp, enrichment programs and park board classes now plus start budgeting for the associated fees.

 

April

            Sign Off on Taxes:   The tax deadline and the deadline for filing an extension, which will buy you six more months to complete your taxes, are both April 15.  If you are self-employed, freelancing or running your own business, Q1 estimated tax payments are also due April 15th.

            Review Your Insurance Policies:  If you’ve recently had a major life event—say, a marriage or a child—it’s an especially good time to reevaluate your current insurance coverage.

             Vacationing Where?:  Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to book airfare three to five months in advance—before prices start inching up. So now is a good time to nail down July and August flights.

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