Judging by the number of inquiries I’ve been getting recently, getting one’s financial house in order is a popular New Year’s Resolution (or an incomplete one from last year!). If you are also interested in doing some financial house cleaning, spreading it out over the course of the year can make it more manageable.
Here are a few ideas:
- January – Update your net worth and cash-flow statements to see where you stand.
- February – Collect all the necessary documents you’ll need to file your taxes, including re-stated 1099s.
- March – Get a free annual copy of your credit report from one of the three agencies quarterly (www.annualcreditreport.com).
- April – File your taxes or an extension. Make any IRA contributions for prior year by 4/15.
- May – Create a home inventory using a video camera and store in a safe, off-site location. Review estate plan.
- June – Review actual vs. projected cash flow. Update net worth statement.
- July – Get a free annual copy of your credit report from one of the three agencies quarterly.
- August – Compare what you actually spent on vacation with the budget. Establish or increase contribution to kids’ 529s.
- September – Develop your budget for holiday expenses (e.g., gifts, entertaining and travel).
- October – File return on extension, if applicable. Review employer benefits during open enrollment.
- November – Get a free annual copy of your credit report from one of the three agencies quarterly. Get a tax projection done to facilitate year-end tax-planning.
- December – Check portfolio for tax-loss harvesting opportunities. Open small business retirement accounts by 12/31. Do a Roth conversion by 12/31, if applicable. Make charitable contributions.
Financial planning is an on-going process, but doesn’t have to be onerous. Breaking the tasks down into smaller tasks each month can make it more manageable and leave you feeling very accomplished by year-end.