Is your financial life a little out of shape? Do you want to make it strong, fit, and healthy this year?
This type of makeover doesn’t happen overnight, but you can get started right away.
The start of a new year is always a good time to start new routines but anytime is the “right” time!
Think of improving your financial life as a staircase with many flights. You can’t leap to the top in a single bound (unless you’re Superman), but you can make it to the top step by step. That’s why we’ve created the WIFE.org FINANCIAL FIT Calendar. Each month we challenge you to go one flight up the staircase by completing an action that will help you clarify, organize, and empower your financial life. Each activity is linked to a great article from WIFE that will show you how to get it done!
Here is a list of some of our top financial planning articles on WIFE.
We encourage you to bookmark this article and return to it each month to adopt a few more good money habits.
January – Create a Budget
Great financial fitness starts with creating and sticking to a budget. Think about your financial goals for this year, next year, and ten years from now. With those goals clearly in your mind, create a budget that will allow you to afford a comfortable life today while keeping enough in reserve to save for tomorrow.
February – Talk Money with Your Sweetheart
Love is in the air in February, but that love can quickly turn to frustration and regret if you and your sweetheart aren’t on the same page when it comes to money! This month, sit down and talk money so you can keep the love alive.
March – Prepare for Tax Time
Yes, the least wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching – Tax Time. Don’t wait until the last minute to do your taxes. A mad scramble may lead to mistakes or missed deductions. Make it a goal this month to prepare and submit your taxes ahead of the deadline. You’ll get your refund earlier and save yourself a lot of stress!
April – Re-evaluate Your 401k Plan
If your employer offers a 401k plan, we hope that you are already invested. If not, now is the time to jump in and start saving for a happy and financially comfortable retirement. If you are already invested in a 401k, take some time this month to re-evaluate. Can you put a little more away each month this year? Has your risk tolerance changed? Make sure you are in the best 401k plan for your retirement goals.
May – Create an Estate Plan
May is the month of Mother’s Day, and if you have children, it’s critical that you plan for them in case you get sick, become incapacitated, or pass away unexpectedly. Even a simple estate plan can help your family follow your wishes, leave a legacy to your children and family, and protect your hard-earned assets from government taxes.
June – Vacation Smarter
Summer break starts in June for many students, which also means family vacation time! Don’t let this year’s vacation swallow all your hard-earned savings. You can plan smart, spend smart, and still have an awesome time on your travels.
If you are like many Americans, then you have a problem. One you may have tried to keep hidden for a long time, but which is affecting your ability to cope with life. You might be addicted to credit cards. This month, it’s time to sober up, cut the addiction, and finally live a life free of high interest rates.
August – Become a Savvy Investor
If your money is sitting in a low-interest savings account, you could actually be losing money due to inflation. Get your money working for you by investing your savings into mutual funds this month.
September – Teach Your Kids About Money
It’s back to school in September. While your kids are filling their heads with math, literature and history, make sure to take some time this month and give them the gift of financial literacy.
October – Face Your Money Fears
A lot of our money troubles come from the way in which we view money. This Halloween month, challenge yourself to discover and face your money fears.
November – Shop Smart for the Holidays
Deals, deals, deals! Holiday shopping has officially begun. Are you shopping smart or getting swept up in the fervor? Make a goal to be a savvy shopper this month.
December – Help Others
Your money doesn’t just have to help you. If you stuck to your budget, then you should have a little left over at the end of the year to help the less fortunate. Give a little away to a good cause this month (whether it’s money, time, or advocacy). Now, onto next year!
Need help implementing the advice in these great articles? One of the smartest money moves you can make in the new year is to start your own Money Club. It’s fun, easy, and free. Anyone can do it, even if you’ve never taken a money class before. Learn more about starting a Money Club with your favorite gal pals.