Discipline is defined as control that is gained by requiring that rules or orders be obeyed and punishing bad behavior…
January - Resolve to make yourself financially fit!
- Manage your debt. Start by paying off all of your high-cost, non-deductible credit cards, and other high cost debt.
- Establish an emergency fund equal to 3-6 months of expenses.
- Create (or update) your cash flow statement (income minus expenses) and statement of personal net worth.
- Give your portfolio a checkup-review the performance as you rebalance back to your target asset allocation mix.
- Double-check your employer retirement plan contribution percentage. At the very least, try to contribute up to the point where you take advantage of any available employer match.
- See the IRS Tax Calendar for federal tax items due throughout the year http://www.tax.gov/calendar/
February - Insurance and Tax Information.
- Check your insurance policies (property and casualty, liability, health, disability, life) to be sure you're not paying too much for the wrong kind of coverage.
- Annual tax forms 1099, 1098 and W-2 should be mailed to you by your various providers no later than January 31. Get a head start on preparing your income tax forms.
- Free Annual Report, get a free annual copy of your credit report from Experian: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
April - File your Tax Return, contribute to IRA...
- File your income tax return by April 15. Even if you're requesting an automatic six-month extension, you still need to pay any taxes due by April 15.
- April 15 is also the last day to make a contribution to your IRA or Coverdell Education Savings Account for the prior year.
May - Inventory of your personal assets and Financial Disaster Plan.
- Create (or update) an inventory of your home and personal property. Use a video camera to make a record of your valuable possessions for insurance (and/or estate) purposes, and then store the video in a secure, remote location (like a bank safe deposit box).
- Create (or review) your financial disaster plan.
June - Mid-year financial check up…
- Perform a mid-year review of your finances to be sure you're on track.
- Planning a June wedding? Don't forget to update your financial plan accordingly.
- Free Credit Report; get a free annual copy of your credit report from Equifax: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
- Keep learning-add at least one good book on personal finance or investing and a publication such as Forbes, Wall Street Journal, or Financial Times to your summer reading list.
August - Review your vacation and holiday budget and plan for tax-deductible educational savings.
- Compare what you actually spent on vacation to the amount you projected in your annual cash flow plan. Start thinking about your holiday budget.
- As the kids or grand kids get ready for school, think about establishing or contributing to a Coverdell Education Savings Account and/or 529 College Savings Plan on their behalf.
September - Estate Plan and Small Business IRA.
- Review your estate plan.
- If you want to establish a SIMPLE IRA this year for your small business, the account must be opened by October 1 (this date may change visit IRS.gov or our website for updates).
October - Tax projections, open enrollment season, and more
- File your income tax return by October 15 if you requested a six-month extension back in April.
- Run a projection of your current-year income tax liability to get a head start on your year-end tax planning.
- As open enrollment season rolls around at work, take the time to review your health insurance coverage and other employer benefits.
November - Free credit report, holidays, and charitable giving…
- Get a free annual copy of your credit report from TransUnion: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
- Don't charge more for holiday gifts than you can comfortably pay for in full when the January credit card statements come around.
- Take time to give thanks for another year of financial success. Review your charitable giving plans and consider making tax-deductible gifts to charity or to a donor advised fund account before the end of the year.
December - Portfolio review for tax-deductible losses…
- Check your portfolio again for loss-harvesting candidates, as you rebalance back to your strategic, long-term asset allocation.
- If you want to establish an Individual 401(k) or other QRP (qualified retirement plan) this year for your small business, the account must be opened by December 31.
- If applicable, don't forget to take the annual required minimum distribution from your IRA by December 31.
- Request your annual Social Security benefit statement from ssa.gov. Compare your earnings record against your old tax return info for accuracy.