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We’re already a month into the new year and, even though February is a short month, that doesn’t mean you can’t accomplish big things over the next four weeks. These five financial to-dos can help you get one step closer to reaching your goals.
1. Adjust Your 2019 Goals
We all start off a new year with the best of intentions and a laundry list of resolutions to tackle. But by February, well, we’re not quite as optimistic — and many resolutions fall by the wayside. Reflect on your own goals for the year, the progress you’ve made so far and how realistic it is to stick with them. Maybe you just need to remind yourself why you’re spending less money on happy hours and dinners out (hello, dream vacay this summer), or maybe your goals weren’t sustainable to begin with. Rather than trying to make several big changes at once, try smaller, more achievable goals. This month-by-month guide can you help you improve your finances all year long.
2. File Your Taxes
Yes, we know taxes aren’t due until April, but you don’t want to procrastinate because there are a lot of tax-law changes that start taking effect with this year’s return that could affect you. The IRS began accepting 2018 tax returns on January 28, so schedule time with yourself (or your tax pro) to get these done pronto. Besides the peace of mind, there are several benefits to filing your taxes early. And if you look forward to a large refund each year, you may want to reconsider that approach.
3. Schedule a Money Date
Talking finances may not be the first thing that comes to mind while you’re planning a romantic Valentine’s Day surprise, but getting on the same financial page can help set you up for a lifetime of success together. Schedule a time to talk about money with your partner so you can see if your money values align and to make sure there aren’t any financial red flags lurking. If you need some inspiration, here’s how these couples had the awkward money talk — and survived.
4. Challenge Yourself to a No-Spend Month
Just as you might try out Whole30 to reset your diet after all those decadent holiday treats, a no-spend month can help you reset your spending habits — not to mention help you save some extra cash quickly. By not spending any money on unnecessary expenses for 30 days, you can become more mindful of your spending tendencies and how to control them, even after the freeze is over. Here’s what one woman learned after she gave up shopping (her favorite vice) for 30 days.
5. Show Your Career Some Love
The beginning of a new year signals a fresh start, but that doesn’t always carry over to your job. In fact, the lack of holidays to look forward to, colder temperatures and less daylight may have you feeling burned out and hitting the snooze button more than usual. These 10 tips can help you fall back in love with your job again. Or, if you find it’s time to move onto the next opportunity, try this trick to land a job without having to apply.