November — what a month! November signals the start of the holiday hustle and bustle, which marks the culmination of the year. With so much coming up, you can’t afford to miss these November money moves, which will help you prepare for the many activities you’ll be embarking on this month.
1. Re-evaluate your budget.
With the year coming to a close so soon, now is a great time to re-evaluate your budget. If you’re looking for a new way of budgeting, one tried and true method is the 50/20/30 rule, in which you spend no more than 50 percent of your take-home pay on essential expenses, 20% of your pay on financial priorities such as debt payment and savings, and 30 percent or under on lifestyle choices. By sitting down and analyzing your finances, you can begin to formulate a new and improved method of budgeting that will positively change the way you approach spending and saving.
2. Prepare for Black Friday.
Get ready for the seasonal surge of sales — especially Black Friday. With all the savings to be had, getting all of your shopping done for a bargain holds a certain lure. To get the best view of what’s ahead, check The Official Black Friday 2013 site for sales and predictions of what this shopping season will bring.
3. Check your credit score.
We already advised you to check your credit score for free in September, but in case you still haven’t, you can check your final quarter of the year’s score at Credit Karma. Take a moment to look at the credit cards you’re currently using, and how well they’re meeting your needs. A credit card can be an immensely helpful tool, but if you’re drowning in debt, have a lackluster rewards program, or are considering adding a new card into your collection, you have a lot to think about.
Consider getting a credit card that is based on your lifestyle, or if you’re desperate to get out of debt, identify your bad habits with our article on reasons you may be hindering your financial progress. To brush up on credit card basics, see our article for 10 must-know credit card facts.
4. Use helpful financial apps to get through this time of year.
There are so many apps that can help you manage your workload, daily tasks, and finances. To get through this hectic time of year, you may want to load your phone with these apps that will leave you wondering how you ever managed without them. For budgeting, try these finance apps that are just as amazing as the well-known Mint budgeting app. For booking cheap travel, cashing in on store discounts, and getting help with mundane errands, try Part I and Part II of our must-have apps of 2013.
5. Apply for financial aid.
If college is on the horizon, now is the time to take the first steps in starting your federal financial aid applications. The government begins accepting applications January 1, so review the deadlines for your state here, and start filling out FAFSA asap.