Spring is here! With warm weather approaching, you’re already thinking about all the things want to do and the places you want to go. Before that, why not tidy up your finances now so that you can enjoy yourself without money on your mind?
Make these five money moves and reinvigorate yourself for the spring season (we all need it after harsh weather of this past winter season).
Avoid the tax season rush
April means the dreaded rush for American taxpayers to complete their tax returns and pay any owed taxes by the April 15 deadline. If you haven’t already finished filing your taxes, it’s best to avoid the last-minute rush and the possibility of missing the deadline. Get to your accountant now or finally make the effort to sit down and file your taxes on your own.
There’s still time to contribute to IRAs
Saving for retirement should be one of your top financial priorities, but for those forgetful minds out there, the IRA contribution deadline is rather lenient. You have until April 15 to contribute towards tax year 2013. For 2013, you may contribute a maximum of $5,500 ($6,500 for those age 50 or older). Remember, if you miss this contribution deadline, you lose this opportunity to build tax-deferred retirement savings for the year of 2013.
Don’t have an IRA? There’s enough time to open one and contribute before the deadline.
Get your credit checked
You have access to a credit report from each of the three major U.S. credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — per year. While you can opt to get all three credit reports at once, it is generally a better idea spread them throughout the year. So, every four months, you’ll get to see your credit profile. The end of April will mark the first four months of the year, when you should pull your credit report if you decide to split up your free credit reports.
Also, don’t forget to remind yourself every four months to check your credit.
Empower yourself with financial knowledge
National Financial Literacy Month is in high gear and Americans are encouraged to learn more about all aspects of money. Various organizations, companies and consumer-focused groups are holding initiatives to promote financial literacy among consumers.
Whether it’s seminars or financial tips, there are ways that you can participate to improve your financial knowledge. For instance, Money Management International has a 30-step program that aims to help people achieve financial wellness.
Spring financial cleaning
With the warm weather, spring cleaning is on everyone’s minds. It is also a great time for you to reassess your financial setup. Are there any monthly expenses you can reduce or eliminate completely? Are there any inactive financial accounts that are racking up fees?
From your insurance policies to recurring bills, there may be ways for you to cut costs. Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, remember that you should be saving constantly. Consider automating your transfers and contributions to your savings accounts and IRAs.
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