Personal Finance Calendar - Annual
Managing your personal finances is an ongoing process that requires discipline.� Most people are successful at making sure the bills get paid and often saving a little on a regular basis.� However, managing your finances effectively is more than just handling the daily or monthly tasks.� There are other financial events that occur throughout the year you should address.��
Here is a monthly calendar that can serve as a guide to addressing some of these other issues.�
- Establish your financial goals for the year and create a plan to accomplish them.� If you goal is to save on a regular basis, establish an automatic savings plan to have a certain amount transferred from your checking account to your savings account each month.
- Review your investments to ensure your asset allocation matches your time horizon and risk tolerance.
- Prepare a personal balance sheet.
- Start to get your information organized for filing your tax return.
- Be sure your financial information is organized.� Consider using the Family Records Almanac to record and store important financial and family records and information.
- Create or update an inventory of your belongings for insurance purposes.� If you have a video inventory, be sure to store a copy in a secure location away from your home.
- Review your insurance policies to ensure you have the coverage you need, including an umbrella liability policy.� Be sure to check the deductibles.
- Be sure your tax returns are filed.� You can file for an extension if you need more time but that does not delay when you may need to pay the amount due.
- Dispose of tax information that is no longer needed.� The IRS only has three years to begin an audit unless you do not report all your income or file a fraudulent return.� You generally only need information for three years from the due date of the return when you report the information.� You will probably want to keep copies of your tax returns forever.
- Check your credit report to guard your financial identity.� You can get a free credit report through the website - www.annualcreditreport.com.�
- Review your borrowing.� If it is getting excessive, take steps to bring it under control.
- Review your mortgage to determine if you should consider refinancing.
- Review your investments to make sure your portfolio matches your goals.
- Perform a mid-year checkup of your finances to ensure you are living up to your financial resolutions you set in January.
- Use an online retirement calculator to determine if your savings plan will provide the funds needed for the retirement lifestyle you want.
- Use some spare time to learn more about investing or handling your finances in general.�
- There is still time to make changes that will have an impact on the current year.
- As your children or grandchildren get ready to go back to school, consider how their college educations will be financed.� Look into establishing custodial accounts, Coverdell Education Savings accounts for a Section 529 plan for them.
- Review the steps you are taking to prevent identity theft and to protect your electronic records.
- Review your estate plan.� Recent changes to the estate tax laws have raised the threshold on what size estates are subject to tax.� But estate planning is more than just taxes.� Be sure you have other documents that are important - durable power of attorney, power of attorney for health care and living will.� If you have moved, divorced or had new children or grandchildren, you should be sure your estate plan has been updated.
- You should also make sure the beneficiaries on your retirement plans, IRAs and life insurance are still appropriate.
- Review your charitable deductions for the year.� Consider giving appreciated stock that you have held for more than a year if you wish to make a large contribution to your favorite cause.
- If you are self-employed or have a small business, make sure your retirement plan is up to date.
- Review the details of your employer's retirement plan.� If you participate in a 401(k) plan, be sure you are contributing enough to get the full employer match contribution.� Review your investment allocation as well.
- Review any insurance offered by your employer to make sure you have made choices appropriate for your situation.
- Discuss your finances with your family.� Keeping them informed can reduce stress and anxiety if something unfortunate happens.
- Review your investment portfolio and your investment results for the year.� If you have realized capital gains and unrealized capital losses, consider taking a loss to offset earlier gains.
- Spend a little time to create your financial resolutions for the next year and write them down.
The suggestions on this calendar may not match your personal financial schedule.� However it can serve as a reminder to make sure you address important issues.