Welcome to our fourth edition of the Personal Financial Checklist. Each month we will bring you a checklist of financial to-dos to help keep you on track to achieve financial freedom. Be sure to download and print the checklist for your personal use! (More Financial Checklists)
Review Your S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Check in on your progress. Are you ahead on your goals, or are some of them falling behind? What do you need to do differently to make yourself successful?
Adjust Your Budget Based on 1st Quarter Spending
By now you should have a pretty good idea where your money is going every month. Budget only work if you keep updating them as spending happens. Keep tracking your spending, start to control your output and see how much budgeting helps you achieve your financial goals.
Shred Outdated Documents
On March’s Checklist, we talked about organizing and protecting your important documents. Surely, after you completed this item on the checklist, you were left with a pile of outdated documents. Don’t just throw those in the trash! Chances are they have confidential information on them that you don’t want anyone else to see. Your best option is to shred them. If you don’t have a shredder, you can find a company that shreds documents for you (for a price). Another option would be to burn them, whether outside or in a fireplace.
Make a Plan for Your Tax Refund
Chances are you’re good at spending money. C’mon, who isn’t? Most of us have our tax return spent four different ways before we even get it. Before we get that check, look a few months into the future and make sure there isn’t something important we need to use our tax refund on. It could be real estate taxes, new tires on the truck, or even insurance premiums. These are definitely not fun things to spend our tax return on, but it’s way better than putting those known upcoming expenses on a credit card. Prioritize the things, or events your want to spend the money on, and make wise decision, that will benefit you in the long run.
Change Financial Passwords
Back in January, this was on the financial checklist. Hopefully you did it then, and hopefully you will do it again now. The longer you keep the same password on an account, the easier it is for someone to hack. The last thing anyone needs is someone maxing out their credit card on a cruise in the Caribbean!
Keep a record of your changed passwords in a excel document if needed to insure you don’t get locked out of your own accounts. Keep the document in a secured Dropbox folder for safe keeping and you will be able to access it wherever you are. You can also password protect a Excel workbook to keep prying eyes away from your important information. (Click here to learn how to protect an Excel workbook.)