Monthly Financial Tasks

A short list of monthly activities and financial housecleaning to help you stay on track

January

January

 

January is a great time to prepare for the year ahead. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

January 1

        • -Medicare Advantage open enrollment begins
        • -College students should begin applying for Free Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

January 15

        • -If you’re self-employed the 4th quarter estimated tax payment is due

Anytime

        • -Review Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for previous year to anticipate spend for this year
        • -College students should begin searching for spring scholarships. You can find more help on paying for college here
        • -Review your annual budget and get your finances organized

February

February is a great time to update your financial planning. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

February 1

        • -Begin preliminary review of taxes to see if additional HSA, IRA, or SEP-IRA deposits can offset taxes

February 15

        • -Begin shopping around for the best deal on lawn services before the growing season begins

Anytime

        • -Update your financial planning app or begin using one. Check out our financial planning app
        • -Now is a good time to rebalance your asset allocation for any automatic contributions you make

 

March

Use March to prepare for taxes and watch out for fast approaching deadlines. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

March 1

        • -March is credit education month and a great time to pull a free credit report. Get yours here

March 15

        • -Now is the deadline for filing corporate tax returns, unless you file a 6-month extension

March 31

        • -Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage open enrollment period ends March 31st

Anytime

        • -Reminder: April 1st is fast approaching and is the deadline for taking the required minimum distribution (RMD) if you turned 70 ½ during the prior year

April

 

There’s a lot to get done in April when it comes to preparing your taxes. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

Tax Day

        • -File your federal and state tax returns or request an extension
        • -Now is the deadline to fund your traditional or Roth retirement account to count as a prior year contribution
        • -File your federal gift tax return or extension by April 15th for gifts made between January 1st – December 31st in the prior year.
        • -File federal estate and trust income return or extension
        • -File your partnership income tax return or extension
        • -If self-employed, the first quarter estimated tax payment Form 1040-ES is due by April 15th

May

 

May is a great month to think about your income and social security. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

May 1

        • -May is social security education month. Those nearing retirement should assess their net worth, financial plan, and estimate their income and expenses for retirement.  Login to review online statements for errors and catch up on any shortfalls

May 15

        • -Nonprofit informational returns are due, but you can request two 90-day extensions. Those deadlines are August 15th and November 15th

Anytime

        • -With summer nearing, look over electric bills to see when your contract expires. In Texas, Power to Choose provides one-stop rate comparisons, gives you access to energy fact sheets and terms of service, and lets you find plans offering renewable energy
        • -Now is a good time to adjust your income tax withholding. The goal is to get as close to $0 as possible, so you don’t owe the IRS money or give the government an interest-free loan

June

June

 

June is National Insurance month and is a great time to think about your needs. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

June 15

        • -If you are self-employed, your second quarter estimated tax payment is due

June 21

June 28

        • -June 28th is National Insurance Awareness Day. Performing an insurance review can help with planning from protection to legacy based upon each stage of life. Also, shop insurance rates for home and auto. Look for multi-policy, employee, student, and safety and security discounts

July

 

The lazy days of July are a great time to get your estate in order. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

Anytime

        • -July is a great month for estate planning. The lazy days of summer and lack of school functions free up time to take care of reviewing wills, trusts, powers of attorney and beneficiaries. Remember to also visit and review what’s in safety deposit boxes
        • -Summer is a great time to pull out old documents and have them shredded. Many financial advisors offer a free shredding service for clients
        • -Summer is a good time to get eldercare documents in order. Especially when vacations might mean visiting with those who need powers of attorney and other documents in place for the next stage of their life

August

 

By end of summer, August should find you catching up on financial housekeeping. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

August 1

August 15

        • -The nonprofit informational 90-day extension is due, but you can request one more 90-day extension. The deadline for that is November 15th

Anytime

        • -Fall is a great time to shop around for better interest rates on your checking and savings accounts
        • -Spend some time seeking better credit card offers if you pay your cards off every month. Consider taking advantage of cashback, airmiles and rewards so you’re prepared for any holiday travel

September

 

Back to school in September means it’s time to consider college savings. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

September 1

        • -September is national college savings month. Now is a great time to begin planning 529 and other college savings contributions for the following school year. Read more about 529 Plans

September 15

        • -Third quarter estimated tax payment is due if you are self-employed or have other third-quarter income that requires you to pay quarterly estimated taxes. Be sure your payment is postmarked by September 15th

September 30

Anytime

        • -Take some time before the holiday rush begins to review services and contracts for better pricing. Remember to check mobile phones, internet, home phone, television, and home security contract end dates before making any changes

October

 

There’s a lot to do in October, before the rush of holiday activities. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

October 1

        • -The CSS/Financial Aid Profile application is available for applicants who are applying for non-federal financial aid (most deadlines are early to mid-February). You’ll need to create a CSS profile at cssprofile.collegeboard.org
        • -Today is the deadline to establish a SIMPLE IRA
        • -Open enrollment season begins in October for certain employee benefit plans. Take time to consider how much to contribute to a flexible spending account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA)

October 15

        • -Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, and Part D annual open enrollment begins October 15th and runs through December 7th

Tax Day 

        • -All tax return extensions are due October 15th
        • -If you converted a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA during the year and paid tax on the conversion, October 15th is the deadline for recharacterizing (undoing) the conversion

Anytime

November

 

The month of November should signal the start of your end of year planning. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

November 1

November 15

        • -The final 90-day extension for nonprofit informational returns is due by November 15th

Anytime

        • -This is a great time to do some end of year planning, especially before the flurry of holiday activities and stress set in. Evaluate the budget and make any necessary adjustments. Our financial planning app can help
        • -November is a good time to look over your flexible spending account (FSA) to ensure you will use available funds before year-end
        • -In November, the student loan repayment grace period for May graduates comes to an end. Recent graduates still looking for employment may want to investigate their options for deferring payments
        • -Beat the last-minute rush on your charitable donations. Consider maximizing by donating appreciated assets like stocks and bonds because you can deduct the full value without paying capital gains tax

December

 

December is a great month to prepare for the coming new year. Follow this guideline to stay on track with your monthly financial tasks.

December 1

        • -December is a great time to schedule an increase for your 401(k), IRA, 529 Plan or education savings accounts to meet the annual contribution limit increase. Even if you don’t max out contributions, it’s a good idea to increase them every year

December 15

December 31

        • -Consider prepaying property taxes and/or an extra mortgage payment before December 31st if you need an extra tax deduction to help offset taxes. Your financial advisor can help put you in touch with a tax advisor
        • -December 31st is the last day to take RMDs, and to make itemized deductions and gifts count for the current year taxes. Reassess whether changes are required for any new life-events. Here are some common misconceptions about RMDs
        • -Business owners should consider making any purchases and paying vendors in the current year to claim against expenses before December 31st

Anytime

        • -A trade to sell a long position must be executed by the close of the last trading date of the current year. A short position closing trade must be executed so that the trade settles by the final trading day of the current year

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