How to Make an Annual Personal Finance Calendar
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.
January Financial Planning
- 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.
February Financial Planning
- 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.
March Financial Planning
- 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.
April Financial Planning
- 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.
May Financial Planning
- 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.
June Financial Planning
- 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.
July Financial Planning
- 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.
August Financial Planning
- 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.
September Financial Planning
- 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.
October Financial Planning
- 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.
November Financial Planning
- 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.
December Financial Planning
- 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.
If you’re interested in speaking to someone at a Sunflower Bank or First National 1870 location near you, visit our Branch Locator page or Wealth Management Team page, to find the right financial partner to address your financial needs.
Investment and insurance products are not FDIC-insured, are not a deposit or other obligation of, or guaranteed by the bank or an affiliate of the bank, are not insured by any federal government agency and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.
This article contains general information only. Sunflower Bank and First National 1870 are not, by means of this article, rendering accounting, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or services. We suggest you consult your personal tax or legal advisor before making tax or legal-related investment decisions.