It’s already month two of the new year! And how are those financial goals going?
Don’t let the momentum wear off and call it quits for the year. Instead, use this February financial checklist to ensure you are staying motivated and on track to reach your financial goals.
Talk Money With Your Honey
Money can be a trigger of conflict in many people’s romantic relationships. And understandably, as most still do not grow up learning about money in school or in their households. So learning how to communicate about a topic you are not really confident in is difficult for many. But it doesn’t have to be.
With the right intention and awareness, you can begin to talk about money with your romantic partner and build a partnership together that enhances your financial life for the better. I recommend the best place to start your money conversation with each other is learning about each other’s money story.
One’s money story includes all the past experiences you’ve had with money and how those experiences have shaped (good or bad) your current money mindset, behaviors, fears and goals.
When you understand that everyone comes with their own unique money story, then you can have more awareness and compassion for why they may do the things they do with their money. By working together in a romantic relationship, you can play up each other’s strengths and be sensitive toward each other’s weaknesses.
Money is an ongoing relationship we all have so start with opening the dialogue and have regular money conversations. Together you can build a plan and systems that will help manage your money and work toward reaching your financial goals as a couple.
Regardless of how you go about having the money talk with your honey, the key is to keep going and practicing these conversations until they become part of your lifestyle and no longer have any negative triggers over your relationship.
Review Your Savings Goals for the year
Take a moment or two to review how you are progressing toward your financial goals so far.
Start by reviewing January’s budget and savings plans and ask yourself if you are on track to reach your goals based on progress so far. If not, what can you do differently to make these financial goals a success for the year?
I find that most people tend to fall off the bandwagon with their new year’s resolutions and goals as the momentum falls away. Instead of letting this happen to you, get in the habit of reviewing every month and give yourself a report card on how you are progressing toward your goals.
Reviewing your goals can help you identify ways to course-correct. It also helps you to stay flexible when dealing with the obstacles life throws your way instead of waiting a whole year to ask yourself “what happened?”
Not only is this a better and more realistic way to be with your financial goals, but it also allows for you to stay in the driver’s seat and not fall victim to the common, “well I didn’t meet my new year’s resolutions so far so forget the rest of the year,” mentality that prevents a lot of people from doing what they need to do to get their financial life in order.
File Your Taxes
As we all know, the deadline to file your tax returns is always about mid-April every year. But why not get ahead this year and schedule time this month to complete and file your tax returns? And if you are expecting a tax refund by filing early you can also receive your refund earlier.
I always suggest a three-way split with any tax refund or windfall of money. Meaning you take one third and use to pay off any high-interest debt, take another third and save or invest for one of your financial goals and finally use the remaining third on anything you want whether it be a vacation, new clothes or something else you most desire.
Start Planning Your Summer Vacation
Get ahead of your summer vacation planning and confirm your destination and the budget you have for your trip.
While it is smart to have a travel savings account and save into it monthly throughout the year, even if you haven’t done that yet, it’s not too late to start saving.
Determine how much you can set aside monthly to reach your savings goal and also review any credit card travel rewards or other travel benefits you may qualify for. The new goal feature on the Mint budgeting app is a great tool to help you start saving for your vacation now. You can start by selecting your deal and how much you want to accumulate for your goal and then see if the amount needed to save is realistic based on that data you input.
You can also loop your children into vacation planning. This is a great way to start teaching kids about creating a budget and learning how to plan for a goal that everyone will be enjoying.
How did you stack up against the checklist? Leave a comment below and tell us the #1 thing you feel happy about in your financial life for 2020 so far.