It may be cold and much too white outside for spring to be just around the corner (unless you’re lucky enough to live in Phoenix) but that does not give you an excuse to neglect your finances. To makes things easier for you I’ve decided to begin a monthly money review series to give you tips on what you can do to improve your finances. We’ll take it one step at a time, month by month, and with any luck we’ll all be much better off because of it.
If you’re owed a refund, file your taxes
Let’s face it, everyone likes to get money sent to them. If you haven’t already filed your taxes then get started. If the IRS owes you money then you might as well file now so you can get your money back sooner than later.
Contribute to an IRA
You can decrease your taxable income, and therefore increase your tax refund, by contributing to a traditional IRA before April 15th. Of course you’ll want to see a tax advisor for the specifics. Just keep in mind that if you have cash sitting around that you’re saving for retirement if it isn’t already in an IRA then it probably should be.
Review your savings plan
Do you have an emergency fund? This should be 6 months worth of living expenses stashed away into a savings account or money market fund. If you don’t already have an emergency fund then start one now. Set aside a certain percentage of every paycheck to go into this emergency fund and do not stop until you have at least 6 months worth of living expenses. You’ll feel a million times better by having cash in the bank.