Welcome to the second month of 2023. As you know, February is the month between the excitement of the new year and the beginning of spring. For many, February is that cold month that you just have to get through. And I get it. Even though my birthday lands in this month, February can be a fairly dull month.
But let me encourage you not to waste this month. Instead, use it to better your financial health. Here’s some smart money moves you should make in February.
1. Reaffirm your annual goals.
You are just a month removed from the start of your annual goals. Maybe, you are already off track. Maybe, life was crazy, and you forgot about them. The good news is that you can still go after these goals. They are not out of reach. You have eleven months to make it happen. Reaffirm your annual goals, and go after them.
2. Prep for your taxes.
Taxes are due in April. At this point, you should have received most of the information you need for your 2022 taxes. Let February be the month when you gather all the necessary information needed for your taxes. If you find you are missing a W2, 1099, or other forms, reach out to your employer or whoever was supposed to send the necessary form.
3. Identity and request PTO days.
One of the ways to beat the February blues is to start planning your vacations. Look at your calendar, and determine what days you want to take off from work. Go ahead and submit your PTO (paid time off) request. When it comes to vacation days, many employers operate on a first come, first served basis. Requesting days off now for the summer and fall increases the likelihood of those days being approved. Having your days approved earlier in the year will also allow you more time to plan the vacation.
Requesting days off now for the summer and fall increases the likelihood of those days being approved.
4. Start your vacation sinking fund.
Speaking of vacation, you need to start saving for it. Starting a vacation sinking fund is a great way to ensure you walk away from your vacation with a ton of great memories and not a ton of debt. To create a sinking fund, identify the amount needed for the vacation. Then, divide that amount by the number of months left until the vacation. The result is the amount you need to set aside every month for the vacation. The earlier you start the sinking fund, the easier it is to save.
5. Have a money conversation with your spouse.
Valentine’s Day lands right in the middle of February. What can be more romantic than discussing finances with your spouse? If you are married, consider scheduling a time to have a money conversation with your spouse. Go to a coffee shop or grab lunch. As you sit there, talk about your financial dreams and goals. Review your current financial situation and make any necessary adjustments. Get on the same financial page. More than likely, this will require sacrifice from both of you. But marital unity is worth the sacrifice.