April is financial literacy month. This month’s original goal was to spotlight financial education and the tools available to help us achieve our financial goals. It is also about teaching our kids how to make intelligent financial decisions. Financial Literacy Month is the perfect opportunity to think about how we manage our finances. While there are many things that you can do when it comes to diving into your finances, here is a list of a few quick things that you can do to improve your financial literacy.
Think About Next Years Taxes
It may be financial literacy month, but it is also tax month. Whether you have finished your taxes for this year, it is still an excellent time to start thinking about doing your taxes next year. We are already three months into 2023, so being organized is a good idea.
Designate a place to capture everything you need to do your taxes next April. Whether it is a box to put receipts in or a folder to collect anything you might need for your taxes, having everything in one place will feel amazing next year.
Manage Your Recurring Monthly Charges
When did you last go through your recurring monthly charges? Now is an excellent time to take stock of what you spend money on and the recurring payments you may not be conscious of. Look at bank and credit card statements to find the things you are paying for regularly. Make a list of these items and their cost.
Tip: A list of these charges will also be helpful if your card is lost or compromised. This list will show you precisely the accounts where you need to change your card information.
Once you do this, you can see if there are charges for services you are no longer using or want. If you are trying to cut your spending, you can use this opportunity to decide what to keep and what to cancel. Remember to check for any subscriptions that you may pay for on an annual basis. You want to avoid an automatic yearly renewal for a service you no longer use.
Create A Budget
While you are going through your recurring monthly charges, starting a budget is a good idea. If this is your first time working with a budget, start simply by making a list of your monthly income and then make a list of your monthly expenses. Once you see where your money is going, you can categorize it and create your budget.
One tip when budgeting is to make sure that you prioritize your expenses. Understanding your spending priorities makes it easy if you need to cut spending; you can easily see the costs you can cut and the ones you absolutely cannot trim.
Read A Book On Finances Or Follow Financial Influencers
There are many amazing financial coaches, counselors, and influencers, and each has a philosophy or method to help you manage your finances. Look at some of the most popular philosophies and decide if one sounds good. Then, take some time to get to know that philosophy and see if you can make it fit into your lifestyle.
Another great place to look for influencers is within your local network. You would be surprised that you know someone focused on the financial sector who could be an asset to you.
Set Some Financial Goals
It is a great time to set some goals for your financial future. Whether you want to get out of debt, save for something important, or look towards retirement, concrete goals are always the right idea. When setting any kind of goal, remember to write it down and keep it where you can see it and review it often.
Remember, financial goals don’t need to be big crazy bodacious dreams. Start small, and work toward setting bigger goals along the way.
One of the biggest things to remember is that there is always time to improve your relationship with money. Finances and financial decisions are some of the most significant stressors in our lives. Understanding how this impacts your day-to-day spending will go a long way toward making you the most financially literate version of yourself.