Annual Financial Calendar
Daily money managers are adept at keeping track of clients’ financial obligations using a variety of methods. One such method frequently used to stay organized and make payments on time is a financial calendar. A financial calendar is a simple system for keeping track of financial obligations throughout the year or for a chosen period of time, in much the same way as people remember birthdays, anniversaries, and appointments.
AADMM’s Public Awareness Committee has created a Financial Calendar Series. Each month, financial events and reminders will be added. Watch for updates on AADMM’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/AADMMofficial/>
January: Off to a Great Start
Let’s start the year organized!
January 1– First day to fund traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs and SEP IRAs (for self-employed and small business owners) for the current year
January 15 – 4th quarter estimated taxes are due!
Revisit your budget (spending plan) or create a new one. January is a great month to assess spending and determine if an adjustment will help you meet your financial goals.
February: Focusing on Taxes
You have probably started getting 1099’s of various types for investments, school tuition, contract work or other such income sources as well as W-2s for those who have an employer. Make sure you look these over and review for any potential discrepancies. If they all look good, put them in that folder or envelope you made last month labeled “For TAXES” along with any tax related statements you have received. If something looks odd or incorrect, now is the time to make contact with that institution to get any corrections made. This will be an ongoing process for the next few weeks, so be diligent with your organization.
First Week of February – If you haven’t already, make contact with your CPA/Tax Preparer. Many will have checklists or at minimum, will want to schedule a time to review what they need. They may also have a first come, first serve list, so now is a good time to reach out. If you prepare your own taxes, this is still the best time to get things organized.
Second Week of February – If you use a bookkeeping software, run any reports and review for accuracy. If you don’t use a software, pull out those statements and other tax related documents and follow up on anything unusual or for anything missing.
End of February – Start thinking about your summer plans. Do you need to put together a budget or make reservations? Start shopping for transportation and accommodations early to get best prices and ensure you aren’t missing out on a deal.
March: Down to the Wire for Taxes and Looking Forward
We’ve talked about organizing for the April 15 tax filing deadline throughout the series; March is “crunch time”. Missing information must be tracked down and everything should be furnished to your tax preparer as soon as possible.
Many Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts have a March deadline for filing claims from 2018. Recheck your records and contact your FSA administrator if you have questions.
March may also be an ideal time to start making credit card payments more often than just once a month. This practice can even out cash flow, improve your credit score by lowering your credit utilization, and you may even save money on interest depending on how the card issuer calculates finance charges.
Finally, visit www.moneysmartweek.org to learn more about Smart Money Week®, a financial literacy campaign which runs from March 30 to April 6, 2019.
April: It’s Tax Time!
The beginning of the month is Money Smart week! A favorite feature on their website is a searchable event database by zip code. What’s happening in your area? How can you promote your business with a presentation next year? https://www.moneysmartweek.org/events
We and our clients all have kids in our lives. What are we doing to begin their financial education. Share these resources as a service to your clients (and friends, family, neighbors)!
May: It’s Almost Mid-Year. Let’s Regroup and Focus on Some Details!
May is a great time to think about updating important information. Have you recently reviewed who you have designated as a beneficiary on your life insurance policies and retirement accounts? Not having the person or persons designated whom you currently wish to benefit can prove to be an unfortunate mistake. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/16/out-of-date-beneficiary-designations-are-a-common-and-costly-mistake.html?fbclid=IwAR1jR1bJ8-iaKWkhHKEhtVBQwV21D9S-9xp8NSqkFaNoZfZRYkgdzv01kTM
These may come in handy in your DMM work. Full article can be read by WSJ subscribers. https://www.wsj.com/articles/new-fintech-tools-aim-to-protect-the-elderly-11557394200?fbclid=IwAR2_rvQoC16wSFeftmNTYXjOoVWnGQsE3A5mxE3ha8yYIIZIqbvx7PX9isE
Other information to update in your personal records (for yourself to have handy and your loved ones) is your insurance information. Buy a new car, add drivers in the family, move homes, get a new Medicare card, sell valuables listed on a personal articles policy? These are all changes that will necessary your updating the insurance information you have compiled. https://www.forbes.com/…/best-ways-to-prepare-for-lifes-b…/…
June: Taxes, Graduations, and Summer Expenses… Oh my!
Before we can truly get into a summer vacation mood, it’s time to pay 2019 2nd quarter estimated taxes to the IRS and to many state governments. Be sure to submit your estimates via mail or online no later than June 15.
School’s out…..now what? Summer vacation can call for additional expenditures for summer camp, day care, summer school, family travel, etc. Have you worked these nonroutine costs into your spending plans for the next few months?
2019 is 50% complete at the end of the month. This offers a great opportunity to review your yearly spending plan. Are you on track? Need to make any adjustments?
Did your child graduate from high school this year, and is headed for post high school education? Now is a good time to look ahead to the fall, and to your plans for supporting their new adventure.
July: Financial Independence is the Goal!
We are officially midway through 2019! This is a great time to pause and review your financial state.
As some jurisdictions celebrate the start of a new fiscal year (July 1-June 30), for their annual budgets, let’s start the new year by reminding everyone that spending less than we make is the primary personal finance goal. Having the ability to do this is the best way to achieve financial freedom.
SPARK JOY WITH YOUR FINANCIAL GOALS Think about what makes you happy: Is it the family summer vacation? The idea of owning your dream home? Retiring early? If you aren’t actively planning for any of these things, why not? Maybe it’s time to re-prioritize your goals. The KonMari method stresses focusing your energy on the things that will serve the person you are now and who you hope to become. When applied to your financial goals, you could think of it as finding a balance between spending on what serves you today, but also saving and planning for bigger things in the future. Thanks to Northwestern Mutual for this great tip
If you have lots of debt, consider consolidation. When you consolidate you combine multiple loans into a single debt with one monthly payment. As a result, you take high-interest debt, like credit cards or student loans, and bundle them into a loan that typically carries a lower interest rate. So, not only does debt consolidation simplify your monthly budget it could save you thousands of dollars in interest charges. Need assistance with this? Find a #dailymoneymanager near you to consult: https://lnkd.in/e7fPqZP
August: Living in the Moment and Looking Ahead
Although we may be more laid back as we savor the last weeks of vacation or scaled back schedules, it’s more important than ever that we don’t let our financial vigilance go “on vacation”. August is a good month to check your credit report. You can request a free report each year from each of the three credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experien and Equifax) www.annualcreditreport.com
Going on vacation? Here’s a great checklist from Professional Organizer Jill Annis with important tips on what you should do before you leave.
AADMM financial calendar tip: Create a spending plan for the upcoming holidays. Make a list of how much you will need to purchase gifts, decorations, holiday meals, travel and other incidentals. As much as possible, stay away from using credit cards and set a goal to only charge as much as you can pay off each month. See the rest of our 2019 series here: https://secure.aadmm.com/financial-calendar/
This month we have encouraged you to check your credit report, learn how to go on vacation, and create a spending plan for the holidays. Once you’ve reviewed your financials and set your goals for year-end spending, it’s time relax and enjoy the remaining days of summer!
September: School is Back, and so are Taxes and Health Benefits!
September is estimated tax time again! If you receive income where there is no withholding (eg. Investment earnings, home business) then you are probably familiar with estimated tax payments. The third payment for tax year 2019 is September 16th (the usual 15th due date falls on a weekend. If you plan using the postal service, it is considered on time if it is postmarked on or before the due date. So, checkbook out or, you can pay online for faster processing.
Have questions? Here’s the scoop, straight from Uncle Sam:
Open enrollment for health benefits is approaching so now is a great time to review your current plan, spending, and see if you have a plan that best meets your needs! A #dailymoneymanager can help you look at your budget and big picture spending.
October: School, Health Care, and Thinking Ahead
If you have family member who will be in college for the 2020-21 school year, October 1 st is the start date for submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. The FAFSA is the key to getting financial aid; every student should file because not all financial aid is based on need.
October is a good time to check and, if needed, adjust your 2019 tax withholding. If you’re not withholding enough, you could face an unexpected tax bill or even an underpayment penalty when you file your return. If you’re withholding too much tax, you may be able to take home a larger paycheck instead of waiting for a refund next year. The IRS has an online Tax Withholding Estimator calculator available on their website, www.irs.gov.
People enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan can benefit from comparing plans during open enrollment which begins October 15 thand runs through December 7 th. Plans often change premiums, formularies, drug costs, deductibles, and other plan features annually. The plan that was most cost effective for an enrollee in 2019 may not be the best plan for them for 2020.
Those employed by a company that provides benefits often receive reminders in the fall about open season. Open season is an annual period when employees are allowed to make changes to their various benefit plans; it is a good time to look at 2020 costs and think about the health, dental, vision, or other coverage you and your family will need in the coming year.
October is the perfect time to create a budget for Christmas shopping. Planning now can reduce stress during the height of the shopping season. Experts suggest writing down how much you’ll spend on each person and keeping track so you can tweak your plan BEFORE you break the bank!
November: Giving Thanks
This month in our AADMM series is going to focus on client appreciation. Read on to understand how this sometimes overlooked area of business impacts your client satisfaction. https://lnkd.in/etfSvdp
In this season of thanks, a traditional thank you note to your clients shows your appreciation. Here are some tips to personalize those notes: https://blog.hubspot.com/service/thank-you-letter-customer
In addition to a well written thank you note, what are other ways to show appreciation to your clients? https://smallbiztrends.com/2016/11/ways-to-thank-customers.html
Why limit your thanks to this season? Read more about the benefits of showing gratitude to your clients all year.