The glow of the holiday season may be wearing off, but now is a great time to check things off your financial to-do list and get your money matters back on track.

Revisit Your Budget

Chances are you already made your budget for the year in January. But with New Year’s resolutions, it’s not uncommon to be unrealistic with your budget. If you’re really having to force yourself not to spend money (latte, anyone?), it might be better to work that into your budget. Revisit that aspirational budget and see how realistic it is for your lifestyle.

Get a Jump on Taxes

April 15 may seem like a lifetime away, but it’ll come up faster than you think. By early February you should have received your tax forms, such as a W-2 or 1099. Keep those somewhere you can easily find them and round up other information that you'll need to do your taxes, including records of charitable donations and itemized expenses.

Check Your Credit Score

Each of the nationwide credit reporting companies—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—are required by law to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once per year upon request. Take a regular peek at your credit at no cost by ordering from a different bureau every few months—this method gives you a more complete picture since the bureaus don’t collect the same information.

Fill Out the FAFSA

If you have a dependent planning to attend college this fall, now's the time to submit your FAFSA, the government application for financial aid. The forms are released in October for the next school year, and the deadline for completing them varies by state and college, but many schools grant aid on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pay Down Holiday Debt

Because of rising interest rates, credit card debt is becoming more expensive. If you haven’t paid off holiday purchases yet, do so as quickly as possible. Then, you can start paying off other high-interest debt.

Review Asset Titling and Beneficiary Designations

One of the biggest mistakes we see is asset titling and beneficiary designations that don’t properly coordinate with your will and/or trust documents. This simple mistake could lead to asset distributions that aren’t in line with your intended wishes.

February may not be a month of deadlines and a flurry of activity, but that makes it the perfect time to check items off your to-do list. Contact a financial professional to explore other opportunities to stay on top of money matters and simplify your financial life.

Robert Carson is Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor at Wealth Enhancement Group. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, LLC, a registered investment advisor. Wealth Enhancement Group and Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services are separate entities from LPL.

The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

This article was originally published in the January 2020 issue of Living on the Lawn

The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

Robert H. Carson

Robert H. Carson

Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor

Series 7, 6 & 63 Securities Registrations,1 Series 66 Advisory Registration† Robert joined Wealth Enhancement Group during the 2019 partnership with Planning Solutions Group, where he was a Managing Partner for the firm. He specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning strategies, with an emphasis on estate preservation, business succession planning and asset management. Robert has been a featured speaker at many industry events and is a trusted partner...Read More