March 23, 2010, 5:19 am

Each Month a Personal Finance Task

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance
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If you have been reading The Financial Blogger for a while, you have surely noticed that I enjoy being an organized person. I like to plan events and tasks in advance in order to know where I am going.

This is not because I feel uncomfortable with surprises or because I am a control freak (I am definitely not one as I enjoy a bit of chaos in my life). The most important reason is that it helps me be more efficient in all aspects of my life. I think life is too short to miss something and I want to enjoy time with my family.   My ambitions drive me at work while I grow my online business. I have a real desire to make sure I am on track to reach goals while achieving balance in my schedule ;-).

In order to help readers put personal finance matters in perspective, I thought of doing a monthly piece where you would tackle one financial objective per month. So here’s what the schedule looks like:

January: RRSP

Why wait until February to calculate your RRSP contribution and take a look at your portfolio? Nobody will be available to answer your questions and take the time you deserve as you near the RRSP deadline. Get your stuff in order the first week when you come back from the holidays and schedule the annual meeting with your financial advisor for the 2nd or 3rd week of January. You will be able to review your portfolio and look at your retirement plan.  Once you are really organized, the RRSP deposit will be for the upcoming year and not last year. 😉

February: Vacation

I like to plan my vacation ahead of time. In fact, if you want the best spot at a fair price for your summer vacation, you had better take a look at it early. I reserved a vacation property (last week) in March and I couldn’t pick my first choice. This is why I am trying to schedule my stuff in February now.

March: Taxes!

Yup, we are right in the middle of it! Income tax deadline is April 30th. So get your receipts together in March so you have time to order the paperwork that never reached your door.

April: Time for Spring cleaning!

You are done with your taxes and spring is knocking on your door. It’s time to make plans for your house and see what needs to be fixed, improved or simply beautified.  Even if it just means you want to buy a few flowers to make your place look & smell springtime fresh!

May: Shopping!

I don’t know why, but I really see May as a shopping month. It is the time where you feel like getting new clothes for summer and new golf clubs 😉

June: Mid-year lookup

Funny enough, I didn’t mention to setup financial goals yet (this is my December task 😉 ). June is the middle of the year. So it is time to pull out your financial goals and plans for the year and make sure you are on track. If it’s not the case, you still have plenty of time to get back on track!

July: Enjoy a month of vacation

Hey! You can’t always do something about your personal finances, right? So why don’t you just read a good personal finance book during your vacation? This will give you more ideas for the upcoming year.

August: Back to school!

If you need a new computer or any of your family members are going back to school, August is the right time to take care of it. Start during the first 2 weeks of the month in order to avoid the mayhem of the last week of August!

September: Budgeting

Now that you have spent your money on your vacation and school supplies, it is time to review your budget and think about how you will finance your Christmas gifts!

October: Thinking about others

This is a month where you could look at your insurance coverage, RESP program as well as your last will and testament. You won’t have to take an in depth look at any of these three every year so this is why I have put everything together in the same month. While you are at it, why not think about how much and to which charity you will make a donation?

November: shopping (again!)

Yup, I really like to buy stuff ;-). No, seriously, November is a great time to start your Christmas gift season. Will you find any sales? I don’t think so, unless you are Stateside for Black Friday. However, you will avoid huge crowds and the classic shopping rush which traditionally starts on December 22nd and ends on December 24th at 17h05 when the cashier is pushing you out the store! This is the kind of situation where you will fee like buying anything just to get something to offer. If you shop in November, you will have plenty of time to select original and meaningful gifts.

December: Financial goals and Financial overview

It’s time to do the balance sheet of the year and look at what went well and what requires improvement for next year. This is the perfect time to setup your goals and establish your financial plan for the next year.

It is actually my favourite month as this is when I realize what kind of work I have achieved during the year. After all, establishing financial goals is the very first step to financial independence!

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I’m like you in a lot of ways in that my financial and personal life has to be organized.

For example, this year’s tax preparation process only took me a couple of hours because I stay organized all year making sure that each invoice, receipt, or pertinent document has its place.

In the run of a year, I too think it’s important to have vacation time. I found that over the past years, if I could get away from work for a full month, I would come back totally recharged and ready to rock n’ roll so to speak. Personal time with family and friends is important.

Nice post.

by: The Financial Blogger | March 23rd, 2010 (2:43 pm)

I try as much as I can to follow this schedule… sometimes I’m late thought! but establishing financial goals and following them is never something I put aside.