When a snow day keeps you at home and indoors, you’re unexpectedly left with extra time on your hands. You can’t run errands or work on outside projects in a storm. So consider knocking out those random financial tasks you keep moving to the bottom of your to-do list but that would make your life easier if you got done.
- Prepare for Tax Day
Wintertime is a lead up to tax day. Make your snow day productive by gathering any relevant receipts, tax forms, student loan interest documents, mortgage interest and property tax statements, medical expenses and additional items you may need for tax filing.
- Make a Budget
There’s no better time to make a budget than when you’re stuck indoors. If you’re already in the habit of creating a monthly budget, get a head start on next month’s budget by reviewing upcoming expenses and planning for the month ahead. If you’re new to budgeting, use this time to decide what tools you’ll use to create and manage your budget — apps like EveryDollar or Mint, for example — and then get to work mapping out your expenses, savings and income.
- Purge Your Email Subscriptions
Your favorite home goods retailer is having a sale on lamps. How do you know? They emailed you. Three times.
Email can be a great way to stay in-the-know when it comes to sales and coupons — for items you need. But if you find yourself making impulse purchases because of the emails that show up in your inbox at the expense of your savings or budget, you may need to revisit your subscriptions. Use the extra time indoors to unsubscribe from companies that overwhelm your inbox with promotional emails and sales pitches that aren’t serving your financial goals.
- Review Your Credit Reports
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recommends checking your credit reports at least once a year to make sure there are no errors affecting your credit score. You can get free copies of your reports every 12 months from the three consumer reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Make your snow day a productive day by reviewing your free credit report to make sure it’s up to snuff and, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, to reevaluate your credit-related goals. If you do find errors on your report, use the free time to dispute the errors so you can get your credit report and score back on track as fast as possible.
- Shred Your Old Bills
Shredding paper could be the most boring of the boring financial tasks you’ve been avoiding. Get a snack, get comfortable and get to work shredding that stack of old bills. If you don’t have a shredder, box up the bills you need shredded so you can drop them off (when the snow clears) at a local, trusted retailer that offers shredding services.
- Examine Your Autopay Commitments
Netflix. Amazon Prime. Spotify. The workout app you never use. Ten dollars here, $4 there — who’s keeping track?
It may seem like only a few dollars for the various autopay subscriptions you use, but you’d be surprised by how quickly those dollars add up. Use your snow day to audit the services you subscribe to. If you find you’re not using some of your subscriptions, or if you realize you’re spending more money than you thought on unnecessary apps, unsubscribe to the nonessential ones to decrease your monthly spending.
Ready for a Saving Check-Up?
You’re caught up on your financial to-dos, and now it’s time to make sure you put your newfound monthly savings to good use. Talk to your Farm Bureau agent today to get started on a financial plan that works for your goals.