Having a plan for your monthly bills can help a person stay on a firm financial footing. Knowing and having a budget can also give you peace of mind in being able to project your spending and track your expenses. Some simple overall things you can do to help:
-Join an online bill paying service, its convenient, it’s free, and it takes a lot of stress off of you as a Servicemember. Plus you will save time, postage and stress.
-Have a family meeting, set goals, and come up with ideas for whole family to work on.
-Streamline and simplify your bill process as much as you can.
Here are some simple ideas to use to start the year as a monthly guide to help you in your budget process.
January. Work to pay off your holiday debt, and to try and move any of your debt away from high interest debts such as credit cards. Try to move your debt to low rate accounts, and consolidate as much as you can. Open a small savings account to save for your goals, vacations or other purchases.
February. Gather all your tax documents together, and make sure by middle of February you have all your 1099 and W-2 forms handy. And if you are able to, so your own taxes. Get help if you need it, but work on your taxes as much as you can yourself. If you don’t have the necessary forms, request new ones from your employer. Set up an Autopsy account for savings and make it automatic. Use your January plan to decide how much you can save this way.
March. Review your life insurance and overall insurance plans. Take a look at your retirement and IRA, and decide how large you wish to make any contribution to your IRA account. You have until April 15th, to make your deposit.
April. File your state, local and federal taxes by April 15th. Dig out your auto insurance; it will soon be spring and then summer, double check that all your vehicles and drivers have sufficient coverage for both accidents and comprehensive coverage.
Tax season is now behind you, so take the time to look at your withholding for the upcoming year. If you owed a lot of tax, perhaps you should have more withheld out of your check. But having too much withheld is akin to letting Uncle Sam have a tax-free loan at your expense.