Wise Financial Housekeeping Steps to Take in the Month of January


January marks the start of a new year. Furthermore, since everyone is also in the spirit of getting off on the right, it is also a good time for some long-overdue financial housekeeping.

As such, below are 3 good things to mark on your calendar to carry out each year around this time:

1. Organize Documents For Your Tax Return Preparation

It seems that just as soon as the New Year hits, accountants start sending out their tax organizer documents to the clients, online tax softwares start promoting more, and banks and other brokerages start to advise their clients when they will have tax forms ready.

As such, January is a great time to start getting ready for your tax return for the previous year. A good thing to do is to visit the online portals of each of your banks and other financial institutions to see if they have any 1099-INT or 1099-DIV available for you. Further, it is a good idea to look through your brokerage records to see if you will need to calculate cost basis on any stock sells that you incurred throughout the previous year.

2. Optimize Your Credit Cards

If you currently are stuck with sub-par credit cards, January is a great time to look at changing that annoying situation. For example, if you have a high annual-fee, no rewards card, why not shop around for a new cash back credit card?

Or, if you currently are paying a high interest rate on a small credit card balance, it might make a lot of sense to switch in to a card that offers a 0% balance transfer offer.

3. Review Automatic Bill Payments

Every year, as you probably have experienced, the amounts of the bills you pay change, credit card numbers expire, and bank accounts get switched. All of this points to the fact that it makes a lot of sense to review any automatic bill payments you have set up to make sure that all the information is current, no past-due balances are present, and the amount you are paying is correct.

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