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With the new year underway, there’s no better time to get your financial life on track.
It’s a good idea to know what lies ahead when it comes to events such as tax deadlines and open enrollment. And, plotting out when to do things like reviewing your budget and checking on your savings can also help, said Amy Richardson, a certified financial planner with Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium.
To help guide you, Richardson has a 12-month calendar that outlines essential money moves.
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“At the end of the year, you cross that finish line making sure you have done all the things you need to do to put yourself on a strong path to financial success,” said Richardson.
She likened it to a first-time marathoner training for the big race who builds up endurance every week. In this case, it’s financial endurance, she said.
Start off by doing a spending review and mapping out your 2022 goals.
Putting everything on paper and crossing things off your list can help you feel organized, Richardson said. If you can’t get to something that isn’t time sensitive, don’t worry about moving it around.
“Life happens. We have to pivot,” Richardson said.
“It is just about getting in the habit and training ourselves to lean into these topics within the financial planning calendar.”
If the idea of it all makes you feel overwhelmed, consider consulting with an experienced financial advisor, said Winnie Sun, managing director of Sun Group Wealth Partners in Irvine, California.
If you need to scale down, the most important thing is to focus on building smart money habits, she said.
“Get used to keeping a budget and keeping track of your cash flow, set up auto-pay for your credit card bills or student loans, make annual savings goals and celebrate when you reach those goals,” said Sun, also a member of the CNBC Financial Advisor Council.
“Small steps, keeping consistent, can make a significant change for your finances.”