Don’t get me started on the pronunciation of this month. Feb-BRuary and Feb-Uary are two very different pronunciations. One sounds like a frat-bro joke about a month-long binder, which is also the correct pronunciation, while the other sounds like gibberish. Regardless of your particular persuasion, why is this the only month with multiple pronunciations? No one skips the p in September. Let’s discuss something productive about the month of February.
Finalize your taxes
For most people, meaning about 95% of the nation, February is when all the final tax documents are usually received. This means you typically have all your tax documents by month-end.
If you work with a tax preparer, they probably provided you with an organizer that will help you record all the different income, adjustments, deductions, and credits. Use that as your template to gather your documents so you don’t miss anything. Beware a lot of preparers might want all your information by March 15th; otherwise, they may automatically extend the return.
If you don’t work with a preparer, finalize your own return. Double check all your financial accounts to see if they have anything to report. Review your 1040 to the best of your ability to make sure all your income is accounted.
Take a net worth snapshot
This is an easy thing to do if you are using account aggregators like Mint.com or Quicken. It may be 1000X times harder if you are not using one of those inter-web applications. This is a good measuring stick. If you are still in the accumulation phase of life, you should hope it goes up every year. If you are in the financial independence phase of life, you hope it maintains without large fluctuations. Although this is a rudimentary way of tracking progress, it is nonetheless important to have a reminder in place.
Buy items on a deep discount
Mattresses are usually a good buy in February. I guess they are just getting rid of the leftover inventory from the President’s Day sale. Snowblowers also go on sale because most of the inventory will probably sit on shelves for another 8 months or so in most regions. Sorry western Michigan, Cleveland, and Buffalo, but you all probably won’t have them as deeply discounted as most of the Midwest will.
No matter how you pronounce February, there are still only 28 days available in this month to get your financial life in order. Let’s hustle!