Who doesn’t need a few good financial tips every few days, am I right? Today’s tips, like those we’ve given before, are meant to be taken and molded, if you will, to your own financial situation.  Take the advice but don’t be afraid to tweak it a little if you need to.  Just use it and, in time, your financial situation is sure to improve.

Even though the holidays are done now is the time that all those bills are coming due.  If you are being crushed by them make a mental note, or even set up your email to remind you next December, about the feelings you’re having, the damage it did to your finances and the extra stress your overspending caused and maybe you’ll be a little more conservative next year.

Now that the year has officially changed it’s time to start gathering those Tax documents that you’re going to be needing very soon. If you can set yourself up so that as soon as your W-2 or 1099 arrives you can get the paperwork done and get it filed you’ll be far ahead of almost everyone and get your return back much quicker.  Some people get theirs back in less than 10 days!

Evaluating your retirement plan is always good financial advice at this time of year. Are your savings matching your goals?  Could you be saving more?  Should you be saving more? All of these are questions that you should ask yourself once a year to see if you’re on track to retire when you want and at the level of living that you need.

Of course nothing helps to know what’s going on with your finances, and how to control them, better than a well-executed budget that is followed relatively strictly.  If you don’t have a budget and you don’t know that you’re bringing in or what’s going out there’s almost no way to know how you’re truly doing financially. Keeping a budget is truly vital to keeping your finances in order or getting them in order if you need to.

Finally, get your free credit reports from the Big 3 credit agencies and take a long, hard look at them.  They are incredibly vital to your financial well-being and should be scoured for inaccuracies, false postings and even debts that have exceeded their statute of limitations.  The Big 3 all are required by law to give you 1 freebie a year so take advantage of it and make sure that this important part of your financial life is in order.