Katrina Wittkamp—Getty Images
By Athena Cao
March 1, 2017

With its monthly to-do list, MONEY helps you figure out what to do when, in order to get ahead financially. March’s deadlines include health care checkups, financial aid forms, job-hunting moves—and chocolate discounts. Mark your calendars now.

March 1–15: Get more college money

In the first half of the month, application deadlines for state-sponsored higher-education financial aid and grants for the 2017–18 school year roll around in 13 states, ranging from Michigan (March 1) to Texas (March 15). Find your state’s deadline on the FAFSA website and fill out the FAFSA to qualify for aid.

March 1–15: Go see your doctor

Still have cash in your 2016 health care flexible spending account? For many employees, March 15 is the last day to use it or lose it. (Some employers let you carry over $500 into this year’s account; check with HR for your options.) So get that mole on your back checked out or stock up on contact lenses.

March 5-12: Insure yourself against a deluge

Flood season is just around the corner in much of the U.S., but flood insurance typically takes 30 days to go into effect. Find links to agents at FloodSmart.gov, and don’t underestimate your need: Areas with a low or moderate risk of flooding account for 20% of all claims.

March 15: Pay small-business taxes

If you operate an S corporation, Uncle Sam knocks on the door on the 15th day of the third month after your fiscal year ends—today, that is, if you’re on the calendar year. Thinking about setting up your own small business? Get good startup advice at sba.gov.

March 17-24: Get a deal on sweets

The lull between Valentine’s Day and Easter is ripe for buying boxed chocolates. Brands such as Ghirardelli and Lindt offered half-off deals on selected sweets at this time last year, reports DealNews.

March 19-31: Find your next job

Especially in technology and health care, March is one of the three busiest months (along with January and October) for hiring, says Jessica Jaffe, Glassdoor’s career-trends expert. For timely advice on how to find the work you want—whether it’s with your current employer or somewhere else—check out “7 Ways to Get a Better Job Now.”

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