What to do: April 2004

(MONEY Magazine) – -- Invest that refund. Average IRS refund last year: $2,033. If you're due one, consider the Vanguard 500 Index fund, with its $1,000 IRA minimum and 0.18% expense ratio.

-- Cut clutter. Cleaner closets can yield tax deductions for 2004. Find local donation centers at goodwill.org--and get a receipt. IRS publication 526 has rules on valuing goods.

-- Save on tuition. Go to collegeboard.com to see if your kid can test out of required college courses with CLEP exams. Similar to AP credit, CLEPs are offered in 34 subjects.

-- Check your credit. Spring is home buying season. Visit myfico.com to ensure your credit record's accuracy. Credit agencies have 30 days to respond to error claims.

-- Get front-row seats. Tickets to hot summer concerts--Ozzfest, anyone?--often sell out in April. Ticketmaster.com will e-mail you alerts two days before seats go on sale.

-- Make a rain check. Clogged gutters can lead to flooding. Scrape out winter's gunk to avoid trouble--and any hikes in insurance premiums due to claims for water damage.