It's February 1 ... How are those resolutions holding up?
Just kidding. Regardless of whether you stuck to your resolutions, congratulations on getting through January intact. Now it's time to turn your attention to the second month of the year! For the first few weeks, you'll be inundated with drugstore hearts and cherubs heralding the arrival of Valentine's Day, so feel free to use that two-for-one chocolate deal to power you through this month's five financial to-dos.
Budget for Valentine’s Day Gifts. Deadline: Friday, Feb. 1
If you’re going to spend a little extra than usual in the “gifts” category of your budget, make sure that you’re cutting back appropriately in other areas of spending. Nothing ruins the romantic mood quite like credit card debt.
Get Organized for Tax Season. Deadline: Friday, Feb. 8
By the end of January, you should have received tax forms, like your W-2 from your employer or 1099s. Organize them, as well as any other information you’ll need, such as records of charitable donations and receipts for itemizing deductions. For more detailed instructions on how to file taxes, subscribe to LearnVest’s Ace Your Taxes Bootcamp, which walks you through the process step by step.
Check Your Credit Score. Deadline: Friday, Feb. 15
As we like to say, your credit score is the only grade that matters once you graduate. Reviewing it every three months will keep you abreast of how you appear to creditors. And if there’s a sudden dip, it will alert you to the fact that something erroneous or fraudulent may have occurred with regard to your accounts. To check your score for free, use www.creditkarma.com–and then find out how to improve your credit score.
Re-Evaluate Your Budget. Deadline: Friday, Feb. 22
We recommend doing this every month in order to account for your spending and saving needs. Remember that your budget is meant to suit your life, which is always changing. Before tackling this task, take a minute to watch our video on the ways that your budget needs to change in 2013.
Get Productive. Deadline: Friday, Feb. 28
One of our editors was inspired by the new year and took it upon herself to figure out why she always felt so busy--but still had time to hang out on Facebook. By experimenting with a few free apps and websites, she devised a way to squeeze more time out of her day. Feeling too busy yourself? Read her story!