The countdown is over, the champagne glasses are empty—and holiday sweaters are selling at huge discounts. It's 2015!
And you know what that means? It's time to start working on all those lofty resolutions you made.
Whether your aim is to pay down your credit card debt or save up for a backpacking trip around the globe, we want to help you get there—with bite-size financial to-dos.
So kick off your 12 months of financial progress with these first five, covering things from budgeting to paying taxes. Here’s to a year of (finally) feeling less stressed and more confident about your money.
To-Do #1: Revisit Your Budget. Deadline: Wednesday, January 7
Tweaking your budget is something you should consider doing every month. But it can be especially important at the start of a new year, as you have the chance to analyze what worked (and didn't) the previous 12 months.
Start by reviewing your 2014 expenditures in your LearnVest.com account, and compare them to the plan you put in action last January. Are there areas where you spent more—or less—than you'd expected? Use that info to plan ahead for 2015. And don't forget to factor in non-monthly necessities, like insurance premiums and home maintenance.
To-Do #2: Pay Your Tax Bill If You’re Self-Employed, Own a Small Business, or Freelance. Deadline: Monday, January 12
January 15 is the deadline to make fourth-quarter tax payments for 2014. Once you've taken care of this to-do, help get organized for the rest of 2015 by setting quarterly reminders to make this year's payments too.
To-Do #3: Set Your New Savings Goals. Deadline: Wednesday, January 14
Think about your personal financial priorities for this year: Are you hoping to buy a house with a big backyard in the suburbs? Launch a brand-new side business? Figure out how much you need to sock away, and create a separate savings account for each goal so it’s easier to measure your progress along the way.
To-Do #4: Plan Your Travel Budget for 2015. Deadline: Wednesday, January 21
Planning to get the heck out of Dodge this year? Make a list of expected excursions, whether it’s heading home for the holidays or to Mexico for a destination wedding, and start saving for them in your designated travel fund. But remember: Your financial priorities—like saving for retirement, building up an emergency fund and paying down debt—should take precedence over any getaways ... no matter how nice that beach vacation sounds.
To-Do #5: Pinpoint a Money Mentor. Deadline: Wednesday, January 28
It’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed by the financial goals you’ve set for yourself. But you can help boost your confidence by talking to someone who’s closer to achieving those aims. Set up an “interview” with that person to find out exactly how she got to this stage in her money life, and how she overcame any potential roadblocks to success. Ideally, you’ll walk away feeling more empowered to make your dreams a reality.
LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc., that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.