Let Old Finances Be Forgot

January 2014

Congratulations! You’ve successfully survived the holiday season with nary a credit card bill in sight. Now it’s time to start thinking about 2014: what do you want to do and where do you want to go this year? Gabrielle Karol at LearnVest created a comprehensive calendar to help you accomplish your financial goals. Karol names seven tasks you need to do in January to have the best year yet. Here are our three favorites:

Plan Your Next Vacation

After a holiday season spent noshing homemade pie in a recumbent position, thinking about your next vacation might seem a little ridiculous. But Karol argues that travel is a common savings goal—and one of the most expensive. She recommends mapping out where you’d like to go in 2014 to develop a budget. But don’t sacrifice your real priorities (i.e. stockpiling for retirement or ditching debt) for a burn-a-hole-your-wallet jaunt to Monaco.

Spend That Holiday Bonus . . .Wisely

Way to go, overachiever! Make the most of the influx by using some of that cash to treat yourself. Karol suggests putting 10 percent towards something fun (maybe that Monaco vacation?!) and then allocating the rest to put your financial house in order. You could pad your emergency fund, pay off a debt, or max our your IRA.

Retool Your Budget

January is the perfect time to evaluate how well you did predicting and moderating your expenses in 2013. Karol recommends factoring in the spending that happens throughout the year—think car maintenance, vet bills, and insurance premiums.

Check out the rest of Karol’s tips for a fiscally successful January (and 2014) at learnvest.com.