January: Set overall goals for the coming year. Consider starting a (small) automatic monthly investment plan.

February: Now's a good time to make some mutual-fund investments (since the funds will have completed their year-end taxable-income distributions).

March: There's still time (until April 15) to make deposits to an IRA.

April: Tax time. Plan how you'll handle your tax refund--or tax bill. Or, file for an extension if you're strapped for time.

May: Schedule a meeting with your CPA to plan this year's tax strategy. Try to negotiate a lower fee, since it's the slow season.

June: Time for a half-year personal finance checkup. Are you on target with savings, investments, and other goals?

July: If your summer vacation proved too costly, consider setting aside a small monthly savings account for next year's treats.

August: Is your personal cash flow healthy? If you aren't putting the maximum into your company's 401(k) plan, consider boosting your contributions.

September: Make your last mutual-fund investments for the year--before funds start distributing taxable income.

October: Trick or treat. If your personal financial picture is a horror show, there's still time to meet with a financial planner and act before year's end.

November: Start planning your own bonus early--while there's time to coordinate corporate and personal goals.

December: Last-minute financial strategies could include boosting charitable donations or buying and selling investments to balance out capital gains and losses.