Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

By Athena Cao
February 1, 2017
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Every month, Money gives you a list of ways to save money, spend intelligently, and improve your overall financial condition. This month’s list includes tax-time prep as well as smart shopping tips for Valentine’s Day gifts and holiday vacations.

Feb. 1: Impress your valentine.

Planning to buy one-carat diamond studs for your love? Get 0.97-carat jewels instead. You’ll save up to 25%, since diamond prices jump at each half-carat point. The 0.03-carat difference will be imperceptible.

Feb. 4-10: Start on your 1040.

Check that you’ve received your tax statements, since most should have arrived by now. A quick refund is just one advantage of filing soon. (See 6 Smart Ways to Give Your Finances a Boost Right Now.)

Feb. 15: Make a late college application.

Worried your high school senior won’t get into a great, affordable college? Today is the last day to apply to some top-value schools, like Muhlenberg College (No. 87 on Money’s Best Colleges rankings) and Towson University (No. 242). Find more schools with late deadlines.

Feb. 28: Book a New Year’s flight.

If 2016 is any indication, now is the best time to buy year-end plane tickets. Christmas and New Year’s average airfare was $130 lower this time last year than in early December, according to CheapAir.com.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST