Master your credit score.
It determines the interest rates you'll get on loans and credit cards, and a good one—above 720—will save you money throughout your life. Visit myfico.com to get your score, understand how it's calculated, and learn how to improve it.
Enroll in your company 401(k) plan.
Most companies match your contribution; by not enrolling, you're virtually throwing away free money. The secret to investing is giving your money time to grow. If you delay saving for 10 years, you'll be hard-pressed to make up for lost time. If you're self-employed, park a Roth IRA or a SEP-IRA at a discount brokerage such as Muriel Siebert or a low-cost fund company like Vanguard or Fidelity.
Pay off credit card debt.
To calculate the shortest and most effective route to becoming debt-free, visit bankrate.com's Credit Cards section.
Personal finance expert and O, The Oprah Magazine columnist Suze Orman prioritizes between paying down your credit card debt and saving your money.
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.
Our December issue features Oprah's Favorite Things—as well as your chance to win them all! You'll also find our easy holiday declutter plan, Dr. Oz's guide to sleeping better (starting tonight) and the ultimate holiday menu.