The New Year, resolutions and all that

By Stew

Welcome to January 2011 and the year where all your dreams will come true!

Okay, not quite, but I think we often over-hype the new year when the the reality is that January 1st is nothing more than a number, a date, a day that is really no different than December 31st. The day is typically cold, the sun comes up, the sun goes down and January 2nd is upon us.

Yet that date still caries the power to motivate us to shore up the areas of life in which we are struggling to discipline ourselves. January first always marks my trek out of the fatness of the holidays. Every year I start to exercise in January and even though my good intentions eventually peter out, each year I get a little farther down the road. Last year, I made it into April before my daily routine no longer included exercise. Hoping to make it into at least June this year . . .

There are a few “financial” tasks that I always do around January first:

  1. Clean out the bill basket. I do not typically find old, unpaid bills, but I do sometimes find receipts or warranties that need to be filed. Insurance notifications and credit card offers also tend to linger in the “bill basket”. I clean ’em out.
  2. Set up our budget for the next twelve months. There is something that is extremely satisfying in changing over to a new budget spreadsheet and looking at the old one to see how God met our needs over the past year.
  3. Check our safety box. We keep important document such as passports, social security cards, life insurance policies and birth certificates in a fire-proof safety box. Sometimes these documents get pulled out of the box and are not returned. Other times there are documents that are outdated and no longer needed. I take them out and destroy them.
  4. Back up our computer. I have an external hard drive where I periodically download digital pictures and documents that we don’t want to lose.
  5. Get my tax folder set up. A lot of tax documents will be coming my way over the next two months and I always make certain that they are in one place.

This is not the only time of year that we do these tasks, but January 1 provides a nice even reminder date to finish tasks that are sometime procrastinated.

Is January 1 a landmark date in your fiscal year?

Article by Stew

Photo by Freddy the Boy

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