6 Things You Need To Do Before The End Of The Year
With the end of the year fast approaching, we’re all going to be busy here shortly preparing for the new year. There are several things that you can do to make the new year start smoothly and easily and none of them really take a whole lot of time. Check out these 6 things you need to do before the end of the year!
1. Clean out your email inbox. If you’re anything like me, my inbox fills and fills with things that I don’t need. Half of the time I don’t even open the spammy emails and they just sit there. No lie. My inbox has over 4,000 emails in it currently. Do yourself a favor and don’t start the new year weighted down with thousands of unread emails. Get rid of them and you’ll feel so much lighter. Chances are, if didn’t read it 6 months ago, you don’t need it now. To make it easier on yourself, use a service like Unsubscribe. I started working on my own inbox the other day and it made things so much easier!
2. Make certain your finances are on track to start the new year smoothly. Use whatever resources you have available to be sure that you’re tracking things correctly and aren’t buried under a ton of paper. Sites like Mint, Budget Simple or You Need a Budget are great options. We personally use a combo of both sites to keep ours on track. YNAB is a pay program but they have a free trial option with no credit card needed so that you can really test it out without worrying about being charged.
3. Work on Lowering Your Cost of Living Now so that you aren’t in a financial bind and are forced to do so later. You can lower your cost of living with a few very simple moves that will have long lasting impacts. Save on entertainment costs by dropping your cable or satellite tv and going for Hulu Plus and Netflix. Personally? We saved $80.00/month by doing this. That’s $960.00/year saved with one little action! Drop the huge cell bill each month and go for a pre-paid service like Boost Mobile or Straight Talk. Boost Mobile even has an option that lowers your payment each month, down to as little as $35/mo, for making on time payments! Skip driving to work if you’re close enough and you’ll save hundreds each year on gas and car maintenance costs! Learn to coupon if you don’t already and save thousands each year on items you already purchase. Little things are what can save your budget.
4. Get organized – If your home and/or office is cluttered? Your life will be too. In another post here on AIC, I explained how being disorganized can cause you to spend more and the same holds true here. If you are disorganized, your life will be filled with clutter. Check out sites like Organized Home or Flylady for very quick and easy ways that you can get things tamed down and on track for a smooth start to the new year.
5 Resolve not to resolve and set Goals instead. Note that I did not say to set resolutions. That would be because I don’t believe in resolutions. Too many times we set them and then beat ourselves up when we break them. Goals are more easily attained and easier for us to reach without such a negative reaction if we don’t. If your goal is to save money, check out sites like Learnvest or Dollar Stretcher. If your goals are to lose a few pounds, check with the fitness clubs in your area and see if they offer free passes. Trying to get out of debt this coming year? Familiarize yourself with Dave Ramsey.
If you’re looking to start saving for your kids college, check out your states local options for a college savings account. This is a great way to get them started while keeping control of the money yourself. No matter what though, set your goals realistically. Don’t try to do the impossible. If you meet you goal, reset it and start over.
6. Start tracking your credit. I use Credit Sesame to track my credit score and to monitor my credit for free. Yes free. The site is totally free with no credit card required and is not a trial. I’ve used them since February 2012 and they’ve helped me jump my credit score by several hundred points in that time. Knowing your credit score and keeping a constant monitor on your credit report will help you get out of debt and keep you from going more into debt when the new year rolls around or managing the debt that you may find during the holidays. If you don’t know that you owe someone, you can’t pay the debt off.
By completing some of these very simple things, you’ll be sure to start the new year off right! Do you see any that I missed? What else do you do to make the new year begin with a bang?
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