Archive 2008 - 2019

Tips to Help Live 2009

by Nicole Kittredge

How Ready Are You for 2009?

Now that the holidays are over and a new year has begun, now is the perfect time to make sure you are ready for 2009. Here are five things you should do this month that will make your life easier in the months ahead:

1.      Clean Out the Clutter: You keep saying you'll do it...go ahead and do it. Spend an hour going through your old files, and shred those receipts, bills, and statements you no longer need, like old ATM receipts and utility bills, paystubs more than a year old, and receipts for things that are not deductible.

2.      Get Organized: While you're at it, create new files for your 2009 tax-related papers and receipts. Examples of categories include medical expenses, gift and charitable donations, and home improvements.

3.      Check the Gift Card Fine Print: If you received gift cards as a present over the holidays, use them soon. Some have expiration dates, or the amount on the card may get reduced over time. In addition, in the current economy, retailers that go out of business may not honor gift cards.

4.      Do Some Review: Review your various insurance policies - life, home, auto, etc - to make sure the coverage you have is still the best fit for your needs and situation. To save on cash out of pocket, you might even consider raising your deductible to get a lower premium.

5.      Do Some Reflection: Take an honest look at your schedule and responsibilities and make sure you are taking the time you need to stay healthy and feel good. Don't feel bad about actually scheduling specific blocks of time to exercise or spend special time with family and friends, to ensure it actually happens. This will make everything else you have to do this year easier...and more enjoyable, too!