Yesterday I encouraged you to use the New Year to reflect and proactively plan ahead. Today I’m presenting a list of specific tasks that I refer to this time of year. I keep track of these tasks (and all others throughout the year as well) with a neat online application called Remember The Milk. This application is flexible, customizable, easy to use, and it’s free! Make sure you take advantage of the repeating event feature and the reminders.
Below, I’ve included the items I find relevant for the New Year:
- Schedule reoccurring family finance meetings and put them on the calendar
- Reconcile year-end account statements (bank, credit cards, investments)
- List debt liabilities with current balances, interest rates, minimum repayments, terms, credit limits
- Check your credit profile and report. Important! AnnualCreditReport.com is the ONLY website you want to use to order your free annual report! Dispute any errors online through each credit bureau.
- Ask for an interest rate reduction on your credit cards. Be sure to mention if you received a credit card offer in the mail with a lower rate, and threaten to transfer if they won’t negotiate.
- Compare 2009 actual expenditures with 2009 spending plan
- Reevaluate your priorities and modify your spending plan accordingly for 2010
- Update net worth statement: list all assets and all liabilities, subtract liabilities from assets = net worth
- Fund retirement accounts and HSA (health savings) accounts
- Rebalance investment allocations
- Set up automatic bank transfers and automatic bill payments
- Pursue outstanding credits promised
- Purge file cabinet: set aside 2009 tax papers, box up 2009 files (label box)
- Prepare for annual tax return and schedule an appointment with accountant
- Evaluate and price-compare insurance policies: auto, home, medical, personal liability, disability, term life. (If you have a suitable emergency fund, raise deductibles to save money on premiums.)
- Evaluate and price-compare services (phone, cable/satellite, banks, credit cards, etc.)
- Update Will and Medical Directives
- Take computer data back-ups to off-site safety deposit box
- Change all passwords (online and off)
- Install fresh batteries in smoke and CO2 detectors
- Change furnace filter
- Clean carpets and furniture coverings
- Touch up wall paint
- Purge each room of things you didn’t use in 2009. Sell (I use Craigslist), consign, or donate these items.
- Sort and label 2009 photos
- Recycle magazines, newspapers, catalogs and other paper clutter
- Update 2010 calendar: add birthdays, anniversaries, due dates and reminders. (I use google.com/calendar and set up the reminder feature for each event.)
- Schedule routine annual exams: wellness, dentist, optometrist
- Update contact list
- If you didn’t send a holiday letter, connect with your family and friends by phone, or send an email newsletter and a few photos.
- Schedule reoccurring date nights with your sweetie and/or kids
Readers. if you notice something I’ve missed — or have an additional suggestion — please include it in the comments section below. I will update this list accordingly. Thanks!