I love this time of year.
I love the lights, the walking around craft and vintage marts, seeing friends, dressing up, dancing, making presents for my friends and family, working out more for end of year parties, ice skating, helping others, and kick starting my life for the new year.
As a small business owner, there is lots to do to close out the year, and sometimes I forget to check our personal papers and records to be sure they are current.
Some items, records, and forms to check:
Passport location and expiration. Double check you know where they are, and if you have adult children, remind them to check as well. Turns out my husband’s passport was going to expire at the end of a vacation, and some countries won’t even let you in if passport expires within six months. If you have college kids who are now over 18, its probably time to get new passports anyway.
Green Card and Other Immigration Documents. When my husband became a citizen, the only “file number record” issued is actually ON the form of citizenship. If that is lost, well, its very very very difficult to get that number. Anyone trying the Insurance websites will note you may need that number, or other green card or resident number. Take pictures and email to yourself, make copies and give to family member outside the home.
Wills. My mother’s will is outdated, so in the New Year, we will update.
Credit Card Automatic Payments and Renewals. Double check they are accurate. You may be able to get a lower rate on something as well. Also, perhaps spread out the deductions so they don’t hit all at once. My daughter is paid weekly, and she switched around her insurance, gym membership, and donation to different weeks.
Cell Phone Bills. I make it practice to call every six months or less to see if there is a better plan. I also call if there is a sudden spike, no matter how small, and ask if there is something better. I have saved a lot of money this way.
Misc. Cards in Our Purse/Wallet. Should do this at least monthly, but for sure at end of the year. I am searching for a website or charity that will take gift cards that still have funds on them.
Dog Licenses. Quick check and renew online in most cases, so long as shots are up to date.
New Household Items. Take pictures, write down serial numbers, etc for insurance. Remember cameras, cell phones, MP3 players, etc. After the holidays, it is smart to update that file as well. If you bought items with warranties you need to register or mail in, do that asap. I have actually taken pictures of devices serial numbers, i.e. tv sets or cable boxes. I can never read the darn number its so small!!
If you have passports, birth certificates, and other important documents in boxes or files, put them in zip-lock bags. Adds an extra layer of protection from water damage and floods, and if you have to grab and go, they stay better organized. We have ours in a fireproof box, with our copies of other documents that we can grab and go.
Have wonderful and lithe holiday season and tomorrow will be some more ideas to kick start the new year…
Take Care People!!