The new year is always a time to start anew or to get stuff, set aside during the year, done.
As the year comes to a close, I find myself doing things I normally do not get to do on a regular basis.
Here are my top 5 to-do’s:
- Organize my files
I have folders for each type of utility (phone, electricity, water, telco) and bank accounts/credit cards. But during the year, I just stuff transaction slips and statements into the folders after checking them without properly filing them. Now’s the time to get rid of the detailed slips and just leave the statements properly filed.
2. Change passwords
Yeah, this is a dreary but important task especially nowadays when hackers and phishers abound. Thankfully, I have a strong password manager that helps me generate random passwords and remember them for me. It will take effort but believe me, it will be worth it. Do it for all online banking and internet shopping sites, email addresses, and social media accounts.
3. Throw away expired medicines
How many of us actually do this? It was not till a few years ago that I realized this was something I had to do regularly for my family’s safety. I’d go through the kitchen cabinets, closets, and the kids’ stuff finding medicines. I’d check the expiry dates and throw out the expired ones. It can be a tough call for medicines where the expiry dates can no longer be determined because sometimes the date on the box is blurry. But more often, when you buy piecemeal medicines from the drug store, the pharmacists cut out from the tamper-proof sheet only the quantity you need, oftentimes leaving out the expiry date stamped on the sheet. When I see those lying around the house and I know no one has used them in a while, I take the conservative approach and throw them away.
The best thing to do, however, if you remember, is to note the expiry date of the medicine upon purchase. And when you get home, write it down at the back of the medicine sheet with a pentel pen, if the expiry date is not shown on it. That way, you can track its shelf life without throwing good money away.
4. Back up critical documents; purge unnecessary files
Actually, you need to back up more often, depending on how critical your files are and how often you work on the computer. If you use a computer daily for critical work, you’ll need to back up more regularly. I back up family photos and critical files to an external hard drive (I even have 2 external drives!) to make sure I do not lose them permanently. It is good though as a habit, at the end of each year, to do a major backup. Mac users can use Time Machine to do a complete hard disk backup.
At the same time, it is also good to search both internal and external hard drives for files you no longer care for and purge them to release precious real estate space for the ones you want to keep.
5. Pay all my bills ahead of time
Starting the new year with no debt is something that has stuck with me since I was a small child. I look at it as a good omen for continuing financial wellness to open a new year with no liabilities. So even if some of my billing statements are still due some time in the next year, I prepay them.
Okay, I said 5 things but I will go with a very important 6th thing.
On New Year’s Eve, as we gather around the midnight feast, we recall with gratitude the year that is about to pass and verbally say our thanks to our Divine Father who has always kept a low profile in our lives but who has made all things possible.
Do you also observe certain routines at year’s end? Please share them here.
Have a blessed Christmas and may the coming year be one filled with dreams come true, more blessings, and a lot of love.