Goals, Tips

Working Hard To Get Ready For The New Year

I hope you had a Merry Christmas.  My family and I are finally home after a week away.  We had a wonderful time visiting with our parents, but it feels good to be home.  My wife spent most of the afternoon yesterday cleaning out our kids’ closets, making room for their new toys.  I’m working hard to get ready for 2009, and I’m taking several steps in an effort to simplify our finances.

Updating Inventory of Financial Accounts –

I’ve spent a few minutes updating my inventory of financial accounts.  This single-page document serves two purposes.  First, I use it to keep track of all of my account names, account numbers, and account passwords.  Second, if something were to happen to me, my wife would have easy access to all of our financial information.  Read more about the Inventory of Financial Accounts and print your own copy.

Opening Education Savings Accounts –

As soon as I publish this article, I’m going to open two new education savings accounts, one for my son and one for my youngest daughter.  I opened an ESA or my oldest daughter a couple of years ago, and I actually printed out an application for my son’s ESA a few months ago.  I’m actually thankful that I didn’t open the account at that time, because I’ve decided to go with Vanguard instead of my original choice, TD Ameritrade.

Consolidating Budget Categories –

I have been using the You Need A Budget financial management software for quite some time, and I am very pleased with it.  This year, I’m trying something a little different.  I am going to consolidate several smaller budget categories into just a few larger categories.  At this point in my financial journey, I have broken the habit of overspending, and I want my budget to be a tool, not a burden.  By consolidating, creating my budget will take a little less time.

Scheduling Automatic Contributions –

As soon as I open the education savings accounts, I plan to schedule automatic contributions to all of my after-tax retirement and education savings accounts.  In the past, I liked to manually enter my contributions, as a way to keep my head-in-the-game.  Now, after almost four years, I’ve moved past the need to micro-manage every detail of every transaction.  In the words of the info-mercial, I’m going to set it, and forget it!

Organizing Financial Documents –

I recently purchased a fire-proff safe and my wife and I are using it to store our marriage certificate, our kids’ birth certificates, our social security cards, and our wills.  Tomorrow, I’m going to go through several of our financial documents, and organize them for tax time.  I need to sort though last year’s documents and receipts, just to see if their are any pertinent tax-related documents.  I also have a retirement-specific form that I need to update for my employer.

4 thoughts on “Working Hard To Get Ready For The New Year

  1. I can’t believe you referenced Ron Popeil! That line is almost as annoying as “Hi, I’m Billy Mays!” lol.

    It is very smart to have all of your pertinent information together and accessible in the even that anything should happen to you. Some people fail to do so because they don’t like to think about such things happening, but it is always better to be prepared than caught with your pants down. Just be very careful about where you store it; don’t want that kind of info falling into the wrong hands.

    Have you ever thought of electronic documentation? Of course some items are required to be presented in their original form, but for bank, broker, and credit card statements, receipts for important purchases, legal documents, etc. it is much easier to organize, sort and maintain. Plus, you can make several copies on CD/DVD and keep one in the bank vault, one at your house and one at a relative that you trust to ensure that should anything happen to one copy, there are others available.

  2. Just a quick reminder that if the safe isn’t also waterproof, put everything in sealed ziplock bags. Happy New Year!

  3. The financial inventory is a wonderful idea, I need to do that. I cannot remember all my passwords at times and my other half doesn’t know where the money is kept. I’ll get one done this month, thanks for mentioning it.

  4. I need to update my financial accounts big time. Since the savings markets dropped so much I’ve consolidated a lot of them.

Comments are closed.