Three Financial Tasks to Tackle This Winter

Winter can be a cold, dark, gloomy time.  Especially THIS winter, given that most of us are more isolated than usual due to the pandemic.  But winter can also be a time for reflection and catching up on financial tasks that have been piling up on your To Do list.  With that in mind, here are three financial tasks to work on while you are stuck indoors this winter.

Revise your financial goals.

Last year was a humdinger year, full of stress and uncertainty.  While we still aren’t out of the woods yet with regard to the pandemic and the economy, we do have the benefit of our forced year-long isolation to potentially rethink our futures.  Many of us used the “extra” time last year to focus on what is most important in life.  This may have resulted in a rearranging of one’s priorities.

Now is a good time to sit down, either by yourself or with your spouse or partner, and consider how your financial goals have changed due to this priority realignment.  Once you complete this review, be sure to reach out to us so we can help you revise your financial plan accordingly.

Purge that paper!

Are you bored and searching for the perfect indoor winter project?  Sort out your files.  This can be done while watching your favorite new series or listening to some tunes.  Go through your files one by one and purge the items that you no longer need.

How do you know whether you still need a paper or not?  Use the following questions to guide you on the paper that isn’t so obviously bound for the shred pile.

  • When was the last time I needed this paper?
  • How likely is it that I will need this paper in the future?
  • If I didn’t have this paper and needed it, how difficult would it be to procure it again?

Items like birth certificates, deeds, titles, and marriage licenses would be items you keep permanently (or in the case of titles and deeds, as long as you own the property).  Account statements and bills are typically things that do not need to be permanently stored.  A rule of thumb would be to keep the items that you need to prepare your taxes, but only keep other items for as long as you need to refer to them.  I would wager that most paper you are currently storing could be easily procured again if you were to need it in the future.  Be brave and purge it!

(Side note: we recommend that all financially-related paper and items with personal identification on them be shredded.  We offer free shredding service to all our clients.  Simply give us a call to let us know when you are planning to stop by.)

Prepare your taxes.

Are you a procrastinator when it comes to getting your taxes finished?  This year, you have no excuse!  Use the time stuck at home to get your papers organized and get those taxes filed.  Your accountant will thank you for the early preparation, and it will feel great to have this onerous yearly task completed before the sunny days of spring are upon us.

There you have it:  Three rewarding (and even possibly fun?) financial projects to keep you busy while stuck indoors this winter.

~Dawn Starks

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