Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting a Jumpstart on 2010

It seems we never get caught up with the tasks we need to do. Whether it be paying bills, household maintenance, taxes, or gardening, we always seem to be getting to things just in time, without an margin of safety. Starting now, we're going to consciously make a change and try to get ahead, by jumpstarting some of the things we need to do in 2010. Here what we've started early:
  • Yard work. Our only major task in the fall is to rake up the leaves, for appearance and to avoid killing the grass. Usually, I over seed the grass in the fall, which leads to a great lawn the following spring. In the past we have not done much else.

    This year, we decided to weed and mulch our gardens in the fall. I've heard that a fall mulching can reduce the weeds next spring. In addition, I will use any warm days in the winter to trim off the branches on the trees and reduce the amount of ever increasing ivy in our beds.

  • Taxes. For the past few years, I've taken an automatic extension and filed our taxes around October for the previous year. However, after filing my 2008 tax return in October, 2009, I decided to start working on my 2009 tax return. Although, I usually do some tax planning at the end of the year, I have actually done a rough draft of my 2009 tax return, and have very accurate estimate of our tax liability.

    In addition, I've also starting doing our 2010 tax planning, which hopefully, will enable us to significantly reduce our tax liability for 2010.

  • Household maintenance. I'm targeting to get a number of interior maintenance items done over the winter, which will, hopefully, make the house relatively maintenance free from spring through fall of 2010. This will involve some bathroom caulking, tile grouting, and light fixture upgrading. The one item I may need to leave until spring is replacing the window weather stripping.

  • Vacation planning. 09/10 is our daughter's last pre-school year, when we still won't feel guilty for having her miss class while on vacation. In the spring of 2010, we'd like to take one more off season trip, to avoid the crowds and get low non-peak prices. At this point, we're starting to consider a visit to the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone.
  • I'm hoping that getting ahead on a few of our necessary tasks will benefit us. At this point, it feels good that we already have a few things completed that we usually do in the spring. Hopefully, the jumpstart will enable us to have a more relaxing spring, and free up some time to enjoy new activities.

    For more on Strategies and Plans, check back every Monday for a new segment.

    This is not financial or planning advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

    Copyright © 2009 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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