Saturday, November 29, 2014

10 Tasks for December

Here's hoping you had a wonderful Thanksgiving (it's been a zoo around our place with people coming in from all over the country to spend the holiday in Vegas thus the dearth of posts...).

Here are 10 tasks to consider for December:

  1. If you are going to hit up the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, you might as well buy some useful stuff.  I went to REI yesterday and made a haul on some new gear (new headlamp, new trekking poles, a daypack, etc).  Many places will have outdoor gear on sale during the month of December so if you need to replace stuff, now is the time to do it.
  2. Pull your free credit report.  I make this an annual habit just to make sure no one has jacked my credit.  If you do notice things on your credit report that aren't yours, be sure to get them corrected as soon as possible.
  3. Sign up for health insurance if you need it.  Apparently the whole Obamacare thing is a cluster f*^k but it is open enrollment time for healthcare so if you need it, now is the time to sign up.
  4. Stock your food pantry.  The holidays bring some pretty good loss leaders/sales on all kinds of staples so now is the time to add to your pantry.  Our local store had turkeys on sale for 57 cents a pound (much cheaper  than chicken these days) so now I have a half dozen turkeys in the freezer for future use.  Ditto for flour, sugar, butter, etc.
  5. Make note of anything that needs to be fixed, either now or in the spring.  You really can't tell that there is wind whistling through the door frame or a leaky spot in the roof until winter so if you notice things that need to be fixed around the homestead, make a note of it so you will remember to fix it in the spring (or sooner if the situation will create an emergency if it isn't repaired soon).
  6. Use up your HSA dollars.  Depending on what kind of health/dental insurance you have, you might have left over money in your account that needs to be used up by the end of the year.  If this is the case for you, make a quick appointment with the doc/dentist/ophthalmologist/etc and get those use-it-or-lose-it dollars spent.
  7. Consult your accountant (or your previous tax returns, online financial program, etc) and make sure any financial loose ends get wrapped up by the end of the year.  Here's a good checklist to cover all of your end-of-the-year financial bases.
  8. Do it up for the holidays.  Whether that means hosting a big Christmas dinner, going on vacation, or making new holiday traditions, you have only a couple of weeks to pull this off so start now.  One idea, go out an cut your own Christmas tree.  Google cut your own Christmas tree and your state for information on local u-cut places and/or permits needed for cutting on state or federal land.
  9. Get outside and get active.  Yes it is December and in some places the snow is knee deep but it is also a good time to expand your abilities and learn some winter skills.  Camping in the winter is totally different than in the summer, shooting in the winter is totally different than in the get the idea...
  10. Give back to others.  Although those in need can use help all year round, December is usually when people realize how much they have and how much others need.  Whether you choose to donate you time, money, or skills, helping others in your community is a great way to make the place that you live even better.

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