If you google “Things to do in January” you will find interesting headlines like: “Best New York Events in January 2018” or “18 Amazing London Events to warm you up this winter” or “37 Things to do in Paris January 2018.”
In any case: who wants to be left in the cold in the US or Europe?
Now that we have your attention, what are the things you really need to check and do in January? Why January? Plainly because you probably will not have sufficient time during the rest of the year to attend to the small, petty stuff that might cost you money or waste your time.
Let’s start off:
- Check your Short-Term Insurance for a change: Yes, your car is less worth than in December 2017 so you can just as well attend to the values and items on your insurance. Make sure that you are not over or under insured. Phone the broker and make that appointment, save some money for the rest of the year.
- Is your tax return up to date? Remember 23rd November was the final submission date for individuals who are not provisional tax payers. 31st of January is right around the corner, make sure your tax returns are up to date.
- Car tyres and Car licenses: when last did you check the threads on your tyres? Did you remember to renew your licences?
- Transport Costs: Did you know that fuel stations do not charge the same price for Diesel? Do you know where the cheapest one is in your neighbourhood?
- Cheaper method of transport to work and back home? Agree, you don’t have to walk.
- Talking about licences: Your TV Licence?
- Now the office stuff: Get rid of those yellowish papers lying around in the office: A motto to have is “Only handle a paper once: Either you do something with it, like file it in a file, or send it to waste paper.” An unclean, untidy office will irritate you, you will not want to spend time in it and you will say to yourself, “I’m going to clean it this weekend”. Famous last words.
- What about the garage? The storeroom? Your cupboards – do you really wear all those clothes? Serious? Yes, dead serious, it is time to clean up. Clean like the end is near, after all, you can’t take it with you.
- No, I am not screaming at you! I am only trying to help……. No, I will not go away, yet!
- When last did you do a simple inspection of your home’s electricity? Checked for bore beetles? Closed all water taps and looked if the Municipal meter is still running? Never? Well you better do as water restrictions and penalties may ruin your new year.
- Now let’s get back to your study or office: When last did you check all the endless debit orders on your bank statements? Are they all really necessary? Do you know what your bank is charging you for interest and bank charges? Why not compare it with other banks while you are busy or find out from your banker if any other packages are offered by your bank?
- Your telephone/ADSL/Landline costs. Go on checking!
- Medical Aid: Are you still on the best product for your current situation?
- Yes, everybody is talking about Gap Cover, Gap what? Talk to your broker, this is really a good idea and nobody likes surprises when you can’t afford unexpected high medical costs.
- What about all the money you will save? Go and buy something nice for Valentine’s Day, you can thank me later…. Somewhere in February!
May you all experience a very productive 2018!
Dawie Theron (firstname.lastname@example.org)