Category Archives: Finances

Top 5 January To-Dos for a Simpler 2015

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I am not in the habit of making new years resolutions. However, there are a few things that I will be doing this month to help simplify 2015. This is not a definitive list, but by adding these items to your January ‘to-do’ list, you’ll be on your own Journey to Simple in 2015.

Make your holiday gift list for 2015
I know this may sound like overkill, but take a moment to recall the busyness leading up to Christmas 2014 and you’ll be convinced. Writing a gift list early in the year will enable you to take advantage of sales throughout the year. You can also chip away at the list one gift at a time instead of the panicked shopping spree the week before Christmas. The greatest benefit for me is the early reminder to start making homemade gifts. I am the slowest knitter in world, so I better start knitting my Dad’s 2015 Christmas scarf now.

2) Clean out your freezer
Throw out the freezer burnt items, pull everything out, make an inventory, do whatever you need to do to make sure that you are eating everything that you have in your freezer. I live in such a cold climate, that I go a little loopy when Farmer’s Market season hits in June or July. I want to eat all of the fresh local produce I can, so I don’t touch anything in my freezer until the snow flies. Cleaning out your freezer now will help ensure that you eat everything this winter and will eliminate the waste that can come with leaving everything untouched during the summer months.

3) Plan your vacation days (for the entire year)
Yes, I am the person submitting an entire year’s worth of vacation day requests on January 2nd. Knowing that I can take time off when I hope to makes it possible to plan everything else that happens all year. I can go ahead and book my campground sites and buy my event tickets without any concern about whether or not I can get the time off. Also, requesting holiday days forces you to think about the finances involved in planning a trip, the family you may want to visit, or the home projects that need to get done. Do yourself a favour, and plan your year in January.

4) Pick an organizing project
A big part of my personal Journey to Simple is home organization. I may want my goal for 2015 to be a perfectly organized home, but I know that is unrealistic (that’s why it’s a journey). Remove the pressure for perfection and pick one big project. For me, 2015 will be the year of paper. I will prioritize the filing cabinet and boxes full of notes, projects, music, and bills. Pick one project and give yourself permission to break it up into smaller projects throughout the year.

5) Make a money date with yourself
For the third year in a row, my husband and I will be setting aside time on New Year’s day to talk about money. This fifth ‘to-do’ item will impact all other tasks that you accomplish this year. Some people find talking and thinking about money stressful and complicated. Simplify your life and your year by making some decisions about money in January. How much will my holiday cost? What will the new deck cost? How much can I save? How much can I give to charity? By setting aside a specific time (even once a year) to consider some of these questions, you eliminate the anxiety that comes with unspoken and unrealized financial goals and plans.

Take some time this month to simplify 2015.

I would love to hear what you are doing to make 2015 a simple year. Leave a comment below.