Organize, Don’t Agonize

Don’t Be Lax on Tax:
If you feel stressed-out or panicked by the prospect of filing taxes, we suggest a list of lists to enable you to direct your energies properly. Do you get aggravated when it is time to file your tax forms? Do you struggle to gather the proper information? Start by organizing your 2011 (the year due April 15, 2012) tax information now. All you probably need is a plastic crate that can hold some file folders. Make a file for your pay stubs, another file for medical expenses and prescriptions, another file for donations, and one file for rent or mortgage payments (if applicable). Develop an ongoing system to categorize your documents, income, and disbursements on a continuing basis. Regardless of how you decide to file or who does the computation, it is you who are responsible for the accuracy of the information provided.

Save, Don’t Rave:
Note how you spend your money. For a period of time, a week or longer, write down everything you spend, no matter the size of the purchase. Extrapolate the purchases over a year and figure out the percentage of your income. The goal is to spend your money on needs rather than wants and to reward yourself by investing some earning.

Pass the Gas:
Gasoline that is. Keep meticulous records of your car and transportation expenses. Be certain to maintain your vehicle exactly as stated in the owners manual. Walking, biking, and public transportation save wear and tear, pollution, and money. Mileage compiled on the job may be deductible but will require documentation. Walking and biking keep you healthy too!

Health is Well-th:
Make a list of your healthcare providers, all medications that you and your loved ones use, whether Rx or OTC, and all your medical records. Do not depend on your physicain or pharmacist to have instant access to all your records at all tomes. You should be an expert on you. Note your questions and concerns when you seek medical advice from a provider.

Food and Mood:
Do you get tired or nasty after you eat? Do you feel energized after a meal? Mark down how you feel physically and mentally about an hour after your meals and snacks. Modify your diet if your eating does not improve your mood and your energy.

What you Ate and Weight:
Same as above and “Save, Don’t Rave.” Keep a careful list of everything you eat and you will have the knowledge to change any poor habits, if necessary.

Stuff the Stuff:
Inventory everything you own. Do not be a hostage of useless possessions. If you do not use it and you do need it, discard, donate or sell. Simplify your life.

Embrace the Cloud:
Consider using online sites to declutter your computer and organize your records. The cloud is not the wave of the future, it is the tool of today. Knowledge and awareness should be the foundation for action. Understand yourself. Take control.

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