Things to do in January


Once January rolls around I’m usually in the mood to be productive and organized.  I spent this past weekend putting away the holiday decorations.  Now the house feels less cluttered,making it easier to clean.  It’s a good time to look at what knickknacks are going back on the shelves and which ones it’s time to get rid of.

There are other things that need to get done this month.

  • Back up photos from the past year– We all know how important it is to back up your files but to me one of the things that is totally irreplaceable are the pictures I’ve taken throughout the year.  Some of them have been uploaded to websites so I can share them or get them printed but a good majority are still on my hard drive.  All it takes is a hard drive failure to wipe them out.My sister uploads all her photos to her favorite printing site but it takes a lot of bandwidth to do that and my photos from 2012 take about 3 G bytes of disk space.  So for now, I’ll be sure to make a DVD copy of all my files and also copy them to my husband’s laptop so I have two backups.
  • Shop for accessories for any new gadgets – A lot of people get new gadgets as holiday gifts.  Many of these gadgets cost a lot of money so it helps if you can save money on the accessories.  I’m amazed at the cost of a phone case or tablet screen at a retail store.  The first place I shop for accessories is the Dollar Tree (when I stopped yesterday they had a Phillips Kindle case for just a buck). There’s no reason to pay $15 for a screen protector when you can pay $1.  Since the selection there is not great I usually end up on eBay, which has a wide selection at very affordable prices. I picked up a case, screen protector, stylus, data cable and car charger for my new Kindle Fire all for $10.
  • Renew your commuter E-Zpass – I renewed mine in December and it was easier this year since you can now renew online.  In case you haven’t signed up yet, the NY state plan is $88 per year and allows you to travel the first 30 miles on any leg at no cost. Do the math to see if makes sense for you to buy one.
  • 12_four_flagsBuy some Forever stamps before the rates go up on January 27 – Yeah rates for a letter are only going up a penny but it doesn’t hurt to stock up on a few.  Postcard rates are going up a penny and priority flat rates are also increasing.
  • Don’t join a gym – I’ve belonged to gyms for 30+ years and I see it every year at this time.  Every gym sees a big surge in membership in January.  By the middle of February the attendance dropps way off.  A gym membership is not for everyone.  You need to join a gym because you’re going to use it, not because it’s the right thing to do. If in your heart you know you’re not really going to use it, then save yourself the money.  If you’re thinking about joining a gym then choose one that doesn’t require a long term commitment, like Planet Fitness.
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