December 18, 2007
2008's coming...are you ready?
2008 is two weeks away. Between now and then, chances are you still have a laundry list of things to do to 1) get ready for Christmas, and 2) get ready for New Year's. As I write this, my wife is out trying to find stocking-stuffers. Tonight I will take my oldest son to dinner and get his presents bought for his mom and siblings. Tomorrow night I'll do the same thing with my daughter. Friday we'll drive to Montana to spend Christmas with my parents.
Throughout my career, business has always seemed to take a backseat to everything else during the month of December. People are making travel plans, shopping, attending holiday parties, decorating the house, and dealing with kids on Christmas Break. Of course, as our customers' minds are on other things, it allows us to do all the same things with our own families. Come January, however, our noses go back to the grindstone.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, this time of year does crazy things to our finances and our internal rationality. Even if you set a budget, it's hard to say no to the newest video game console or flat-screen TV, especially when it's 25% off THIS WEEK ONLY. I remember getting our American Express bill in January 2007 and staring dumbstruck at the "amount owed". "Isn't the decimal point one place too far to the right?", I asked my wife. As is the case for most Americans, that day was a REALITY CHECK. Sooner or later, we all have to pay the piper for all the excesses of the season.
Are you ready for 2008? Do you expect a tax refund or will you be writing a check when April 15th rolls around? What else do you have planned next year? A family vacation to the beach? A week of skiing in the west? A new car or SUV? How about a child starting college and all the expense associated with that? Are you financially prepared for a vehicle breakdown? A medical emergency? Orthodontics for a child's wayward teeth?
Simply put, life happens. We have no idea what 2008 has in store for us. It is my hope that 2008 is your best year ever, financially, physically, emotionally. Be as meticulous about your goals for 2008 as you are with your holiday planning. If you're not prepared for the financial curveballs likely to be thrown your way next year, give us a call. Selling all or part of your real estate note may allow you to sleep a little easier when the taxman comes calling, or when Little Katelyn needs braces, or when Junior races back from the mailbox and excitedly informs you he's been accepted to Harvard.
As for me, I'm all charged up for the new year. How can I help YOU?
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