Life Admin: It’s Time To Get Organized

Now that the fall season is in full swing,  everyone seems to be looking towards the festive season already. People will be writing lists, making plans, and before you know it, you’ll be heading into the new year. January is often a time of reflection over the last twelve months, and people appreciate, question, and analyze what they’ve done, achieved, or where they feel they’ve failed. It’s also often a time of new approaches and plans, whether that’s to do with relationships, careers, or lifestyle choices. However, it’s far enough into the year now to consider if you’re stuck in a rut or if you’re happy with how things are going.

The pre-festive season is also the perfect chance to get your life a little bit more organized so that you can sail through winter and the new year feeling confident and focused on the months ahead. A great place to start is with your “life admin.”  That’s those little tasks that surround your job, finances, accommodation, and future that often people put-off until the point things crucially need addressing.

It’s the little admin tasks that can also make a major difference to your happiness and development, so it’s worth taking some time this coming weekend, grabbing a spiced latte, and surrounding yourself with paperwork, websites, a notebook, and a pen. The following are some tips, advice, and ideas, for those who want to organize the boring stuff this fall, so their Christmas and New Year is exciting and bright.

Money Management

You might be thinking that saving your money in the coming months is going to be a pretty difficult challenge, especially with party season and the tradition of gift-giving. However, it can be done. Making a few changes to your everyday habits will ensure that you’re able to put money aside, and perhaps save for that vacation you’ll be craving come January.

Now is the time to get a spreadsheet up on your computer screen, grab your notebook, and start writing exactly what you’re spending each day, week, and month so that you can see where you’re able to cut back and save. You’ll also understand how much extra income you’ll be able to squirrel-away during fall and winter (and beyond).

Make sure that you include each expense.   You can break your spreadsheet up into days, and each day by hour. Start with an average month, and then continue with specific expenditures, like dining out, retail therapy, and entertainment.  You’ll be able to spot patterns straight away, which will assist in making changes. Once you have everything you can remember in your spreadsheet regarding your spending habits, you’ll want to add the income from your job or calculate working hours to see how much you’ll be earning for the rest of the year.

Take into account any overtime, or periods where you’ll be able to take on extra work, or won’t be able to take on as much. Compare your income to your outgoings, ensure that you start saving the excess, and begin working out the ways to save even more.

Once you’ve worked out how much is leaving your bank account, and worked out how many of those lattes you really need to buy in the week, you’ll need to look at bigger expenses.  Your cable, internet, and phone bills can play a huge role in how much you have leftover at the end of the  month and could be putting more pressure on your finances than needed. Therefore, you’ll need to gather together each of your monthly bills, and each provider, and work out if you can get a better deal elsewhere.  The chances are that you can, at least on a couple of them, if not more.

Remember that businesses are competing for you to do business with them. Therefore, you should think twice about searching elsewhere online for a more affordable, and better deal. There are plenty of price comparison sites, and it’ll take a little time to sift through your options.  However, it’ll be worth the effort when you’re saving hundreds over the course of the year (and can justify more trips to the coffee shop).

You may want to consider the biggest drains on your income and think about changing them too. Perhaps your rent or the cost of running your car means that you’re left with very little monthly.  Think about changing your vehicle, or downsizing your accommodation so that you can save for those things in the future.

Creating Extra Money

You’ll probably be feeling pretty great about the money that you’re able to save.   Well, you can give yourself even more of a boost and organize a little more income. Life admin doesn’t just have to be about paperwork and bills; you can re-organize your home environment and give yourself a clear mind and fresh start in time for the new year.

Take a weekend to go through your belongings and see what you have that you don’t utilize anymore. Throw yourself a yard sale, or use an online auction site to bring in some extra cash. You could even use your social media platforms to advertise things and sell in your local area. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone; you’ll have extra money coming in to save or spend as you wish, and your living space will be a tidy and organized environment full of items that you use.

There’s no better time to think about that creative side and perhaps selling what you’ve made, or a service you can provide people to bring in more income. Write down what you could do and when you could do it.  You can have fun in the meantime at local markets and events where people will be enthusiastic to put their money your way. Taking some of your time to sort through your life admin might not be top of your to-do list, but organizing things now will be a weight off your shoulders and the rest of the year will look far more appealing.  Not to mention the boost you’ll get for the new year ahead.