The last few weeks of a year always seem to be a mad rush. Last week, we had our company year end party which was such a great laugh. In less than 2 weeks, we’ll celebrate the birthday of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and Christmas. For a lot of expats in Dubai, this will be time to travel to their home countries and many are also thinking how and where to spend New Year’s Eve. I’m so happy that all this is sorted and I’ve some peace of mind!
Yet, as we’re getting ready to celebrate, it’s also time to wrap up 2015. Nowadays, year end is almost forgotten and few people only use it to reflect. Instead, we’re already focusing on the next year. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s finish this year first. Here’s a list of activities to wrap up in 2015:
Review your 2015 tax return requirements
While the UAE is a tax-free country, you may have to declare your world-wide income in your home country. Get a folder where you’ll keep all documents which may be required for your tax return. Download the forms from your home country’s tax office.
If you have to file a tax return in your home country, check whether donations are tax deductible. If so, consider making a donation in cash or kind to your favourite cause.
Contribute to your retirement
Max out the contributions to your pension plan, 401 (k), IRA, ISA, superannuation or equivalent plan. In general, the more funds you built while younger built up more wealth as you’re getting older.
Make an extra mortgage payment
Make an extra payment towards to your mortgage, as long as it’s within your mortgage rules. Some lenders allow you to make two extra payments without occurring a penalty. Contact your lender, if you’re uncertain.
Check your health care insurance
Taking about additional contributions, do you have any health care related saving funds? Money put into your FSA (Flexible Spending Account) cannot be taxed.
Schedule your doctor’s appointments
If your medical insurance year is the same as the calendar year, schedule last minute appointments to your dentist, GP or optometrist. Check whether you’ll need to order any prescriptions or replace anything (e.g. prescription glasses).
Request a free credit report
Order a free credit score report from an approved provider.
Submit your claims
If you have any outstanding claims (e.g. medical insurance), complete and submit them.
Return borrowed items
Return any borrowed books or other items. Pay off your debt while you’re at it.
Chat to a friend
Call the person you’ve meant to call over the last few months.
Review your beneficiaries
Review and update your beneficiaries. Notify your HR team and the insurance providers of any changes.
Complete small home projects
Before the manic of the Holidays and New Year’s Eve kicks in, complete those small “I’ll do it tomorrow” projects. This could be oiling your kid’s bike chain, fixing the window screen or replacing the batteries for your fire alarm.
Get your house cleaned
Give your house a deep clean. Whether you’re getting guests over the holidays or not, book your cleaner for a few more hours to give your house that extra sparkle for the holidays. Open up the windows and get fresh Winter air in.
Let go of all these unwanted, not helpful thoughts, feelings, people.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may have implemented a number of the decluttering suggestions. Get rid of the trash. Donate well maintained items (and possibly benefit from a tax deduction). Sell any unwanted books, DVDs, clothes, sports equipment, etc.
Reflect on 2015
Before you’ll start on your 2016 goals, look back at what you’ve achieved this year. Write down your numerous achievements and be proud of them. Starting a new job, participating in a race, taking a trip away from home, finishing that class, getting back on your feet after a layoff, surviving the grief over a loved one? There are some many little and big things you’ve made happen, overcome or achieved. Be grateful and celebrate your victories!
Set your 2016 intentions
If you’re setting New Year’s resolutions, visualise the end. What are you trying to achieve? What will your goal look like? Once you’ve pictured this, make your resolution SMART. Create a progress review where you’ll check smaller goals on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. This will of course depending on the size of your goal.
Just for the fun of it, treat yourself and use one of the Entertainer vouchers which will expire on 30 Dec. And if you like, take your spouse, family or a friend along.
What’s on your list to complete before the year ends? Do you have a specific routine to say good-bye to this year? Share it with us! I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Until next time,