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Start each new year by pressing pause.

Guest Contributor January 06, 2020
Bi-racial couple looking at finances on a laptop.

For many of us, the start of a new year is a time to catch our breath and regain our footing after frenzied shopping and seemingly non-stop social gatherings. This is a great time to press “pause” and gather our thoughts, do a little soul searching and make a few simple life changes for the year ahead. Start by thinking about where you are currently, and where you would like to be.

Are you on track financially? Have a look at some of your recent financial statements. How is your money performing? Now is a great time to schedule a review with your bank manager or financial advisor to see whether anything could be performing better. Determine how much you could realistically save each month, and have that amount automatically directed towards an RRSP, TFSA or RESP.

How is your health? Most parents are so on top of their kids’ annual checkups that their own health gets ignored. Use this time to line up appointments for your annual dental check-up and cleaning, get your eyes checked (CAA Members save at LensCrafters and Loblaw Optical) and see your family doctor about your overall health and to make sure that vaccinations are current. Need to mentally recharge? CAA Members get special savings at spas and retreats across North America.

Are you happy at work? The average full-time employee spends nearly 2100 hours at work every year. With that kind of time investment, you’ll want to make sure that you’re happy. If you’re not, think about whether it is where you work or what you are doing that is preventing your happiness. Then, polish off your resume and start. Experts say that the first few months of the year are the best time to job-hunt; that’s when company budgets and sales forecasts come out. You deserve to be happy, so take action!

Is your home in good shape? Did your home exterior sustain any damage over the winter? Does your yard need some TLC? What about inside? Do any home decor items need replacing? Do the walls need painting or closets need organizing?  Keeping your living space orderly is actually good for your state of mind. CAA Members enjoy savings at thousands of participating partner locations so be sure to show your card!

Is your Auto Insurance up to date? Have your driving habits changed in the past year? If you changed jobs, your commute distance may have changed too, and your policy should be adjusted.  Does your insurance protect your good driving record after your first at-fault accident? What perks are you getting?  A licensed CAA Insurance agent can give you a quick complimentary policy review. You don’t have to have CAA Auto Insurance or be a CAA Members to take advantage of this but know that CAA Members do get exclusive savings on auto insurance.

Nobody knows what the year ahead will bring. But by taking a bit of time to reflect on your current state, you’ll be well prepared to face whatever twist and turns lie ahead.