Friday, May 12

Continuing to Simplify Things

Back in February I reported on some of the things I am doing this year to simplify.  There's really three main areas I am working on:  finances, material possessions, and processes.

Finances

In February I canceled my Chase Ink Business card.  That eliminated a separate log-in (little things count!).  I paid the outstanding balance on that card in April.  Last month I also closed my Chase Sapphire card (the "regular" version, not my coveted Reserve card).  This month I am closing a very small investment account I have at Capital One.  In 2006 I opened it because I was offered a $50 sign-up bonus.  That $50 has now turned into a little over $100.  It doesn't make sense to have this account since I already have an investment account at E*Trade.  I also closed out my Home Depot credit card.

My next challenge will be to close all my accounts with Capital One.  I currently have a personal checking and savings account as well as a business savings account.  I barely use these accounts.  Things get tougher after I tackle this low-hanging fruit, but I have a couple of ideas about what I want to tackle next:  my car loan and student loan.  Both have really low interest rates, so closing them would only serve the purpose of streamlining my finances.  Beyond this, I'll have to look at the credit cards I pay an annual fee on.  But these cards generally have benefits to me that exceed the annual fee, so I'm not sure what I'll end up doing.

Material Possessions

We took a carload of things to Goodwill last month.  Right now we have two vanity units that have been sitting in the living room for a year.  I hired a contractor to remodel the bathrooms, so these vanities will finally be in their proper spot soon.  With meeting season approaching its end, I'll be home more, which means I'll have more time to purge.  This is a task that will never be complete.

Processes

I lump most everything else into "Processes", which includes the mind-clutter I deal with.  Managing receipts for tax purposes, keeping a check on my investments, making sure everything around the house is working and is needed... the things that make life run smoothly.  I would like to take a hard look at how I live my life and figure out what I can do to streamline these processes.

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