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Patty Craig : A Slice of Time

When a new year arrives, it brings along with it four things for me to consider. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (NIV).” This is my season to consider calendar dates, health insurance deductible, tax information and finances.

First, special dates have to be noted in my calendar, such as birthdays and anniversaries. Many of us want to be prepared to send family and friends greetings or recognize a special day in some way. Last week, I made calendar reminders for 2020. It took some time, but made me feel more ready for the year.

Second, most health insurances have deductibles that reset to $0 at the beginning of each calendar year. A deductible is the dollar amount you must pay before the health insurance company begins paying, minus copayments. I usually meet my deductible in the first quarter of the year. Since deductibles are out of my control, I just have to deal with the consequences.

Third, a new year means that I must begin collecting information for tax preparation. This preparation has gotten easier as I have gotten older. Also, like many of you, with the change in tax laws, I have fewer deductions (not necessarily a good thing). I like to have my taxes filed by the end of February, because a later date makes me feel a bit anxious.

Fourth, I usually do a quick check on my finances. I know my income, so I consider how much I owe (and to whom) and how much I have saved. This provides a reality check for me and helps me focus on managing my resources better. In the end, some things I can improve, and some things I cannot.

Increasing my awareness in these four areas helps me prepare for whatever may be coming. In Luke 14:28 (NIV), Jesus said, “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?” Then, Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” May 2020 bring prosperity and hope to each of us.

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