Business

New Year, new(ish) you . . .

Installing a dashcam could reduce the cost of your car insurance and prove useful in the event of an accident

SO 2018 is here, and chances are you, like the rest of us, have plans, big and small, for what you want to achieve.

Whether you plan to get fit and eat healthier, reduce stress or learn a language, New Year's resolutions are a great opportunity for us to press the restart button and prepare for the year ahead. Here are O'Reilly Stewart's top resolution tips for the year ahead:

BUY A DASHCAM

Whilst it is unlikely that anyone found this item wrapped under the Christmas tree, a dashcam is a great investment for 2018. Mounted on the dashboard of your car, it records sounds and images as you drive.

Whether you drive for pleasure, are employed to drive or employ others as drivers, installing a dashcam could reduce the cost of your car insurance and prove useful in the unfortunate event of an accident.

BE VISIBLE

For many, the New Year triggers a drive to get fit after the Christmas overindulgence. With the dark evenings posing an additional risk, it is important that all runners and cyclists stay safe on the road. Ensure that you are visible to other road users and pedestrians by wearing bright / fluorescent clothing in daylight and reflective clothing in the dark. Always remember to use lights after dark, in the rain or in overcast weather.

CONSOLIDATE YOUR DEBTS

Often the one thing we don't want to do after Christmas is look at our bank balance. The New Year however is the best time for reviewing your finances, both personally and within your business. Reviewing all of your debtors and assessing which are bad debts and which are worth chasing is a necessity for a healthy set of accounts.

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE

We are all guilty of putting off making a will, but once it is done, you have the peace of mind knowing that your wishes will be carried out when you die. Consider also an ‘Enduring Power of Attorney' - an essential document for anyone in business to ensure your financial matters are in hand.

GET YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER

Most of us hear the statistics relating to divorce and separation around the holiday period but on a positive note, it is also a time when a lot of people come together.

There has been a sharp increase in the number of cohabiting couples over the last decade, but this has led to a rise in complex and often costly legal disputes. It may not be romantic but having a written agreement in place can protect your assets as co-habitees.

PUT POLICIES IN PLACE

Remember resolutions aren't solely confined to our personal lives. Whether you are a long established or start-up business, the New Year affords the opportunity to reflect on your business. Make sure you have any necessary contracts and policies in place.

If past years are anything to go by, despite all our good intentions, many of us will have forgotten about our resolutions before January ends. But try to make your 2018 different. Don't wait until you meet an obstacle, plan ahead this year and make your resolutions stick.

:: Imelda McMillan (imelda.mcmillan@oreillystewart.com) is a director at O'Reilly Stewart Solicitors (www.oreillystewart.com)

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