Scheduling a T.C.B. Day

by Katy on February 22, 2016 · 42 comments

I’m a generally organized person. I know what’s on my plate, and I’m aware of my weaknesses and take steps to compensate for them in a purposeful and thoughtful manner. (For example I have a huge wall calendar up in the kitchen that includes every family member’s schedule.) So when my husband needed my driver’s license number to complete our taxes, I was mortified to discover that my license had expired last month.


That’s not like me. I pay our bills on time, I’m on top of my regular medical appointments and I never, ever let my CPR or neonatal resuscitation certifications expire. I hate paying the “stupid tax” of late fees and it burns me when I trip up. I’m the one who opens our mail and I’m very deliberate about shredding, recycling or dealing with the mail.

I had zero memory of receiving a Department of Motor Vehicles reminder. But sure enough, my stack of important papers did included a renewal notice postcard. My tidy yet looming skyscraper of important papers had gained a bit too much altitude. Umm . . . I guess I’m not as organized as I like to think I am. I sat down and looked through every paper, not to organize it, but at least to discover what secrets were being held. I located a dental appointment reminder, (knew about this) and new proof of insurance cards for the cars, (didn’t know about these.)

I should have known I was off my game last week when I let a library book go eight days overdue.

I’m designating tomorrow to be a Taking Care of Business (T.C.B.) Day, and I’ll sort through my pile to file or shred every damned piece of paper. I’ll fill out any necessary forms and make any required phone calls. I’m already renewing my CPR, which is a start.

Are you interested in joining my T.C.B. Day? It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, but it should be scheduled within the next two weeks. A focused day to address the business of household management, a day to avoid your own “stupid taxes.”

C’mon it’ll be fun!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie February 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm

My NRP card expires in Oct. I scheduled a class for Aug because you never know what can happen right before the deadline. We also got RQI mannequins at work so now we perform skills on those quarterly and do an online test yearly which renews our CPR. Very convenient!


Jennifer February 22, 2016 at 4:40 pm

Ugh, Katy, one of my least favorite things to do! This is asking a lot from me. Ok, ok, but not tomorrow. I will do it Sunday and I’m starting with my purse, otherwise know as the Bermuda Triangle, and go from there.


Jennifer February 22, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Known as…whoops


tonya parham February 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

I’m in! These are essential every now and then!

I need to call and cancel the paper, do some paperwork for my 401k, and probably a couple other things too. I will tackle this stuff Friday!


marie February 22, 2016 at 4:55 pm

I’ve started to force myself to be more on top of things. I tend to wait for the last minute to get on-line to pay bills, and such.
I always go thru the mail when it comes, and make sure the junk goes in the burn basket, the bills go in the bill slot, and anything else that needs to be decided on soon, goes in a special spot where i’ll see it and deal with soon. BUT, deciding when is the problem, today, tonight,tomorrow, next week. Ugh.
I cleaned out file cabinet at the beginning of the year, so we’re good there.
Now, it’s time to go file our taxes, And yes, my license expires next wednesday. I will head to DMV tomorrow. I’m over 50, so I have to take an eye test. eek!!!


cathy February 22, 2016 at 5:03 pm

Oh the dreaded Stupidity Tax.
I’ve had to have several TCB days recently. Tomorrow was already scheduled to be one. Our taxes are done (thanks FAFSA!) but I have to make the IRA contribution before we can file (which we have to do before the FAFSA can be submitted). Have you ever noticed that a GSD day (I’ll let you work out the acronym for yourself) is like a game of dominoes…?
Thanks for the extra motivation!


Betty Winslow February 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm

Yeah, I need to do this too…. but today, I spent almost all day going through old photos and momentos that I stuck in a cabinet and haven’t looked at in years. I finally have enough distance from my late daughter’s death and from my grown kids’ childhood days that I was able to get rid of a ton of stuff that no longer grabbed me by the throat. It was a bittersweet day, for sure. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll tackle my purse…. LOL


Kathy February 22, 2016 at 5:52 pm

I use to have catch up days, (I really hated them), but haven’t had to catch up for years now. I have a tickler file (mine is in a three ring binder) that I check every day. All mail is sorted into the appropriate file each day. It usually travels with me if I know I will be out of town for long. If I choose not to take it, I will at least take a photo of each day with my smart phone and email it to myself. Any info for calls or other info needed is right with me. I also started to keep a bullet journal type of notebook. No more assorted pieces of paper. I write everything in “one” book and also check it daily with my daily planner. All this takes only a couple of minutes everyday. Life is so much easier now. I regret not doing this years before. I could have saved so much time and frustration.


auntiali February 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm

I need to transfer money so I can contribute to my IRA after which hubby can file our taxes. I also need to get to motor vehicle to get a handicap placard. Figure out a huge bill from hubby’s doctors as they say I owe money and I don’t think I do.


Krystal February 22, 2016 at 6:58 pm

I hate missing things like this! I am so hard on myself when I overlook this type of stuff because I pride myself on being SO ORGANIZED. I always know what I need to do, and I always get the important stuff done. The other stuff? It might be on a list, but that doesn’t mean anything.


Beth Anne February 22, 2016 at 7:05 pm

Katy, I just got my license renewal recently but I am putting off getting it for a variety of reasons, maybe at the time you had your own reasons to delay? Mine are – i.e. I don’t like my hair right now I need a haircut and and will have to wait a week or two until it grows out, I don’t have time to wait in line and lose time off from work, I would like to lose some weight before I go get the photo I will have on my license for the next 4 years!!!! (How do you lose 100 pounds in less than three weeks????), excetera, excetera, excetera! I should just go get it done to cross it off my list. 🙂 One less thing to worry about.


Jennifer February 22, 2016 at 7:24 pm

My drivers license still says I weigh 145. Um, if I get pulled over they are going to take me to jail because I don’t look like the pic. I’m fatter and blonde instead of brown!


Bobbi February 22, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Great idea! I have some T.C.B. to attend to, and I’ve been picking away at it, but I like the idea of designating one day to get it all done. Of course I’m leaving on a 6-day business trip tomorrow so it will have to wait, but I am going to pick a day next week! Thanks!


Marilyn February 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

My state does not send out reminders about DL renewals. A few years ago, I missed the renewal date for by nearly 3 months! When I was paying for groceries with a check, the clerk told me, “Lady, this license expired 3 months ago.” After that, I made up my mind, I would check my license every year on my birthday. I even put a note on my calendar every year on my birthday: “Check DL.”


Kristen | The Frugal Girl February 22, 2016 at 7:45 pm

Do you have to retake the driving test? Or just get a new license??


Katy February 22, 2016 at 8:48 pm

New license, with a new picture!


Is it a need or a want February 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm

I always schedule my passport photo to happen on a day I have my hair cut, coloured and styled on


IsabelI February 22, 2016 at 9:45 pm

I think in my younger days I wasn’t highly organised but since I have been I find it very satisfying! I enjoy all my reminder notes etc. though glad the world doesn’t see them! Like to keep track of my finances and bills! Gives a feeling of control!


Sharon February 22, 2016 at 9:46 pm

Love the name…TCB Day is way more fun than Paperwork/Appointment Day!


Katy February 22, 2016 at 10:25 pm

And please, feel free to call it “bidness.”


Anne February 22, 2016 at 10:51 pm

I have been highly organized all my life, and also have a very good memory…….but, no one is perfect.

In 67 years I can’t remember paying a bill late. However, a couple of years ago we were planning a major trip, out of the country and with our grandson. Because of all of the preparation I totally missed paying the property taxes on time. I was stunned when I realized it, and that particular mess up cost me an extra eighty some bucks in penalty. YIKES!


Pauline February 23, 2016 at 3:20 am

You have to have your weight on your driving licence?


Ann leach February 23, 2016 at 3:34 am

I keep thinking I’ll get the taxes filed, but they’re not getting done. It’s time to schedule that appointment with myself and get it done!


Katy February 23, 2016 at 9:26 am

Ooh . . . I like the idea of “making an appointment with myself.” I’m going to steal that! 😉


Bellen February 23, 2016 at 4:33 am

To avoid late fees, the first time occurring within ONE month of being married due to hubby’s lack of organization, I have paper clipped all upcoming bills, etc to the necessary month of the calendar to be sure they would be paid on time. Now, of course, with on-line banking/bill paying I simply schedule the payments in advance. I took over all our finances after that – late fees, interest on credit cards, etc can build up to a huge amount. Money we have never really had to spare.

Hubby’s last day of work is this Friday (he’s 71 and took on a job to pay for some aging in place stuff for our house). So, next week I’ll go thru his pile of stuff to see what lurks there. It’s mainly his job related stuff, VA medical co-pays, use & care booklets on what we bought, etc. I’m sure I’ll find some stuff necessary for taxes – those will be done by March 15th – thank goodness!


Bee February 23, 2016 at 5:33 am

For the last 6 years or so, Tuesday has been “office day” or now TCB. After my basic morning chores, I deal with my household administrative duties: make appointments and phone calls, pay bills, correspondence, file and financial planning. I also make my weekly “To Do” list. Sometimes these activities take all morning. I try to sort my mail during the week, so my mail pile does not become too unwieldy. Every once and a while something slips through the cracks. Last year I was late renewing my vehicle registration. I put it aside because they sent the notice 60days in advance.


Carla February 23, 2016 at 5:37 am

For your IL readers, the DMV is not sending renewal reminders for driver’s licenses or plates due to budget issues. Make sure you know when yours expires!


Carla February 23, 2016 at 5:44 am

Gretchen Rubin calls it Power Hour. I love the idea – just need to figure out the right time to schedule it for me!


Mariana February 23, 2016 at 5:45 am

I can relate. The mail and papers pile is ever growing on my desk. The pile, I think, includes a new credit card (I had to cancel the previous one as j got a fraud charge) and a checking card as the new one comes with chip. None of them are activated and they arrived 2 weeks ago. I also need to submit FSA claim and I am close to cutting it too short as the receipt is from the first week of January.
My T. C. B. Day will be this Saturday!


AmyWW February 23, 2016 at 6:01 am

My TCB day was yesterday. I opened a bill that I thought was mine from some lab work they did when I went to the ER in January, but when I looked more closely I realized it actually belongs to my daughter-in-law whose name also starts with Am and we share the same last name because she’s married to my son. So that’s one bill I didn’t have to pay! Saved myself about $25 there.
But my big triumph was when I called the hospital business office to pay the bill for that same ER visit, and I asked for a discount if I paid the bill in full over the phone, and she said yes and gave me 20% off! A savings of about $180. Sweet!
I also cleaned off my desk which produced the yearly termite service warranty renewal bill and called, made an appointment for the inspection, and paid the bill.
It feels so good to have all those loose ends taken care of.


Vickie February 23, 2016 at 6:43 am

I’ve done the same kind of thing. We are all human and strive to improve daily. My TCB day is usually on Sunday. I try to go through my mail as I get it and put my bills in a mail holder next to my purse. I grab everything on pay day and make out my checks.
If I have something like a renewal, I have to put it in my car, so I’m looking at it every time I get in. Being a woman aka multi-tasker, it’s the only way I can keep up with some things!


JD February 23, 2016 at 6:44 am

I’m in. I have to clean out the file cabinet and get things organized. We have started dealing with the VA for health issues and the headaches that come from dealing with the government are as one would expect. I need to sort out the paperwork, get the filing cabinet cleaned out, and start fresh. I already filed my taxes, thank heaven, paid my quarterly property taxes and renewed our vehicle tags.


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary February 23, 2016 at 8:47 am

I’ve been trying to do this in 30-60 minute chunks 3 days a week. Make doctors’ appointments, call the credit card company, affix the new registration sticker to the car license plate, etc. I just sit myself down and make myself go thru the list, because I can’t bear to spend a whole day doing it! And every once in a while I end up paying that darn stupid tax, too.


Karen February 23, 2016 at 9:09 am

I hate hate to renew my drivers license. I live in an urban area and you go and sit for hours and then the people are usually pushed so they are not pleasant to deal with. I always I feel such a sense of relief when I leave there thinking I do not have to go back for 5 years.

Well 2xs ago we were in a small mountain town and I remembered I needed to renew my license when I saw a DMV. I told my husband I was going in there (we can go anywhere in the state). When I walked in, there was one man in there pacing back and forth in front of the door. When I told him I was there to renew my DL he looked so relieved because he had something to do. He was so nice and it took 10 min. When I went out to the parking lot where my husband was waiting, he could not believe I was done.

Then last time I renewed, our state had started the month before, if you have no infractions, you can renew online once. So I jumped on that!

So twice it has been super easy. I will remember that next time I am sitting with the masses waiting my turn.


Valerie February 23, 2016 at 9:23 am

I am in with your T.C.B. Make me aware of what needs to get done. Going to try the bullet journaling.


Sadye February 23, 2016 at 12:58 pm

I recently was venting to my sister about all the dumb things I’d done lately (they are all decidedly NOT frugal, sadly), and she just texted back: “You’re too hard on yourself.” So, I’ll pass those kind words on to you, Katy, though slightly modified — don’t be too hard on yourself 🙂


Beth Anne February 23, 2016 at 6:30 pm

Good point Sadye, was just told that myself today by my therapist. I took a TCM day (Taking Care of Me day) today and it was totally awesome! Didn’t spend a dime but sometimes the world is going to fast, I work to much, etc., and literally needed a “mental health” day. Did a few things needed to be done but today was all about taking care of me and my daughter – highly recommend it!


janine February 23, 2016 at 2:20 pm

A good reminder. I need to get both my passport and drivers license renewed soon. Also, need to go through files and old family stuff. Absolutely hate to do this sort of detail but there is no getting around it.


Deby February 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm

I try to TCB as I go: I sort the mail in the evening after work. Any bills or important papers are put on my desk. In the morning before work, I spend 30-45 minutes inputting any receipts from the previous day into Quicken, schedule bills to be paid, and update our budget. I answer/send emails, and if I need to make an appointment I make a reminder on my phone to call on my break at work. If I don’t keep on top of things then it gets overwhelming, and I hate that out-of-control feeling.


Katy February 24, 2016 at 4:26 pm

The sad thing is that I do sort the mail as soon as it comes in. This is the stuff that needs to be dealt with.


Kathy March 1, 2016 at 5:05 am

This is why I started using a tickler file system. It gives all the papers a set place to go with a day to do them. Usually I manage to do them on the day assigned, but I have shifted things back if needed. I also have been on a roll and completed everything for the month in a couple of hours. I do the standard 43 files plus I have an extra 7 daily for chore lists and such. It helps give me a sense of control and order.


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