Ah, the last week of the year. It’s time to review past triumphs (and failures), and to plan for future goals. It’s also time to think about taxes.

Though yesterday was Christmas, I took some time to work on my finances. Get Rich Slowly (the business) earned more money than I expected in 2008, so I’m looking for ways to minimize my tax burden. For inspiration, I turned to Blueprint for Financial Prosperity’s ten easy year-end tax tips. If this snow ever clears, I’ll probably drive out to purchase some things for the GRS office.

Meanwhile, Chris at The Art of Non-Conformity writes that the last week of December is a great time to conduct your own annual review. He says this is one of the best tools he has for pursuing his goals. “Remember, we tend to underestimate what we can do in an average year. Set your goals high. Take some time to do this right, and you’ll thank yourself later.”

As you’re prepping for the new year, why not resolve to be more responsive. An older article at Business Week has some great tips for making a good impression: respond quickly, be enthusiastic, make eye contact, be respectful. This is good stuff (and reminds me of the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People).

Finally, a reader sent me an article about the grow grow years from Heronswood Voice, a nursery blog. The author extols the virtues of gardening, writing:

American Capitalists, don your jeans and straw hats and join me in the Great American Garden. You have nothing to lose but your losses. This is the only place where your investment yields, at least, a 25-to-1 return.

This astonishing garden-grown ROI is not modern-day speculative sleight-of-hand, but real, tangible and fungible. The pragmatic, prudent, down-to-earth principles and values that made this country great still work–and can put delicious food on your table and green in your wallet.

As the Get Rich Slowly garden project demonstrated, these claims are a little extreme. But it’s still possible to earn a 2-to-1 return on your investment, provided you contribute some time.

GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, GE Capital Bank, and more.