No one’s ever achieved financial fitness with a January resolution that’s abandoned by February. ~ Suze Orman
Marie Kondo, the famous Japanese cleaning consultant and author of the #1 best-selling book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has taken the world by storm with her inspiring ideas on how to change one’s life by getting organized. Besides inspiring me to overhaul my own closets and drawers, Marie’s book got me thinking about how to take her processes and apply them to personal finances. How might one apply Marie’s wisdom to their money? Some of her key lessons translate directly to creating strong, organized financial habits.
Here are four tips for magically tidying up your finances:
1. Discard. Whether it is the 20th pair of shoes in your closet or the 600th book on your shelf. Hold
each item in your hand and if it doesn’t “spark joy”, get rid of it. The same can be said about
reviewing your spending habits. Start by printing and reviewing a spending summary from your credit card or checking account. Do you have unused gym memberships, Netflix subscriptions or other debts that you’ve been “meaning” to cancel? As you start to reveal un-joyful spending categories, determine the best way to discard those financial weights.
Marie suggests that you forget about buying new storage solutions in order to start the decluttering process. Start with the materials you already have. Likewise, organizing finances does
not need to involve fancy software or file boxes. Using the tools already at hand like a basic
Excel spreadsheet or old-fashioned calculator will serve you best.
3. Simplify your systems
Look at your spending from a different view. Maybe you’ve tried saving
receipts or tracking spending only to find attempts met with much frustration. Perhaps there is
an easier way. Many expenses will not change in a year or even a decade like one’s mortgage,
utilities, and health care. Rather than entering data and budgeting for every category, set up a
spending plan on discretionary areas that you want to improve like eating out or travel.
4. Don’t stockpile
As tempting as it can be to take advantage of a ‘buy 10, get 1 free’ deal, consider that buying more volume may lead to a faster rate of consumption. Buy only those items you will need in the foreseeable future. Avoid purchasing anything unless you know you will absolutely use a given service or item at a reliable pace. If you question the value of a monthly expense, put it on hold for a while and see if you notice that you no longer have it.
Like The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up, organizing and improving your finances can change your life. In addition, your financial goals will thank you. This year, prioritize your financial ‘closets and drawers’, and start off your new year on a stronger path towards financial success!
About the author:
After studying engineering and serving for twenty years in the corporate world as an operations manager, Shelley Murasko felt an overwhelming desire to help individuals build financial security. She now manages a portfolio of investments to ensure the ultimate overall total return for her clients. When Shelley is not working as an advisor at Bahr Investment Group or leading workshops through Wife.org, she enjoys time with her husband, two kids and dog, Amigo.
Shelley is also a Hera Hub Carlsbad member. She wrote this post for us to help create awareness that January is Financial Wellness Month. Connect with Shelley on LinkedIn.
Cleaning supplies image courtesy of surasakiStock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net