Dear Smart Money People,
It has become wildly popular to declutter and organize thanks to Marie Kondo. I have always been a fan of the organized desk, closet, and pantry. Then life happens and the once organized and alphabetized shelves of beans and soup quickly devolves back into chaos.
I think we all yearn for things to be in their places, to have order in our outer space to help us stay organized in our inner space.
When you think about finances, it is the same thing. People can feel out of control when there is no plan, also known as a budget. What is it about budgets that help people be successful and feel better? It is about knowing where your money is going, in a neatly organized way!
It is making a decision for a purpose, on purpose.
Organizing helps you manage your energy
When things are out of order, they take more energy to manage. When that happens, you don’t have the energy to manage the things that you need too. For example, if you are spending your time and energy struggling with money, living paycheck to paycheck, worrying about your finances, you are definitely not spending time on things that will help you live a happy fulfilling life. Some things that make us feel good are exercise, preparing healthy meals, reading a book, listening to an inspiring podcast. When you are exhausted from managing money, you don’t have the energy to do the things that lift you up, feed your souls and give you energy.
Money unmanaged can take up all of that energy that can go to more productive things.
How do you get off the merry-go-round of unorganized money? There are a few ways I would recommend.
4 ways to get clear on how you manage your money
First, look at where you are spending your money. Look at bank statements and debit and/or credit card transactions. See any trends?
Second, think about the things you purchased. Was it food? Clothes? Experiences? Books (guilty)? Beverages? Lunch?
Third, consider if these are purchases you made on purpose? Or are they purchases you might not have made if you had a plan?
Do you buy lunch every day because you forget to pack it in the morning or the night before? Did you buy a sweater on a business trip because you forgot to pack one (guilty)? Do you go out to dinner several times a week because you are running between commitments and don’t have the time/desire to cook?
Fourth, if given the chance to do it over, would you do the same thing? Make the same purchases? Give it some thought.
To get organized and get some peace in your life, you have to have a plan and you have to do the work UP FRONT. It is hard to get in better shape if you don’t make working out a priority. Losing weight is a challenge if you don’t look at your meal planning and food prepping efforts. You cannot get your money in order if you don’t have a plan for where it will go, in advance, on paper. I wrote a post HERE on budgeting. Check it out and give budgeting a try.
The cost of staying the same
I’m not saying it is easy-peasy. What I am saying is if you want something to change you have to change something you’re doing. If you stick to it, and I know you can, you will get there. Can it be overwhelming? Sure. That is why 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and have on average $6,900 in credit card debt with a total debt hovering at $135,768 which includes mortgage and credit card debt. Average auto loans are around $28,033 from the same article.
Let’s move the needle on that number. You can do it. I can help. Trust me, you will be happier, have more energy and feel more organized.
YOU’VE GOT THIS!!
Karen & Bill