Published on April 8, 2015 9:53 am, by Jen Bakker
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a whole ‘minimalist movement’ going on. The benefits of decluttering are well known. You feel good, you sleep better, you’re able to deal with things, and you change the energy in your home.…
When you’re surrounded by stuff, you’re overwhelmed, caught up in having to buy the latest thing etc. It’s a treadmill that is hard to get off – but not impossible.
The same could be said about money. Most of us have a pile of ‘we’ll get to that later’ paperwork, a mental to do list (tax, insurance, review suppliers etc.) and feel overwhelmed. We’re probably wasting our money on things we don’t need, or paying more for things that we could get cheaper.
If you’ve already experienced the joys of de-cluttering, why not apply the same technique to your finances? Who knows, you could attract some really good money energy your way.
Follow these four simple steps to de-clutter your finances and simplify your financial life.
There are simple things you can do with your money that will leave you feeling Zen and good about your journey towards financial wellness.
If you have your own money-organising hacks to share, please leave a comment – we’d love to know them!
1. De-clutter – keep or file?
Gather up all your paperwork and be ruthless.
– What do you need to keep? (What do you need for tax records?)
– What can go? (What’s online already? Been paid?)
– What paperwork can be switched to receive by email?
Money Brilliant Tip:
Remember, there’s a real risk of identity theft, so make sure you use a shredder or security bin to get rid of financial information.
2. Organise your filing
Use a simple A4 folder and keep all your paperwork together (or, use an app on your phone to store it electronically). Some simple categories are:
Keep your money goals at the front to keep you on track.
e.g. To pay off my credit card by June or save $1000 by July to pay for flights to Thailand.
3. Know where your money goes
Get organised and create a budget. There’s plenty of free tools out there, like MoneyBrilliant’s budget planner, where someone else has done a lot of the thinking for you, or you can put it into your own spreadsheet.
It’s an essential step not to be overlooked. It becomes your measuring stick – your starting point to track how your money is going, growing, failing or improving!
4. Write it down – and take steps to make it happen
Because you’ve worked out where your money goes, it’s easier to see where you could be leaking money or what things are on your to do list. Work out a plan of attack to do something every day or week until it’s done.
Some examples of where you may be leaking money:
– are you paying too much for electricity? Or Health Insurance?
Set up time to check out the comparison websites.
– are you still paying for a gym membership you don’t use?
– magazine subscriptions – do you really need it?
Set up time in your diary to do money tasks increases your chances of actually doing it!
So, these steps are all about getting your finances organised and de-cluttering your financial life. Your next step is on the path to financial wellness, where you’re not just good with money – you’re brilliant at it.
Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.