Jane Crewe, owner of Clutter Box SA, is a professional organiser. Through creative planning, realistic timeframes and budgets can be created. Clutter Box focuses on reducing the amount of clutter in your space and re-organising what is left into manageable systems so that a clutter free, calm space can be maintained. After many conversations with Jane, I thought it would be a value add to share her thoughts on "financial clutter" and how to declutter it. In the below article she has applied her home, office and moving decluttering values to finance. Enjoy the read.
While Minimalism is a global trend that is gaining traction, it is difficult to think how one can apply it to our finances – after all, most people are trying to INCREASE their income and MAXIMISE their savings.
Japanese tidying guru, Mari Kondo, has been greatly responsible for sparking joy, her trademark phrase, through decluttering. But decluttering is not just about clearing one’s physical possessions, it is also about clearing one’s emotional space and by extension one’s life. Through decluttering we are able to reduce stress and become more organized.
Finances are often a great cause for stress and where its is easy to become disorganised, despite our best intentions to save and stop spending unnecessarily. Here are Clutter Box’s 8 steps to decluttering and organising your finances:
1) Know your goals
What are you working towards - purchasing your first home, providing for your child’s
2) Analyse your spending
Does your budget and your spending align with your goals, the person you want to be and the life you want to live?
3) Prioritise necessary spending and automate it
Medical aid, the bond on your house, insurance – these are some of the areas that are prioritised, but savings should also be. Don’t save what is left at the end of the month – see savings as a necessary expense and automate along with other priority areas.
4) Eliminate unnecessary spending
Are you being held back by bad debt? Try to consolidate and streamline debt payments. Magazine subscriptions, in-app purchases, an unused gym membership – cancel anything that is not supporting your goals.
5) Cut the paper
Paper takes up a lot of space and piles of bills can cause procrastination and delay payments, resulting in unnecessary interest. Request online bills and statements, file electronically along with POPs. (Don’t forget to back up externally!)
6) Record regularly
Many banks have apps to hep you track and analyse spending, and there are plenty of alternate apps that can be easily downloaded onto your phone so that you can do this at any time, even whilst on the move.
7) Check weekly
Get into that habit of checking your accounts and supporting apps weekly. An unexpected night out may mean cutting back the following week in order to stay on track with your budget.
8) Reward yourself
It is not always easy to stay on track – we are human! Find short term rewards in order to stay motivated and financially organised.
These easy steps may not all happen overnight and may require adjusting some bad habits, but will be worth it in the long run. Happy decluttering!