Written by Stacy Froumis – Treasure for Tomorrow Financial Coaching
We all know what kind of effect clutter has on our homes and on our life. Many times we don’t even realize most of what makes up our clutter. One day we finally get around to sorting through it and then wonder why we held onto it for so long! It took up space in our home and our life and yet it served no purpose. Or perhaps it did once, but not anymore.
This can also apply to our finances. So often we know there is work to be done but we avoid it because it’s too overwhelming and scary. And once we finally get around to examining our finances more closely we realize we’ve been paying for things that are serving no purpose in our lives. This is why decluttering is so important!
Here are some ways you can declutter your finances:
Start with your paycheck. Examine your paycheck stub carefully to see what is being deducted. Are you using every benefit you’re paying for? If you’re getting a tax refund every year, could you ask your employer for a new W-2 form and reduce your tax deductions?
Look over your transactions – especially subscriptions and memberships. Subscriptions are some of the biggest sources of financial clutter. This is because they are small monthly fees that fly under the radar, but they add up over time! Are you consistently using Netflix, Spotify, Hello Fresh, or Amazon Prime? Are you actually reading those magazines you’re paying for every month? Did you sign up for a free trial and then forget to cancel it before the 30 days were up? Take a look at your monthly subscription fees and cancel anything you are not currently using.
Memberships are probably more on your radar because they can be a bit pricier. But when was the last time you examined your memberships and considered whether or not you’re getting your money’s worth? Are you going to the gym often enough to justify your gym membership? Have you been taking advantage of that wine club membership? If not, consider cancelling and saving that money!
Consolidate your accounts. Take inventory of all checking and savings accounts you currently have. Are you using them all? If not, consider consolidating them so you’ll have less to keep track of.
Declutter your bills. Switch to auto pay so that bills are paid by your bank account automatically each month. This prevents you from forgetting to pay a bill and incurring late fees. Also consider going paperless and access your statements electronically to eliminate paper clutter.
Just like getting your physical clutter organized gives you a sense of relief and makes you feel more productive, getting rid of your financial clutter will give you a sense of control and empowerment over your financial well being. It’s easy to let things pile up or slip through the cracks, but by setting aside some time to dig into your financial accounts and processes, you will be setting yourself up for a stress free and clutter free financial life!
Stacy is a finance coach who helps single women get clear about how to manage their money so they can ditch their debt, stop living paycheck to paycheck, and start building their dream life!