Day 5 Clearing Clutter in Abundance
It’s day 5 in our challenge. How are you doing so far? Since it is the weekend and we usually have a little more time to think things over and tackle a little more than we would during the week. We are going to look at decluttering our financials. What do I mean by this? For so many moms, women and even some men I have coached, this is a major area for some reason we tend to ignore, just hope for the best daily and even have fear around. Why? We need it, we want it, we have to have money to make our lives go. It is like the fuel to make our days go or stay at a standstill. It is the most prized possession for some people and others hoard it, lose it, or just can’t get the amount they want or need. None the less it is an area most of us were not taught how to view in a healthy way. We are going to go over some basics today but I will be rolling out a Masterclass in decluttering and we will go really deep in this subject.
Good news: every single time I decide to look at this area of our lives, our home something good comes about. Every time! About 6 years ago I tackled this area head-on and decided we were going to live knowing how much we had, what we were worth and most importantly how to grow to where we wanted so desperately to be. You have to do different things in order to move up and get to where you want to be. The first step is knowing, knowing every single penny you have, invested and debts. We lived blindly for so long, we had an idea of how much was in the checking account, we knew savings had very little and investments we knew when the quarterly statements came in. Unnecessary panic would come some days when we would be at the store purchasing items or at the gas pump. This is not a good way to deal with your finances or be in a healthy money mindset.
Our first step was to stop stacking up our unopened bills. I was taught when I was little as soon as the bill came in, you pay it, do not wait for the due date. That’s all well and good but some of those days in the past, it was a surprise bill or we just didn’t have it in the account to pay that day. I felt guilty because that was an old story I was taught and still programmed into my head. I would feel guilt, shame and defeated because I chose to make someone else’s beliefs my own that wasn’t working for me. I mean who cares as long as I am not late on the bill I can open it and then pay it when I have the money in the account right! That statement made me feel better back then. I had to start clearing out the mind clutter that beat myself up over the bills first. I experimented with new statements that made me feel better than making them into new beliefs for myself. I looked at our debt and instead of being sad about having so much I became extremely grateful for what I gained in return with someone trusting me to pay them back. They didn’t have to give me that credit card to purchase a vacation, no one had to give me a loan for a new vehicle, education or whatever else we spent it on. I shifted my mind to make myself feel better when I approached bill-paying day. Instead of being annoyed someone else was taking MY money for another payment, I thought I am really grateful they could supply me with electricity, heat, air, and insurance. I mean it is benefiting me and our family, we used it so we should pay for it. Turn down the thermostat or lights if we want that bill to go down some then. I began to take personal responsibility for what we use and be happy about paying them for us using it.
Then I went and bought a pretty binder, one that made me pleased or happy to pick up. In it, I put dividers, pretty markers, white-out, pencil pouch, pencils and calendar pages I can either print out or buy. Each divider I labeled electric, cell phone, cable, and so on. Everything we pay monthly, unexpected medical bills and pending bills, Bank statement tab is the back of the binder. The calendar I put in the very front and label due dates of the bills so we know and can keep track. I highlight them as we pay them and if anyone asks did I pay something they can look at the calendar as see if it is highlighted, or if I wake up wondering if I paid it I can go look.
I have a tab that I label progress. This tab holds our goals and what we are working towards. This is where the magic happens it seems like every time. I list all our debts, the balance owed and monthly payment. It is a running tally sheet to keep everything in order, we know what we need to do to obtain our goals and I update it quarterly to show ourselves progress. It is fun to add up how much we have paid off during the past 12 months and its an amazing feeling. Money usually shows up in mysterious ways to help pay down a debt we are trying to pay off. This is sometimes where we think holy crap how did that happen? I have had clients message me and state that balance disappeared, or someone makes extra sales to pay it off. There are so many ways this can happen and we never know. But the first step is figuring out where you are in your financials.
I hole punch each statement or bill and file it under the proper tab, this clears up a lot of paperwork sitting around on our desks or in the drawers. No more misplaced statements or lost bills. For some clients, they were working on cleaning up their credit reports and filed that under a divider to keep handy to know what to work on next or letters written to various places.
Decluttering paperwork is one thing but to organize it, and declutter it in our minds is an up level. As a mom and knowing when we go to the store we have more than enough to buy things that are empowering. Guessing at the register or holding your breath at the pump if the purchase will go through is no fun and we don’t have to live this way. There is no reason why anyone shouldn’t know exactly where they stand in their household with finances. Dig in and become empowered around this subject. Money loves the attention, good attention, it loves when you keep track of it and often rewards you for it too.