Over the past year, there has been an abundance of posts, books and videos on tidying up, organizing and decluttering your home. Research has shown how clutter and chaos can have a negative impact on your mental and physical wellbeing. An article by Matthew Clark on mayoclinic.org in 2018, provides a few great examples of the impact of clutter on health.
Setting aside time to declutter your finances on a regular basis is just as important, if not even more so. Since your financial habits impact all of the other areas of your life, doing a regular financial cleanse may be worth considering.
One of the exercises we do with our financial coaching clients is to evaluate all of the people and businesses on their payroll. We use the word “payroll” to represent the relationship of hiring/paying someone else to provide/create or deliver a service to you in exchange for a fee. Every day you choose who or what business will receive your hard earned money.
Begin by making a list of all of the service providers that you have a contract with and are obligated to pay, such as a landlord or mortgage company. Next, add those people or businesses you use on a regular basis for discretionary services, like a gym membership, software license or delivery services. Take your time and include as many vendors and providers that you use at least a few times a month.
Once you have a complete list, go back through and jot down notes next to each one. Identify the purpose of paying for each service, the value that it adds to your life and if it aligns with building a life you truly love. Be as succinct and detailed as you can.
Finally, work through your list again and decide who or what needs to be reduced, increased, replaced or eliminated from your “payroll”. Reallocate your dollars where it makes sense to help you accomplish what really matters most to you. Look for ways to share, barter, borrow or rent as needed, rather than purchase.
Commit to a financial decluttering at least once a year. It’s easy for new providers to creep into your payroll and use up valuable resources that could be going to something more meaningful and impactful. Somehow the things you thought you couldn’t live without, begin to crowd out the things you truly don’t want to live without and can create unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Ready to declutter your finances? Let us know how it goes, any questions or feedback. You got this!