Marie Kondo fever is here!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that “Marie Kondo-ing” your space is all about keeping only what sparks joy for you. Getting to your financial joy means you’ll have to tackle a few tasks first, but stay focused and follow these tips to spring clean your way to better finances.
While you’re cleaning out those old clothes and basements and attics full of stuff, resist the urge to toss everything in the trash. There are plenty of charities that can use your well cared for possessions to help those in need. You can check out the charity first via several sites, such as Charity Navigator. Be sure to follow IRS guidelines for valuation purposes. If you need the cash more than the donation, use the auction sites or even a garage sale to turn your excess stuff into cash.
Take a look at your investments.
Are you holding onto failed stocks or investments that you just can’t seem to get rid of? Maybe you’re holding on to some vague hope that it will come back, just because you want it to. Close your eyes, grit your teeth and get rid of the stinkers. Because while you’re waiting for miracles, you are ignoring the opportunity to make money (joy) elsewhere. Not to mention the warm feeling you’ll get every time you don’t have to see it on your statements every month.
Do you have a stack of notices from your insurance company called EOB’s or Explanation of Benefits? It’s where they provide you with a code (or seven) of why they’re declining your claim. Before you toss the paperwork (because let’s face it, they sure don’t spark any joy), why not make that phone call to follow up on their denials? There’s very likely hard earned money sitting in those forms just aching to make their way to your checkbook. Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call followed up by a letter of complaint to get them to pay up.
Check your spending.
Now that almost a third of the year is over, how do your numbers look? If you don’t have a spending plan (some call it a budget), then make one. NOW! When you get your money life under control, the joy will follow immediately. That means knowing your numbers. What does it cost you to live—the basics—and what do you spend over and above what you need to live? Need to cut back? Decide where the dollars are going that bring you the least amount of satisfaction and benefit and get serious about reigning them in. Or try this: save first and THEN pay your bills.
Stop loaning to the IRS.
Tax refund? Congratulations, you are the proud contributor of an interest free loan to the government. If that doesn’t spark joy, then go change your W-4 form to withhold less tax and then SAVE THE DIFFERENCE each pay period. In no time you’ll have a stash of cash to pay off debt, build your emergency fund or even take that vacation you’ve been dreaming about.
Your finances will thank you for the re-fresh and your life will have a little more joy (you might even sleep a little better too).