Improve your Financial Wellness Through Spring Cleaning

54386874_l.jpgDid you know that there is a direct connection between your finances and household clutter? 

Take a moment and look at all of those mostly forgotten and little-used items you’ve spent money on over the years.  Sometimes we don’t want to part with those items because the pain is purely financial, rather than sentimental.

Addressing this issue requires first acknowledging that you spent your hard-earned dollars on something you no longer need or require and then letting go of that fear of needing that item later on but not having the funds to replace it.

Of course, placing items into storage is an option but it will cost you more money - the average rent for a 10 x 10 self-storage unit may cost as much as $160 per month!  Many people who choose to store items do so for at least two years, even though at least 65% of self-storage renters have a garage.1  These statistics are a stark reminder that de-cluttering can actually improve your financial wellness and it doesn’t have to be a difficult process.

Here are some ways de-cluttering can help you take control of your finances and improve your financial wellness:

  1. Evaluate your perception of ownership

By de-cluttering items that don’t have sentimental value, you’ll be left surrounded by items that you regularly use and enjoy.  This results in a new-found sense of appreciation for what you already have, which can help you purchase items that will provide the most value.  Therefore, it’s important to determine what items provide value to you and your family and what items don’t.  Doing so can help you identify priorities, resulting in wiser spending habits  and less spending on items that no longer are of value and which will only increase clutter.  You’ll then be able to apply more funds towards your financial goals!

  1. Elimination of Duplication

Did you know that more than 25% of people spend at least two hours per week searching for misplaced items?  How many times have you done this, wasting time and energy, only to have to pay to replace the item out of expediency in order to accomplish a task?

By de-cluttering and getting organized, it’s much easier to find what you need and the potential of purchasing an item that you may already have is reduced..

  1. Pursue your Financial Goals

By having a new perception of ownership with reduced spending and selling unwanted and unnecessary items, you can improve your ability to make progress towards your financial goals.  Any funds acquired during the process of de-cluttering can be put towards an extra payment on your mortgage, credit card, or student loan.

  1. Tax Benefits

Donating items to a 501(c) organization(s) can also provide some positive tax benefits, all while helping those organizations accomplish their missions.  To expedite your tax filing, however, be sure to keep a detailed list of what was donated and its value, as well as where, when, and to whom (name, organization, address). 

Add donating as part of your cleaning routine throughout the year - not only will it help keep your home inventory in check  but it will definitely make the annual Spring cleaning process much easier.

  1. Paying Bills On-time Improves

When bill statements are misplaced a payment can be missed, which results in negative financial consequences, including late fees.  Being organized and less cluttered can help reduce the chance of being late on your bill payments.

  1. Less food waste

Did you know that an average family of four wastes about $2,500 in food every year?2
While you’re de-cluttering and getting organized, take a pantry challenge, where you halt grocery shopping until everything you’ve already purchased is consumed.  Having
trouble finding a recipe for items you already have?  Check out Supercook.com.

This list highlights some key areas but what other ideas or suggestions could you add that could help reduce clutter and, thereby, improve one’s financial wellness?

1 SelfStorage.org 

2 USDA.gov

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