image courtesy of s_falkow
Greetings from Shorter Designs! I strive in my newsletters to hit a wide range of topics, and this month I want to write about an issue that has come up a lot with my clients recently. It is in the area of finances. “What does that have to do with organizing?” you may be wondering. Plenty!
Think about it. If you have a lack of order in your house, it stands to reason that there may be other areas of your life lacking some order as well. Finances are easy to lose track of if we don’t stay on top of it. It is easy to go to a store intending to pick up one or two items, and before we know it, the cart is full! (By the way, all of this stuff ends up in your house, resulting in clutter.)
One way to save money and outsmart all the advertising and “sales” where we shop is to have a budget.
A budget is simply you (and your spouse) putting on paper what is a reasonable amount of money to spend in certain categories. Basic ones include groceries, mortgage, car payment, electric bills, entertainment, etc. Once you agree upon a set amount per month to spend, then you need to stick to the amount that was set.
Then when you are shopping at your favorite store and there is a sale on clothes, refer to your pre-set budget to know how much you can spend. And don’t spend a penny more no matter how tempted you are. You will likely be proud of yourself for having the self-discipline to “just say no” to yet another shirt that will hang in your closet untouched for months.
Just like children need boundaries and to know what is expected of them, so do we as adults. Being proactive with your finances will help you save money on unnecessary items, give you more freedom to invest the money you save, and it will probably also help your marriage. If you both stick to the budget, then there is one less thing for you to argue about when the credit card statement arrives or the bills are due.
Since many of my readers are church-goers, two resources for you from a Biblical perspective are anything by Larry Burkett (do a Google search and a lot of sites come up you can explore) and Crown Financial Ministry. If a secular approach is more your style, David Bach and Suze Orman are both respected in the financial field as well.
Hopefully these ideas will take hold with you if they have not already. Organizing your money isn’t always fun, but it is well worth it in the long run. And you will likely end up with less clutter in your home as well since you will be more limited in your spending habits!
Here are some great things to do in May:
- Buy your mother a Mother’s Day gift before May 8! If possible, make time to spend with her too.
- With the kids being home for summer soon, simplify your schedule now. Stop doing those activities that you or your children are not interested in anymore. Give yourself a few extra minutes for each errand, appointment or task in order to not be so rushed. And don’t put too many things on your calendar. Leave some free time for rest, play, and doing things you enjoy.
- Finalize your vacation plans if you have not already. Talk to your travel agent or check online to be sure everything is in order.