Clutter is much more than just physical items in your home and useless junk. Clutter can refer to anything that decreases your inner happiness, productivity, including things or habits that threaten to overwhelm your daily life.
Especially when it comes to financial clutter, feelings of depression or anxiety can increase even more. So, it really can be a total game changer when you learn how to clear your head and start becoming wiser about how and with whom you spend your energy, money, and time on.
And so… here are 3 easy ways to prevent financial clutter from entering your life:
Tip # 1: To Retail Therapy or to Not Retail Therapy?
Problem: I go to the store to only pick up milk and fruits. Instead, though I end up coming home with the milk and fruits, but now have also added brownie mix, a cookbook, and a handy purple journal that was on sale for 2.99$. Or, I tell myself I’m having a bad day so I deserve a new pair of jeans.
What’s my point? Yes, we all experience this buyer’s temptation from time to time and that’s okay! I’m guilty of it and maybe you are too! So, when most of us go shopping (whether this be in retail or grocery settings), we may end up picking up unnecessary extras, tempting sale items, or items that only look good to us in that moment.
Aftermath: Then, we come home and some of these items get stored away in some drawer… never to be found again. Or, we end up placing preventable constraints on our budgets, incorrectly allocating our funds to useless items when we really could have saved that money for an oil change or extra tank of gas.
Solution: Preplan your shopping adventures and make a list BEFORE leaving the house. Then, stick to what’s on your list. If you do end up seeing a “OMG I NEED THIS NOW” item, ask yourself: do you really need it and resist the urge to buy it on the spot. Go home and give it some thought for a few days. If, even after you feel the item is a need, decide if it’s worth going back for. If you’re having a bad day, is there any way else you can spend it, i.e. with family or watching a comedy at home? Sometimes negative emotions can lead to bad purchases. 🙂
Tip # 2: Replacements Anyone?
Problem: I’m out and about running errands and I see a perfectly wonderful tool set on sale. I think to myself, well tools are always going to come in handy and I may need this one day when I buy a house though I already have the tools currently for my apartment living needs.
What’s my point? We as humans sometimes like to over prepare and get tempted into buying things because we think we may need the item in some distant future time. This isn’t always the wisest purchasing style though.
Aftermath: Either duplicates of the same item enter the house, unneeded items are being bought and stored when there isn’t a need for them, or extra money is being spent unnecessarily.
Solution: Try to focus on buying replacements only when there is a CURRENT need for the item. For example, if an item needs replacing that is used up, broken beyond repair, or worn out. This increases your financial cushion and decreases monetary clutter.
Tip # 3: Cut the Cost Shitters!
Problem: I buy a gym membership that I don’t actually use.
What is my point? Cost shitters are what I refer to as little sneaky financial worms that can stay stuck in our digestive budgets, i.e. that gym membership you never use or the 3 online streaming accounts you have. Do you really need all 3?
Aftermath: Believe it or not, 10$ here and 30$ there really adds up quickly. If you’re able to manage even 100$ savings monthly by possibly cutting out unneeded expenses, that’s 1,200$ by the end of the year that could be used on student loans, car payments, mortgages, etc…
Solution: Take 15 minutes now and conduct a written brainstorm. List out all your subscriptions/costly activities, including magazines, online communities or services, streaming sites, hobbies, daily coffee runs, or health memberships. Can any of them be canceled? Examples:
- If you do go to the gym, look for a gym or plan that serves your unique usage level. My local gym has two types of membership, one for heavy users and one for light users. Additionally, if you’re only going to yoga 2-3 times a month, maybe it’s better to just pay the 10$ one time class fee every time instead of the 70$/ month. There are also may be free exercise and yoga classes in your communities!
- Do you have to go to the movie theater every time you want to watch a movie? Can you opt in for a Redbox rental now and then or even a YouTube rental? YouTube has hundreds of free movies while other movies can be rented for one-time use at just 3-5$. Additionally, look for codes or coupons like Redbox free rental e-mails or promotions!
- Find entertainment that may at be no-cost in your local communities. Having fun doesn’t always mean spending money. Opt out of going to the bar where drinks are 10$ on average per drink! Maybe opt in for inviting friends over for a movie night and purchasing a bottle of wine that would cost about 15$ and give you more than 1 glass obviously!
- 4$ on a Starbucks coffee or drink = 120$ a month if you drink this coffee 7 days/week for 30 days. Maybe it’s worth buying reusable ceramic mugs and making your cup of jo at home?
Decreasing your financial clutter can really help you lighten your load a bit in life! Hope these tips helped you!