Declutter Your Life

February 19, 2014
Eric Roberge

“Out of clutter, find simplicity.” ― Albert Einstein.

You know that feeling you get when you finally clean out the attic, garage or basement… that sense of satisfaction that you can’t help but enjoy for the next few hours? Where does that come from?Too much clutter?

We revel in this feeling of accomplishment because it’s one more thing we can check off our list of “to dos.” After months or even years of this task weighing on our mind, we’ve taken the unknown and made it known. No longer do we have to wonder what we have stored up in the attic or how long it will take to clean it. It’s done!

Clearing up the unknowns in our lives can occur like a mild form of therapy. Not only is it a way for us to physically cleanse ourselves of clutter, but also to clear our minds. As Albert Einstein said, “Out of clutter, find simplicity.” And who doesn’t like simplicity?!

What would it be like if you could replicate this feeling of relief, accomplishment and simplicity with your finances? Take a minute to describe how you would feel if you knew everything there was to know about your current financial circumstances (savings and spending habits included) and had a list of actions to take to bring you closer to your goals.

If you’re interested in that feeling, it may not be that hard to produce. All there is to do to gain clarity around your financial picture is to follow a step by step process. It’s really no different than going through your attic. Rather than finding old Halloween costumes, though, you might actually uncover something useful, like an old savings account, or a bill that you are paying for a service you no longer need. And that would be like finding money in the street!

Although finding money may or may not happen, there is something to be said about organizing your personal finances and building toward a secure future. So here’s what you can do to get started:

Cash flow statement: Get a handle on your income and expenses. The goal here is to know exactly what comes in and goes out every month. Not every month is the same, but getting a general idea of what is happening can provide you with clarity and confidence (financially speaking and otherwise).

Balance sheet: The balance sheet can also be called your net worth statement. This is basically a summary of your assets (things you own, including bank and investment accounts) and liabilities (things you owe, i.e. debt). The difference between the two is your net worth. It’s the “what’s so” today and doesn’t mean that things won’t change in the future. Knowing this can provide you with the power you need to take action.

Putting together the above information might just provide you with that same feeling of accomplishment that you got when you cleaned out the garage. Suddenly, your financial life (known to many as “the black hole”) may not seem so overwhelming. That sense of relief that comes from clearing up the clutter might even spill over into other areas of your life. And those bad habits and areas of life where you haven’t been taking action may begin to transform as well.

Contact me any time for more information on the specifics of putting together the above documents. It may take some time, but the end result will be worth it!

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