“Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design.” – Jim Rohn
I thought about this a lot and figured a lot of moms like myself, and definitely women on a whole are often doing spring cleaning time and time again. But what kind of money lessons can it teach you.
Well Money Coach and Business Mentor Cheryl Hanson-Stimpson has some great ideas below:
|Money Lessons from Spring Cleaning
Recently I found myself compelled to carry out a major re-organising project in my home. I finally admitted that I had run out of space to keep some important items, so I decided that it was time to take control of my chronic storage issues. With spring in the air, it presented the right opportunity to take on a comprehensive clean-up challenge.
At first, I thought that the simple answer to my dilemma was to purchase a few more containers or another cabinet to house all the stuff that I needed to put away. However, a quick audit of my closets revealed that I already had more than enough storage bins; the real problem was that I was keeping too many things in them that I no longer needed.
I realised that there was only one solution — some of my stuff had to go. As I went through the slightly traumatic process of unpacking, sorting and deciding what to keep or dump, I thought that most of us could probably benefit from a clean-up campaign on our finances. Upon further reflection, I began to see some lessons that spring cleaning can teach us about money success.
Get rid of the past
In clearing up, you may come across items that make you wonder, “Why am I still hanging on to this old stuff?” Similarly, we often hold on to our financial failures and allow them to hinder us from moving forward. The credit cards which we maxed out; the savings accounts which we cleaned out; the investments in which we lost out; we need to learn from our mistakes and let them go.
While you need to release your past disappointments, it’s just as important not to get stuck in reliving your past successes. In The Greatest Salesman in the World, author Og Mandino declares, “Nevermore will I be satisfied with yesterday’s accomplishments, nor will I indulge, anymore, in self-praise for deeds which in reality are too small to even acknowledge.”
Whether your past has been difficult or delightful, be mindful that you have the ability right now to make use of your wealth of experience to accomplish great things. Your best days are ahead of you, so stop looking behind; focus your thoughts and actions on what you need to do in the present, to create the financial future that you desire.
De-clutter your life
Cluttered closets can be very frustrating, because you can never find what you want with ease, and searching for your stuff just wastes your time.Disorganisation, in any arena, brings chaos and confusion and prevents you from seeing your way forward clearly. However, having a cluttered financial life can be more than a petty annoyance; it can actually cost you dearly.
Are you clueless about where and how you spend your money? Do you forget your bill payment dates and constantly have to pay penalties? Have you lost track of your deposit amounts scattered across different financial institutions? These are just some of the ways in which you can become trapped and confused in a disorderly money muddle.
Remove your financial clutter forever by getting your money organised. Create a budget (you can download one at www.financiallysmart.org) and use it to make informed spending choices. Record your bill payments a day or two before they are due in your diary or mobile phone calendar. Seek expert financial advice to create a structured savings and investment plan to achieve your goals.
Prioritise and live simply
The hardest part of spring-cleaning was deciding which items should go and which should remain. My rule of thumb was that if I hadn’t used it for a year, I was highly unlikely to ever need it again. In fact, I decided to make the garbage can my most valuable piece of furniture; no new item would be put in storage if it didn’t have a clear and important purpose.
Too often, we become overwhelmed with our lives because we continue to accumulate more and more unnecessary things. The never-ending pursuit of mindless stuff will only bring discontent and an unquenchable desire to outdo ourselves and other people. When retail therapy beckons, ask yourself: “Do I really need this new pair of shoes? Does my home really need another decoration?”
Consider all the better uses for your money that will bring lasting benefits, such as saving for your goals or donating to worthwhile charities. Choose to spend below your means and live a more simple existence. When you leave space in your life, you actually give yourself enough room to receive new opportunities and blessings that would otherwise have passed you by.
While it’s great to live the good life, sometimes the simple life can bring more long-term satisfaction. Spring-cleaning has inspired me to let simplicity be my new way of being; where less can be more and true wealth is not dependent on all the stuff that I have.
Copyright © 2012 Cherryl Hanson Simpson.
Now isn’t that something to think about. The next time you are about to purchase something, think carefully on whether its a need or a want. Do you really need to buy it?
Remember “The key factor that will determine your financial future is not the economy; the key factor is your philosophy.” — Jim Rohn
How do you think about money?
Here’s a chance for a Fresh Start in your financial future, grab it with both hands!
In our quest to help you find meaningful ways to create multiple income streams, as always, here is another great advice from Cheryl Hanson-Stimpson, Financial Advisor.
“Over the past weeks we have been encouraging persons to get innovative in looking for ways to become more productive. It makes no sense to merely complain about a shortage of money – you have to focus your efforts on creating solutions to earn more. Fortunately, there are dozens of methods of generating income; it’s wise to choose one that best fits your personality and situation.
In your quest to improve your finances by finding a practical means to earn more money, you may encounter some roadblocks. You may have a job that expressly prevents employees from marketing things at the workplace or having any outside employment. You may find it hard to discover your inner talents to exploit for profit. Maybe you’re hopeless at sales and couldn’t even sell water to a thirsty person.
If you have a challenge identifying a viable product to sell or making use of your talents to serve others, don’t despair. There may be several earning opportunities lying undiscovered right at home. Many people don’t recognise that their residences are ‘lazy’ assets – they have monetary value but never contribute any income into their pockets.
If you’re determined to find an additional earning source, maybe some of these possibilities to earn with your home might appeal to you:
One of the simplest ways to make extra money from your house is to rent out some of your rooms to boarders. If you have a self-contained space with bedroom and bathroom facilities and can provide access to the kitchen, then it should be relatively easy for you to earn. If you live near to a tertiary education institution and would like to take in students, you can register your property with the proper department which can advertise it for you.
Jamaica is an in-demand tourist location, but most people don’t realise that they can participate in this industry without having a hotel. There are travellers around the world who are looking for bargain rooms or prefer to experience an authentic vacation with real residents. If you have an entertaining personality and adequate room space, this might be a great option. You can market your property on websites that cater to this type of tourist or contact the Ministry of Tourism for more information.
Child Care Facility
If you live in a community with young children whose parents have to go out to work, you could consider using your home as a facility for day-time child care or for after-school accommodation. You would have to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of your environment and that you have properly trained persons to look after the children. Do the necessary checks to determine if your home can be legally used for this purpose.
There is a lot of idle land in this country that could be put to productive use for agriculture or other purposes. If you’re fortunate to have a big backyard, but lack the desire or ability to plant crops on it, how about leasing your land to an enterprising farmer? Depending on the location of your property, it could also be used for light manufacturing or rented for a billboard site. Observe your yard with an analytical eye, and think of entities that may find your property valuable in some way.
Virtual Business Address
Some home-based entrepreneurs would prefer not to use their residences as their business addresses for privacy reasons or because of inadequate mail service. If your home is easily accessible for the delivery of packages, and your address sounds like a professional location, then it’s possible to earn from simply renting out your mailbox as a virtual business address. Check with small business groups to find trustworthy clients.
Real estate professionals say that the key to making profit with your property is all about “location, location, location.” If you’ve created a beautiful garden at home, or have been blessed with eye-catching scenery, you could consider offering your property for use in music videos or specialty photography. If you’re located near to a church or school, hand out flyers advertising your backyard as the perfect setting for group photos and videos.
Another option for making money with your home is to rent out idle rooms to persons who are in desperate need of storage space. You could store furniture for persons who have to downsize their living arrangements but don’t want to get rid of their belongings, or stock imported items for a shop owner. How about also making use of your empty driveway? If you live in high-traffic environs such as New Kingston or Spanish Town, you could easily find customers for rented parking space.
If you plan to use your home to generate income, ensure that you comply with any regulatory guidelines that might govern your activity. Next week we will search for other practical methods of making more money.”
copyright © Cherryl Hanson Simpson.
Cherryl is a financial consultant and coach, and the founder of Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services,Jamaica’s number one source for practical, down-to-earth and independent answers for all questions relating to personal finance. Cherryl is currently writing her first book, The 3 Ms of Money. See more of her work at www.financiallysmartadvice.com.
What has your journey been like, share your story.