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I have no doubt that you understand the concept of clutter. All you need is a three-year-old running around and clutter happens almost magically. Often, and this seems to happen frequently, to acquire clutter, all you need do is...nothing. It’s kind of like a child growing or a bulging waistline. It happens slowly and without notice. Life keeps us distracted from the confusion—and clutter—that keeps growing all around us.
Do you remember going to grandma’s house and seeing all of those figurines or dolls or cookie jars (insert whatever clutter you want) and can’t, for the life of you, understand why she would have all of stuff sitting around collecting dust. And if you asked, she probably said something like, “It’s an investment” or “It makes me feel good.” If she had a hundred of them and saw another for sale, she would then have a hundred and one.
I asked my mother that same question a long time ago why she had so much junk around the house. Her response was simple, “It’s ain’t eattin a thang.” It’s what she wanted and that was all there was to it. She didn’t understand how the dollars spent there were taking away from something better. She didn’t understand that the time spent taking care of her trinkets was time she could have spent doing something more important.
This blog isn’t to take away from the things you want or what’s important to you. I’m writing it for the purpose of getting you to stop...just for a minute...to look around you to see if there might be something important to you that is being left undone because your clutter is getting in the way of doing more. I’m writing it to see if what you’re spending your life doing could be better spent. It’s always your choice in what you do. I just believe that it’s better to live life by design than living it by default.
Financial Clutter is like that.
As adults, we work hard to build a life from the dreams we’ve created. Slowly, at least for many of us, we acquire the things that are important to us; a home, a new car or two, a family, a retirement account, savings and the list keeps growing.
But, it’s more than just a list isn’t it? It’s your list. It’s our lives. And the things on your list are the things that you’ve worked a lifetime to accomplish. They’re important to you and no one else.
But here’s the problem. Each item on that list has its own inherent list that demands attention and confuses matters as if they have a life all their own. And each of these items are just one piece of your ever-growing pile of clutter.
The definition of clutter is; A collection of things lying about in an untidy manner.
Clutter isn’t necessarily dirty. It’s about disorganization. It’s about something that’s time consuming because it’s disorganized. It’s about the things that takes away the life we want to spend because they are necessary, important and time consuming because they are disorganized.
Let’s examine a few examples of financial clutter and dissect what that clutter could, and probably does, looks like for you.
For the homeowner:
Having a home isn’t just about a place to live. It’s an asset that we work hard to pay for. It’s where we share a life with our family. But it’s also a part of the clutter.
By itself, it’s not really an issue. However, as a part of the whole, it’s a burden. With owning a home comes a mortgage, homeowner’s insurance, utilities, appliances and keeping them running, yard care and maintenance, home repairs and other upkeep issues that need to be considered and tended to.
You already have a job that takes up much of your day. Owning a home is like having another job. It’s a lot of work. Maybe it’s the kind of work you love. But, if it is, are you giving everything to it? Or is there more clutter that’s keeping you from doing with it what you want?
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