One of the most common reasons I here for people not investing for their financial future is not having any spare money.
A common theme tends to be the cause of this problem…
I grew up in a house where everything was kept, just in case it could be used for something else later. It might be a spare part for something that broke, or it might be useful again, one day!
It was sacrilege to throw anything away. Especially when hard-earned money had been used to acquire the item in the first place.
As you can imagine this led to significant amounts of clutter. We had rooms where the cupboards were full of ‘stuff’.
Maybe there is Another Way
In the past few years the local council in our area introduced a twice a year clean up service. You can leave at the front of your house anything that you want to dispose, with a few guidelines for larger or environmental items.
Our household has been a regular user of this service…
Every six months we review our home and either dispose using the council service, donate or giveaway anything that is no longer needed.
Now you might ask, what has that got to do with money and investing for your financial future. Good question.
We live in a world that relentlessly promises happiness and fulfilment from your next purchase…
And here I am suggesting you should consider removing clutter from your life and learn to live by owning less stuff.
The simple truth is, the constant pursuit of more stuff is the exact reason that you don’t have any spare money for investing.
This stuff, the clutter that builds up in the spare room or garage, is a significant reason why you don’t have the money to achieve your financial goals and invest for your financial future.
The Statistics of Clutter
Today we consume twice as many material goods as we did fifty years ago.
The size of the average home has nearly tripled over the past 50 years and now contains about three hundred thousand items.
Our stuff has even spilled outside our walls. Due to our garage clutter, 25 percent of people with two-car garages don’t have room to park cars inside and another 32 percent have room for only one vehicle!
And I haven’t even mentioned the 10% of us who rent offsite storage.
We are drowning in a sea of possessions—and we feel it almost every day. We’re tired, stressed, hurried, and financially strapped.
The most popular solution to our battle against clutter seems to be “just implement better organization”—or at least, that’s what we’re told is the solution.
We’ve bought colourful buckets, bins and baskets from the same folks who sold us the ‘stuff’ in the first place.
But in the end, although the storage solutions we’ve bought promised to solve all our woes, they’ve only packaged them differently.
But there’s a solution that’s even more effective than organizing.
The Solution to Clutter and Your Money Goals
The surprising solution you’ll never find in an Ikea catalogue, plastered on a billboard or featured on a Google banner ad is to own less stuff.
Owning less results in less cleaning, organizing, managing and repairing.
But the benefits go far beyond that… owning less means more money and time to pursue your money goals and free yourself of money stress.
Being free of the need to own more stuff will change your financial status almost instantly.
This week look around your home and identify what you no longer use that you can sell, donate or dispose.
Separate these items and make a plan for how you are going to get rid of them.
The money you generate from selling stuff could be used to pay down your credit card debt, the first step in your financial freedom plan. Imagine that, the clutter in your home just relieved this month’s credit card stress, boom!
No More Clutter and Financial Freedom
If the stuff you own is keeping you from pursuing your dreams—dreams for your family, dreams for yourself, dreams for others—then you can begin to embrace those dreams by taking a few simple steps to live with less.
And while these baby steps begin with removing clutter—which is, admittedly, not so glamorous—the ultimate purpose is to put yourself in a position to fulfil the dreams you have for your life.
The trick to success and to having the money you need each month is to ensure you don’t return to the ways of clutter and needing ‘stuff’.
To achieve this, reflect on why you want to achieve your money goals. What are your money goals? Make sure you have them written down and visible. These visual reminders are the triggers that will keep you on task.
Spending less money on things you don’t really need will not only avoid a clutter build up, it will free your time, your money and your mind to achieve your money goals.
So this weekend, I’m going to post on eBay some photos of pictures that having been sitting idle in our study for the past few months. They no longer match the colour scheme of our home and they aren’t likely to be used in the future.
It’s time they went, no more clutter, and some spare cash for the next financial investment.
Let me know what you do to remove clutter from your life and how it could impact your money goals.