Looking for some motivation to get yourself and your household better organized? What if I told you that by getting better organized you can actually save yourself money? It's true. The benefits of organization go way beyond having a neater house. Organization is an investment in your family. And, if done right, it can end up saving you money in the long run, too.
Here are just a few of the many ways that being better organized can help your family's bottom line:
1. With so many people out of work, there are many charities that desperately need your excess "stuff" to help these families in their time of need. But you can benefit, too, by taking a tax deduction for your worthwhile donations. Between now and Christmas make a plan to clear out, purge and reorganize one area of your house per week. Donate all of your usable castoffs, and by tax time you'll have a nice donation to help ease your own tax burden.
- Wondering how to calculate your donations? Goodwill has a free downloadable Donation Valuation Guide to help you assess your donations.
2. Organizing creates a mental shift from the "abundance mentality" (which can be draining to the pocketbook) to simplicity. By organizing and simplifying your surroundings you create a more serene space for yourself that you won’t want to ruin by bringing in more "stuff" you don't need, thus saving you money on unnecessary expenses.
3. Organized finances give you the ability to assess your budget and spending. With a clear picture of your spending habits, you can easily see where to cut surplus expenses. For example, a simple spreadsheet can track your monthly expenses and let you visually see where your money is going and where you can cut back. Additionally, an organized bill paying system can ensure that your payments are sent on time, thus avoiding any late fees or accrued interest. One basic method for keeping track of your monthly bills is to file them in a labeled folder according to the date due. Make an appointment with yourself every week to go through the folder and pay all the upcoming bills.
4. Organization saves you money by not needing to buy things you already have BUT cannot find. The Krazy Coupon Ladies have taught us how to stockpile on the cheap. But these items need to be organized and easy to find. We aren't saving money if we need to run out to buy regular-priced toothpaste because we can't find the free tubes we bought last month.
5. Organizing your to-do list and chores allows you to combine trips and save on gas. By planning your week and arranging your errands efficiently, you can save time too. Try limiting your planned errands to one or two days a week and order them according to proximity to one another.
6. Learning to better prioritize, which is what organizing is all about, gives you a better idea of what is really important to you, and helps you define where to cut costs and where to invest. If you decide that a vacation is more important to you than a new wardrobe, focusing on this priority will make it easier to resist spending money on the latest fashions.
So how has being organized, or disorganized, affected your household budget and expenses? What new organizing strategies will you begin today to help save you even more?
This has been a guest post by Debbie from York, PA
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