Published by Kerry Meath-Sinkin
If you are like many of us, you have gotten wrapped up in the KonMari method, a simple process to tidy up the home. You can’t log onto Facebook without finding people taking images of their tidied-up sock drawers or kitchen cupboards. My husband even mentioned that thrift stores are feeling the effect of extra items, as everyone offloads their extra goods. It’s not surprising to me that this method has gotten so incredibly popular. As a culture, we are struggling to simplify our lives physically and emotionally. Too many clothes, too many ideas, too much clutter in our minds, too much clutter in our homes, and too much to do.
Yet, Marie’s method works because it takes such a simple approach to getting organized. It feels manageable within our busy lives and feels good to people! When I read about the KonMari principles, I can’t help but compare these steps to how you develop a healthy relationship with your finances. While finances are not always easy, the more you can simplify your financial planning, the easier it becomes. So, I thought I would share how you can incorporate these ideas in your financial life.
1. Commit to Getting Yourself Financially Organized: The simple act of putting your attention and energy into something can make a huge difference. Are you ready to commit to getting your finances organized?
2. Take a Moment and Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle: Are you living your ideal life, are you able to reach your most important goals and objectives. Is your life in alignment with your values? Getting clear on what you see for yourself helps you bring it into reality.
3. Develop an Organized Financial Balance Sheet: As Marie Kondo would say, put all your clothes in the middle of a single room, then see what still serves you. What is serving you and what can you get rid of? Have you taken the time to put all your finances into one place and thoughtfully reviewed those debts, investments, resources, or insurance contracts? With our clients we use an online portal that helps us see every financial asset in our client’s life, even if we are not managing it. I can’t tell you how valuable our clients find being able to see all their finances in one place, grouped by category. It helps us see if the overall roadmap is in place, and make sure every aspect of your financial life is planned for from education planning, to retirement planning, to charitable giving, risk management, or taxes. If you want to do this on your own you could look at services like Mint.com, or use a simple excel or google doc.
4. Following Your Financial Guidelines: Marie Kondo would say that you must tidy up in the right order. The same is true with your finances. If you don’t have a good plan it becomes extremely easy to get derailed. That could mean not having proper insurance in place, and not protecting our loved ones in the case of an unexpected event. Or it could mean making an emotional decision to sell an investment when the market drops. The more you put together the right roadmap, the easier it becomes to stick with a plan even during emotional periods. Click here for a quick outline of some basics to get started, or check out our guide covering planning basics.
5. Honoring Your Emotions/Be Joyful: Marie Kondo, would ask you to review each item and ask if it sparks joy in your life. I would modify this wording a little bit to align with finances, but the principles are the same. Do you feel great about your money? Are you able to discuss and approach your finances with a sense of clarity and confidence? These is an essential component in developing a lifelong financial plan that works!
6. Ongoing Support – Live in Gratitude: Are you grateful for the resources (big or small) that you have been given? Research shows the power of bringing gratitude into your life. Ph.D. Robert A. Emmons conducted a study on gratitude at UC Davis, which proved those subjects who practiced gratitude had measurable benefits on their psychological, physical, and interpersonal health.
Have fun “tidying up your finances” and getting yourself organized!
Love and blessings,
Kerry Meath-Sinkin is a registered investment advisor and financial planner based in Minneapolis. She graduated with honors from Brown, and works with clients not only in the Twin Cities, but nationwide. Kerry believes in a holistic approach to finance. She works with her clients to develop a practical plan with their finances, while also working on their inner relationship with money. Together, these aspects allow clients to feel healthy, abundant, and free. Kerry also has a passion for healthy living, is a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, and public health educator. Click here to learn more about Kerry