How "Stuff" Fits into a Financial Plan

“How much stuff should you own?” asks Kristen of thefrugalgirl.comThe answer, she says is this: The right amount of stuff = the amount you can fully and regularly use. This principle, Kristen asserts, prevents living in excess but is still flexible enough to allow for the many and varied situations each of us lives in. Frugal Girl offers some “test questions”:

  •   Do you use every square foot of your house every day, with no
      room untouched?
  •   Do you own the right number of pots and pans? (Do any of them
      sit in the cabinet long enough to collect dust?)
  •   Do you own the right amount of clothing? (Has everything been
      worn over the course of a season?)

As financial advisors, we appreciate the definition of life coaching offered by Pat Chambers, Ph.D., who helps people “find the time, energy, space and money for the lives they truly desire”.

We believe sound financial advice can bring you confidence and security for the lifelong journey ahead. As is true for de-cluttering closets and drawers, setting your financial goals begins with “de-cluttering” your mind, narrowing down your focus on what things in your future are really important to you.

“You’ll see many definitions of clutter out there,” says Trent Hamm, founder of The Simple Dollar, who sees a deep connection between personal finance and clutter. Hamm’s definition of clutter is this:Clutter is anything in your life you have inadequate time to enjoy or inadequate space to store. “Clutter eats money,” Hamm cautions, and the solution, he says, is to pare down. Move to a “one in, one out” philosophy. Whenever you acquire a new item, an old one has to go. This allows you, he explains, to focus on quality upgrading rather than accumulating tons of mediocre stuff.

Do we need to be reminded of all this? You bet. According to Kate Ashford in forbes.com, one in four Americans has either lost or forgotten about an important financial document.

In fact, here at  WEFA  we’ve found helping our clients “de-clutter their finances is one of the most important aspects of our work together. Paying down debt, setting up automatic bill pay systems and automatic contributions to retirement and investment accounts, and organizing paperwork are just a few of the steps to managing your financially related “stuff”. 

How does your “stuff” fit into your financial plan?

Content prepared by a freelance journalist on behalf of Worley Erhart-Graves Financial Advisors