My daughter Katherine is what you would call a creative. She sees a googly eye and the kitchen table becomes her art studio.
We support her artistic passions wholeheartedly. But as any parent knows, masterpieces also mean a glittery explosion of glue, scissors, and other crafty chaos to be organized.
When she and her sister stayed with their grandparents this past summer, I had a chance to tidy up the craft closet, and it got me thinking how similar the exercise was to financial organizing.
I approach the idea of organizing with this simple formula:
Motivation + Goal = Organization
Case in point:
When my girls were with their grandparents, I had some extra uninterrupted time. Motivation. Katherine’s gone, craft closet gets my full attention. Goal identified.
I can now take action and organize. I take everything out of the closet, so I can see what I have. Then I move things into piles.
I get rid of what we don’t use and the phrase, “I didn’t know we had that!” or “Why is this here?” becomes my new favorite mantra. I get a big picture view of everything in the closet and fully understand how those pipe cleaners are supposed to attach to the toilet paper roll robot.
From there, I can start the process of finding a place for the items we want to keep and use. The pieces start to fit together and the organization makes sense.
This same concept applies to financial organizing:
- Motivation: Start the process of organizing finances
- Goal: Understanding what you have and what you can do with it.
Just like my closet where I took everything out, it’s messy and chaotic, but I learned what I had.
Once you start digging into your financial closet, the questions will start coming:
- What is this?
- Why do I have that account?
- Which company is my insurance with?
- How do I access my 401(k) options?
Once we identify all the financial pieces you have, we can take action. We’ll organize where they need to be placed, what needs to be added, moved, or tossed.
As with anything in life, you can’t get things organized until you know what you have. Financial organizing is the foundation to understanding your whole financial picture and ultimately accomplishing the goals you set for yourself in life.
It’s a process and can be overwhelming at times, but that’s where a cup of coffee and a trusted advisor come in. The important thing is you start.
The opinions expressed herein are those of Anna Nelson and are subject to change without notice. This material is not financial advice or an offer to sell any product. Forward-looking statements cannot be guaranteed. This document may contain certain information that constitutes “forward-looking statements” which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “expect,” “will,” “hope,” “forecast,” “intend,” “target,” “believe,” and/or comparable terminology. No assurance, representation, or warranty is made by any person that any of Anna Nelson assumptions, expectations, objectives, and/or goals will be achieved. Nothing contained in this document may be relied upon as a guarantee, promise, assurance, or representation as to the future. Anna Nelson is an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.