Have you heard of the KonMari cleaning method? Invented by Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo, the KonMari craze is currently sweeping the U.S thanks to a popular Netflix show. In the show Kondo shows homeowners how to declutter their living spaces and live a life surrounded by items that bring them joy. The results have people across the country throwing out unnecessary items and keeping only what makes them truly happy.
Even though the KonMari method was developed for material items, it can also be applied to your money habits! Are you ready to spring clean your spending to create a healthy and happy financial future?
Imagine Your Ideal Financial Lifestyle
A big part of the KonMari method is figuring out what you want to achieve from the process of decluttering your home. Less stress? More space? A better understanding of what you own? The same applies to your wallet. Go into the cleaning process of your spending habits with a clear intention of what you want to get out of it. Do you want to cut down on useless purchases? Or tidy up all the different debts you’re paying off? Or perhaps figure out how to invest more of your paycheck? Imagine your ideal financial lifestyle and dive into the tidying process with those goals in mind!
Break Up Your Cleaning into Categories
Unlike many other cleaning methods that attack mess from a room-to-room approach, the KonMari method breaks down the process into 5 large categories. These range from books to clothes to sentimental items, and you’re supposed to complete one category before moving onto the next. Use this strategy to tackle your financial clean up as well! Break down the process into categories like credit cards, student loans, monthly budget, retirement savings, and investments. Make sure everything is squared away in one category before moving onto the next.
For example, if you’re focusing on reducing the amount of credit cards you have, begin by comparing the interest rate, APR, and perks of each card you currently have open. Determine which one or two best fits your current lifestyle—try to aim for no more than three credit cards. Make a plan on how you’re going to pay off the balance on the cards you don’t want to keep and only put new purchases on the cards that bring you the most joy. There are pros and cons to closing a credit card account, so make sure to read up on that before making a final decision. Now that you have a handle on your credit spending, you can move onto another area of your finances that needs attention!
Figure Out What Kind of Spending Sparks Joy
Kondo says herself that it can be difficult to determine what sparks joy in your life. That’s okay! You’ll get the hang of it as you continue the cleaning process. On her hit Netflix show, Kondo teaches her clients to keep items that make them happy even if they don’t use them much. She isn’t an advocate for throwing out everything you own— she simply wants you to understand how to surround yourself with things you actually want instead of things you think you need.
The same logic applies to your spending habits. If getting your nails done or drinking beers with your buds once a month is a high point for you, keep that habit in your life! Spend your disposable income on things that bring you joy and make life worth living. Not a fan of the gym even though you want to stay healthy? Cut that expensive membership out of your expenses and find another way to get fit that makes you smile! Apart from paying all your obligatory expenses, such as the mortgage, groceries, and loans, create spending habits that maximize your happiness so you have more to spend on enjoyable experiences (or to stash away in savings!)
Create Sustainable Habits
At the end of the day, the KonMari method is all about creating habits that will stick with you for more than a few weeks. What good is it to spend hours organizing your closet just to have it turn into a mess of clothes again after a month? Clearly, the same applies to your money. As you go through the process of cleaning up your finances, getting payments on track, and understanding what kind of spending habits bring you joy, return to your original intention for starting this journey. How is this going to bring you a happier, more relaxed attitude toward money? For every new financial decision you make moving forward, think about whether it support your initial end goal. A truly healthy and wealthy life comes from sustainable habits that won’t snap back into a old patterns of bad spending once the excitement of a new organization method has worn off.
It’s time to get to work! Your money is waiting for the Marie Kondo method to give it a makeover. Assess your financial situation, set clear goals, and get ready to spark some joy!