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Chapter 2

What I’m loving about this book is that, even though it all really “revolves” around finances, it ties in so many other aspects of life that affect one another. Yes, all of the different areas she addresses affect finances, in one way or another, whether directly or indirectly, but they do not ONLY affect finances, so there is much to be learned, no matter what we are trying to achieve.

Chapter 2 is titled “Are the Chaos and Clutter in Your Life Keeping You from Financial Success?”

So, this is something I can relate to. My confession is that there are definitely many negatives as a result of my “chaos and clutter.” While I can say that finance issues are not a big problem, my chaos/clutter/disorganization does indeed cause other issues, such as stealing the potential for more peace and simplicity, as well as saving time, sanity, patience and having more tolerance! I can, however, definitely recall a few times that I’ve gotten myself into trouble (money-wise) and not to mention additional stress, due to being cluttered and disorganized (and KNOWING I had a coupon for that item, but having NO IDEA where it got to- which pile/bag it got in, misplacing or forgetting about a bill, etc.). Soooo frustrating! So, of course, I’m open to any help I can get here!

Crystal encourages us to GET OUR LIFE IN ORDER!

Rule #2 is Streamline your life and cut the clutter

The key points here are that being disorganized makes us waste time -looking for things, not knowing what we have (and ending up buying duplicates, etc), and MORE!

Clutter can also have to do with our SCHEDULES! She says “if you’re drowning in clutter and your days are completely overbooked, then implementing any of the money-saving tips from this book is going to be a feat of sheer willpower.”

BECOME THE MASTER OF YOUR MINUTES. It’s about eliminating our PERSONAL CLUTTER.

MAKE IT HAPPEN.

RESTRUCTURE priorities to make time to get finances in order.

“When you have too much to do, you can’t devote the time and energy to what really matters because you’re spread too thin and just barely keeping your head above water.”

***CAN ANYONE RELATE???

I can’t stand that feeling! When I DO something, I want to give it all I’ve got and do it to the best of my ability. If I know that I can’t give it 100%, then I either need to say NO or give up something else.

When we say YES to one thing, we say NO to another.

How to Streamline Your Life and Have Time for What Matters:

1) STOP trying to DO IT ALL!

– Worrying about what others think

– It’s OK to say NO!

> No to overspending, buying things you can’t afford

> No to over-booking your life

2) Create a list of personal PRIORITIES

– Helps us to spend our time doing things that help move toward our goals

3) Develop a TIME BUDGET

– If we don’t have a plan for how we will use our time, we will end up succumbing to what Charles Hummel aptly called “tyranny of the urgent.”

We’ll be BUSY, but not really make any MEASURABLE PROGRESS.

When setting up a time-budget, start with the 24 hours that we all have in a day.

Block out 8 hours for sleep (yeah, I know that sounds a bit excessive for those of us with little ones, but just do it!)

Set aside 2 hours for “margin time” (because things happen- unpredictable things!)

Prioritize the remaining 14 hours. (She has some nice worksheets in the book to use)

***Has anyone actually ever done a time-budget or even a time diary type thing to see where all of their time goes?? I’m still working on this time-budget that Crystal describes, but I know in the past when I’ve done a time diary, it is AMAZING to me to see 1) where all of my time goes and 2) how it keeps you accountable when you know you have to write it all down!

For more in-depth details about this time-budget thing, please send me a message or consult the book.

STREAMLINE your stuff: Eliminate Physical Clutter

– Home and life can’t be in shambles if we want to get finances in order. These really do go hand-in-hand.

How to tame the CLUTTER MONSTER

1) Go through your home from top to bottom (she does this twice a year- whole house as quickly as possible)

2) Stay on top of the clutter AGGRESSIVELY

– Set up ongoing declutter boxes

– When you get something new, get rid of something old

– Institute the “no-pile” rule

> Go through mail and all incoming papers IMMEDIATELY

> Throw out sales fliers/catalogs (most can be accessed online anyway)

> Create a SIMPLE filing system for bills

> Have a box for keeping special cards; toss the rest

***I’ve found that a lot of these types of ideas for getting organized need to be what works FOR YOU. I would suggest taking a look around and determining what your clutter problems are and where they come from. For example, if it’s papers, then it probably has a lot to do with the mail, etc. A simple accordion file case or individual file folders like I had suggested in a prior post would help you to tame that problem. It will also take self-discipline to MAKE A HABIT to use the system, but having a PLACE for the items and a SYSTEM, will be half the battle!!

If you have a particular thing or area that is causing you trouble, I’d be happy to try to come up with suggestions to kick the problem on its rear. Or feel free to post a comment and we could see if anyone else wants to chime in with suggestions!

Well, that’s it for Chapter 2. Next up is Chapter 3 (imagine that), which addresses BUDGETS!!!!!

I’d love to hear what you think so far and if you’ve been able to use any of this information so far to help you out. More to come…

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