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Blog: Minimizing Financial Clutter
Why Are You Saving That?

Ahh, one of a professional organizer's favorite phrases!  It's a question we ask our clients all the time, as we help them make "keep" or "don't keep" decisions about their things.  But since I'm here to write about minimizing your financial clutter, I'll leave the issue of "too much stuff" to someone else.
Last week, I wrote about creating a strategy for very young children to organize the money they receive as gifts.  To read last week's blog, go to http://www.onlineorganizing.com/BlogEntry.asp?id=1369
Parents have enormous power to teach their children how to save, donate, and spend wisely, and they can begin doing so before their children even reach school-age.  One part of that strategy should be about making a savings plan.
When adults put money aside to put in a savings or investment account, they generally have a purpose for doing so.  That purpose is tied to something that they either want to do in the future (such as buy a house, go on a vacation, or retire) or it is tied to something that they might have to do in the future (such as replace a broken-down car or provide for living expenses in case of a job loss).  Even though your children don't have to save for such expenses right now, it is no less important for them to have a reason for saving a portion of their childhood income.
"Aw, Mom.  Why do I have to save my money, anyway?"
Parents, you know the drill.  You're at the mall and your child spies something she just can't live without.  "But Mom!  Why can't I buy that?  I HAVE MONEY."  That may be a true statement.  She may, in fact, have money in her piggy bank or in her savings account.  Technically then, she could buy the latest object of her desire.  If you have no savings plan in place, she could easily wear you down and give in to her impulse to buy it.  (As a side note, many chronically disorganized adults have difficulty curtailing impulse buying, which obviously contributes to their "thing clutter" as well as to financial difficulties.)
Why You're Saving a Portion of Your Money, Honey
Imagine the aforementioned mall scenario if parent and child had a savings plan in place:
"But Mom!  Why can't I buy that?  I HAVE MONEY."  The difference is that, prior to the shopping trip, the parent and child had established rules about the circumstances under which the "savings" portion of the child's money could be spent.  In that case, Mom could have quickly reminded the child that her "savings" were designated for specific things:  perhaps a bicycle, the newest X-Box, or even for her first car. 
Parents, you have the power, and the responsibility, to help your child plan for the future.  Steven Covey, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, says that we must "begin with the end in mind".  Financially-organized people begin with a strategic plan for saving in mind.  And before they make an impulse purchase using their savings funds, they toss the idea against their savings plan to see if, like cooked spaghetti, it sticks.  Helping your child create such a plan, and monitoring his progress, is one of the greatest organizational gifts you can give him.     

posted on: 4/27/2008 11:30:00 AM by Katherine Trezise
category: Finances

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Discuss This Post

by jessica on 5/4/2010 8:12:56 AM:

hi all, It has lot of useful & interesting data. **************** jessica, Top Savings Plan

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Minimizing Financial Clutter

by Katherine Trezise

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About Katherine:

Katherine Trezise is president of Absolutely Organized, based in Baltimore, MD. She is president-elect of the National Study Group on Chronic Disorganization. Katherine holds a masters degree in business administration, is a Certified Professional Organizer® and a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®. Absolutely Organized specializes in helping people organize their homes, paperwork and financial records to make room in their lives for the things, people and activities that are most important to them.

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