Decluttering - Part Two

Submitted by Sarah Barnett on August 21, 2019

Last month, we discussed decluttering your financial life. I received a good deal of feedback from people who eliminated unneeded financial accounts. I also heard from many who made substantial donations to charity of the unneeded items cluttering attics, garages and storerooms. This month, let’s consider decluttering something even more important – your mind.

Let’s begin with worry. Worry is not productive. Most of the things we worry about never happen, and even if they do, advance worrying only adds to the emotional toll of the event. There is a big difference, however, between needless worry and planning for “hard times” or disasters. Cities and institutions plan for “what if” scenarios and you should, too. Consider likely risks, develop a sensible recovery plan and then move on.

A second emotion to clear from your mind is envy. There will always be people who have more money than you have or who have, seemingly, easier lives. Develop an attitude of gratitude for your health, for the people and privileges in your life and for the material blessings you have right now. Enjoy the present moment. Saving for big ticket items that are meaningful to you and your family is healthy. Envying those who already have these things is not.

A third emotion to clear from your mind is an overwhelming desire for the approval of others. We all try to do well and we like to hear when we are but, when the need for the approval of others becomes your main focus, you are off track. This is one area where social media can be very negative. Your experiences and worth are unrelated to clicks and likes. Positive feedback from others should not be necessary in order for you to appreciate your own self-worth. Do the right thing and go to bed with a clear conscience.
Think through these or other emotions that are cluttering your mind if you now spend emotional energy on these non-productive thoughts.

Unfortunately, folks make a number of bad financial decisions based upon envy and an inordinate desire for the approval of others. Clear the clutter and focus on positive emotions that will be a blessing to you and to those around you.