Submitted by ptwcourtney on Tue, 10/15/2013 - 18:57

The saying goes, “a clean home is a happy home.” But let’s get real – in the blink of an eye a home can become a pigsty. While a messy home can be aggravating, there is solace in knowing it can be organized rather quickly.

Something that is not as easy to organize, and can easily rob a person of joy, is financial distress. Many factors contribute to a happy home, but few are as significant as effective financial organization.

When Financial Organization Takes a Backseat

Keeping personal finances in order is a huge responsibility. One of the greatest challenges involved is making this task a regular habit – much like housekeeping.

When life gets overwhelming, as it often does, being deliberate about managing money becomes very important. Famous personal finance expert Suze Orman agrees and sums up this problem perfectly by saying:

“Thoughtful financial planning can easily take a backseat to daily life.”

It is common to let financial planning take a backseat, but that doesn’t make it acceptable. When life gets hectic, continuing to pursue an organized finance plan is of great importance.

Financial organization is known to strengthen emotional health. It empowers a person to take control of day-to-day happenings and encourages thoughtful decision making (Redhead, Keith | A Behavioral View of How People Make Financial Decisions).

Taking the First Step

Taking the first step in becoming organized can be a challenge. Financial organization is particularly difficult. Nevertheless, many people try to set up and maintain these systems alone. This can be frustrating – especially when disorganization has been the mode of operation for a long time.

For those who desire assistance in this area, it may be ideal to team up with a professional organizer. Many of these individuals know what it takes to organize finances and put systems in place.

Michelle Katzman is one such person. In an interview with PlumbTalk Women, Katzman describes the first step of becoming organized as identifying what causes disorganization. This is why she is sensitive to learning about each client’s unique situation.

Her assistance is most useful once she and the client understand what straw “broke the camel’s back.” In other words, what financial burden got so heavy that a person knew things needed to change? Was it an audit? Divorce? Death?

Every person is different. The causes of disorganization are never the same. But there are a few tips that anyone can apply once realizing the need for a money management plan. Michelle Katzman shares this information with PlumbTalk Women as an encouragement to commit or recommit to financial organization.

It is Easy to Start Today

Once recognizing the root cause of disorganization, it is time to take back control and become organized. Katzman offers three tips to anyone seeking to increase quality of life with basic financial organization. These action steps cost no money, making it easy to start today.

  1. Know exactly the amount of money coming in each month (income) and going out each month (expenses)
  2. Actively participate in both immediate and long-term financial decisions
  3. Talk with an estate attorney sooner rather than later

Following these steps can make one aware of the habits that lead to financial chaos. By taking action right away, it is possible to regain control of personal finances.

Be Thoughtful and Decisive

There are many approaches to money management. An effective personal finance system often results in a peaceful home and a resounding sense of security. Setting up a successful system begins when a person becomes decisive.

According to Katzman, disorganization is not about having too much stuff but rather the absence of making decisions. Ultimately, this results in, what she refers to as, “piles of indecisions.” This can be solved with a simple question: what stays and what goes?

In an encouraging workshop for women, Michelle Katzman uses an informative PDF she created to help people decide what to keep and what to toss. This PDF is titled, “Guide to Keeping Records.” It is available to all PlumbTalk Women readers at http://www.myprofessionalorganizer.net/.

The Best Is Yet To Come

Regardless of income level, relationship status, or family needs, it is essential to set up a unique financial system. Order in this area of life may relieve ongoing stress and tension. It provides a structured schedule and goals to achieve forward movement.

Before embarking on the journey towards financial organization, take a deep breath. “It is never as bad as it seems,” Katzman says. The professional organizer goes onto claim that there has never been, and never will be, a situation that is too “far gone.”

Looking for a Helping Hand

A number of people who pursue this organization routine are able to utilize resources that help them establish these symptoms on their own.

Others find it beneficial to consult professional organizers. Michelle Katzman is the immediate past president of the south Florida chapter of National Association of Professional Organizers, or NAPO for short (http://www.naposouthflorida.com/).

NAPO’s website makes it possible to connect with professional organizers that excel in specialty areas – for instance, some are experts in financial organization. Katzman believes most personal organizers share her passion for the field. She says, “We love what we do.”

Financial Organization Makes for a Happy Home

Financial organization always seems like a task that can be put off. But sweeping it under the rug only increases the workload that will soon be necessary. In all actuality, tackling the task can become routine – much like cleaning house. Before long, the act of financial organization becomes habit.

A happy home is an organized home. Financial organization can lift a burden, relieves stress, and allow for a person to control his or her environment. There is a caveat, however: it needs to be done consistently.

There is freedom in having organized finances... So clean house and be free.

For more information about financial organization and to find local professional organizers, visit NAPO’s website: http://www.napo.com/.

Be sure to visit Michelle’s website for the helpful PDF, “Guide to Keeping Records.” http://www.myprofessionalorganizer.net/.

Continue to research and explore financial organization. Start with the article used to inspire this piece. Keith Redhead's "A Behavioral View of How People Make Financial Decisions." http://www.fpanet.org/journal/BetweentheIssues/LastMonth/Articles/ABehav....

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