Tuesday

How Organization Will Save You Money

I'll bet you're wondering what organization has to do with saving money.

Actually quite a bit!

Imagine that you've been looking all over your house for that book/DVD/sunglasses/whatever and you can't find it. Or imagine that you're at the store and can't remember if you still have any bananas or jars of strawberry jam.

Simple things, right?

Well, when we can't remember what we have and don't know where to find what we have, we usually end up buying it again. And then, before you know it, you're like my aunt with 17 umbrellas.

My mother always says that once you replace something you can't find, you'll find the original missing item. I'm sure many of you have heard that as well. But for as many times as we've heard this, we still do not take action and bring some organization into our lives to avoid spending money when did not need to spend in the first place.

So, what do we do about this? The answer to almost every organizing problem is to have a system. Why a system? Because we are creatures of habit and mostly prefer to do things the same way every time. Not only that but with a system you have less to remember. You just follow the system.

There are a couple of systems you can put in place to help you save money in various areas of your life. Here are 4 areas in which you will want to find a system that works for you to help save you tons of money in the end.

1. Grocery Shopping

How many times have you been at the grocery store, without your list, and wondered if you should be an item you're not really sure if you have or need?

I'm willing to be it happens a lot. It happens more when you don't have a list. It happens even more when you don't know what you have in your kitchen.

Here's what I suggest. Go through your cabinets and fridge before you attempt to make a shopping list. The list you're about to make is what you can see that you're missing or low on. Next, depending on how often you shop (I suggest no more than weekly) and plan your menus accordingly. So, plan menus weekly if you shop weekly, two weeks at a time if you shop bi-weekly, etc.

Once you know what you're going to make, you can look at what you're missing (from your first list), and make your shopping list accordingly.

When you get to the store, do not deviate from this list. Take appropriate coupons if you want to, but don't go hungry and leave the kids at home.

2. Shoes

What woman doesn't like to have a variety of shoes? Unlike men, we must have different shoes for different outfits, occasions, and seasons. However, this love of shoes can go overboard.

This has happened to me, I must admit. While shopping for something totally unrelated, I saw a great pair of gray houndstooth heels in Target. The only problem was the heel was a little too high and the size 11 was probably one size or so more than I needed.

I reasoned that my feet would swell and I wouldn't be standing long anyway. Plus, the shoes weren't expensive. Well, I stood for a long time on the day I wore them, it rained, and they were too big. They were worn once and are now on their way to charity. What a waste!

I should have taken stock of what I had and thought about what I was going to wear on that occasion. Had I done that, I would have saved my feet and my money.

So, take note: know what you have before you start adding to your collection.

3. Clothing

What goes for shoes also goes for clothing.

I used to get clothing as gifts from my parents and internally wondered where they thought a 14 year old was going to wear a white ruffled shirt in 1995. (I eventually found a use for that shirt in one of the plays I was in.)

The point is, even though they were trying to be nice about it, the clothing choices didn't fit my existing lifestyle. We do that sometimes. Whether it's a trend or something great we saw on someone else, we figure it's just something we have to have. But, by thinking this way, we often ignore the fact that it's not our style, it's not flattering, or it's out of our budget.

The organization here also revolves around knowing what you have. This will help you determine what you actually need and if there is room in your budget and your closet for the things you want.

4. Bills

The key to organization and paying bills is really simple. Pay your bills on time.

One more time: pay your bills on time.

This advice is most important when the bill is a credit card or loan. Late fees and over the limit fees (sometimes as a result of late fees) can seriously hinder your ability to eventually be debt free. (Who wants to stay in debt forever?)

There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can pay the bills as you receive them in the mail (if you still get paper bills) or as you receive notification by email for electronic bills. Or, to make this more automated and ensure the bills are paid on time, sign up for a 3rd party service, one at your bank, or one offered by your creditor where the payment is automatically debited from a designated checking account each month.

There are a number of ways to have as much or as little control over this process as possible, but the point is to set up a system and stick with it so that you don't lose money to late fees and penalties.

5. Miscellaneous Items

This is the area where so many people get into trouble.

We find ourselves at the store and we see something we like. We think we have one at home, but we're not sure. So, instead of waiting until we get home to verify (or call someone who is at home), we purchase the item anyway and end up with multiples. (Remember the 17 umbrellas?)

It's good to wait to make some purchases anyway, but the more organized you become, the more aware you are of what you have. When you know what you have, then you also know what needs to be replaced or what you're lacking.

Once you start organizing, you will find a surprising number of items you have bought and you can't remember why or what it is even for. You will also find the things you thought were lost but were really just buried under foolishness and mayhem called clutter.

Do yourself and your family a favor and stop the foolishness. Get organized and save money. You'll be glad you did.


Wendy Stewart is your Go-to-girl for being in the know about small business, personal finance, personal style, and wellness. For more free tips on personal finance, visit her blog, Personal Finance Success, at http://personal-finance-manager.blogspot.com

Blogs Worth Mentioning

Organizer Blog Topics for Home, Office & Beyond

how to get organized organize home garage apartment closet kitchen organizing for the holidays organize bathroom organize bedroom organization organize basement decluttering moving organize office organizing spring cleaning advice on keeping home clean desk how to clean how to organize an event how to organize coupons how to organize home how to organize shoes organize attic organize children persuasion to do list about us cardboard boxes and bins childrens closet and room closet organizer how to organize clothes how to organize freezer how to organize garden how to organize life how to organize makeup how to organize tools new year tips organize kitchen organize narrow kitchen cabinet save money storage containers Christmas storage tips arts and crafts back to school shopping family fast organization helping someone get organized hoarders holiday decorations packing and storing home decoration home organization stores how to decorate bookshelves how to organize a small linen closet how to organize backpack how to organize car how to organize closet how to organize clutter how to organize college how to organize cords how to organize dvds how to organize magazines how to organize mail how to organize money how to organize music how to organize pantry how to organize papers how to organize photos how to organize plastic food containers how to organize purse how to organize refrigerator how to organize room how to organize shed how to organize time how to set table laundry room minimalism motivation organize home office organized moms organizer tools shoes super bowl party ideas tips for organizers toys tv shows Christmas gift wrap Thanksgiving organizing accessories appliances art gallery art ideas art work carpet shampoo cheap organizing childrens cabinet coats coin collection collectibles creative tips drawer dividers food storage good housekeeping hobbies holiday giving guide holiday meal clean up holiday meal planning holiday prep holiday shopping home business home buying home care hotel bed how artists get organized how not to organize makeup how to arrange livingroom how to clean your bedroom how to eliminate stress and worry how to get organized for the holidays how to get your link on this site how to make book jar how to make small room bigger how to organize Internet tasks how to organize a desk how to organize any room fast how to organize anything how to organize apps how to organize baby bottles how to organize baby changing table how to organize beauty samples how to organize bedroom closets how to organize bikes how to organize binder how to organize books how to organize cell phone numbers how to organize chest drawers how to organize childrens dishes how to organize childrens files how to organize childrens rooms how to organize closet by color how to organize coat closet how to organize coffee table how to organize computer documents how to organize craft room how to organize craft supplies how to organize crayons and coloring books how to organize cube shelves how to organize digital photos how to organize dishes how to organize dolls clothes how to organize dresser drawer how to organize email inbox how to organize entryway how to organize garden tools how to organize grocery list how to organize home filing cabinet how to organize hotel stay how to organize ideas how to organize jewelry how to organize kitchen how to organize kitchen cabinets how to organize kitchen drawers how to organize locker how to organize medicine cabinet how to organize nightstand how to organize notebook planner how to organize notes how to organize paper how to organize paperwork how to organize party how to organize party beverages how to organize party supplies how to organize perfumes how to organize playroom how to organize pot lids how to organize pots how to organize receipts how to organize recipes how to organize scrapbook supplies how to organize sewing room how to organize small kitchen how to organize spices how to organize stuff how to organize suitcase how to organize table top how to organize teen closet how to organize the coat closet how to organize things how to organize under bathroom sink how to organize under kitchen sink how to organize underwear how to organize wallet how to organize wardrobe how to organize workout how to organize your home how to organize your mind how to organize youtube channel how to paint kitchen cabinets how to paint walls how to plan your day how to prepare items for uploading how to recycle a shoebox cereal box how to set a buffet party table interior design kids art labelmaker lazy susan legal documents neat freak need web content no money make-over nursery organize briefcase organize files organize for freedom organize garage organize information organize instructions organize kitchen utensils organize mind organize trip organize your child organizing around unsightly appliances organizing bedsheets organizing home for make-over organizing keys organizing people organizing protest organizing resources outdoor space pans and lids party invite rearranging furniture for the holidays redecorating for the holidays roommates storing clothes teen bedroom tips on organizing children tool cabinet organization trading rooms in house wall art wall decorating wall hangings wall pictures wedding why organize workshop
Custom Search

DIY Network Tip of the Day

VideoBar

This content is not yet available over encrypted connections.