There are many great reasons to get organized: you’ll save time, you’ll create more space, you’ll reduce effort, you’ll be less stressed, you’ll be able to easily find the things you need – the list goes on and on.
But here’s the bottom line: getting organized can save you money! It’s an investment that pays out in any economic climate. Implement these tips to put more cash in your pocket, and you’ll also enjoy some of the other benefits of getting organized too.
Convert your change to cash.
Last month I opened a client’s file drawer to find that it was filled with coins. This “spare change” added up to over a hundred bucks. How much money is sitting around in your space? Some banks have machines that will turn your coins into bills at no charge, even if you’re not a customer. And you don’t have to bother with those pesky coin rolls either. You can also find similar machines at a variety of places, but they do take a commission fee.
Take advantage of potential tax savings before the end of the year.
Talk to an accountant or financial planner soon about any actions you should take before December 31 that may save you money on taxes. One day can make the difference in hundreds or thousands of dollars when it comes to things like making business purchases, selling securities, contributing to charities and funding retirement plans.
Cancel subscriptions for magazines and journals you don’t have time to read.
Stop paying for information you don’t use and receive credit for any issues remaining on your subscription. This is a quick hit that also cuts clutter, saves trees, and reduces the information deluge so you can focus on what really matters.
Donate your excess stuff to charity.
Get a tax deduction, clear out your space, and make things available to people and organizations who really need them.
Eliminate late fees.
Those $29, $39 and $49 fees for paying bills late can add up quickly. Even worse, if you pay a credit card bill even one day late your interest rate can skyrocket and your credit rating can suffer. Set up automatic bill payments from your bank account to ensure that your bills are paid on time. Arrange for recurring bills (like utilities and newspaper subscriptions) to be automatically charged to a credit card and you’ll also rack up reward points and save time by paying fewer bills.
Set up a workable filing system so you can find important documents and financial records.
Before working with me, one client paid $150 for an emergency replacement passport rather than trying to find hers. This week I saved $136 on a watch repair because I had the warrantee.
Eliminate or reduce paid storage space.
Are you paying hundreds of dollars a month to store stuff you never use? Madness! Has it been more than 6 months since you’ve been in your storage space? If so, chances are there’s stuff that you’ve totally forgotten about. A few hours of clearing out can save you big money quickly. Even just getting rid of a few large items can enable you to move to a smaller, cheaper space.
Create simple systems to track charitable donations, tax deductible expenses, and reimbursable business and medical expenses. You are literally throwing away money if you are not keeping track of these types of expenses and taking the steps to get proper credit for them. In two minutes I created a system that enables one client to recoup thousands of dollars each year.
Organize your supplies to curb unnecessary purchases.
How often do you purchase something like batteries or printer toner only to later find the very item in the back of a cupboard? Once we organize their things, many of my clients find they have enough office supplies, batteries, cleaning products, etc. to last for years. Don’t tie up your money – and your space – in excess inventory.
Save 42 cents with every check you don’t mail, pay your bills more quickly, and get a more useful record of your payments than a manual check register can provide (even if you dutifully record every check you write – something few of my clients do.) I avoided making this switch for years – big mistake.
Sell your excess possessions.
You can sell items yourself at a tag sale or on sites like e-bay, or use a consignment shop, auction house or online reseller. This takes more time and effort than donating your stuff, but if your things are valuable or desirable it can pay off.
Don’t delay! Implement some of these tips and start saving money today!