Cultural funding

5 Ways Organizing Can Save You Big Money

Organization isn’t just about storage. It’s about finding smart ways to save money.

Organization isn’t just about storage. It’s about finding smart ways to save money.

We read about the overall benefits of getting organized. It helps us feel more in control, reduces stress, and helps us accomplish more in less time. However, did you know that there are financial benefits to tidying up? Here are five ways that getting organized can help us financially:

1. It helps you buy less

Knowing what you have in your closet, pantry, and garage is the best way to prevent yourself from repurchasing things you don’t need. Rummaging through a messy pantry isn’t fun, but arriving home with a bag of groceries to find you already had some of the items you purchased is frustrating. It’s also expensive. Americans throw away $165 billion worth of food each year, with the average family spending 250 pounds, or a third of all food purchases. If we spend an average of $200 a week on groceries, that means we’re wasting up to $67 a week, or $3,484 a year.

We may not be able to do anything about the amount of waste restaurants or businesses throw away, but we can control our own food waste. The first step is to know what we have before shopping. This means organizing shelves, pantries, and the fridge before we hit the grocery store. But it’s not just about food – taking inventory of what we have in our wardrobe before shopping for clothes can also help us save money.

2. It can increase your credit score

People who pay their bills on time have the highest credit scores and are offered the best interest rates on credit cards and consumer loans. And that’s where organization comes in: the better organized we are, the less likely we are to let an invoice slip through the cracks and the less likely we are to be late on a payment.

Have a monthly budget that you can check daily, just to make sure nothing is due. Keep all your invoices in one place (or in a folder on your computer). When you pay a bill, check it off your list. Create a designated area for paying bills – even if it’s just a small office in a guest bedroom – and keep everything in one place.

3. It helps you save on essentials

Do you have a system for organizing those coupons that come in the mail or in the newspapers? What about coupons or online promotions? Buying something you don’t need just because it’s on sale is a waste of money, but snagging a good price on something you can use will put extra cash in your pocket – funds that you can save or invest.

Keep your paper coupons in one place and create an online folder to organize virtual coupons. Or organize your paper coupons with the SnipSnap app. All you do is take a photo of a coupon with your smartphone and the app stores it for you. It also stores the expiration date and sends reminders. Another app – called Shopkick – offers exclusive deals for chain stores like Macy’s, Target, and Best Buy.

4. It can earn you extra money

If your basement, garage, or storage unit looks like it was hit by a Category 5 hurricane, that mess may be hiding some cash. Devote two straight hours to organization. Use this time to listen to your favorite music or podcast (you might as well have fun while completing the task). Set aside anything that’s still in good condition and hold a garage sale or list it for sale on a neighborhood bulletin board. If you’re having trouble letting go, keep three things in mind:

  • It no longer has any value for you. If it was, it wouldn’t be buried under a pile of other forgotten things.
  • Someone else may view your trash as their treasure and be willing to pay for it.
  • The more you sell, the less space you need to find for.

5. It may earn you a tax deduction

If you’re not interested in selling items, donate anything useful to charity. You’ll feel good giving and scoring a tax deduction all at once.

At the end of the line

Around 200 AD, the Greek writer Diogenes Laertius recorded these words: “Time is the most precious thing a man can spend.” Every moment we spend rummaging through a drawer for a pen or scouring our computer for a file is a moment in our lives that we can’t get back.

Whether we are moderately organized or not at all organized, most of us understand the frustration of not being able to find what we need when we need it. The price we pay is time, and time is money. In this way, being disorganized can be a costly problem in the long run.

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