How‌ ‌to‌ ‌“Marie‌ ‌Kondo”‌ ‌Your‌ ‌Expenses‌

Do all of your outgoings serve a function or “spark joy”? Cult home declutterer, Marie Kondo, recently shot to fame with her philosophy on tidying. We believe that her approach is just as applicable to your finances as it is to your kitchen drawers, so we’ve created a guide to streamlining and sorting out your expenses – Marie Kondo style.

Inspired by Wonga’s recent blog on how to stop spending money, this “tidying up” approach to your finances could help you eliminate unnecessary expenditure and become more conscious of your spending overall.

1. Start with discarding

Known as the KonMari method, this approach to decluttering and streamlining your environment focusses on discarding unnecessary items. To apply this rule to your finances, start by getting a bird’s eye view of your finances. List  your outgoings and incomings over the past 6 months. You may choose to print them out and colour code them (i.e. red for bills, green for food, blue for transport etc., or use an app like PocketGuard to keep track of everything.

Once you have a clear idea of the “mess” you need to “tidy”, it’s time to start discarding. Ms Kondo’s philosophy on discarding items involves holding them in your hand before deciding whether they are useful or “spark joy”. If the item does neither, it should be discarded. To take this approach with your finances, consider whether each outgoing you have made was essential (i.e. bills) or whether it brought you joy (i.e. swimming club membership or a Netflix subscription). If the answer to both questions is “no”, you should discard that item from your budget next month.

Weeding out unnecessary expenses like this is a great way to streamline your finances and to stop spending money that you could be saving instead. In this day and age of multiple digital subscriptions and 7-day free trials, it can be remarkably difficult to keep track of what you’re spending money on each month. This first step will make sure there’s nothing extraneous cluttering up your finances.

2. Do everything at once

The KonMarie method advocates decluttering and tidying your entire house all at once – therefore making a big change you will be able to maintain (thanks to all of your initial hard work). A gradual approach which works slowly from room-to-room, area-to-area can lead to an ongoing battle against the clutter.

This “do it all now” stance could benefit your finances too, allowing you a clean slate on which to build a better budget. Set aside a weekend to work though your accounts and get everything in order.

3. Visualise the financial life you want

Marie Kondo often asks her clients to visualise the home they want. This allows them to increase their motivation during the sorting, decluttering and tidying process. It also helps them to make more practical, pragmatic decisions about their environments.

This strategy is a great way to motivate yourself to make beneficial changes to your “financial environment”. Goals are essential for those looking to save effectively – and make helpful budgeting decisions. Envision where you would like your finances to be in the next 6 months, 2 years, 5 years and 10 years. Use this roadmap to govern the choices you make as you “tidy up” your outgoings.