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Personal organization and finance tips

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Just having returned from vacation, we are refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to help you make positive changes.


From Pam’s desk…

Do you know the difference between a “professional organizer” and a “personal organization coach”?


A professional organizer comes in and organizes your home/office/garage/beach house, etc. for you. Often they will need to come again because your habits and lifestyle probably haven’t changed and you find yourself with the same mess you had before, so you call them to come back.


A personal organization coach is going to work with you, discuss how you would like to have things, find out what you are willing to do to keep yourself organized and help you come up with a plan that works for you. They will help you get everything settled and then continue to check in with you to see how well your plan is working. If it’s working as well as you had hoped, the coach will praise you and offer continuing encouragement. If it isn’t working quite as well as you had hoped the coach will work with you to reevaluate the plan/process and help you tweak it to work better for you.


I used to tell my students, “Your job is to put me out of a job.” Basically meaning they were doing so well on their own that they didn’t need me anymore. It’s the same with coaching. Of course, a coach would love to have you as a continuing client, but the reality is, if I’ve done my job you probably don’t need my assistance more than an occasional accountability/encouragement check in.


Having spoken with someone who is looking at the monstrous task of getting rid of years of accumulations and memories, let me leave you with a quick tip.

Make four initial piles:

1. Need

2. Want

3. Give away

4. Trash

Put away the “need” items, get rid of piles 3 & 4. Take your time and sort through the “want” items. Eventually they will be reclassified as pile 1, 3, or 4. I know, it sounds a lot easier than it is, but sometimes it’s time to do it.


Let me know if I can be of assistance with your personal organizing skills!


From Jim’s desk…

Working on the same lines of Pam’s comparison above, let’s look at the difference between a professional financial advisor and a personal finance coach.


The professional financial advisor is a paid personal consultant that helps you with wisely investing your money to meet a long-term financial goal. If you are careful about selecting this advisor, you will find someone who will be focused on and take on the fiduciary responsibility for your money. You must be careful in this selection because often times financial advisors are more interested in, and paid by, selling financial instruments that may or may not be in your best interest.


A personal financial coach works in a slightly different way. They only have your interest in mind. You pay them to help guide you on managing your finances yourself, not making any gain on those finances. They are there to help you set goals, challenge your decision processes especially as they relate to lifestyle choices, and to help encourage and hold you accountable to your plan.


The biggest challenges that we all face in managing our finances are lifestyle choices. These are the choices we make every day, in every situation, about how we spend our money. We all “want” the latest cell phone, car, golf clubs, stylish clothing, internet/television packages, and date night at the new release movie or the hottest restaurant, etc. Every decision we make has financial implications, although we don’t always realize it.


So our tip for you is this: track all your spending and analyze where your money went on a monthly basis. When we say track you spending, we mean write down everything you spend, from the 50-cent cup of coffee to your rent or mortgage payment. Then, categorize this spending and look where your money is going. You will likely find that you spend more in some areas than you might have imagined. We have found that categories like “eating out” and “entertainment,” those simple daily decisions, get more of our budget than we expected. Try it out and see what you find!


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