Clear Out the Money Clutter by Meggin McIntosh, PhD

Mar 14th, 2013

pile of moneyYou have read tips in this series about dealing with physical clutter and electronic clutter, both of which can cause you and your business’ significant problems.  But in this week’s Top Ten Productivity Tips, I want to give you ideas for dealing with your money clutter:

  1. Determine exactly how much money you have.  You may already have an Excel spread sheet that shows this – or you may have essentially no idea.  This will take some time, but it is the first part of clearing your money clutter.

  2. Reconcile your business checking account.  If you do this regularly, then this will be no big deal.  If, however, you have never reconciled your business checking account, then expect this to take some time and consider hiring someone to come in and help you with it.

  3. Invoice all of your customers whom you have not already invoiced.  It’s hard to get paid when we don’t send out invoices, but it’s staggering the number of small business owners who never invoice customers for services or products already delivered.

  4. Follow up with any customers or clients who have been invoiced but haven’t yet paid.  That is money just waiting to come back to you, but you may have to track it down rather than leaving it in the “pile” of money clutter.

  5. Pay any outstanding invoices or bills that you have.  Clean up the clutter.

  6. If you have any credit card debt that you are unable to pay off each month, pay the minimum on all of your credit cards (or other loans), but put as much extra on whatever is the smallest balance so that you can pay that one off (and when it’s paid off, you will pay on the next smallest one, etc. until they are all paid off each month completely).

  7. Find all gift certificates, gift cards, and other such items and use them, extend them, or give them as a gift to someone else who will use them.  Money needs to be in motion.

  8. Go through your office, including any stacks of unopened mail with the intent of getting rid of clutter and of finding money that is just lying around.  When I have worked in people’s offices to help them get organized, I don’t think there has been even one time where we haven’t found one or more “surprise” checks.

  9. Take an inventory of all the subscriptions that you pay for and what their renewal date is.  Either set them up to automatically renew or put a reminder in your tickler file to cancel.

  10. Make sure you are paying yourself each month – or even each week.  This does not mean taking money out of petty cash.  It means you are cutting yourself a paycheck.  You are running a business, right?  Business owners get paid.

Do you think this won’t make a difference?  Try doing all ten of these and see what happens.  You are costing yourself and your business tremendous stress and money by having money clutter that is unresolved.

(c) Meggin McIntosh, PhD | Emphasis on Excellence, Inc. |

Meggin is a natural-born entrepreneur, which is evidenced by the fact that she sold Creeple People & Fun Flowers in elementary school, plus she had a catalog that was passed around the 5th grade so other students could order doll clothes, furniture, food, and other accessories.  Oh, and then there was the time she was prohibited from going to the prom (not that she had been invited anyway), because she sold candy in her high school classes and only “clubs” were allowed to do that.  Oh well…

De-clutter & De-stressSometimes when you have money issues you have money clutter. If you have money clutter you may have clutter in other areas of your life. To help you may be interested in the Get a Plan! Guide® to De-clutter & De-stress: A Dozen Ways to Decrease Your Clutter and Decrease Your Stress. This Get a Plan! Guide® will help you learn a dozen specific ways to start dealing deliberately with your clutter – and then experiencing a reduction in your stress.

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