Sock Drawer Finance: Thoughts on organizing your personal finances in the New Year
Yesterday I organized my sock drawer. Actually, I organized my sock drawers. You see, before yesterday, three of the six drawers housing my wearables were dedicated to socks. Seeing as though I wouldn’t even count myself among the ranks of sock-loving men, I think that’s excessive. Don’t get me wrong… I love a fresh new stocking as much as the next person, but three drawers worth of socks is simply too many socks.
…and I have had this thought nearly every day for a solid half-decade.
The lunacy of facing this reality each morning finally hit home yesterday. In an explosion of motivation, I decimated my vast sock collection over the course of the next half-hour. I organized and subsequently disposed of what felt like hundreds of pairs of socks. The sense of relief was immediate. Why hadn’t I undertaken this relatively minor task weeks, months or even years ago?
Thinking on it now, I can apply this proclivity for procrastination to innumerable aspects of my life. We had a cupboard door that had squeaky hinges for over a year. Problem solved after spending three minutes to track down the WD-40, and two minutes to clean up the mess.
Organizing 20 years of tax filings? Knocked out while listening to half a podcast episode.
Addressing my bad shoulder? Twenty-minute doctor appointment and three virtual physical therapy appointments.
There’s innumerable articles and research papers dedicated to the science behind procrastination. I have endless admiration for those who have developed a skillset to battle their natural inclination of putting off tasks they’d rather avoid. In our line of work (and we may be biased here), we find that addressing one’s finances is near the top of the list of things people put off for another day. This tendency is further exacerbated by the fact that there is no true “deadline” for acting. It’s not like the high school essay you had to tackle at the 11th hour.
Adding to your retirement account can be put off indefinitely. Succession planning for your business can be postponed. Taking a hard look at long term care insurance is easily be punted. Unfortunately, delaying these activities can have major, major consequences down the line.
The reality of the situation is that the earlier you begin strategizing how you’ll reach your financial goals, and subsequently acting on them, the better off you’ll be. And I’m not only talking about general straightforward strategies such as starting a Roth IRA in your 20’s, or buying life insurance for your family in your 30’s. Your financial journey is fluid and benefits from constant scrutiny. Tax laws change, new family members are added, the market goes up, the market goes down, kids go to college, you get promoted, you lose loved ones. The multitude of life changing events you’ll experience have accompanying strategies to help you cope, or even thrive. Tying those strategies together and getting them to work in concert is what financial planning is all about.
That’s where the team at Confidere Financial can help. I had a cousin once tell me he didn’t want to see a financial planner because he didn’t know how bad off he was, financially. I said that’s exactly the time he should go see one. Then he’d truly know where he was, where he wanted to be, and then develop a strategy to help him get there. In my experience, it’s a rare thing for somebody to feel truly financially fit - so without some push, or unexpected circumstance (financial emergency, unexpected windfall), one may never get around to facing the realities of their situation.
If you or somebody close to you could use a hand in addressing questions about their financial future, we encourage you to pick up the phone and call us. Our team has more than 70 years’ experience in the financial services industry and would be happy to apply our knowledge in helping you discover how financial freedom could be within your reach. Let’s work together in organizing your metaphorical sock drawer.