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You’re here to learn how to KonMari your money to make it spark joy.
Before we begin:
I finished Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up and it has changed my life. It’s still changing my life.
I’m less anxious when I walk into my room because I’m not bombarded by over 900 books and their titles screaming out at me (I’m now down to less than 15 books). You can see the YouTube video of me applying the KonMari method to my books.
I now own clothes that bring me joy when I see them and when I touch them. This instills a different sense of calm, comfort, and confidence.
I now have just the right amount of stationary, not the 10 pads of sticky notes just lying around for 2 years, hoping that one day I would use them.
The list goes on.
But you’re not here to read about me drone on about how the KonMari method changed my life.
You’re here to find out how to KonMari your money.
Why should you KonMari your money?
Because if you’ve already read her book and started to KonMari your house, your closet, your clothes, etc., you might not have touched your finances yet.
And for good reason. Marie Kondo doesn’t talk about how to KonMari your money in her book.
The most she talks about anything resembling money is about what you should do with necessary documents that don’t spark joy, such as legal documents, warranties, health and life insurance (you store them in a clear folder and keep it out of sight).
You should KonMari your money because…
- It allows you to see what you’re spending your money on that sparks joy and doesn’t spark joy.
- It allows you to allocate your money to spend it on more experiences that bring you joy, and less on stuff that doesn’t.
- It allows you to live a more meaningful life on your own terms and that sparks joy within you.
How to KonMari your Money
While I am no money expert, for what I’m going to recommend, if you have Excel, use it. If not, Google offers Google Sheets, which is almost like Excel, except it’s free with your Gmail account. You can also use Numbers on your Mac.
Step 1. Create a spread sheet with these column headings
You’re also welcome to name them whatever works for you.
Date, Item, Category, Investment, Income, Expense, Did I enjoy it?, Tally, % of interaction to emotion ratio, total investment, total income, total expenses.
I’ll explain them later in this article.
Step 2. Freeze the top row
You highlight the top row. Then go to the View tab, then Freeze, then 1 row.
Doing this will allow you to move throughout the spreadsheet without having to worry about your titles shifting. Trust me, this will be very helpful later.
Step 3. Fill in the numbers
I downloaded the Google Sheets app on my iPhone and now after every purchase, I take one minute and fill in the numbers right on the spot.
I prefer this over coming home at the end of the day, taking receipts out of my wallet, and entering it into the sheet because, let’s face it, I’ll most likely forget later (or get too lazy to do it).
As the month goes on, you’re only filling in Date, Item, Category, and whether it was an Investment, Income, or Expense, and most important: whether that interaction brought you joy or not.
For example, my January looks something like:
Step 4. Add up the numbers
Here’s an example of me adding up my January numbers.
I sort by the category. You highlight the entire column. Then click the little arrow in the header, then go “Sort sheet A-Z.”
Then I highlight the amount of money by the category to add up how much I spent on it that month.
For the”Did I enjoy it?” column, I answer yes or no as to whether I enjoyed a particular income source, food, activity, or investment.
For you, it might be totally different, so situations will vary.
I assume there is no middle ground between yes or no. Marie Kondo is a huge proponent of when you touch a piece of clothing, you know instantly whether it sparks joy within you or not. I’m thinking the same will apply with your money and your interactions with it.
It was either I enjoyed it or I didn’t. If I partially enjoyed something, I still answer “no” because it’s supposed to “spark joy” completely and totally.
Step 5. Analyze your numbers
Below are my January and February summaries to give you an example of applying the KonMari method to your finances.
Joy from interacting with my money for January was at 19%. Based on yes/no answers of the money I spent, gained, or invested, etc.
Joy from interacting with my money for February was at 29%. An increase from the 19% of January. I’m thinking that by confronting and being aware of these interactions on a conscious level, we can make better money decisions that are geared more toward those that bring us joy (not in like a hedonistic way, but a more overall life enjoyment way).
I’m slowly working up to having more than 50% of my money interactions be joyful interactions, keeping in mind that some interactions will just have to be necessary evils, like keeping legal documents.
Remember that Marie Kondo mentions how important legal documents, like insurance, etc., are necessary for modern society. Even though they don’t spark joy in most people, you have to keep them because they’re important.
This is why I’m aiming to have 50% or more of positive interactions with my money while realizing that 100% joyful interaction with my money just might not be possible based on social norms and constraints.
Also, different things and experiences bring joy to different people so yours will look different from the next person.
You can also go into more detail with your spreadsheet and brake up the categories by how much percentage points did a particular category bring you joy.
Some of you might say “you can’t quantify happiness”, but just humor me with this idea and let’s see where it goes.
I will keep you updated as the months go on how this theory is working.
What are your thoughts with this idea?
Do you see yourself trying this out?
If so, cool. If not, can you tell me why?