C’mon now… a single remedy to your financial success? A title like that makes a pretty big claim. Too big. Which is exactly the problem with many articles out there promising the fix for financial woes. But this post isn’t about the total fix for your finances. It’s about one change you can make to help you reach your goals. Financial success is about the big picture, but it’s also about the everyday choices and details that make up the broad view. And this step… this one you can do today.
The One Step
So what’s this one incredibly easy step to spur financial success? It’s simple. Really simple. Ready for it?
Unsubscribe from any email subscriptions cluttering your inbox.
Not exactly earth shattering but that’s the point! Small and subtle actions are the basis for great change over time. And while slight, a quick action like unsubscribing from unwanted emails is the perfect example of how a small, positive step can trigger larger positive changes in your financial life. You have to start somewhere to create a positive change, so why not make it easy?
Why it works
Junk in our email inbox is a reality of the modern day. And with that precedence, clutter has becomes the new norm. In our inbox, on our phones. We’re sitting with a lot of extra stuff. Taking control of your environment and filtering distractions will help you to take control of your payoff environment. Here a few reasons why:
It limits (and downsizes) distractions
Boiled down, when you unsubscribe from unnecessary emails you cut out unnecessary mess in your environment. We live in a busy world and there are thousands of things vying for our attention on a daily basis. Take away extra distractions (even small ones like email subscriptions) and you effectively quiet some of that noise. The result is that you limit the potential for being derailed by something that’s ultimately destined for your email trash can.
It’s easy and actionable
Canceling your subscriptions takes very little time, it’s easy, and it has immediate results. In addition, you can continue to delete emails each and every day. A step that yields immediate results demonstrates that small actions are an essential part of forming a good habit. Canceling subscriptions is something that’s simple and proactive and encourages positive change.
It pays respects to your time
Take a second to think about the amount of time it takes to delete all your unwanted emails. Maybe it’s barely even a minute. On a daily basis it might not amount to much, but over time that minute of sorting and deleting does add up. We live in a world that competes (and demands) attention. Getting back even 7 minutes a week values the limited time that we have in a busy world.
It cuts exposure to temptation
There’s a lot of temptation that finds its way into your inbox. For example, having your inbox flooded with limited time discount coupons from your favorite stores (Nordstrom, Macy’s, Pier 1, etc.) will only expose you to easy opportunities to spend. A huge element of consumerism is companies banking on impulsiveness and product placement. Stores know exactly what they’re doing when they send an email to your inbox. When you limit your exposure you’re also less likely to find yourself clicking on deals or sales that you wouldn’t have heard about otherwise.
It spotlights other behaviors
Canceling subscriptions gives you the opportunity to learn about your personal habits. As you unsubscribe from emails that aren’t adding positive impact to your life, ask yourself these questions:
- What compelled me to subscribe in the first place?
- How might these emails affect my spending?
- What can I do with the time and resources that were being spent deleting/interacting with these e-mails?
Success (however small) is inspiring
We always encourage you to make positive changes – regardless of their size. Paying off your debt is a marathon affair. Each extra 20 dollars in your repayment plan will have an impact in the long run. Every 10 dollars makes a difference. The truth is, the amount doesn’t have to be big – but the recognition of what each little contribution does for your big financial big picture is essential when forming a new financial habit.
Unsubscribing from emails obviously isn’t a total fix for debt or the answer to all your financial questions. But it’s an excellent (and easy) way to make a positive change that can positively affect the environment that you interact with on a daily basis. And following a similar thread, you can begin to pinpoint other areas of your environment to continue making it the most effective and easy to navigate possible. Whether that means organizing your financial documents or setting up alerts to pay your bills. But for now, start small. Pick a song, commit to sorting through to your inbox for that three minutes, and cancel any e-mail subscriptions that are filling your inbox with unnecessary clutter. And then take it from there.
What are small actions you take to organize your life (financial or otherwise) that have had positive impact on your life?
Image Credit: gblahe