We are finally out of our Kutztown home and officially residents of Lenhartsville, PA. Taking the month of January to strategically move instead of ripping the band-aid all at once sounded like a great idea when we bought the house in Greenwich Township. But that 1/31/2020 deadline loomed large on us last week as there was so much to move and assess and throw away and find a new home for and organize and…..
As I reflect back, I was reminded of several important life lessons that come from moving; lessons with strong parallels to financial planning. So, as the groundhog predicts an early Spring (evidenced by 50-degree weather in PA this week?), here are 5 Financial Lessons from the Haas Family Relocation that you should keep in mind ahead of your own Spring cleaning in a couple weeks.
Make a plan. Some things in life shouldn’t be approached with spontaneity, and when possible, deserve a plan. Moving is one of these things. Financial planning is another. Budgeting and knowing details of your situation in advance gives you a huge advantage when it comes time to make important, sensitive decisions.
Clean up and consolidate. Your hoarding ways are never more evident than through the moving process. The junk you have ignored or refused to throw away, now has to be moved, and your bad habit comes full circle as you sort through all types of nonsense that should’ve been thrown away a long ago. It’s the same with your financials. A couple old employer plans, numerous bank accounts at numerous institutions, several different insurances – do you really need all this stuff? Make it a goal to organize and consolidate this Spring.
Trust but verify. Moving forces an assessment on the vendors and services you pay for. How do I feel about my cable provider, the trash service, are my heat and electric bills competitive? I found my auto insurance premium was higher than it should have been! Check on your paid professionals too. Are they doing their job for you? Is the service exceptional? Is the price right for what you receive? It’s good to trust but verify too.
It may pay to pay the pros. Those who are helping you out whether it be lending their truck or trailer or lifting furniture, must truly, deeply care for you. Because moving stinks. Like many things in life you may say “I can handle that myself.” But can you? Do you really want to? If I ever move again, I’m hiring professionals. What about your finances? Can you do it yourself? Do you want to? Or is it best left to the pros with the time and expertise, even if it costs a little?
Count your blessings. Through all the moving, we are blessed to be in an amazing spot for ourselves and our boys. And even with the frustrations (first world problems are blatantly evident as our kids complain about things like having to unpack clothing or go an entire day with no internet), it’s good to sit back and focus on the positives.
The process of moving isn’t fun. But after going through the work above, you feel so much better when it’s done! It’s a fresh start, a new beginning, with a lot more clarity on what you have and what matters most to you. My suggestion is to go through that checklist with your finances or ask us to. It may sound simple, but it’s important to clean things up every once in a while. Here’s to an early Spring!
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