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Understanding Your Relationship with Money: 01/15/2019

Clean out the clutter physically and financially for 2019

As the New Year begins, launch your clean-out by giving yourself permission to start slowly and with intention. Look outside and take some pointers from nature to stay in the same rhythm: this is slow-down time. Slowing down helps you begin anew in a conscious, methodical way. Then, stay present with the task at hand to keep mind chatter at bay. You know, the mind chatter that tells you you’re not doing enough or going fast enough to complete the job.

Using nature as a metaphor, I’m surrounded by 100-foot Douglas firs that leave debris all over our decks. Especially now, with winter winds and rains, the organic debris gathers between planters and in corners and reminds me to hunker down where it’s warm and clean the inside piles, too.

I’m painting this picture because it’s also the perfect time of year to clean out financial debris accumulated in the corners and move toward the areas left untended for a long time. These are aspects of your financial house that you ignore, pretending that everything is just fine on the surface and working around piles of unorganized papers and unopened mail. And don’t forget about the “plan” you were supposed to choose for your health insurance, or retirement investments, or the budget you were supposed to create for that major purchase. The list can feel overwhelming.

Similar to cleaning outdoor decks, there’s a tendency to “blow and go” financially to keep matters looking good on the surface. But what results when you neglect details that need attention is a buildup of procrastination and denial haunting you until you feel anxious and wonder why you don’t have clarity or direction. With this mindset, it’s difficult to make decisions.

The two money archetypes that fit this description are the Innocent and the Fool. They both have tendencies to procrastinate and look good on the outside. The Innocent feels more powerless because he or she either doesn’t know how to change circumstances or is too afraid to ask for help. Instead of fear, the Fool is impulsive and appears to know what he or she is doing. The Fool’s tendency is to overlook the details and not follow through because it’s no fun. Both the Innocent and the Fool end up financially stressed at month’s end.

About 25 years ago, I remember a friend telling me, “Our gardens are a reflection of ourselves.” She wasn’t criticizing my garden, but passing on her philosophical point of view. Shortly after, feeling concerned, I started noticing all of the weeds and the plants limping along, and decided to clean out my garden and fertilize. I have to say, my garden never looked so good. As for my financial concerns at that time, I honestly can’t remember. But my life took a profound turn toward a spiritual quest, which brought another kind of abundance – a consciousness that still supports me mentally, emotionally, and financially to this day. This consciousness describes the Magician archetype; knowing that all my needs are always met no matter how much I have or don’t have. This consciousness is easier to maintain when it includes faith, love, patience, and gratitude.

When you decide to clean up your financial house – balancing checking accounts, attending unresolved money issues, beautifying spaces you occupy daily – you’ll begin to experience how good it feels to release yourself from the constraints of overwhelm, worry, and anxiety. Financially speaking, these emotions are most often caused by what you think might happen because of the things you don’t know or haven’t addressed.

Don’t be afraid to put your gloves on and get to work. Here are tips to start your process:

• Create a list of important tasks you need to complete.

• Open your calendar and commit to a start date.

• Pick one thing on your list to work on and let the rest go for now.

• Give the list all your positive attention to resolve it.

• If you find yourself stuck, ask, “Who can I call for support?” Then call! If they don’t answer, leave a message and move to the next task.

Continue this process until you’ve taken care of your list. At the end of the day, you’ll know you’ve done your best. Now celebrate taking that first step. You might feel it wasn’t so hard after all.

Learn more about your relationship with money: visit and take the complimentary “Money Type Quiz.” Only you see the results. Or contact me at

To learn more about your relationship with money, visit and take the complimentary “Money Type Quiz.” Only you will see the results. Or contact me at

Donna Colfer has worked in financial management since 1987. As a Financial Counselor and a Certified Money Coach, she blends her financial expertise with spiritual counseling in her private practice in Sonoma. A Valley resident since 1981, Donna and her husband, Randy, reside in Kenwood.

© 2020 Donna Colfer


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