Your home is not the only thing that needs to be decluttered this CNY. Here’s how you can take stock of your finances too for a smoother year ahead.
With Chinese New Year coming up, most of us would have already started spring-cleaning by now. This is the same for me, and in the midst of clearing our house, I managed to gather a whole bunch of books, children's toys and old clothes that we no longer have use for.
But decluttering is not just limited to physical items. Instead, while you’re at it, why not take this opportunity to also declutter your finances and investments?
Declutter your items
After clearing out your house, what can you do with the old stuff that you no longer need? Here are some ideas.
1. Sell on Carousell for spare cash
If you don’t mind spending a few minutes taking photos and creating a listing for the items that you wish to sell, you can consider putting them up on Carousell to earn some extra cash.
I remember a particular year where I managed to clock S$4,000 from Carousell sales, mostly from selling unwanted electronics and makeup products. That could be you too!
2. Donate or give them away
Here are some organisations where you can donate your preloved items.
Pass It On
I participated in this non-profit initiative last month to pass on some items to a low-income family that they needed. If you have any unwanted items that might still be useful to someone else, Pass It On can help distribute the items to the needy, or link you up with a family that will appreciate your donations. View the listings and fulfil someone’s request here.
The Salvation Army
You can also consider dropping off your pre-loved items at any Salvation Army Donation In Kind booths, where the volunteers will then sell them at their Family Stores islandwide. I used to volunteer with them too, and the work that they do is extremely meaningful, so do consider supporting them as well. Get more details here.
Books Beyond Borders
As a social enterprise selling secondhand books and using all profits to help improve access to education in rural Nepal, you may want to consider donating your books to Books Beyond Borders. They accept books written in English and in good condition, and if you have more than 20 books, they may even be able to arrange for a pick-up for you. See their requirements here.
SG Mummies United
Got any maternity or baby items that you no longer need? Check out this Facebook group, which is a community of over 10,000 members that aims to help struggling mothers. While the most commonly-requested items are formula milk and diapers, you will also see many mothers in need of second-hand breast pumps, clothing, or even shoes. Join their group here today.
The fashion giant runs a garment collecting programme, which takes in old clothes and textiles to either be sold as second-hand clothes, reused and turned into other products, or recycled for other uses. You’ll also get a 15% discount voucher when you donate to them. Drop off your pre-loved clothes at the recycle bin at any H&M outlet.
Metta Welfare Organisation
If you have any wearable clothing or preloved IT equipment (CPU or laptops) that are still in working condition, you can drop them off at Metta’s recycling bins at B1 Lift Lobby, Metta Building, 32 Simei Street 1, Singapore 529950. As a registered charity, Metta will then either use or distribute the items to their beneficiaries or pass them on to other social service agencies so that they don’t go to waste. Check out their policy for donations-in-kind here.
Declutter your finances
After you’ve cleared out your unwanted physical items, how about cleaning up your finances as well? Here’s a useful guide on how you can start doing so.
Don’t forget to also get rid of any unwanted or unused credit cards as well, so your wallet (and life) becomes easier to manage and organise.
Declutter your investment portfolio
With the markets on a present downtrend, you are definitely not alone if your portfolio is in the red this year.
To declutter it, this may be a good time to get rid of any low-conviction positions that you are unsure about, and rechannel the funds to better investments—especially if your confidence will continue to waver should these share prices decline further.
For instance, unprofitable growth stocks like Peloton have been hit hard. Do you feel that they have a clear path to profitability and will achieve it soon? Or do you foresee that they will fail to maintain their hype and consumer demand in a new world where we now shuffle between working from home and in-person meetings?
Due to the pandemic dragging on for longer than expected, even recovery stocks have been hit – Genting Hong Kong has since been suspended from trading and has now announced closure of its operations, as well as having filed for bankruptcy. If you have recovery stocks in your portfolio, do you believe they will be able to outlast the pandemic?
Decluttering doesn’t have to be done only during CNY
Of course, while decluttering can be done at any time, the beginning or the end of the year is always a good reminder for us to take action.
So what have you decluttered today?
Check out the best debt consolidation plans to help you clear debt for the new year.
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