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Beyond the Numbers

Beyond the Numbers

Trusted advice to help you think big and plan bigger.

Living in the Land of Plenty

Trust Administrator
Johnson Trust Company, Cincinnati


Plenty definition: A large or sufficient amount or quantity; more than enough


A new trend has taken over the annual New Year’s resolutions. Instead of the typical goal-oriented resolution, people are choosing a single word to live by.  It could be a goal, a mantra, or an idea you focus on; the one requirement being that it is personal and meaningful.   In January 2016, as I pondered my word of the year for the first time, “plenty” immediately rose to the forefront.  To my surprise, the concept of having plenty shaped my year, changed my attitude, and still has me chasing after the desire to be completely fulfilled and comfortable with the plentiful life I have been given.

It seems that I am not alone in exploring this notion. In recent years there has been a renaissance of sorts among younger generations who want to live differently than popular culture has raised them.  If you tune into HGTV you might come across, “Tiny House, Big Living”, a show focusing on people downsizing to unbelievably small spaces.  Often the purpose is to escape debt and free up money to pursue their true passions.  Repurposing large and small items for home décor and a renewed sense of resourcefulness are other trends in our culture today.  In Cincinnati we see the revitalization of Over-the-Rhine, or “OTR” as it is now known, as proof that people believe in restoring the old to make it new.

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

A nod to simpler living came to me in a book recommendation from a friend, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo, a #1 New York Times Best Seller. My word of the year flashed in my mind; I had plenty of junk.  In a culture of more, a book about having less was a welcome change. 

In a nutshell, Kondo has created her own strategy for mastering an organized home. The book takes you through the expected chapters of how to properly declutter and organize, but what caught me off guard was the strategy used to determine what was worthwhile to hold on to.  Kondo instructs that one must consider each item they own and evaluate if it brings them true joy.  While this can be a stretch for some items (does my toothbrush really bring me joy?) it does help you reevaluate what you surround yourself with. 

As I have gotten rid of carloads of “stuff,” I have come to the realization that I have wasted tremendous amounts of time filling my home with belongings that I don’t necessarily need or enjoy. Instead of buying five cheaply made shirts, what if I had held on to my money to buy a coveted designer dress?  Instead of browsing Target to buy something that is instantly gratifying, what if I spent more time with my family, volunteered, or exercised?

You may be wondering why an article about organizational practices is being published on a blog of an investment firm, but aren’t our finances wrapped up in everything we do? Are your finances holding you back from your dreams?  Is there a once-in-a-lifetime vacation on your bucket list?  Have you hoped to contribute to your grandchildrens’ college education funds?  Perhaps your desire is to simplify in order to free up time to spend with family.  Small changes in our purchasing habits can make a big impact in our lives.

We live in a land of plenty. Let’s reconsider how we manage it.


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