In a world where having the newest and nicest of everything to post on your Instagram feed seems to reign supreme, it is hard to imagine how to become a minimalist. It sounds nice on paper, but how do you DO it?
Does a minimalist lifestyle save you time and money? The answer is yes. But many who have successfully adopted minimalism would say that doing it right is not easy.
You may think of minimalism as cleaning out a couple of drawers and donating clothes. Or trying a zero spend month to save money and buy with more intention. But those things scratch the surface of minimalism and how it can save you time, money, and so much more.
- If you have ever been curious about minimalism but are unsure that you could do it, this is for you!
- We are going to talk about all the ways that minimalism saves you precious time and money and show you how doable it is in your life.
This might seem overly simple, but it is such a profound part of adopting a minimalist approach to your life that it deserves to be mentioned. If you cut down on the number of things you are buying, you will spend less money. It is simple math.
Many people begin a minimalist approach because they need to save money. Maybe you have noticed that your credit card bills are stacking up. Or perhaps the pile of clothes with the tags still on them is getting too big, and you have got more toys than your children could ever play with.
It is easy to go down a slippery slope of spending because the world pretty much tells you that you need everything or else you are not keeping up.
There are ads everywhere— your TV and your social media feeds. You are constantly being sold to, both indirectly and directly, almost every minute of every day. It takes a lot of self-control to sift through the noise around you and decide what you need.
When you commit to becoming a minimalist, you shift your priorities around spending money entirely. I am sure you will find that you have a lot more money in your bank account at the end of each month, and you will begin to wonder where that money was genuinely going before.
Invest in quality pieces
When you focus on spending less money, the overall focus of what you are spending your money on will shift. It’s a common misconception with minimalism that you simply decrease the number of things you have, but minimalism often looks like buying more when you first get started.
Minimalists still spend; they spend smart. As a part of this lifestyle shift, you will find yourself more driven to high-quality pieces that will last. Although these items may cost you more to start with, you will not have to repurchase a new version of the same thing every year – see more below from Making of a Millionaire.
This concept is especially common with clothing. A great example of this is something you may have heard of in recent years called a capsule wardrobe.
Creating a capsule wardrobe means investing in a few high-quality, mix-and-match pieces of clothing that you can wear in many ways. The goal is to find clothes that fit your body and style without being overly trendy so that you can wear them year after year.
This capsule wardrobe mentality can be applied to much of your life outside of clothing.
The same rules apply to children’s toys, kitchen appliances and dishes, decorations in your home, and more. Buy one or a few lovely pieces and use them forever rather than replacing them constantly.
Save on housing and storage costs
If you decide to take the minimalist lifestyle to heart and end up clearing out a lot of space in your home, you could even look to downsize your home. Doing so will save your rent or mortgage expenses quite a bit, as well as utilities and other bills.
Although it goes against much of what mainstream society will lead you to believe, there is a ton of freedom in downsizing your home. You will likely have not only a lower mortgage or rent payment, but also your taxes, utilities, and overall home expenses will go down.
Of course, downsizing is not going to work for everyone. If you are a growing family or your current living space is as small as you could comfortably maintain, this may not be an option.
If this is the case, I’m sure you can still find ways to save in this category. For example, you may live in a small home or don’t have a basement or attic, so you have a storage unit for the overflow.
By decluttering and living more minimally, you may no longer need the storage unit, which would be money in your pocket every month!
Make money by cleaning out
One of the most rewarding parts of adopting a more minimalist approach to your life is the decluttering process. Going through your home and getting rid of all the things you do not need can feel so freeing.
Depending on what you must get rid of, you have the choice to donate, throw away or even sell your unwanted items to make some extra money. You may do a little bit of all three to get rid of everything you have.
If you have high-end items, sought after, or generally still in good condition, you can probably sell them for a profit. Doing so might take a little bit of patience and organization, but you can easily make some extra cash and help your items find a new home.
There are a few different ways to sell your stuff, including consignment shops, yard sales, online platforms like Poshmark or Mercari. Each of these methods works better for different items, so do your research.
Look at what you have after you have decluttered and chosen a platform or method that works best for the type of things you are looking to get rid of. You would be surprised at how much money you can make just by clearing out your closet.
Get (or stay) out of debt
Most adults in the US have debt. Whether it’s student loans, a car payment, credit cards, mortgage payments, or some combination of all of these, you probably have some debt. If you do not, that is AMAZING, but that is hard to find these days!
One huge benefit of living a minimalist lifestyle and spending overall less money on things is that you will be able to use the money you spent on stupid stuff to pay off debt. This is not a very glamorous fact, but it will help you so much in the long run.
By living minimally, you can take the money that would have fed your Amazon shopping addiction and instead make extra payments on outstanding debt. This will help you pay it off faster and get you to financial freedom even quicker.
If, for some reason, you have lived frugally or already paid off any debt you have, switching to living minimally will still help you too! Staying out of debt is just as admirable as getting out of it. If you buy less stuff, the extra money you have lying around can be saved.
Whether you were spending an extra $25 or $500 on junk every month, you will free yourself up to put that money to work for you in a savings, investment, or retirement account of your choice. This is yet another way minimalism helps you set yourself up for the future.
More time for what matters
One of the biggest benefits of adopting a minimalist lifestyle is the perspective shift. When you are stuck on the hamster wheel of purchasing the next trendy bag or the cute shoes everyone is wearing, you spend a lot of time and energy on keeping up.
Minimalism will help you learn that keeping up is not as important as you may have thought. When you are in an endless cycle of buying things to keep up or impress people, it often leaves you feeling empty rather than fulfilled.
When you change your perspective and focus on living minimally to pursue your happiness, you have all that time back that you spent trying to impress other people.
The time you previously spent shopping online at night or walking the mall looking for a cute outfit is replaced with intentional time to do things that truly serve you. You can spend more time with your family, take a class on something that interests you, try out new hobbies, etc.
Having more time for what matters and using it to make memories, improve yourself, and take care of yourself is time that you can genuinely never get back.
Image credit: [Harsgcharg]