I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately. I already that minimalism means time saved because minimalists have less belongings that require time and energy for upkeep. But what I didn’t immediately connect the dots between was minimalism and money.
You see minimalism is about more than having a clean and tidy home. True minimalism means you learn to live with less. This means you are no longer a mindless consumer. You make well-thought out purchases and only buy something if you truly feel that it’s a necessity.
You try your best to use 5 R’s in your everyday life. You know 3 of them for sure: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. But you also try to Repair and Refurbish whenever possible.
Minimalists tend to not only live a clutter-free and consumption-free lifestyle, but they usually also live a green lifestyle wherein they buy things second hand and do all they can to prevent waste.
Minimalism might seem like a radical idea, and to some people it really is. But if you starting taking some baby steps toward minimalism today, it won’t seem so crazy after a few months of small changes.
- Put yourself on a shopping ban. Instead of setting a seemingly unachievable goal of not buying anything for 1 year (or more), take it one week or one month at a time. Do your best to avoid buying anything you don’t need outside of the absolute basic necessities. After you’ve finished your week or month, extend your ban to the next week or month. Before long you’ll have completed a 1 year shopping ban and it’s likely that you won’t stop there.
- Make it a habit to search for used items instead of new items first. Your first stop when you need clothes shouldn’t be the mall, it should be a second hand store, a thrift shop, a garage sale, or Craigslist. There’s nothing wrong with second-hand clothing as long as it’s still in decent wear-able condition. This is a great way to save money and reduce your impact on the environment.
- Start meal planning. Having a meal plan in place will help you save money at the grocery store by reducing temptation purchases, and it will also prevent you from throwing away food from spoilage. Eating leftovers should be part of your meal plan too.
- Get rid of duplicates. One of the first things I did to help being reducing my belongings right away was to put all of the duplicate items I owned into a box and take them to the thrift store. When I was actively looking for duplicate items I realized I had way more of them than I thought. For example, I owned two sets of measuring spoons. I had two black cardigans and three pairs of black high heels. I also had two copies of the same movie on my DVD shelf. There were many more duplicates, but those are just some I remember removing.
- Try a capsule wardrobe. I’m just about to finish my first capsule wardrobe and it’s been life-changing. I think I might be converted for life. 🙂
- Keep simplifying until you are happy. Once you’ve started removing duplicates and things you don’t use, love, or enjoy, you might just find that you are happier and less stressed (emotionally and financially).
Have you ever tried minimalism?