Only a few years ago, minimalism was an elitist aesthetic related to art, design and architecture.
Nowadays, the new minimalism has become increasingly popular and it is everywhere: books on minimalism, the minimalists’ podcast and blog, a documentary about minimalism on Netflix, Japanese inimalism, Scandinavian minimalism, Marie Kondo’s minimalism.
Despite the differences in method, their message went viral and it influenced millions of people around the world, especially in the richest countries.
The reason behind its success is that it makes our life easier.
Let’s start to define what minimalism is.
In short, minimalism is the lifestyle choice of living with less and embracing simple living.
The minimalist philosophy can be applied to many areas of life, from relationships to mental clutter, including how we spend money and our shopping habits.
Minimalism saves our finances, providing us with the motivation to stop buying things.
It is no surprise that indulging in a decadent style of living and accumulating unnecessary stuff not only causes visibly unpleasant clutter that requires endless care but is also hugely detrimental for our pockets.
What are the principles of minimalism?
A minimalist life is simple: it means living with the essential discarding what’s superfluous.
Minimalist living helps us build awareness of what matters. As a result, we manage to reject what is not important. Thinking as a minimalist improves our decision-making skills for the future, developing mindful spending habits that will make us save money.
Getting rid of the excess is a fundamental part of being a minimalist. Instead of wasting time organizing and tidying up, which can be overwhelming, the best solution is to part with everything that doesn’t get regular use.
This could be perceived as wasteful, especially if some items we don’t use were expensive.
However, it deals with the problem of accumulating to the root. Once our house is decluttered, we will learn to make better decisions and in the long term, minimalism will save you space, time and money.
As a result of decluttering, organizing becomes extremely easy and less time-consuming when possessing fewer things.
Not pursuing things and avoid distractions
Society tricks us believe that we need to own the last version of basically everything on the market if we want to be happy.
Leading a minimalist life will curb the appetite for material belongings and for the constant run to upgrade, which are the main things that cause frustration and discontent.
Prefer experiences over things
Swapping experiences with buying more stuff is a natural consequence of a shift in values from material to spiritual.
Enjoying a beautiful moment with someone we love is far more rewarding for a minimalist than buying more stuff.
It is not a strict lifestyle
Minimalism is not about deprivation, it is a tool that helps us to figure out what is truly valuable for ourselves.
There is not a specific number of items you must own or get rid of to be able to call yourself a minimalist.
Life as a minimalist is about having more: more time to spend with our family and to pursue our passions, more money, more energy and more space.
How can we save money with minimalism?
Minimalism is not a magic wand to be immediately wealthy and it won’t stop us completely from spending money, however, it will prompt us towards better decisions: it is not the lack of money that makes us poor, it is the lack of good choices.
Living as a minimalist will help us to prevent repeated mistakes that will eventually lead us to lose money accumulating stuff.
It will help us to cut down our everyday expenses and focus on what matters.
Many times what we think is essential is not.
Essential is not a broad meaning notion.
The minimalist point of view emphasizes the practice of saying no, avoiding the unnecessary, saying yes to simplicity and utility.
This approach highlights why we all should reconsider our lifestyle: we are not only paying for the things we want with money, but we are also paying it with our time, which is the most precious thing we own because it is finite.
Is that item worth X amount of hours detracted from our day or month?
Reflecting this way before hitting the “add to cart” button will help you to save cash and it will also give you more time to spend with your loved ones and enjoy activities you like instead of being busy working.
The concept of minimalism and frugality go hand in hand, one is the consequence of the other. When you practice minimalism, saving money becomes a way of life, you stop living paycheck by paycheck.
Being able to save for your future will bring you a sense of security and it is the first step towards the stress-free lifestyle you are looking for.
How to start a minimalist lifestyle and save money
There are several ways to apply a minimalist attitude to save more money.
Below I have listed the best practices that minimalists apply to their life to be free from clutter and to save more money.
The first step to go minimalist is decluttering our entire house. It is a long process, but it is worth it.
Be ruthless: sell, donate or bin everything you are not using regularly and don’t leave any “just in case” items.
Keep only items that you love, that have a purpose, and that add value to your life.
Write down your priorities and set your financial goals
Analyzing regularly our fixed monthly expenses is crucial to understand if there is anything superfluous that we can eliminate.
Don’t rely on your memory to keep up with it: once you’ve put your plan in ink, it is easier to spot what’s extra.
Things like rent, paying off debt, utility bills, travel expenses and food are the priorities each month, while subscriptions, memberships and so on are optional, therefore they need to be reconsidered.
Ideally, you should pay yourself the first 10% of your income to invest, spend 70% on essential fixed expenses, and the rest 20% it is yours to enjoy or to create an emergency fund for rainy days.
After decluttering and with a specific plan on hand, you can start to re-evaluate your lifestyle and in this phase, you’ll see the financial perks of minimalism on your wallet.
- Less space needed = saving on rent, additional storage, mortgage, and maintenance costs
- Pay off debt faster
- Save the money you got from selling the unnecessary items to create an emergency fund
Re-educate your shopping habits to benefit your wallet
Below I have listed the best practical minimalist lifestyle tips to save more money.
– Being able to tell the difference between need and wish is crucial to saving money and reducing your outflows.
– Shop when you need something and plan ahead so you won’t choose the first thing you find but the product that adds the most value to your life.
– Create the habit of pausing a purchase: take your time to find more options or even to have second thoughts.
– Prefer quality over quantity.
Minimalists view spending from a different perspective. High-quality items require a bigger upfront cost, however they last longer and you generally think twice before investing more money compared to a cheap bargain or single-use product.
Buying second-hand is a great way to be able to afford good quality items while spending less. Find out here My best hacks for buying and selling second hand like a pro
– Learn what your style is by building a capsule wardrobe.
-One in, one out rule. Every time you buy something, you need to be willing to part from something else. This method will prevent you from bouncing back to your old spending habits and accumulating useless stuff again.
-Embrace simple eating: cooking your food will improve your overall well-being as homemade food is usually healthier compared to store-bought pre-cooked food and it is cheaper.
Consider going vegan is also an option to cut down food expenses as well as being kinder to the environment.
The journey towards minimalism might be challenging at first but it leads to a beautiful destination.
Think about the ways minimalism can get you free: financial independence, security and peace of mind are the real treasures to pursue!
This article was written by Alba Gelli
Alba is the content writer of Femicate, a lifestyle blog about intentional living where she shares frugal and minimalist lifestyle advice,slow fashion styling hacks, sustainable & zero waste tips and tricks that made my life easier and yummy, healthy recipes that are easy to prepare and ready under 30 minutes.