Many of you have heard the term minimalism, but do you know what it actually means? Most people don’t realize that minimalism not only pertains to the possessions you own, but it’s also about your finances and the lifestyle you live. Minimalist living can set you free. Less stuff, less stress, fewer costs. WIN WIN WIN. Ahhhh living the simple life!
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Sure, owning things can be nice but the stuff you own can own you right back!
Living The Simple Life
To put minimalism into action we must prioritize what brings us happiness and recognize what bogs us down.
It is important to understand the impact of things you buy, own, and bring into your life. Owning something might be a complete waste of your time and money, or it could bring joy and value to your life.
Let me provide you with an example…
I own a bike; honestly a really nice bike. Did you know that bikes can be pretty darn expensive? Anyhow, back on topic. This bike allows me to exercise with friends, explore new areas, and see the world. To me, this is a win/win because it brings me both joy and value.
We also own a van that we have converted into a camper van. This van is amazing, it allows us to see the world cheaply, explore new and different areas, and gives us a warm and comfortable spot to sleep any time of the year.
Of course, both of these are not necessary for our day to day living. However, they make us very happy. Once again this brings us both joy and value.
The Minimalist Journey
Throughout the years I have become more and more of a minimalist. I realize how much I don’t need. It hasn’t always been like this. I used to have a difficult time getting rid of things. I think my minimalist habits are growing stronger and stronger as time goes on.
Minimalist Living And Gift Giving
In the past, I have struggled with what to do with gifts I don’t need. Re-gifting always seemed like a no-no. Now I am comfortable regifting something to a person that will get more value out of it than I would.
I am also coming to terms with knowing I don’t have to give something to someone just to give, (as in during the holidays). I want to give a gift that I know will bring value to that person’s life.
It’s those special times when you find that perfect something for someone that it’s fun to be gift giver. The feeling of being forced into finding a gift during a particular occasion is never a fun feeling to have.
Giving a random gift to a friend outside of the usual gift occasions is so much more personal and meaningful.
You see, growing up it was standard to give a lot of gifts for all occasions. These gifts came regardless of what that person “really” needed. I would leave special occasions with a handful of items that I didn’t need. Extra clothes to go in my already packed closet, or extra lotion and beauty supplies to clutter up my cabinets.
I am now learning to embrace my minimalism. Minimalism is helping me to do things I didn’t know were possible. Its’ all about living with less.
What Are The Benefits Of Minimalist Living
People often turn to minimalism to rid themselves of the complexities of too much stuff. It’s typically due to an overwhelming desire to be free of clutter, chaos, and mess.
Here are some of the benefits you will find after embracing minimalism in your life.
- Improved Finances- People learn what things are important and what things can be eliminated. The less you buy the more you save.
- More Freedom– It’s simple, less stuff equals more freedom. As mentioned before possessions can end up owning you. Possessions are similar to anchors on a boat-they tie you down. They keep us tied to our houses to store the items we buy and they keep us anchored to our jobs to pay for the possessions we have.
- Decreased Stress– Having fewer possessions means less worry. You won’t have to worry about maintaining, paying, insuring, and repairing your belongings.
- Improved Relationships– By being content with the things you have you allow yourself to be your true authentic self.
7 Ways Minimalism Taught Us To Be Happy With Less
Minimalism helps us create room for a simple lifestyle. We realize that by owning less we are able to fully appreciate the things we do have. It also reminds us that we don’t need much to be happy.
There are purchases in life that some people consider a necessity. It’s more of an addiction than a necessity as they have the false impression it will bring happiness.
For bigger and more expensive items why not considering renting prior to
For example: We love spending the day on a ski boat and heck we live just a mile from a gorgeous lake. But for us, that ski boat doesn’t provide the value to us that we need to make that purchase worthwhile. That makes this a perfect item to rent for those few times we need it.
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1. Minimalism Helps us Focus on Our Budget and Financial Goals
I just told you how minimalism has taught us to be happy with less. By being happy with less it has encouraged us to embrace what’s important to us. Through this process, it naturally carries over to our budget because we own less and spend less on buying things.
2. Minimalist Living Teaches Us To Live With Intention
Minimalism is all about living with intention while being mindful of the important things in your life. This is big when it comes to your budget and creating financial goals. A budget is something you create to keep you focused on your priorities.
3. Minimalism Has Shown Us Some Of Our Mistakes
We aren’t the kind of people who’ve carried around a ton of debt in our lives, because to be honest, it freaks me out!
However, about 10 years ago I thought it would be a good idea to purchase a brand new Toyota Tundra. I somehow justified this by thinking I “deserved” it because I had never owned a nice vehicle in my life.
With the new truck payment in addition to our other debts, I quickly realized that the purchase of a brand new vehicle wasn’t one of my finer decision making moments. The amount of money we were required to pay towards our monthly bills was more than I was bargaining for.
4. Time For A Change
There was a time when things were getting a bit out of control, we were spending money like it was falling from the sky. I knew that we needed a change. We needed to cut some of our expenses and develop a tighter budget.
It was through minimalism and living a simple life that I began to realize how even the small things in life add up to BIG costs.
If we could focus on streamlining and prioritizing our budget we would be more effective at decreasing and eliminating our debt.
I decided it was time to start a budget and begin tracking all of our accounts and transactions through Personal Capital.
I also created some money saving challenges to keep us motivated and focused.
5. Minimalist Living Has Helped Us Create New Habits
Through budgeting and various money saving challenges, we have come along way. Over the last several years we have been able to turn our wasteful habits into a new cash stashing obsession. It’s actually a lot of fun to watch that money grow. Who woulda knew?
We have feelings of accomplishment and gratitude for creating room in our lives for bigger things than the possessions that owned us.
6. Minimalism Helped Us Make Extra Money
Once we began simplifying our finances it became contagious. We realized that there were so many things in our lives that were no longer useful to us. We began taking stock of our belongings and selling things on Craigslist and our local Facebook page. It was liberating.
We were able to make a large chunk of money by selling quality items that we no longer needed. Cleaning and decluttering our house created space for simpler and less stressful living.
7. Minimalism Has Helped Us Pay Down Our Debt
By creating a budget and tracking our finances through Personal Capital, we significantly decreased our spending. We earned extra cash that we used to pay down debt by selling useless things.
Now that we are nearly debt free we are putting our money towards more important things such as our HSA, and IRA accounts.
We are feeling more free than ever. Living expenses are becoming smaller and smaller as we are minimizing our spending and simplifying our living.
The best thing about all of this is that we are happier than ever and have less stress. We are not bogged down by the things in our lives and we are free from financial hardship.
Making small changes has made us realize that our finances are the best they have ever been and we are achieving our goals one step at a time.
Whether you decide to take on a minimalist lifestyle is completely up to you but by practicing some of the minimalist principles it may do wonders for your
Do you have minimalist habits? How About extreme minimalist habits?
Have you ever made a big lifestyle change to create more independence in your life?
We’d love to hear about it, leave us a comment below