Minimalism is something I have become very interested in over the past few years. And with the wildly popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and the accompanying KonMari method, minimalism is definitely having its moment. It's a highly rewarding approach that I recommend you try.
So what is minimalism all about?
There are many definitions of what minimalism is. And it means different things to different people. But I view minimalism as getting rid of the things that don't matter in your life, eliminating the clutter and focusing on only having things that truly bring you joy. To me, it's all about elimination and curating your life, your home, and your wardrobe into what you truly want it to be.
Minimalism and your finances
Minimalism can have a huge positive impact on your finances. Practicing it can help you get out of debt, save money and build wealth. Having a minimalistic approach can help you accomplish your financial goals faster and improve your attitude as you go through the process of building wealth. Let's talk through exactly how minimalism can improve your finances below.
How Minimalism Can Improve Your Finances
1. Gain clarity around your core values
Like I mentioned above, minimalism is all about letting go of what doesn't matter in your life and focusing on what does. The things that matter to you will typically revolve around your core values. Once you identify those, they can help you with the process of elimination (having less) and taking on a more minimalistic approach to your life.
For instance, say you love to travel. But instead, you find yourself spending mindless hours in the mall buying things you don't need. Instead, begin putting those spare funds into a travel account toward the experiences that will truly make you happy.
On the other hand, maybe giving back and helping others is one of the things that truly make you happy. But your closet is bursting at the seams with clothes you've never worn, and don't really like. You can give back by donating those clothes to people who actually need or want them.
If you haven't already, take a stab at identifying your core values by asking yourself these questions. What are the things and experiences that truly matter to you? When you look at how you spend your money today, does your spending align with those values?
2. Buying less and spending less
Many of you might beg to differ with me here because buying less does not necessarily mean spending less. But hear me out.
A lot of times, people buy things because they're cheap and seem like a great bargain. However, this can lead to buying too much, or things we don't need in the first place. And instead of focusing on their core values (the things that truly matter), it then becomes a focus on the next sale and the next bargain.
As a result, you can actually end up spending more money instead of less. And, you're more likely to buy things that are not aligned with your core values and don't bring you much satisfaction in the long run. So in many instances, buying less means spending less, which in turn means more money in your pocket to pay off debt, save and invest.
3. Focus on paying off your debt faster
In line with the previous point, buying less as part of minimalism means having more money to put toward things that matter to you. Things like getting out of debt! The more money you put against your debt, the quicker you can exit the debt cycle and start putting more of your money toward your financial and life goals. It's a win-win approach: buy less, have more, pay off debt, and build wealth.
4. Peace of mind and contentment
Peace of mind and contentment are a byproduct of minimalism. The reduction of clutter and mindless spending can actually eliminate stress. And because you are only spending money on the things that truly bring you joy, you will have a great sense of happiness and contentment. You don't have to worry about storing or maintaining or even paying for things you don't even really want in the first place.
Deciding to practice minimalism can be a major shift, and it's a process. Even after several years, I continue to work on minimalism in my life. However, this approach to life is very fulfilling and totally worth it in my opinion.