Minimalism is something I have become very interested in over the past few years and something that has also gained a lot of popularity as well and for good reason - It is a highly rewarding approach when it comes to how you live your life.
So what is minimalism all about?
There are many definition 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, your wardrobe etc into what you truly want it to be.
Minimalism and your finances
Minimalism can have a huge positive impact on your finances when it comes to getting out to debt, saving money and building 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.
1. Minimalism can help you 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 which once you identify, can help you with the process of elimination (having less) and taking on a more minimalistic approach to your life.
For instance if you love to travel, but you find yourself spending mindless hours in the mall buying things you don't need, you can, instead, begin putting those spare funds into a travel account towards the travel experiences that will truly make you happy.
If 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, hardly wear 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 - 1) What are the things and experiences that truly matter to you? and 2) when you look at how you spend your money today, does your spending align with those values?
2. Minimalism means buying less which means spending less
Many people might beg to differ in regards to this point because buying less does not necessarily mean spending less but hear me out here.
A lot of times, people buy things because they are cheap and it seems like a great bargain. However, because they are so cheap or such a great bargain, they end up buying more and more things they don't really need and might not necessarily like. 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 and the next great affordable outfit etc.
As result, they actually end up spending more money over time not less, on things that are not aligned with their core values and don't bring them much satisfaction in the long run. So yes 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. Minimalism allows you to focus on paying off your debt faster
In line with the previous point, buying less means having more money to put towards things that matter to you like getting out of debt and the more money you put against your debt, the quicker you can exit the debt cycle and start putting more of your money towards your financial and life goals. It's a win-win approach - buy less, have more, pay off debt, and build wealth.
4. Minimalism brings peace of mind and contentment
Peace of mind and contentment are a byproduct of a minimalist's lifestyle. 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 take a minimalistic approach to life can be a major shift and is a process. Even after several years, I continue to work on minimalism in my life, however, this approach to life is very fulfilling and the totally worth it in my opinion.