Minimalism isn’t just a buzzword or an interior decorating trend. It’s a way of approaching life as a whole! Adopting a lifestyle of minimalism saves money, simplifies many of life’s logistics, and ultimately gives you more freedom.
Of course, like just about any other lifestyle, minimalism isn’t for everyone. Before you decide to dive in, it’s worth learning about what minimalism is, all the ways minimalism saves money, and how to implement minimalist principles in your own life.
That’s exactly what we’re here to talk about!
What is minimalism?
If I had to sum up minimalism in just a few words, it would be “living with less.” Instead of orienting your life around material possessions, you’re nixing the clutter and focusing on other values.
Minimalism is what you get once you’ve stripped life back down to the basics, keeping only the things you need or that genuinely bring you happiness.
In this context, you can think of minimalism as a form of simple living. Formally, minimalism is also an art movement. In addition, it's an architectural/design trend, but we’re focusing on the lifestyle meaning here.
It’s the fourth definition on Dictionary.com: “a lifestyle involving a reduction or simplification of one’s material possessions that frees one to lead an existence that is more intentional, purposeful, spiritual, etc.”
There are some obvious ways that minimalism saves money—and some not-so-obvious too! Let’s move on to the list.
8 ways minimalism saves money
When you are searching for ways to save money, an entire lifestyle change might seem drastic! But while yes, minimalism saves money…it isn’t just about the money.
Living on less can improve your life in other ways too! Minimalism can help you free up time, reduce stress, enjoy experiences over things, etc.
If those benefits of a minimalist lifestyle appeal to you, then all the ways minimalism saves money are just a cherry on top. Here are eight of them!
1. Reduces unnecessary spending
Let’s start with the obvious benefit! Minimalists aren’t going out shopping every weekend. In a minimalist home, you won’t see every shelf and counter covered with knick-knacks and appliances.
Instead of buying a ton of clothes and shoes, minimalists might build a capsule wardrobe. And when you adopt a lifestyle of minimalism, you probably won’t be caught lining up for the newest phone every year.
You don't buy things impulsively
The core of minimalism is buying only (or mostly) what you really need, not making impulse purchases. Before you buy something new, sleep on it.
Consider how often you’ll really use it. Think about where you’d put it so it isn’t just extra clutter. Ask yourself if you need it or if you’re just having “shiny object syndrome.” And remember: every purchase you resist means you keep that money in your pocket!
2. Encourages smaller living
Minimalism isn’t just about objects inside your home—it can apply to the home itself! When you’re in the habit of living with less, you aren’t going to need an enormous space.
Since housing is typically one of our biggest expenses (be it rent or mortgage), minimalism saves money in a big way here. Being happy with lower square footage in your home or apartment can be a game-changer to your financial journey.
It can also make it easier to buy your first home and get on the property ladder.
3. Changes your car choices
Automobiles are another big purchase that can work either for or against you. If you’re in the habit of chasing the flashiest cars and always buying new, a minimalist mindset can change how you see your vehicles.
Cars are depreciating assets, so the more you spend on a car, the more money you lose over time. Plus, expensive cars tend to come with higher maintenance costs and repairs.
You reframe the way you think about cars
When pursuing minimalism, it helps to reframe your thinking about vehicles. Instead of being about status or luxury, think of cars as a way to safely get you from point A to point B.
Consider buying a used car instead of taking out a pricey loan for next year’s model. Prioritize essential needs over deluxe features. Here are some tips on saving up for a car!
4. Minimizes debt & interest payments
Since minimalists aren’t out there buying a lot of things, they’re not racking up lots of credit card debt, pricey car payments, etc.
That’s great news for your finances because debt tends to create more of itself. As interest charges pile up, you can find yourself struggling to pay off the original debt.
If you’re already carrying debt, you can start your minimalism journey by getting out of consumer debt. It goes much faster when you’re already committed to avoiding unnecessary spending!
And when you do need to take out a new loan (school, auto, mortgage, etc.), make sure to shop around for the lowest rates.
5. Helps you focus on quality over quantity
You might think minimalism saves money by turning you into a cheapskate. But that’s not exactly true. Since minimalists are highly discriminating about the things they buy, it usually translates into investing in higher-quality items.
This way, instead of needing to purchase and re-purchase the same things over and over when they wear out, you can save money buying good things once.
It also means you can focus on really enjoying the things you own and getting more value out of them. Instead of filling your space with useless clutter, be choosy in getting things you find functional and meaningful.
6. Decreases your insurance quotes
Minimalism isn’t going to lower your health insurance costs, but it can save on other types of insurance. For instance, the type of car you drive affects your insurance rates.
A lifestyle of minimalism means you probably won’t be purchasing and insuring pricey “toys” like boats and motorcycles.
Plus, you might be able to lower personal property coverage or renter’s insurance costs if you don’t own a ton of valuables to insure.
7. Lowers upkeep & repair bills
Having a lot of stuff is work! When you have a bigger house, fancier vehicles, more appliances, and technology…it’s all stuff that you have to take care of, repair, or eventually, replace.
Learning to live with less through minimalism costs less and takes that time burden off of you. (Minimalism saves money and they do say time is money…double savings!)
8. Allows you to easily make life changes
Want to move for a better-paying job or to a lower cost-of-living area? Minimalism removes some of the barriers that can make big moves difficult.
You won’t have to rent five U-Hauls or sell tons of stuff for a fraction of what you paid in a yard sale. If you want to go across the country, or even move to a different country, minimalism means there’s less stuff tying you down.
Freedom + money is a great combination, and that’s exactly what a minimalist lifestyle can offer. Go pursue those better financial opportunities!
Is minimalism right for you?
If you’re interested in minimalism, don’t feel like you have to throw away all your belongings on day one. Experiment with it on a smaller scale first! The 30-day minimalism challenge is a great place to start.
You’ll experience what it’s like to create new habits, tackle some decluttering projects, and even see how minimalism can improve your mental health and give you peace.
Minimalism saves money, and time, and can make your life simpler and better. To really understand this idea, read these amazing books on minimalism and find out how to be a financial minimalist!