Minimalism is now hitting the mainstream crowd pretty hard. The term minimalist is no longer associated with artwork or how you arrange your furniture; it is currently a lifestyle that anyone, regardless of age, income or responsibility can be partake in.
For the most part, proponents of the lifestyle will be quick to claim its benefits and one that is usually touted is the money saving element of taking the minimalism route. But can minimalism really improve your finances? We found three ways in which it does.
However before we get into the ways, let's correct some misconceptions and learn about what being a minimalist really means.
The Basic Tenets of Minimalism
First of all, it is not about getting rid of everything you own. It is about eliminating things from your life that does not have a purpose or that does not bring you happiness. Simple concept isn't it? By having a minimalist attitude you will be putting focus on things that really matter in your life.
Minimalists usually focus on three key areas in life: experiences, engaging in meaningful work and investing in people. This means spending more on experiences as compared to things; doing work that is fulfilling to you personally as compared to simply working; and finally, being around more for your loved ones.
Looking at the backbone tenets of minimalism, it can easily be followed that it is a lifestyle wherein which you will be encouraged to save and at the same time improve your financial future. Here are the three outcomes from going minimalist that will help you with your finances.
Outcome 1: You Will Buy Less Stuff
Being a minimalist means paring down the clutter and only keeping/buying what you really use and what really adds value to your life. This means at the very beginning of this lifestyle overhaul, you will get rid of stuff in your home.
Discarding, donating or simply selling your unused things will earn you a bit of cash too but it's the ultimate change in the way you spend, which will help you save in the long run.
Opting for a minimalist lifestyle will see change in your purchasing focus. You will need to re-evaluate everything you buy according to the tenets: will this purchase be useful? Will it enhance the quality of my life? If not; you don't buy.
It's the difference between buying a few extra chairs just so that you may fill some empty space in the living room versus having an empty room and just a few chairs that you really use.
Outcome 2: You Will Be Able to Keep Focused on Goals
It's not to say that by owning a wardrobe that can dress-up 90 people at a time will hinder your goal of being a travel writer but, it is the act of de-cluttering and the evaluation of your need to own so many clothes that will help rid you of that selfsame need and hence, help you save money.
Having a lot of stuff means taking care of a lot of stuff through cleaning, maintenance and sorting. That gigantic wardrobe isn't going to launder and fold itself!
Now how about channeling that time and energy spent on folding, laundering and earning more money to buy more clothes into reaching an important goal?
This doesn't mean that you decide to have no clothes and walk about looking like a bum. It means having a wardrobe that maximises utility and functionality. This helps you to focus the bulk of your efforts elsewhere, into more important things.
Mark Zuckerberg famously admitted to this practice but if you thought it was only for men, Art Director of Saatchi & Saatchi in New York, Matilda Kohl does the same.
But clothes is just one example. The less stuff in general you have to care for; the more time and energy you have for more important things.
That is, simply focusing you energy towards improving yourself, gaining more experience and have more confidence in order to achieve your goals.
Outcome 3: You Will Budget Better
Minimalists are usually as of rule already better at spending decisions but because they are also able to reduce their needs to the minimum in order to further more important goals, they are also better at making budgets.
A minimalist budget cuts out the excess and focuses on what you truly need to live and thrive but because you cut out so much extras; there is ample room to re-prioritise your money where it brings you the most fulfillment.
By having better budgets, you are able to cut out debt and funnel your funds into your passions. If that isn't the ultimate push for better finances!
As a recap, being a minimalist does not stop you from buying anything or live without running water and electricity. For those who want to embark on this lifestyle, I say congratulations and good luck! There are an abundance of resources online to get you started. Happy de-cluttering!