You might have heard about the concept of a minimalist lifestyle - about how people are living with less and are happier and financially healthier doing so. You might be wondering why exactly that is and what the idea behind it all is.
Well, we are going to answer those questions for you here. We will explain the main concept of minimalism, give you some tips on how to live a minimalist lifestyle, as well as help you to create your own minimalist budget.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is a mindset and also a kind of lifestyle. The mindset is all about having a clear idea of what is valuable to you in your spending and what is not. As modern consumers, we are persuaded to buy things all the time that we don’t really need (and often don’t want). Minimalism is about knowing what you need and want so that you can make good decisions and feel happier about your expenses.
As for the lifestyle, there are a number of different ways in which we can act on the minimalist mindset. From clearing out your fridge and your closet to tidying up your day-to-day expenses, there are lots of things that you can do to get closer to a minimalist lifestyle. Read on to learn some tips on how to implement minimalist living habits.
Minimalist living tips
- Keep a minimal wardrobe - With the increase in online shopping and the expansion of budget fashion lines, our wardrobes are fuller now than they’ve ever been before. We buy a pair of jeans here, a dress there, and suddenly we’ve got more clothes than we could wear in a month.
The first step towards keeping a minimalist wardrobe is purging the clothes you don’t ever really wear. Donate the clothes to charity so that you’re not just throwing things away - minimalist living is all about reducing waste. When you’ve cleared out your cupboards and want to treat yourself with new items, make sure you buy quality. You’ll feel better about the clothes you wear and you’ll be able to buy more high-end items if you’re not wasting your money on too many cheaper items.
- Reduce gadgets and other items - We pick up bits and bobs all the time that we don’t need and never use. We buy gadgets to use in the kitchen, accessories for our phones and computers, and all sorts of knick-knacks that we pick up here and there. If you look around your bedroom or living room, you can probably see half a dozen or more things that you at least partially regret buying. Avoid impulse purchases by asking yourself if you really need something before you buy it.
- Eat what’s in the fridge before going to the supermarket - Food wastage is not only a financial problem for you, but also an environmental problem for the planet. Filling your fridge with groceries you end up throwing out means a lot more energy and land resources are being consumed than need to be. Try to plan your meals and buy just what you need. This will help you cut down on waste, as well as your expenses.
Quality over quantity - As a general rule, you should be thinking about having a few high-quality things in your home, rather than having lots of poorer quality things. This goes for clothes, electronics, furniture, cutlery, crockery, towels, bed linen - all the things we collect up in our homes. This is the one golden tip to help you lead a minimalist lifestyle. If you’re not absolutely in love with the piece of clothing or the kitchen gadget you’re buying, it probably doesn’t fit in the minimalist lifestyle. | Greater Bank
How to make your own minimalist budget
Just like you declutter your wardrobe and prioritise the things you want to own, you can clean up your spending habits and set priorities for your saving. Living on a budget can be hard, but with a solid philosophy like minimalism behind you it can be easier and more fulfilling.
- Declutter your finances - Step one is to go through your finances and work out where you are spending your money and whether or not you really need to be spending it there. You might be buying too many meals out, buying groceries you never eat, or making impulse purchases on the internet. This is the kind of unnecessary clutter you want to remove from your bank statements. You will feel more in control of your finances and be happier when you spend money on things you really like.
- Budget your day-today - Once you’ve cleaned up your room, you want to make sure you keep it that way. So, work out a budget that works for you and stick to it. For some people this may be a week-to-week thing, while for others it will be a monthly or yearly budget. Whatever the timeframe, make sure you set clear priorities for yourself. Work out where you want to be spending your money and give yourself clear guidelines so you don’t spend money on things that aren’t important to you.
- Set savings goals - As we now know, minimalism isn’t just about reducing clutter but also working out what is really valuable to you. That might mean saving up to buy a car, a new jacket, or setting money aside to put a deposit down on a house. Whatever it is, having a savings goal will give your financial management a sense of purpose.
Check out Greater Bank’s Savings Goal Calculator to help you.
- Revisit your finances and your priorities - Your priorities are going to change over time. You should keep track of your finances to make sure they continue to match up with your priorities. By being aware of your finances -including your spending habits and overall position - you can avoid falling into old habits of buying things just because you feel like it. Reassess your financial position at least once each year and, at the same time, work out whether they are in line with your priorities. Looking at your finances may also give you cause to reassess your priorities, and this can be healthy too.