What's the best way to save money? There are plenty of apps, spreadsheets, budget templates and savings challenges you can try. But if you have been struggling to find a method that works for you, have you thought about adopting minimalism?
What is minimalism?
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘minimalism’? Most people imagine stark white rooms, with barely any furniture. You might picture the kind of spaces that look great on Instagram but look almost too perfect to actually live in.
However, beyond this purely aesthetic style, minimalism is a lifestyle choice that can help you live with less and save money.
A common misconception is that you have to give up everything you own. In reality, minimalism is about living with exactly what you need or want and reducing the things that you don’t.
How a minimalist lifestyle can help you save money
If you are looking to save money, minimalism can help you in the following ways.
You become more intentional with spending
One of the primary benefits of minimalism is that you learn to become more intentional and thoughtful with your spending. This can help you reduce unnecessary purchases and clutter in your home.
You can get into this habit by asking yourself a few questions before purchasing something:
- Do I need this?
- Will it make my life easier?
- Will I use it long-term?
- Is there an alternative?
It can reduce emotional spending
Emotional spending is a common way to deal with stress or boredom. But it can become a big problem when you’re trying to save money or clear debt.
Minimalism could help you reduce emotional spending like this. By becoming more intentional and mindful of what you spend your money on, you will rely less on purchases to elevate your mood.
You could downsize
While a bit more extreme, if you’re serious about saving money, minimalism could help you downsize your home.
With fewer items, pieces of furniture, and clutter, you won’t need as much space. This could help you save money on rent or even your mortgage if you sell your house.
Areas of your life to apply minimalism
Adopting minimalism doesn’t mean you have to throw out all your possessions and start from scratch. It doesn’t have to be that drastic. You can make small changes or just apply it to one area of your life.
Unnecessary clothing purchases
When decluttering, clothing is usually one of the first things to address. Take a leaf out of Marie Kondo’s book and declutter anything that no longer “sparks joy.”
Whenever you next shop for clothes, ask yourself some honest questions. Will it last? Will you wear it often enough? Will you end up decluttering it in six months? These simple questions can reduce a lot of unnecessary clothing purchases.
Overspending on groceries
If you usually buy whatever you want without thinking, you could be overspending on your groceries. When people do this, they often end up throwing wasted food out or having a pantry stocked full of random items no one wants.
Instead, learn to become more intentional with the foods you eat by creating a meal plan. Have a strict shopping list and budget before you head out to the store so you won’t be tempted to buy things you don’t need.
Rather than purchasing the latest tech or household appliances you’ll only use a couple of times, think more like a minimalist.
A good way to start is to declutter all your unwanted tech. Have you used this gadget in the past six months? If not, get rid of it. This exercise should help you become more thoughtful the next time you find the urge to buy a new gadget or appliance.
Quick tips for becoming more minimalist
- If you love it, you don’t have to bin it. When becoming a minimalist, don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need to purge your home of everything. If there are things you genuinely love and use, keep them. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up repurchasing them anyway.
- Avoid buying new stuff. Once you declutter, don’t fall into the trap of repurchasing stuff because you now have more money or space. You’ll end up right back where you started.
- Take it slow. For minimalism to fit into your life, you need to take it slow and make it a sustainable change rather than a fad. Take baby steps rather than changing your whole lifestyle on day one.
Minimalism doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, by its nature, simpler is better. By simplifying and becoming more thoughtful about your purchases, you can start to save money and reduce overspending.