5 Financial Lessons to Learn from Minimalism
Do a quick online search for “minimalism” and you’ll find everything from an artistic movement to a style of decorating to a type of capsule wardrobe. The fact is, the concept of minimalism can mean different things to different people. But despite its varying interpretations, at its core, minimalism is about living with less. So, it’s not really surprising that within the concept of minimalism, there are some valuable personal finance lessons. Let’s take a look at the financial lessons of minimalism.
Focus on Quality over Quantity
Since the overall goal of minimalism is to live with less, quality makes a big difference. Rather than going for multiples of the fastest, cheapest option, focus on purchasing a single item in the best quality you can afford. Although it may initially seem counterintuitive to spend more up front, it will pay off down the line when the item lasts longer and performs better than a cheap, disposable option.
Declutter and Cash In
Those who practice minimalism see clutter as the enemy for a number of reasons. Not only does it create visual and mental chaos, having too much stuff means you have money tied up in things you don’t need or use. Even if you don’t aspire to a fully minimalist lifestyle, getting into a regular routine of decluttering and reselling unused clothing, shoes, sporting equipment and other household items can help keep your living space clean while adding some extra income.
Adopt the One-In, One-Out Rule
This essential rule of minimalism goes like this: every time you buy something new, you have to get rid of something you already have in the same category. For example, if you buy a pair of shoes, you have to let one pair go. No big deal, right? It’s not at first, when you have plenty you need to get rid of anyway. But once you pare down and only keep things you really like and use, it’s harder to choose what has to go. The idea is to spend time thinking about it before you make a purchase, which can help cut down on impulse buying.
Reuse, Recycle and Multi-task
When you’re doing more with less, it makes sense to focus on items that serve multiple functions. Look for furniture and household items that can serve more than one purpose. Look for things like an ottoman with built-in storage, or a hamper with an ironing board attached. You’ll also want to look for ways to reuse items you world normally get rid of. For example, when towels become worn, instead of throwing them away, use them as cleaning rags.
Value Experiences Over Things
Many minimalists put an emphasis on creating experiences, rather than acquiring things. If you’re used to shopping as a hobby, it can be challenging to shift your mindset to only shopping for necessities (rather than as a recreational activity). But when you free up the time and money you spend shopping to do things such as travel or learn a new skill, you’ll find that living with less allows you to do more, rather than simply acquire more.