Five Ways to Save Money with Minimalism
Have less clutter in your house and more money in your wallet
Living a minimalist lifestyle means living with less. This growing trend is an approach to life that a lot of people find fulfilling. Many are also taking advantage of minimalism as a way to save money.
Like anything, minimalism has its pros and cons. Aside from the savings, living minimally can help you appreciate the simpler things in life and keep you from being too attached to material goods. On the other hand, if you fully commit, you're essentially going without many of life's luxuries that many people take for granted.
"Minimalism encourages you to embrace the things that are most important to you," writes Miriam Caldwell at The Balance. "This will naturally carry over into how you spend your money. If you are not focused on acquiring certain items, but more focused on specific experiences, the way you spend your money changes. Realizing what is most important to you will help with your spending priorities and this can carry forward into the way that you handle your money overall."1
You can start your minimalist lifestyle by decluttering your home, and you may be able to make some money in the process. According to famous organizing consultant Marie Kondo, you should get rid of any item that doesn't bring you joy.2 Take items to second-hand stores or sell them online through sites and apps like Craigslist®, eBay®, Poshmark®, etc. You can also have a yard/garage sale and try to get rid of the rest. Place the money into a savings account, and you might be surprised at how much you end up with.
2. If you don't need it, don't buy it
How much thought and effort do you actually put into buying less? Really look at where you're spending your money and determine if you can make adjustments. Do you make purchases out of habit? For example, do you keep buying a certain product from the grocery store just because you're used to it, or is it something that you really want or need? Do you grab a $5 coffee every day on the way to work, or could you bring a coffee from home? Are your cabinets overstocked? Are you spending money on material items that end up sitting around your house? Do you buy magazines and end up reading articles on your phone anyway? Think about every purchase you make and resist impulse buys. Try putting the money you would have spent on an item into that savings account, as well.
3. Use what you have
How many books do you own that you haven't read? Many of us have shelves full. We tell ourselves that we'll get to them one day. Make that day today. If you're reading the books you own, you don't have to pay for other forms of entertainment you'd otherwise be filling that time with. Once you're done with a book, sell or donate it and start clearing more space. The same goes for DVDs and Blu-rays. If you don't plan to watch them, get rid of them. If you do plan to watch them, get to them and move on. Meanwhile, save on your streaming bills and movie theater tickets by viewing what's already in your home. You can also utilize your local library for books and movies.
4. Pack less when you travel
Don't just think about minimalism at home. Think about how you can apply it to your travels, as well.
"Travel always renews my love of minimalism and living simply," says Courtney Carver at Be More with Less. "The next time you take a trip, pack for half of the time. If you are traveling for four days, pack for two. You can wash and hang clothes if you need to or wear the same things twice. See how it feels to carry less baggage."
Less baggage, of course, means paying less at the airport. If you can get your luggage down to a single carry-on, you'll probably be saving money.
5. Prioritize experiences over material items
Think of minimalism as prioritizing experiences over material items. Material items tend to be a way to keep you at your home. There are obviously exceptions, but if you aren't buying things that require you being at home to use them, you may be more inclined to go out and experience the world. While many "experiences" will cost money, there are a lot of ways to enjoy life that don't cost a dime. Go for a walk on a nice day. Take a trip to the park. Volunteer. Be active at your place of worship. Keep an eye on things that are happening in your community and get involved.
Minimalism may not be a great fit for you, but if you try any of these ideas, you're practically guaranteed to save some money.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC