Minimalism really comes down to finding out what really matters and removing the rest. Whether that means physical stuff, mental clutter, emotional stuff, commitments and everything in between – you pare down to the core of what matters.
This becomes very real to me, especially now that I have a baby in the house. We have to make good financial decisions every day or risk becoming one of “those couples” who keeps on complaining about how expensive kids are. Minimalism taught me to buy good quality, being thoughtful with every purchase and finding creative ways to not spend any money.
Every day I’m reminded of this fact: Relationships > Stuff.
Minimalism usually starts with your possessions, typically your closet. You go through everything and get rid of things that no longer fit or clothes you haven’t worn in ages. Eventually, though, minimalism hits your budget.
I’ve been a minimalist for seven years and these are just five ways that embracing minimalism can affect your finances in a positive way.
- It forces you see what matters
Do you really need to spend R300 per month on coffee? Embracing minimalism will encourage you to look at your spending habits. It helps you to see what is essential and important to you and to identify of what you don’t need.
- You naturally start spending less
If you’re a minimalist, you’ll naturally reduce the stuff you own. Because you’re reducing the stuff you own, you spend less time and money buying more stuff. Your budget can finally work out on a monthly basis because you’re spending less and you can save more. This is also the major driver behind the FIRE movement.
- Become debt free faster
Minimalism reduces the need to buy and own lots of stuff. In addition to spending less in general, there will be big gap in your budget, which you can now allocate to paying off your debt faster. When you become debt free, you’ll have much more money on a month-to-month basis to invest, or take the family for a trip once a year.
- Advertisers and salespeople become your enemy
Advertisers and salespeople want you to spend money. If you’re a minimalist, you already know what you want and it’s easy to say no. The more you say no to advertising, the more habitual it becomes and the less tempted you’ll be. Frivolous spending is often the culprit that ruins a good month – advertising and salespeople encourages this type of spending.
- You can retire earlier
Retirement is not an age, it’s a financial number. It’s a goal you need invest towards before you can live off that money instead of your salary. Minimalism can push your living expenses lower, meaning you’ll need much less than the average person to retire.
André Bothma is a volunteer contributor to Just One Lap. He is a husband, father, minimalist, personal finance enthusiast, tax expert, PC Gamer, guitar and Dungeons and Dragons player, Arsenal supporter and debt free. Follow him on Twitter.
Click here to meet the Just One Lap team at one of our live, free events.