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Wednesday 17th April 2024

Can minimalism make you richer?

Shoestring Jane considers minimalism, and how it can help you with your money

minimalistic life habits can make you richer

What is minimalism? When you think of a minimalist, it may conjure up an image of someone sitting on the floor of an empty room, living a hermit-like existence, doing without, living a spartan life of self-denial and deprivation.

In fact, proponents of a minimalist lifestyle say the reverse is true. Minimalism can make you richer, just maybe not in the ways you expect. 

Here is a definition from Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, stars of the Netflix documentary, Minimalism

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“Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favour of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfilment, and freedom.”

Leo Babauta, who writes the blog Zen Habits, says there are no set rules for becoming a minimalist, but that “in general … you want to live simply without too many unnecessary possessions, distractions, clutter, or waste. You want to live frugally, debt-free, sustainably, naturally.”

If this sounds interesting, here are some ways minimalism might make you feel more prosperous.

Clearing the clutter

Exponents of minimalism say that it allows a move away from the clutter that can slow us down, both physically and mentally. It is freedom from the drag of material possessions and the excesses of consumerism, freedom from the anxiety of debt, and liberation from the sense that you have too much to do and too little time to enjoy life.

Deep down, We all know wealth is not just about accruing material goods. We can be money-rich but time-poor. Embracing a consumer lifestyle can place us on a never-ending hamster wheel where we feel driven to work more simply to buy more stuff. 

Minimalists believe having a lot of possessions means spending time cleaning, maintaining and looking after those things and that having a smaller number of more meaningful items frees up time and money. On the other hand, having less may mean that you appreciate what you own all the more.

Reducing your spending

When you need less, you spend less. And it follows that reducing your excess spending can leave you with more money to spend on the things that add value to your life.

When you reduce what you spend, you may also be able to afford to work less and have more time for relationships, hobbies and experiences.

Minimalists aren’t interested in keeping up with the Joneses. They know that just because you have a lot of nice things, it doesn’t mean you are rich. Instead, it might mean you have worrying levels of debt, spend all your income as it arrives and live pay-day to pay-day.

Because minimalists have a clear vision of the life they want, they are less interested in how anyone else lives theirs.

Organising your money

Less physical clutter can give you more head space to organise your finances. We all know that you can rarely make enough money to compensate for poor money management, especially if it is coupled with excessive spending.

Getting organised with your money and simplifying your finances means making a clear and realistic budget. And because you spend less as a minimalist, budgeting is likely to be a lot less stressful than previously.

When you understand where your money is going and set a budget for your spending, you can free up resources to pay down debt, build an emergency fund or even start investing to build wealth.

By helping organise your money, minimalism can make you richer.

Doing more with less

As part of a design for a simpler life, many minimalists strive to do more with less. This might mean managing their time better to maximise their earning potential.

Tony Robbins recommends using a technique called ‘chunking’ to better manage your time and accomplish more. The idea is to designate chunks of time for specific tasks where you can focus on them and get more done.

For example, you might answer emails for one hour in the morning and half an hour in the afternoon at specific times instead of reacting to individual communications as they arrive.

At home, you could batch cook a whole lot of meals in one go or chop all of your vegetables for the week in advance. When you come to cook dinner, this saves so much time you could spend working on a side hustle or relaxing with friends and family.

Freeing up time in this way could allow you more opportunities to earn more or to work in ways that better suit your talents and inclinations. You will find plenty of entrepreneurial minimalists with multiple streams of income they enjoy doing rather than a single job where they may have less say over how much time they spend working. They use minimalism as a way to achieve a good work-life balance.

Conclusion

So can minimalism make you richer? Many people are drawn to minimalism because they have travelled the road of striving for wealth and status, but when they arrived they realised it wasn’t the route to happiness after all. 

Stepping back from the rat race and designing a simple, minimalist lifestyle where you need less, spend less and manage your time and money better could be the key to the life you really want. You may not actually be more wealthy, but you are likely to feel you are!

Photo Credits: Pexels

Shoestring Jane

Mouthy Blogger

Shoestring Jane is a full-time self-employed mum of three daughters. Her frugal partner in crime is handyman extraordinaire, Mr Shoestring. They are constantly on the look out for ways to save and make extra money. Read more on her blog, Shoestring Cottage.

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