Blogger Laura Hutchinson of HowToGYST.com is a student of the KonMari method. For those of you who aren’t familiar with what this is, it’s a Japanese tidying technique involving minimising clutter by getting rid of the things in your life that don’t ‘spark joy’, and organising your house more efficiently. The KonMari method can be applied to all aspects of your life, not just origami folding your socks! Laura, who runs a blog and YouTube channel featuring hints and tips to help you organise your life (the GYST of her web address stands for ‘get your shit together’), has recently applied the ‘spark joy’ approach to saving money.
KonMari method: a Japanese tidying technique involving minimising clutter by getting rid of the things in your life that don’t ‘spark joy’.
Her video ‘How To Save Money: 5 Tips for BIG Savings’ offers some great practical advice for looking after your cash. Don’t be fooled though, this lady is a straight talker, and her tips focus on thinking about what you really want and need. Though sadly there’s nothing about robbing a bank or winning the lottery, they’re all things you can easily put into everyday practice.
Here’s a run down of her advice. I highly recommend watching her video, as well. Not only does she give more information than is present here, but she also has an engaging and fun delivery style that is not to be missed!
Stop going shopping. The first minimalist tip – if you don’t need anything, don’t go shopping. If you take temptation out of the way, you won’t buy the things you don’t need. As Laura quite rightly says, ‘you don’t miss what you never had’. So, when you’re bored, pick up an alternative hobby; you could go running, read a book (borrowed for your local library, perhaps?), write a blog post, or practice your photography. There’s plenty to do in and out of the house without resorting to ‘popping to the shops’.
Limit advertising. You don’t need that noise in your life. People get paid loads of money to make things look desirable – ignore them. You may have seen The Simpsons Halloween Special? The one where the big mascots come to life, and Lisa sings a song that goes ‘Just don’t look! Just don’t look!’ – well, that’s the moral of this tip. If you don’t watch the ads, you won’t be tempted to buy what they’re selling. Plus, no advert will ever be as good as the Judderman advert Metz did in the 90s, so you’re missing nothing!
Shop online. If you must shop, then be smart about it. Be savvy! Use a price comparison site, for example. Chances are, most things you want to shop for will be cheaper online; the online stores don’t have the same overheads as physical shops. For me, the real bonus here is that you don’t have to cope with any crowds or queues. Huzzah! All the wins. I’m a huge fan of online shopping, and so i’m with Laura all the way on this one.
Walk away. This takes ‘does it spark joy?’ to Jedi levels of restraint. Let the item spark joy; let it make you happy for that moment. Then, make like Elsa, and let it go, leave it behind. If you truly regret not buying it, you can always go back for it, but your life will not be any less fabulous without a gadget, or a bag, or a cushion, or a rhinestone encrusted sugar skull. That’s not to say you can’t treat yourself occasionally, you’re only human!
Write a list. Finally, an excuse to get some use out of all the stationery I’ve bought over the years! Being well organised well in advance (as I’ve said before re: Christmas) means that you can take time to shop around. It also means you’ll be calmer, knowing you’ve got what you need, and you won’t impulse buy. It’s amazing how reasonable it can seem to spend £19.99 on a book when you have to have it today for a present!
As I say, those are the highlights, but you’ll get loads more out of watching the video and reading her suggested links in the comments. Find your joy through minimalist spending and careful planning! I found these tips really useful, and you know what they say, sharing is caring!
Laura’s video is available to watch here: https://youtu.be/ExhEwccRcBM