It seems that these days, everyone is talking about a minimalist lifestyle. From tiny homes, to possessing less stuff, to even minimizing the dependency on money, a minimalist lifestyle is very attractive to folks looking for a change. But how about saving money? It seems many assume that if you go minimalist, you automatically save tons of money. The reality is, the savings and budgeting changes. Today, I want to share with you how to save money as a minimalist!
Budgeting Until You Cannot Budget Anymore
Budgeting is key to saving money, no matter what kind of lifestyle you wish to have! Planning out your needs and having a clear picture in your mind about the road to savings is going to be your best friend. It’s a typical budget, just like anyone else. A focus on meeting your needs:
- travel expenses (gas, cab, bus)
- Toiletries & body care
Minimalist attitude is that you don’t use more than what you need. This budget can also help you figure out how to minimize your spending and making your savings bigger.
If you decide to ride a bike for transportation then you avoid spending on anything other than bicycle and bicycle maintenance. If your rent or mortgage is a big chunk of your money, look to a tiny house! Which means getting rid of a lot of “stuff” since you will have limited room (hello yard sale!). Even food can be minimized by growing your herbs and vegetables, rather than purchasing them in store.
This is also where you can see if your goals for savings are realistic. If not, adjust them. You can change how you spend in other categories or adjust your savings to make it match what your real spending picture is.
Stick To Your Budget, or It’s Pointless!
How many of us have created a budget and then not looked at it again? Pretty much everyone! It’s not-so-easy to create the budget and if we are feeling overwhelmed by it, its easy to not look at it again. The reality is, follow it! Set aside 15 min each week to look at it and make sure you are on target. Yes, occasionally you will make a mistake. We are human! But the more we look at it, the less likely you will continue to do that. It can be very empowering after a bit to know you are in control of your money situation!
Buy What Lasts!
Some items are a short term good (food, some clothing, etc) and that is okay. But other things are meant to last a long time. Focus on making sure you are purchasing items that will last you a long time! Sometimes this means you spend a little more than what you would expect. The idea is not to avoid spending money and being frugal, but rather looking at the larger picture. If you decide to fill your living room with plastic lawn furniture just because the price tag is cheaper, you will spend more replacing it over the years. Investing in solid furniture, that fits your space, and you will spend less because you won’t have to replace it. Quality vs price tag!
Buy What You Need, Not What You Desire
It’s easy to get caught up in fulfilling your desires for the latest phone or latest car. While a car is a need for some of us, and a phone is a necessity for everyone, it doesn’t have to be the highest priced and newest gadget. Marketers prey on folks desires, even leading us down the path of what they want us to desire. But the minimalist attitude is to focus on need rather than what we want.
Let’s also acknowledge that what we own does not define who we are! While a style of clothing can reflect parts of our self, it is us who defines ourselves and not the style of clothing.
Savings for the minimalist, and just about everyone else, is an attainable goal. So many of us are accustomed to not saving and living hand to mouth that it can be an overwhelming endeavor. If you are living the minimalist lifestyle and are already struggling with savings, review that budget. Find the problem areas and figure out how to manage it.
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