I have said it before and I will say it again: minimalism is so much bigger than stuff!
One thing you might notice whether you are a part of the minimalist community or the debt free community is that oftentimes minimalism and money are going hand in hand.
Now, this might not be something you think of right away if you are newer to minimalism and if that is the case, I wanted to help give you some clarity on how minimalism can give you more money almost instantly if you are truly shifting your mindset in the process.
I think this will be a relatively short podcast episode, but one that will stand to benefit you nonetheless.
When you buy less, you have more money
The way I talk about and share my minimalist journey often goes hand-in-hand with also learning better spending habits and reducing your desire to continue to buy, or slowing your roll when you do buy so you can be sure that what you are buying is going to enhance your life rather than take away from it.
Minimalism is so much different than what I used to consider organizing. I used to love organizing! I would buy new bins, arrange my stuff perfectly, maybe even label it and ultimately…like 3 days later realize I hadn’t actually solved any of my problems, I had just tricked myself into thinking I solved anything by organizing my junk in an aesthetically pleasing way.
That’s why I’m very clear now to tell people that the first step to true organization is decluttering, it’s elimination and getting rid of what doesn’t serve you.
When you get clearer and clearer about this, the desire to bring more into your home naturally decreases. Therefore you are most likely spending less.
When you are spending less, you have more money.
However, if you are in the habit (like I was) of spending every penny you earn, your brain is going to want to keep spending all of that money. It’s in the habit of not having any. That’s why it’s crucial – if you want to keep that money, that you make an intelligent plan of action for what to do with it next.
Making a money plan
My first recommendation for you if you are not in the habit of saving money is to first evaluate your needs. For us this meant focusing on paying off debt while continuing to invest.
During debt payoff the only investments we had going were my husband’s 401K
After we paid off debt we increased our 401K contributions, grew our emergency savings fund and started contributing to a vacation fund each month – we also created a part of our budget designated for carefree spending. Tom is putting his toward a new bike and I usually spend mine on dinner with friends – or this month I am going to see Wicked for the first time!
Being strategic about putting money toward the values that you have for your life will help you add to the areas that enrich your life and can make it easier to keep saving.
If you pay off debt…
Keep in mind that if you are in debt and you use your new found funds to pay off debt, this means you will eventually have even MORE money. If you were previously in the habit of making $500 monthly payments on debt, and now that debt is gone, you have found yourself with an additional $500 per month.
Again, continue to plan for this money. Even if that means depositing half into savings and using the other half to allow for more flexible spending.
What does less debt allow for?
More life options
Not only more money, but less debt also allows more flexibility and options. I read the book The SImple Path to Wealth and I love how the author shares that he and his wife are in the habit of living off half their income.
They save/invest half their income and because of this, the author was able to take a year off of work in order to figure out what it was he wanted to do with his life.
How many of us dream of that?
So many stay stuck in jobs because they are financially bound to them because of inflated lifestyles. Having fewer monthly obligations (debt or otherwise) instantly allow for more opportunities and options in your daily life.
Maybe you’ve found a job that you are content with, having more money can still allow you the freedom and flexibility of more travel, seeing the world and doing things that enhance your entire life experience.
You could also do what many in the debt free community are doing and that is pursuing a life of financial freedom that allows them to retire early.
Imagine having your home paid off, no debt and virtually no bills (I mean, you’ll still have bills, but …) This is a life so many don’t believe is possible and yet, minimalism and the mindset shifts that go along with it can easily allow you to transition to this type of living.
Not to mention that freeing up money and creating more flexible ways of living also allows you more time
Owning less frees up your time
Perhaps you are content to travel and relax during your new found time – since you are less reliant on needing to work to get by.
However, in the name of continued financial gain, you could use this time to start a business, side hustle or other endeavor that might continue to contribute to your financial gains.
This doesn’t have to be a greedy way of looking at things either.
Finding additional outlets to earn money can provide stability and security. In fact, most millionaires have several streams of income. Not because they are greedy, but because in case one form of income fails, they still have several others that are supporting them.
The best part is, in our modern world finding additional ways to create income can be really easy and really hands off.
There are people running Airbnb properties without doing anything. People pay to stay in their homes and property management companies take a small percentage to run their Airbnbs for them.
I personally make passive income online through my blog, social media channels, and through investing.
As someone who used to constantly worry about money – and usually had none in the bank, it feels really good knowing that i have several streams of income working to support me and my family in case anything should ever go wrong – and that we don’t require much to live because we have adapted to a life with less!
Hopefully this podcast episode has given you a few ideas on how practicing minimalism can also allow you more money in your life in order to create freedom and flexibility of your time and schedule. If this is a life you dream of pursuing, you might enjoy last week’s episode if you happened to miss it all about how minimalism really can provide a way to total freedom in every area of life.