Nowadays, it is so easy to get caught up in marketing and consumerism and to become convinced that we need the newest fashion, the most cutting-edge technology, or the latest anti-aging product to feel happy and satisfied with ourselves. However, we are only fooling ourselves because this type of happiness is fleeting. Soon after you attain your most recent material goal, you discover something else that you absolutely need in order to feel happy.
Having a minimalist approach and mindset when it comes to your lifestyle will entirely shift the way you spend and, therefore, how much you are able to save. Not sure where to start? Begin by listing your top five life priorities. If you are considering a purchase, ask yourself if it will contribute to one of these five values. If it doesn’t, put it back on the shelf because you do not need it. Have your list prominently displayed on the fridge or your bathroom mirror so that you can be reminded of your commitment on a daily basis.
Embracing minimalist living means making a conscious effort to buy only what you need. Be honest with yourself. I too am guilty of deluding myself at times. I think that if I get a certain item I will become a better person. The truth is that your mind and your heart are the only things that will make you a better person. Not the things you own. You wouldn’t want others to value you based on your material possessions, and you should not undervalue yourself either.
Below are some ways you can slowly introduce minimalism into your life:
- Void your closet of articles you have not worn in over a year by organizing a clothing exchange;
- Throw out the cosmetics you no longer wear. Will you ever wear that blue eye shadow again?
- Bike more. Drive less;
- Lower or raise your thermostat by two degrees (depending on the season) to save on heating or cooling;
- Do not spend for one week (except on absolute necessities, such as groceries);
- If an entire week is too daunting, label one day per week as your “Minimalist Day” and make a concerted effort to curb your spending and carbon footprint on that specific day;
- On the subject of groceries, only buy what you can reasonably consume in one week. Don’t waste food!
- Downsize your living space. Move to a smaller home;
- Enjoy a staycation and save on travel;
- Learn to appreciate the little things in life, such as a good night’s sleep, a sunny day, a seat on the bus or quality time spent with friends and family.
It is not as difficult as it may seem. Try incorporating one suggestion at a time and see where this minimalist journey takes you. Imagine the financial freedom of not being manipulated by marketing. Imagine how much time and mental energy you will have left once you stop chasing the next gadget or gimmick.