Our goal is to help you achieve financial freedom, and that doesn’t just mean we will help you properly manage and earn more money, we will help you change your attitude towards it. A great way to see life, in general, is through the minimalistic lens. It helps us understand what should truly be valued.
Minimalism is to most of us a necessity. According to CNN, 76% of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck, and since popular culture tells us money is the answer to most of our problems, these Americans will live their lives going after it. Some people work 60 hours a week, live on what little time they have left while trying to manage anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression – so that they can buy what they believe will make their lives better.
As bestselling author Bryant H. McGill puts it:
“The folly of endless consumerism sends us on a wild goose-chase for happiness through materialism. “
When most think about minimalism they imagine people who live on as a little as possible in order to save every cent they get their hands on – this isn’t even close to the truth. Minimalism is, according to pioneers Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fills Millburn, about making room for more of what we truly need. It’s about getting rid of materialism to have time and energy to enjoy our health, our relationships, and our experiences.
Since minimalism is all about making room for more, minimalists attempt to keep only what adds value, and get rid of everything that doesn’t. Most people fill up their houses with things they cherish, but for some reason, never really use. These aren’t adding value, as they are literally just aging in the corner. What adds value depends on your lifestyle: to some it might be a large house and a nice car, while to others it might be a good phone and great kitchenware. It’s up to you to determine what adds value to your life.
Here you can learn from what minimalistic pioneers had to say at Ted Talks:
Adopting minimalism to achieve financial freedom
So how can you start living a minimalistic lifestyle to have time for yourself and those you love, and more money in the bank? The transition isn’t easy, as popular culture tells us materialism is the norm, but on the other side of the road – financial freedom awaits.
Step #1: Start budgeting
Before adopting a minimalistic lifestyle, you need to be in charge of your finances; it’s important to know where your money is going and how you can use it wisely. To do so, you need to set up a budget: we’ve written a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Check it out here.
Step #2: Ask yourself: how might your life be better with less?
The answer to this question will help you understand the benefits of minimalism. It will help you simplify your life and allow you to have time for what you find important. Think about how you can do more with less. The answer could revolve around making your life better with less time spent working, and more time spent exercising or reading, for example, as investing in yourself is always a great idea.
Approx. 90% of rich individuals read educational articles or books more than 30 minutes a day while only 2% of poor individuals do the same.
The principle of living with less should apply to material possessions as well. Examine your possessions, and keep only what truly adds value and sell everything that doesn’t. The money you get can be deposited into your savings account or be used to invest with.
Remember: the goal is to make room for more of what’s important to you. Your health, your family, your friends, and your freedom should be your priorities, and every decision must be geared towards having more time (and money) to invest in your priorities.
Step #3: Take up challenges
Have you ever heard of Project 333? It’s a minimalistic fashion challenge that invites you to use only 33 items or less for 3 months. The challenge will help you be more sustainable and better understand the principles of minimalism by allowing you to determine why you like certain pieces, and why they add value to your wardrobe. Most members on Hacked.com are males, but the same challenge could be applied to us (and it would probably be easier for us!)
A year into the challenge, a participant felt more analytical about new purchases, more versatile, and started to prefer quality over quantity. Here’s what she had to say about her experience:
If you aren’t comfortable starting off with a fashion-related challenge, then we suggest you go with the 30-day challenge. In it, you essentially invite a family member of a friend to join you on your journey and both pick one month. On the first day, both get rid of one thing; on the second, two things, and so forth. Anything goes in this challenge, so you are free to pick any type of items you’d like, as long as you are comfortable and believe you are getting rid of clutter.
To get rid of your stuff, have a yard sale or list your items on an online marketplace like eBay or Craigslist. You will be surprised at how much money you had sitting idle around at home.
Step #3: Question every purchase
Now that you only have what you need, it’s important to keep it that way. Every time you consider making a purchase, think it through and attempt to see how it will fit into your lifestyle. You should question your purchases even when at the check-out counter. Before stepping in line look at your item for 10 seconds and think about the value it will bring: Does it add true value?
You should always consider the long-term benefit of every purchase. Keep in mind that not purchasing anything will mean more disposable income you can use to save or invest.
Step #4: Give back
Embracing minimalism, at first, will help you see how much time and money you were wasting on things that didn’t add any value. You’ll be thankful for the free time, disposable income, and freedom you are going to get but, soon enough, you will get used to it. So how can you keep feeling grateful and maintain inspiration?
Giving back is the answer. Helping those in need is going to help you see how lucky you are even to be able to consider minimalism. It will empower you and help you avoid unnecessary items, and let you see how important and rare financial freedom truly is. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi:
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
What are your thoughts on minimalism?
Featured image from Shutterstock.