Modern day living is not only very complex but expensive too. Given the current state of the economy, it is important to pause and regroup every now and then in order to manage. I mentioned in a previous post that the tiny house movement has gained momentum in the past few years and one of the reasons for this momentum is the realization that we don’t need a lot in order to live well. In fact, we need very little. Whatever we accumulate over and above our needs is optional and often comes at a great cost.
I often meet individuals who believe that it is impossible to live a good life below a certain income bracket which is then exacerbated by our fledgling economy. Through experience and a lot of research, I can confirm that this is not entirely true.
I have a friend who cleared her wardrobe of all items except for a few – if I recall correctly, she kept eight or so items. Her reasoning was that she wore those items most of the time. The rest were in her wardrobe for months on end without ever being worn. When I took stock of my wardrobe, I found the same to be true. In fact, I have a few items with tags on them and it’s very possible that I may never wear them. The same is true of the items in the fridge, the pantry and the rest of our home. Often, we buy and store things out of the need to buy things. Not because we need them.
Whenever we go through the budgeting exercise with clients, we uncover such wastage. The trick is then to convince clients to declutter and keep things that way. Being a minimalist and living simply is often the answer to many people’s financial woes, not the lack of money. I stumbled on a blog dedicated to the art of minimalism and some of their ideas would make many people uncomfortable. The outcomes of their minimalist tips include the following:
- Lower expenses (and more savings)
- Less stress
- The house is easier to clean
- Less consumption is good for the earth
- Productivity goes up
- Money can be spent supporting good causes
- Minimalists are happier
Purging your home, and life, of stuff can really be beneficial to your finances and wellbeing in general…if you dare.