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By Kathryn Pins
A quick search for “minimalism” results in hundreds of blog posts on the topic. Each post promises that a lifestyle change towards “less is more” will bring happiness and inner peace. Sounds great, right? In addition, we wanted to look at how changing our mindset could help our wallets and simplify our finances. Here is how you can apply the minimalism trend to your wallet.
At its core, minimalism is about surrounding yourself with fewer things, especially in our homes. This means reflecting on whether or not you love or need an item before you buy it. For example, instead of decorating your home with a lot of small knickknacks that you kind of like, save for something that is truly unique and special to you. That could be a beautiful piece of art that really speaks to you.
Minimalists believe that every purchase should bring you joy or service multiple crucial functions in your home. When you start getting picky about your purchases, you buy fewer things. You may also find that you’ll start buying things that are less trendy and cheaply made. Instead, buy things that will stand the test of time. If something does get outdated, such as a dresser, see if you can give it new life with a nice paint job and simple repairs. An old dresser can become a talking point and a symbol of your hard work.
Many beginning minimalists start by decluttering their homes of things that do not add value or take up too much space. Start to remove the things you forgot you had deep in your closet or the things you haven’t used in the last two years.
Come up with a plan for those items. You can easily sell them on Facebook Marketplace or apps like LetGo. You’d be surprised how much money you can make on the clutter that’s been collecting dust. As a fun experiment, put the money from your sales in a Supplemental Savings account to see how much it adds up!
If something is not selling, donate it. Your items could get a second life and make someone’s day a little brighter.
Another lesson we can learn from minimalists is their drive to simplify. Finances create a lot of stress. Having many accounts in many places can amplify this stress. Pick one competitive savings account and one checking account that have a high interest rate and are easily accessible. You don’t want to stress about finding an ATM, instead use a checking account that has an ATM rebate program to simplify your life.
Choose one credit card that will give you cash back or reward points on everything. Instead of having one credit card for miles, one for dining and another store-specific card, get a card that consistently rewards you for all your purchases. Get either two points per dollar or 3 percent cash back on your everyday purchases. You could have more money in your pocket and less stress.
Consolidate and refinance your loans. There are many types of loans that you can refinance, including student loans or auto loans. Whether you have student loans or credit card debt, by consolidating those loans you can stop worrying if you have paid each bill on time. Is a refinance for you? Do some research and weigh your options. Consolidate and potentially enjoy a lower rate to save money. Plus, the peace of mind you’ll get making only one low payment will make refinancing even more valuable.
Other ways to help you save:
Clever ways to save
Boost your savings or reduce your debt by an entire paycheck – painlessly!
Four ways to stick to your financial goals
Early retirement could come down to simple math
Kathryn Pins is a marketing content specialist at Alliant. She’s passionate about finding and communicating meaningful financial information with Money Mentor readers. Kathryn is a saver who gets more excited about certificates and her Roth IRA than shopping. When she does spend her earnings, it’s on furthering her education, travel, unique experiences, and loved ones.