Archive for the Minimalism Category

Minimalism and Shopping: Questions to Ask Before Buying

After the decluttering and the clearing out, I started to feel like such a pro minimalist. But soon the day will come when you need to buy something – and this sent me into a panic mode at first. Could I go to Target and buy only soap? It took a long process of trial and error, but these are the questions I now ask myself to consider with minimalism and shopping.

1. Is this a planned or spontaneous purchase?

I only buy things that I’ve been considering for some time. This means that I’ve thought about purchasing and already considered whether or not it was a necessary purchase. A lot of the time, I will think about buying something for a couple of weeks, and then at the end of this time, decide that it’s actually not something that I need. This process is super helpful for me, as I used to be a very spontaneous shopper (and addicted to Target). It also helped me learn how to start living a minimalist lifestyle.

Minimalism and Shopping

2. Is there something else I could use instead?

This question has actually prevented me from purchasing things that I’d wanted and thought about but didn’t actually need. I now buy primarily multi-use products, or turn my products into multi-use products. For example, I used to use separate products for my face and body. Now, I try to use the same soap for my face and body (preferably a bar soap as they last longer), and I use the same moisturizer all around as well. I have even moved into using products that can go further than this; I’m currently trying out oils as moisturizers, because they can also moisturize my hair (and knock out the need for a hair serum!).

3. Will I use this until it expires?

I’ve bought many a product that I had not planned to use to it’s fullest potential. Before minimalism, this was mostly fast fashion – cheap jewelry from forever 21 that would stain my fingers green after a week, tank tops that would fall apart after a couple of washes. But even after transitioning into minimalism, I would purchase things that I might only need for a short time.

Minimalism and Shopping

The best example here is the multiple types of coffee makers I (used to) own. I travel the world full time; I live out of a backpack. I definitely don’t need to be carrying around more than one coffee maker, but at one point I was carting around a French press, a cone filter (complete with a pack of 100 filters), and a plastic reusable Tupperware container full of coffee. I do love a good cup of coffee, but even to me, that is over the top. Since this ridiculous incident, I’ve removed all of these items from my backpack and now just use the coffee maker that is available to me (also trying to quit the daily coffee habit, so I don’t have to rely on anything).

These are the three questions that have helped me avoid lots of unnecessary purchases, and have assisted me so much in my journey to minimalist shopping.

Your Turn!

  • What secrets do you have for avoiding unnecessary purchases?

When Does Minimalism Become Unhealthy?

Minimalism is a lifestyle that has brought me so many benefits, I tell everyone I know about it. Though it is a helpful and healthy lifestyle for me, it can become an unhealthy obsession for some. So, when does minimalism become unhealthy?

Obsession Over Getting Rid of Stuff

When I first started to get rid of my stuff I didn’t need, it felt good. I am still getting rid of stuff, and minimalism is a constant learning process for me. I used to feel the shoppers high after buying a ton of stuff I didn’t need at Target; now I feel the minimalism high after getting rid of bags of old clothes or college books. I can see how getting rid of stuff could turn into an obsession.

When Minimalism Becomes Unhealthy

Getting Competitive

I talk about minimalism a lot, and though I’m probably more of a minimalist than your average person, I sometimes get called out in the minimalist community for things like wearing makeup or owning multiple pairs of shoes. This doesn’t bother me because I believe that minimalism looks different for everyone. It’s not a competition over who has less stuff, and you can still be a minimalist if you own two dresses instead of one.

Getting Rid of Things You Actually Need

Minimalism is a great way of life. My favorite thing about it is the individuality, and figuring out what you consider worthy of keeping to use on a regular basis. If I used something like a potato peeler on a regular basis, but someone else doesn’t, it might make sense for the other person to get rid of their potato peeler. Minimalism can become unhealthy when one gets rid of items they use regularly, simply to become more minimalist.

When Minimalism Becomes Unhealthy

Mindset

To me, minimalism is lifestyle that makes my day-to-day life easier and more enjoyable. I got rid of the stuff I didn’t need to make room for the things I care about in my life, like spending time with family and having freedom in my schedule. When minimalism becomes a competition or obsession, it starts to become unhealthy.

When Life Becomes Harder

It can be easy to slip into a mindset of wondering what else you can get rid of, what you haven’t used in the last few weeks, what takes up the most room in your closet. If getting rid of things and being as minimalist as possible is making your life harder than it is easier, you may have an unhealthy obsession with minimalism.

These are just a few ways in which minimalism can become unhealthy. Minimalism has brought so many benefits to my life. As with anything, it’s best practiced in a way that works best for the individual. This will look different for everyone. I really believe that everyone can benefit from adopting a few minimalist practices.

Your Turn!

  • Do you have any other reasons you think minimalism could become unhealthy?

 

How To Quit Impulse Shopping

When I became a minimalist, one of the first things I had to do was learn how to stop impulse shopping. Learning to quit impulse purchases was hard at first, but I had a few tricks that helped me quit for good. This is how I quit impulse shopping.

Get Clear on Why You Want to Stop

If you don’t have a reason to stop impulse shopping, you won’t quit. I had been buying random clothes on impulse for years, and wanted to be more responsible, but my only reason to stop thus far was simply to save money. This reason was so vague that it didn’t help me at all. Eventually, I created a bigger “why” that did help – a lot.

How to Quit Impulse Shopping

Create Short And Long Term Goals

By creating goals, I had a reason to quit shopping on impulse. I wanted to travel, so my short term goal was to save a certain amount of money per month. My long term goal was to be able to save enough to travel for one year (and I did it!). When I made a stop at Target, I kept these goals in my mind, and knew that impulse purchases would prevent me from hitting my goal deadlines.

Take Notes

When you have the urge to buy something on impulse, stop for a second and acknowledge that feeling. Why do you want to buy that candy/top/whatever? I noticed that I craved impulse purchases when I was upset or craving something else in my life. When I took a look at what was causing these cravings, I was able to really quit impulse shopping.

Kick Off with A Strong Start

To get motivated and determined (and stick to my goals), I would go on a spending freeze for one week out of the month, every month. A spending freeze for me meant no money spent on social activities (try hiking with a friend or meeting for a date in the park), no coffees out, no clothes or extras at all purchased during this week. I would set a grocery budget and stick to it, use the least amount of gas in my car, and spend my afternoons hiking outside and prepping meals at home. Once the week was up, I would feel so accomplished and proud that I’d often be more motivated to keep saving.

How to Quit Impulse Shopping

Don’t Go To Stores that You Have Trouble With

The places that would always suck me in to buy things on impulse were Target and Forever 21. If I knew that I felt weak, but I needed laundry detergent, I would go to CVS or Walgreens instead of Target. Though laundry detergent is less expensive at Target, I knew that if I went there, I would probably end up buying way more than just laundry soap, so this was a savings overall. After time, I was able to go in to a Target without feeling the urge to buy everything.

Quick Tips

A few quick and simple tricks that helped me overcome impulse shopping were: carry only the amount cash you’ll need when going to the store, (no credit or debit cards), freeze your credit cards if you feel it’s necessary, and try to get all of your shopping done once a week, and make lists for the things that you need to buy – and don’t stray from the list.

These tips all helped me to quit impulse shopping and stop impulse buying. When I quit impulse purchases and went minimalist, I was able to save money to travel the world full time.

Your Turn!

  • Which tip is your favorite?
  • What would help you quit impulse shopping?

 

How Minimalism Saves Me Money

I found minimalism through a Ted talk, and I was immediately drawn to the simple way of life. I wasn’t expecting to save so much money – but it was a pleasant side effect. This is how minimalism saves me money.

How Minimalism Saves Me Money

Intentional Shopping

I stopped impulse shopping and became more intentional with my purchases. This was a massive wake-up call, as I had never realized until this point how much I was spending on little impulsive purchases. A coffee at Starbucks, a quick stop for snacks at Whole Foods, and a drink with a friend at night can easily add up to $40 in a day of money I didn’t need to spend.

When I became more intentional with my purchases, I also learned more about sustainability. I quit purchasing fast fashion and started buying my necessary clothes from second hand stores. By creating a uniform, I saved even more money.

I Cut Out a Lot of Bills

When I adopted the minimalist lifestyle, I cut out everything that I didn’t need. I quit my cell phone plan and ran off wifi only. I cut out cable, I stopped drinking as much, and I cut back on extras like coconut waters and kombucha. I stopped renewing subscriptions I didn’t need like audible, spotify and other services that I could get for free. I quit my gym membership and started running and hiking outside, which I enjoyed more. I moved for cheaper rent, and I spent a lot more time with my family. How Minimalism Saves Me Money

I Sold My Extra Stuff

When I went through the decluttering process, I had a lot of clothes that I was getting rid of. I sold as many as I could. I had lots of purses and shoes, and I sold those too. I sold anything and everything that I wasn’t using regularly, and then I sold most of my furniture so that I could travel full time and live out of a backpack.

I Saved on Groceries

How Minimalism Saves Me MoneyI simplified my meals and started eating the same thing for breakfast every day. I would eat similar meals that required few ingredients, and I started flavoring my meals with spices instead of sauces. I stopped eating so many processed foods, stopped eating desserts regularly, and started buying less expensive wine. I started using a reusable water bottle so I wouldn’t need to buy bottled waters. I learned how to cook, which resulted in eating out less.

Minimalism has saved me so much money over the years, and this simplified way of life has allowed me to cut my living expenses drastically. I now travel the world full time and work completely online, which allows me more freedom than I could have ever had at my 9-5.

Your Turn!

  • How has minimalism saved you money?
  • Would you use any of these tips?

How Minimalism Made Me Rich

I’ve experienced so many benefits of a minimalist lifestyle – but one of them that attracts so many newbies to the minimalist movement is the ability to save a ton of money. These are five ways that minimalism made me rich:

How Minimalism Made Me Rich

1. I Stopped Spending Money On Stuff I Didn’t Need

Pre-minimalism, I’d spend insane amounts of money every month on things that I didn’t need. I’d stock up on cheap jewelry from Forever 21, random decor from Target, and tons of tops that I decided later that I didn’t like. Now, I go to the store with a plan and only buy what I need.

2. I Got My Time BackHow Minimalism Made Me Rich

I stopped going out to eat or get drinks with friends who weren’t benefitting my life. I realized I had so many “let’s get drinks” friends, but the people in my life who truly added value were those close relationships. I saved heaps of money by cutting out the “let’s get drinks” friends and spending time primarily with my close friends and family. The bonus was that I didn’t tend to spend a lot of money when I’d spend time with those close to me.

 

3. I Started Working For Myself

I started a side hustle which turned into a (mostly) full-time gig. I started earning money from various sources and all of that added up to a substantial income. Not only is this type of work more flexible (time-wise and income-wise), I have the ability to do it from anywhere. Having an online business usually means low overhead costs, flexible schedules, and the ability to scale your income.

4. I Travel Full Time

It’s a common myth that travel is super expensive. In the last two years of traveling full time, I have spent less per month than I would spend living in the United States. The United States is an expensive, first world country; a lot of the countries that I visit are much less expensive. I lived in Thailand like a queen for $700 a month. Living for less means that more money goes into savings.

How Minimalism Made Me Rich

5. My Lifestyle Became More Sustainable

Aside from having a side hustle (which turned full-time), saving money on things I didn’t need, and being more flexible with where I live, I’ve also gained more money from minimalism because of the little lifestyle changes I’ve made. I have simplified my meals, cut out unnecessary foods from my diet (I’m looking at you, sugar), and simplified my daily life (which cuts back on spontaneous meals out). By making little changes to the way I live, I’m able to save heaps of money every month.

These are just five ways that minimalism made me rich. Becoming a minimalist helped me easily change my lifestyle, figure out what I want out of life, and save tons of money.

Your Turn!

  • How has minimalism made you wealthier?