Minimalism is all about living with less. This includes fewer financial burdens such as debt and unnecessary expenses. For many minimalists, this is about getting rid of excess stuff and living life based on experiences rather than possessions.
Minimalism looks different for everyone. For me, I paid down $75,000 in student loans and traveled to over 25 countries since I graduated. I am more happy, healthy, and aware.
I cannot guarantee what I have incorporated into my life will do the same for you; however, I can give you my steps to live a minimalist lifestyle.
1. Downsize Your Stuff
I sold about 70% of my clothes using sites such as Ebay, Poshmark, and TheRealReal. I realized that I owned clothing that I had not worn in months. If I did not love it, I sold it. I also sold off a lot of books, kitchenware, and electronics. If you are like me and live in a small condominium unit, learn to fight the urge of upgrading your space. Instead, discard some of your belongings to create space.
2. Turn Off the Notifications on Your Phone
For e-mail, news, social media, and other ancillary apps, I have turned off their notifications and only check them once a day. The only notifications I have are when I receive a new text message from my parents and sister. As a result, I have learned to focus more on the day-to-day, without distractions and notifications from my phone.
3. Delete Social Media Off Your Phone
Actually, just go delete the social media apps on your phone. This includes Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Aside from Medium (which is a value-add to my life), there is not much on my phone anymore.
Text messages, Uber, and Charles Schwab. That is about it. As a result, I have started to look up instead of down. In fact! I met my current girlfriend at the grocery store because I was tuned into the world around me.
When I do log into these social media websites from my computer, I have found that I truly have not missed anything.
4. Simplify Your Eating and Say No to Meal Prep
During the week, I have a few go-to-meals. I fast in the morning and skip breakfast. For lunch, I usually eat a three-egg spinach salad bowl. For dinner, it is usually black rice with vegetables and sardines.
It may not be very exciting, but meals are easy, healthy, and filling. For the weekend, all bets are off and I eat whatever I want. By keeping things simple, grocery shopping is quick, there is no meal prep, and my monthly food expenses are low.
5. Simplify Your Finances
The biggest impact of a minimalist lifestyle is steering away from hyper-consumption. After I adopted minimalism, I paid off allof my student debt in two years.
It starts with asking yourself the question, “do I really need this?”
Give adequate thought to the things you purchase. Think of adding more stuff as bringing more chaos into your life.
As a result, I was able to save enough to build an emergency fund and invest in low-fee index funds that have grown 30% since 2017. I eliminated the financial anxiety that used to plague my life. Now, I make the conscious decision to buy less physical things and, instead, invest in experiences.
What is the Lesson Learned?
Minimalism is about reducing the things in your life that are not providing value, so you can have more space for the things that truly matter. It is subtraction that results in addition.
For me, minimalism has always been about keeping day-to-day problems limited. It allows me to silence noise in an increasingly loud world. By reducing the number of decisions I make and establishing simple systems for meals and money, I now focus more on things that truly matter:
(3) My Loved Ones