How To Become A Minimalist

MINIMALISM DEFINES

Generally speaking a minimalist lifestyle is intentionally living with fewer possessions — focusing only on the ones you need. In order to become a minimalist you will need to (1) get rid of excess junk you don’t need or hardly ever use (2) consume and spend less on possessions and unproductive activities (3) find a hobby or learn a skill that can help occupy your time and create meaningful value in your life – whether it be financially or maybe even spiritually through traveling and seeing new places.

GET RID OF EXCESS POSSESSIONS.

Minimalism is living with less possessions, only the ones that you actually need and support you on a day-to-day basis. Try to get rid of excess possessions like clothes that you hardly ever wear, and focus on the things you actually use and consume. You may feel a sense of peace after getting rid of things that just take up space in your closet or cause there to be unnecessary clutter.

BE INTENTIONAL.

Being a minimalist means intentionally getting rid of distracting items that cause you to be unproductive, and focus on the items that provide your life value. As an example, cutting out Netflix and other subscriptions that are time wasters and picking up new hobby like carpentry may create better value in your life.

Once I cancelled subscriptions, I noticed I had more time to pick up books about personal finance. This became a hobby of mine and has helped me tackle debt and beef up my retirement in a short amount of time. I also was able to donate a lot of clothes that I don’t wear. I noticed my room feel bigger and it was easier to get ready for work when I had less competing options to choose from.

IT HELPS US CONSUME LESS.

Most people practice retail therapy where they buy things to make themselves feel better. These type of people unfortunately believe you can buy happiness, but that just is not the case and it is a negative impact on sustainability efforts.

Rather than contributing to excess consumption, practice being present with your loved ones or really focusing on a productive hobby and keeping your body health. By doing this you will begin to take care of your relationships and the few possessions you do have. You won’t carelessly use your possession with the thought that you can just buy a replacement. Instead you will take care of what you have and learn to fix rather than replace.

YOU WILL SLOW DOWN AND LIVE IN THE MOMENT.

The culture in the US is focused on hustling and working long hours all we long. We try to nurture relationships solely through cellphones and thinking we are actually getting to know each other through texting and social media.

Practicing minimalism slows down life a little and opens your eyes to the world around you. Think about family trips: rather than going on an all inclusive cruise, maybe go to a national park where you can camp with family, learn new skills like building a fire, all the while taking in amazing views of the terrain and nature. My brother and I hiked Oregon state parks, Yosemite National Park, Upper Peninsula, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Great Smoky National Park in the last year. We noticed that hiking and seeing those amazing natural sights were more valuable to us that working extra hours to make a little more money, to then consume more junk.

YOU FEEL DIFFERENT.

Our society believes that being rich and famous is the goal. That you aren’t successful unless you have a big house, multiple cars and all of the latest gadgets. But who really set that as the goal? Well, excellent corporate marketing has programmed our brains to consume and buy all of the latest trends. And they are really good at making it easy to buy things and have them at your door within a day, sometimes within an hour!

Let the majority of people chase after their next possession while they live paycheck to paycheck. You should instead focus on consuming less, building skills, and nurturing great relationships. Coincidentally, you just may come to find that your savings rate goes up and you will be able to reach your financial goals sooner.

If you were able to save and invest $250 per month into an S&P500 index, then in 25 years that could grow to become approximately $330,000! Food for thought. And if you need help getting your personal finances in order, check out my program here.

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