I used to love shopping, filling up my closet and home with things I really didn’t need. I was hooked on the high of purchasing something shiny and new. A trip to the shops meant I would never come home empty handed. As you can imagine this didn’t do anything positive towards my bank balance. However over the last few years I have transitioned this shopping addiction to something different. I now get the same high when I spend less than I earn and have money left over to invest and save.
I have transformed from a consumer who would never think twice about buying new clothes weekly, to someone who is more intentional with their purchases. I now stop and really ask myself whether I need something before I buy it. I also don’t just go ‘shopping’ anymore. I decided a month ago to put all my unused and hardly worn clothes up for sale at the markets. I want to get rid of the clutter and hopefully make some extra cash to put towards an investment. I think this is a good time to take stock of all the things we are holding on to at home which we no longer need or use. There is no reason to keep old clothes that you might wear ‘one day’ when you could sell or donate them.
I stumbled across The Minimalists blog a couple of years ago and since then they have inspired me to live a simpler life. I am what you would call a modern minimalist. I love to travel and I don’t pretend to only have 3 pairs of shoes. I live a minimal life compared to what I did before. I live more intentionally now and try not to waste money on stuff I really don’t need.
Having less stuff and simplifying your life will save you money. It will help you live within your means. If you are serious about finding financial freedom one of the first steps I suggest is to start simplifying and stop mindlessly consuming. When you want to purchase something new think about why you need it? What is this new item going to bring to your life? Is there something you can get rid of before you add this new item to your life? When you are more intentional around spending money you tend to save more. This also helps you to get real with where your money is going each month.
Here are 4 actions you can do this week to start simplifying your life:
- Go through your wardrobe and pull out anything you haven’t worn in the last 12 months. Also get rid of any clothes that you don’t love. Donate or sell them. You could sell them at a market stall, on gumtree or eBay. (My clothes are heading to the markets this weekend)
- Reduce your digital clutter. Open your phone and go through all your apps and delete any that you haven’t used for a couple of months. We tend to download so many apps when we only use about 5-6 regularly. Also while you’re there remove notifications from the apps you are using. We check our phones enough daily without having to be reminded to pick them up every time we get a snapchat or Facebook message. (I did this one yesterday and I already find myself checking my phone less often)
- If you work at a desk clean everything off it. Then decide what you really need on there and throw out anything you don’t. Less clutter on your workspace I find leads to better flow and higher productivity. (Im working on this and trying to move towards a paperless office)
- Spend some time listening to The Minimalists latest podcast series. Its great for people who are interested in the idea of minimalism and want to know more about how to simplyfy their life. (I love listening to these podcasts)