Minimalism and Personal Finance

No-one has ever become poor by giving” Anne Frank

Minimalism is a concept that I want to embrace in my life right now, I have always wished to be more organised, to have a clean and clutter free house, wardrobe and so on. I cannot embrace this concept overnight as there is a part of me that still procrastinates on making decisions and finds it very difficult to let go of stuff. I have however, started making a step in the right direction in that I have stopped buying things – this is unless I genuinely need it, the next step for me is to slowly get rid of things that do not “spark joy” (a phrase I got from a NY Times article the other day). As an example – I want my bedroom to function as a bedroom only, so I would like it to look like a hotel room without any excess or unnecessary things, I don’t want to see lotions, potions, books, keys, photo albums etc.

Minimalism is not about deprivation, its a concept where you get rid of the things that you do not use except for things that are there for aesthetic value like paintings. I believe that things in your house should only be there to serve a useful purpose or to be beautiful but not for memories or just in case etc. That way you will lead a more simple and uncluttered life, a lighter life with more meaning. Minimalism does not only apply to material things but also to the things you choose to do – sometimes we need to realise we cannot do everything that we want, so we can also minimalize our to-do list and just choose to do less things.

The connection with personal finance is that with minimalism you will naturally spend less money and save more since you will not be buying for the sake of it, instead you will buy more consciously, things of quality that you really need.  Also with a clearer mind, you will be able to do all your tasks better.  You can apply minimalism in your personal finances by having fewer accounts, no credit card debt etc.

One area that I would love to minimalize is my closet but I am not yet ready to do this. There is this interesting concept called “project 333” you can look it up on youtube. This is where you live on 33 items of clothing for 3 months, after the 3 months you can change up the 33 items and wear them only for 3 months again.  For me personally I don’t have a specific number of clothing that I want to have but I like the idea of having a “uniform” for work. I remember I had this professor once who only wore blue shirts with black trousers – its a bit excessive, but imagine how easy and simple his shopping is. Shopping can be very time consuming and stressful because there are soo many decisions to make – so I want to settle on a uniform for my work cloths and just have less shopping decisions. Also we all generally have one “look” that works best for us – so why have other “looks”?

I will write more on this topic as I gain more progress in tackling my clutter.

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