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First, I think it’s important to understand that “financial minimalism” is a LOT more than me saying: Just don’t spend money. Even though, it’s also as simple as: just don’t spend money.
Instead, to me, Financial Minimalism supports the notion that it’s OK to spend money on something and treat yourself…as long as that ‘something’ brings you the equivalent amount of value as what you spent on it, and as long as you couldn’t get a better value for that spending elsewhere. It’s all about MAXIMIZING your value when you do spend money, then MINIMIZING the experiences that aren’t as important – and that then brings us to our first financial minimalism principle:
SECOND: CUTTING OUT EVERYTHING YOU DON’T NEED TO SPEND MONEY ON
The basis of this is that the LESS financial overhead you have, the more “PROFIT” you have left over.
One, you’re going to sort through everything you DON’T NEED OR DON’T USE – and then you can cut it out entirely
Two, you’ll have a second category of expenses you can negotiate and shop around for
This might include a health insurance plan, car insurance, home insurance, or even a mortgage…I’ve literally gone through EVERY recurring charge of mine and found a way to bring costs down.
Three, you’ll have a list of your expenses that you can just cut back on:
Now, remember…Financial Minimalism is NOT about just cutting as much spending as you possibly can, selling all your furniture, and living in a tent…but, it IS about recognizing which spending habits are really contributing the most to your overall enjoyment of life, and cutting out everything else that’s unnecessary and holding you back from reaching that goal.
Third: Try to find the BEST VALUE for what you DO SPEND.
This one is JUST about realizing where you get the most enjoyment for your spending, and what’s going to bring you the best “bang for the buck” in terms of your happiness…then trying to find the best financial value, while removing everything else that gets in the way.
Fourth: Learn to live on less, despite how much you make
From my own experience, after a few months of doing this, you’ll VERY quickly realize that you could just as easily spend less money without even realizing it, you won’t worsen your quality of life, and you’ll be JUST as happy spending less as you were spending more. Once you see this for yourself, firsthand – you’ll start to decouple the thought that money brings more happiness – and you’ll WANT to start saving more money, knowing that the more you save, the more OPTIONS that will give you in the future.
FIFTH: INVEST YOUR MONEY
The more money you have saved and invested, the more FREEDOM is brings you…plain and simple. You’ll have the freedom to leave the job you hate, to work on the projects you find most fulfilling, or just go AWOL and work on your hobbies all day long.
LAST: Think about what you REALLY think about what you want out of life, and what’s going to make you happy. In other words, what are you doing all of this for?
I just know there won’t be ANY better motivation to actually go and do this, than if you envision your perfect lifestyle in your head, and know that every purchase you make will either bring you closer – or further way – from actually reaching that goal.