If you’ve read about the minimalism lifestyle trend over the last several years, you may have heard about the time-saving benefits that come along with it. With fewer physical possessions, you literally have fewer things to maintain and care for which allows you more time.
It might not seem like much at first, but those small time savings add up to create a serious impact on your flexibility and available time on a day to day basis. In a similar way, owning less and taking a minimalist approach to life has an incredibly impactful result on your financial savings as well.
If you’re looking to shake things up by making some changes around your home while adding some additional savings to your account (or paying off some lingering debt) here are five ways that minimalism can truly help you get on your way.
Taking Better Care, Keeping Things Longer
When you own fewer things, there’s greater incentive to take excellent care of those things so they last longer. One of the best (and most common) examples of this is laundry: if all of your shirts can fit on a single drying rack, it’s much easier to skip the dryer, thus prevent wear and tear on those pieces of clothing. If you have multiple loads of clothing each time you do laundry, it likely won’t be convenient to air dry most of what you have.
These sorts of practices allow you to take better care of the clothing you have and it will last much longer (even with more frequent usage) and save you from buying replacements too often. Minimalism makes this easier simply by reducing the number of things and the amount of time it takes to actually care for them.
Buying Fewer, Higher Quality Items
It may seem counter-intuitive, but spending a little more to buy higher quality items that last longer is a great way to not only decrease waste, but save money over the long term. As mentioned above, when you have a practice in place that prolongs the lifespan of the things you own, you can spend more money on fewer, higher quality things.
Shoes are a great example of this, where higher quality dress shoes can be resoled or repaired, and cheaper shoes often aren’t worth fixing. The up front investment might cost more, but it saves a great deal of money over the longer term.
Traveling Lighter, Experiencing More
Taking a trip to somewhere you’ve never been before is a great way to have life-changing experiences and broaden your perspective of the world. There’s so much to learn just by simply existing in a place that might be slightly outside your comfort zone-but to experience it, you have to get there first.
Whether you’re traveling between U.S. states or abroad, almost every airline now has fees for checked baggage, and those fees really add up to make the ticket you bought even more expensive than you planned. It might take some trial and error, but it’s entirely possible to bring everything you need for a week-long trip (or more) in a single, large backpack.
Even the most budget airlines will consider this a “personal item” and will let you bring it on board for no additional charge. Not only does it save you money up front, but it also means you’ll never have to deal with checked baggage that gets lost by the airline.
With just a backpack, the temptation to buy souvenirs is reduced because you simply don’t have room for them-you can focus on taking pictures and making incredible memories to look back on for years to come. This means your travel dollars get you further, whether it’s additional stops on your trip or a few more great meals along the way.
Favoring The Practical Over The Specific
Minimalism has a way of shedding single-purpose items in exchange of versatile, functional tools and accessories. There are dozens of products like banana slicers, avocado slicers, and strawberry stem removers that are specifically designed to do a single task. Sure, each of those things might make the individual task itself a little quicker because of such a specific application, but it’s nothing that single, simple kitchen knife couldn’t reasonably handle.
Modern culture is full of these single-purpose items that try to convince us we need a specific tool for each action when in reality, something simple will do the trick.
Minimalism helps you embrace this mentality, and helps you be more creative as you look for practical solutions to different problems using the tools you already have. When your options are limited, you get to put your creativity to work in how you solve various challenges in day to day life.
Less Food (And Other) Waste
There’s nothing like going to the grocery store, stocking up on food for the week, only to find an old, moldy piece of produce hidden in the back of your fridge when rearranging your new purchases. Not only is it pretty unpleasant, but it’s a waste of money and perfectly good food. In the United States, upwards of 133 billion pounds of food are wasted every year – that comes out to about 1,100 calories per American, per day.
You can save more money and do your part to waste less food by keeping only the food you need available at any one time. Especially when it comes to perishables, it’s much easier to avoid spoilage if you don’t have a fridge jam packed with stuff where it’s hard to track what is, and how long things have been, in there. Taking a minimalist approach with smaller but more frequent trips to the grocery store will help save a ton of money over the course of a year.
These are just a few of the ways that having a minimalist lifestyle will help you save money and spend more time doing what you truly love. Whether it’s more money in your savings account, paying off debt, or extending an international trip you have coming up, the possibilities are endless.