Becoming a Minimalist Saved my Personal Finances
Written by Vicky Payeur
Tuesday, April 7th, 2020
At 21, I was drowning in debt due to my excessive spending habits. I owed over $10,000 on my line of credit as well as a $6,000 loan and had absolutely no discipline when it came to managing my finances. I was heading to a point of no return where bankruptcy would've been my only option.
Then, one day, I came across an article about minimalism. It became clear to me that this was the path I needed to follow in order to break my bad spending habits and get back to a balanced budget. I knew that living as a minimalist would benefit me in ways beyond anything I could imagine.
Today, my debts are in the past. I have since embraced better strategies when it comes to dealing with my income, expenses and savings. In a way, becoming a minimalist allowed me to save my personal finances and get a fresh start as a young adult. Here's how I managed to do it:
1- I Reduced my Expenses and Appreciated What I Have
The very first week, I streamlined my budget, removing everything that wasn't essential to my life and happiness. Instead of having roughly 30 monthly payment obligations, I now had less than 10. I also learned to appreciate the things I already had, rather than always looking for something better. I spent less, but also smarter, and started saving for the sake of my wallet.
2- I Sold Everything I No Longer Used
During the first two years of my new lifestyle, I did a lot of de-cluttering. Selling everything I was no longer using on classified ad sites helped me recoup between $5,000 and $10,000 of the cash I had spent in my previous life. For example, I sold my old computer for $800, a workstation for $100, surplus furniture, clothing, decorative items, small appliances, etc. Ultimately, these amounts added up and allowed me to make ends meet!
3- I Got Back to Basics with Simple Leisure Activities
In becoming a minimalist, I learned to reconnect with simple pastimes, such as reading a book, cooking, playing sports, walking, hiking and skating. All of which can be free! These new habits helped me enjoy the little things in everyday life and entertain myself differently.
4- Having Less Stuff Meant Fewer Expenses
After my de-cluttering spree, I spent far less work properly maintaining and caring for these possessions. Bear in mind that having generally less stuff meant that I was able to avoid renting a truck when I moved, which can be an expensive part of the moving process.
I don't need storage space and I can now live in a smaller apartment, which means lower heating, insurance and electricity costs.
Maintaining Good Habits
Four years later, I still feel the daily benefits of my minimalist lifestyle. By consuming less, I have more money left over at the end of the month. With my debts now paid off, I still maintain many of my minimalist habits, but in a balanced way. For example, I won't hesitate to pursue activities I really want to do, just as long as I plan ahead.
This article or video (the “Content”), as applicable, is provided by independent third parties that are not affiliated with Tangerine Bank or any of its affiliates. Tangerine Bank and its affiliates neither endorse or approve nor are liable for any third party Content, or investment or financial loss arising from any use of such Content....
The Content is provided for general information and educational purposes only, is not intended to be relied upon as, or provide, personal financial, tax or investment advice and does not take into account the specific objectives, personal, financial, legal or tax situation, or particular circumstances and needs of any specific person. No information contained in the Content constitutes, or should be construed as, a recommendation, offer or solicitation by Tangerine to buy, hold or sell any security, financial product or instrument discussed therein or to follow any particular investment or financial strategy. In making your financial and investment decisions, you will consult with and rely upon your own advisors and will seek your own professional advice regarding the appropriateness of implementing strategies before taking action. Any information, data, opinions, views, advice, recommendations or other content provided by any third party are solely those of such third party and not of Tangerine Bank or its affiliates, and Tangerine Bank and its affiliates accept no liability in respect thereof and do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information in the third party Content. Any information contained in the Content, including information related to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors, is subject to change without notice, and neither Tangerine Bank nor its affiliates are responsible for updating this information.
Tangerine Investment Funds are managed by Tangerine Investment Management Inc. and are only available by opening an Investment Fund Account with Tangerine Investment Funds Limited. These firms are wholly owned subsidiaries of Tangerine Bank. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.