Minimalism is trending all over Instagram, YouTube and even Netflix. And, in our opinion, for good reason. From small houses, to capsule wardrobes, minimalism focuses on reducing the clutter in your home and your life. The purpose is to eliminate distractions and live with less. Seems simple right?
According to a MacLean’s article published in 2017, “the self storage industry in Canada is booming”. From Christmas and Halloween decorations to sports equipment and memorabilia, it seems that Canadians have too much stuff, and not enough room in their house to fit all of it. Not only is the volume of junk increasing, the effects on the environment and your wallet are also concerns. More possessions, cost more money, and require more space, which also costs money. When it comes to minimalism, less is more. Less junk, more freedom.
Here’s a look at the many ways in which minimalism can help reduce financial stress and bring more freedom in the lives of those who strive for it and practice it.
Minimalism means less stuff in storage
One of the most obvious and immediate ways minimalism can help reduce financial stress is by removing the need for more extra storage space. Having excess is causing people to have pay for storage units, which is an obvious drain on their bank accounts. On a larger scale, downsizing to a smaller living area can reduce the need to furnish the entire place, thus saving money and creating more financial margin. That margin alone can really help alleviate financial anxiety, and help reduce stress levels.
Selling stuff can help create financial margin
People who choose to embrace or aspire to a more minimalist lifestyle often find themselves needing and even wanting to sell some belongings. If you’re stressed about making more money or paying for something, selling off items you no longer need, or that no longer bring you joy, is a great step towards earning some extra cash. There are plenty of apps and sites to help make this process easy including Kijiji, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and LetGo.
Spend with intentionality and purpose
One of the most effective ways to reduce financial stress is by changing the way you spend. The beauty of minimalism is that you’re encouraged to really ask yourself the “why” behind your spending. Are you purchasing an item impulsively? Is this truly a need, or a want? How will this item add value to your life, or the lives of those around you? Asking yourself these types of questions forces you to engage with “things” in a much deeper, more meaningful way. Being mindful about the items that you’re allowing to enter into your life.
If there are splurge items on your list of things to buy, that’s fine; just make sure they’re adding value to your life – either in utility, or in joy. Taking a more mindful, or intentional approach to shopping can really help reduce the stress of feeling like you have to “keep up”. It removes the sense of urgency we often feel, especially when making an impulse purchase or shopping online or through mobile apps. So, next time you pass by that “amazing, once-in-a-lifetime” shoe sale, ease the impulse to buy by asking yourself the “why” questions.
Minimalism is not about depriving yourself of material goods and joy. Rather, it’s about being more selective and enjoying living with whatever is enough for yourself and your family. We challenge you to look around your life – in your home, your bag, your desk drawers, and your cars. How much of the stuff in your life is truly being used to its full potential? When’s the last time you wore that article of clothing? Does that boy band’s album bring your joy the way it did when you were in middle school? Consider embracing some minimalist principles, and see the difference making the few small changes above will not only make to your bank account, but also to your inner sense of calm and well-being. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.