Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has inspired thousands of people across the globe to pare down clutter, slim their wardrobes and create a calmer living environment.
The trend, which has been steadily gaining steam over the past few years, is all about living with only the things you need, rather than a bunch of stuff that takes up space and sits unused.
Minimalists say the lifestyle helps you find freedom from all those random knick-knacks that gather dust, the books you’ll never read, and junk drawers stuffed with all kinds of odds and ends.
At its heart, minimalism isn’t really about saving money, but many of its values and principles can help you put some extra cash in your pocket every month.
Don’t believe us? Here are some money-saving tips minimalists swear by.
1. Have a ‘no-buy’ or ‘low-buy’ year
No-spend or no-buy periods involve cutting out purchases that aren’t absolutely necessary. Unavoidable expenses like food, rent and utility bills are fine, but during a no-buy, impulse purchases like clothes, tech and takeaway coffees, are not.
It’s a way to escape the cycle of constantly consuming, and pushes you to appreciate what you already have – whether that’s unread books, unworn clothes or unused cosmetics.
If you aren’t comfortable with committing to a no-buy 2021, you could try a low-buy instead – which is where you set yourself a small budget for pleasure items every few months.
2. Sell clothes and appliances you haven’t worn or used for a year
Decluttering is the first step to becoming a minimalist, which means you need to spend some time sorting through your belongings. If you haven’t used something in the last year, there’s a good chance you won’t again – so put it in a pile to be sold.
Make use of selling apps and marketplace websites, car boot sales, or put a shout out to friends and family on social media. You’d be surprised how many people will be interested in buying items you consider junk.
3. Use your local library
Love a good book? Well there’s no need to hand over your credit card every time you fancy reading something new. There’s a good chance you have a library in striking distance, where you could borrow the same book for free, support a community space in the process, and not have to deal with said book cluttering up your space once you’ve finished it.
4. Streamline your skincare and beauty routine
The beauty industry makes us believe we need multiple different masks, creams, tonics and oils to keep our skin looking bright and blemish-free. Before you know it though, your bedtime routine can easily become an expensive and time-consuming chore.
Minimalists tend to opt for a small, streamlined set of products that do the job and don’t take up loads of time and space. A simple face wash and moisturiser will do the trick.
5. Buy experiences, not things
OK, this one still involves spending, but if your goal is to save for the holiday of a lifetime, keeping this mantra in mind can stop you making impulse purchases.
Next time you’re eyeing up a random piece of non-essential knitwear, think about the bigger picture: that bucket list experience you’re saving for.
6. Unsubscribe from retailer emails
Chances are, right now, your email inbox is full to the brim with annoying mailers about random sales and offers.
The minimalist lifestyle isn’t just for physical spaces – it’s about streamlining your digital life too, and reclaiming your inbox means you’ll feel way less stressed about reaching ‘peak’ junk mail.
If you get swept up in sales hype, unsubscribe from retailer mailing lists. The fewer daily deals you see, the more likely you are to stick to your budget.
7. Use multi-purpose products
A tub of coconut oil can be used as a make-up remover, a hair mask, shaving cream and mouthwash. White vinegar can be used as a fabric softener, household cleaner and rinse aid. Opting for multi-purpose and DIY products can save you quite a bit of money.
8. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions
The advent of digital subscriptions means we no longer need CDs and DVDs, but without the physical product there in your home to remind you, it’s easy to sign up to things and forget about them. Whether it’s a TV service or magazine subscription, ask yourself if you’re really getting the most out of it, and if not, cancel it.
The minimalist mindset can offer a sense of calm and contentment. Whether you’re in debt or not, giving yourself a bit of breathing space from buying and collecting items can be incredibly liberating, and the extra money saved is just the icing on the cake.
Have you committed to saving more this year? What do you think of having a no-spend year?
– With PA
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