Cash 1 Blog
Minimalist Living: Achieve Financial Freedom
Financial struggles can have a number of negative impacts on your life—from straining relationships to increasing your stress levels. Whether you are in debt or just want to start making better financial decisions, you can use the values of minimalist living to achieve financial freedom.
Minimalism involves the deliberate promotion of one’s primary values and the removal of all other distractions. The lifestyle’s main principles include clarity, simplicity, and intentionality. When these principles are applied to your finances, they can help you accomplish your fiscal goals.
Rooted in minimalist values, these are the many steps you can start taking to help you stop living paycheck-to-paycheck and start living your best life.
Simplify Your Finances
Simplifying the way in which you handle your finances will make it easier to accomplish your monetary goals. One of the ways you can start doing this is by paying all of your monthly bills on one day. Setting aside one day a month to tackle your bills will help you avoid late fees, stay on top of due dates, and keep better track of your monthly spending. Plus, you won’t have to worry about paying bills for an entire month which will significantly decrease the stress that comes with worrying about unpaid expenses.
Another way to simplify your finances is to cut down on the number of credit card accounts you own. Credit cards can be dangerous when it comes to finances as they often lead people to spend more money than they own. According to NGFP.org, 54 percent of Americans earn less money than they spend which is a quick and easy way to accumulate debt. Having fewer cards with a lower available credit limit will make it harder to accumulate this debt and will help keep your budget on track. Plus, by decreasing the number of credit accounts you have, it will be easier to manage your payments and reduce the number of bills you have to fill out each month.
Create a Realistic Budget
Developing a written monthly budget will help you assess exactly where your money is going so that you can start investing in your main priorities and minimize unnecessary costs. Try to cut non-essential expenses and prioritize getting out of debt by paying off debts from mortgages, title loans, or unpaid credit expenses as doing so will greatly speed up the process towards financial freedom.
Accomplishing your fiscal goals can be as simple as going out to eat less or abstaining from shopping on the weekend. However, cutting costs is easier said than done. To make the budgeting process easier, there are many apps that can help you track your expenses and stick to your financial goals such as Every Dollar, Mint, or Pocket Guard. These budgeting apps will help you establish boundaries and easily assess your spending habits.
If you live in a household with more than one person, it is a good idea to include them in the budgeting process so that everyone is on the same page. When it comes to saving money, budgeting is a team effort and having other people committed to the same goal will increase your chances of success. Remember that it is normal to run into little bumps in the road. If you are new to budgeting, slip-ups will happen. Despite these challenges, it is important not to give up on budgeting as the process will get much easier with practice and is an essential part of achieving the financial freedom you desire.
Save on Mortgage or Rent by Downsizing
It’s no secret that having a larger apartment or home often costs significantly more than a smaller one. By downsizing, you won’t just save hundreds of dollars a month on rent alone, but you will also save a significant sum of money on utilities as it takes far less energy to heat, cool, and illuminate a smaller area. Plus, odds are that you don’t utilize all the space in your home. If there are rooms that you barely spend any time in or are just used for storage, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars on unused space. If you follow a minimalistic lifestyle and decrease your amount of material possessions, the switch to a smaller living area shouldn’t be that difficult as you won’t require as much storage space.
Sell Belongings You Don’t Need
Decluttering your life and freeing up your finances is going to require you to let go of some of your material belongings. Consider selling any old books, DVDs, electronics, or furniture that don’t add significant value to your life or are distracting you from accomplishing your goals. In addition to smaller material items, you can also contemplate trading in an expensive car for a cheaper one that doesn’t require monthly payments. You can sell such items using an online site such as eBay, Craigslist, or Autotrader, or you can go the old-fashioned route and sell locally at a flea market or host a yard sale.
It is easy to form personal attachments to non-essential items which can make it difficult to sell your belongings; however, it is important to remain focused on your goals and be strict when deciding what to get rid of. Parting with material possessions becomes a lot easier when you consider that you are getting one step closer to financial freedom. When you are having trouble deciding if you want to sell something, remember that you can put the money that you make from the exchange toward your main priorities—whether that is paying off your debt or traveling.
As you can see, responsible financial habits and minimalism share many of the same principles. Contrary to popular belief, living a debt-free life doesn’t require making a specific income level. Rather, the main factor in achieving financial freedom is making smart fiscal decisions using the resources that you have. As such, if you want to accomplish your fiscal goals, odds are minimalism is going to play some role in your journey. Living a minimalist lifestyle can help you make better monetary decisions, improve your spending habits, and finally pay off your debt. By following the steps above, you can appreciate the many benefits of using the values of minimalist living to financial freedom.
Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.
With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.
When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.