5 Tips From a Minimalist That Can Save You a Lot of Money

It isn't too hard to understand how being a minimalist can save you money. Minimalists own less and buy less. Most are very frugal, and budgeting is important to them. They are typically more purposeful in their spending and lifestyles.

Hardcore Ways To Save Money Like a Minimalist

I’ve dedicated myself to being a minimalist in my everyday life. Here are my top tips.

Clear the Clutter

Minimalists have spent a lot of time cleaning out the clutter and organizing their home and life, so they are very thoughtful when buying anything new. We don’t buy on impulse. Instead, we think about every purchase and ask ourselves whether we really need an item.

It helps to know what items you already have in your home. People often buy duplicates or very similar items without checking to see if they already own them.

Before I became a minimalist, I would purchase items without much thought. Now I think carefully about each purchase — even the smallest thing. I don’t want clutter to accumulate, and I don’t want to buy something I don’t need or will not use. I can go a very long time without buying a single item except for groceries and household essentials.

Many minimalists decide on a "no spend" month or months during which they choose not to purchase anything new. This works very well for me. It is kind of a challenge to see how long I can go before I need to buy something new. This allows me to put all of the money I was spending before into a savings account.

Tip: Turn Clutter Into Cash!

While you’re saving money, why not make some money? When I was in the process of purging items from my home, I donated a lot, but also sold a lot of items. There are so many ways to sell items online or locally. Here are a few sites and stores I use:

Choose Quality Over Quantity

Minimalists choose quality over quantity. When we do make a purchase, we may spend a bit more to ensure that the item is of good quality. Those items typically last longer and don’t need to be replaced as often, and that saves you money in the long run.

Live Small

Minimalists don’t need or want homes with extra space. Since we own less, we can live in a smaller space and move to a home or apartment that is less expensive to purchase or rent.

Once I completed my decluttering, I was shocked at how much space I had. Cupboards and cabinets that were previously filled with my possessions were now empty. I had an entire room in my house that had nothing in it. Closets that were stuffed with items contain just a few things now. I could easily live in a much smaller home.

Save More and Spend Less

Minimalists also apply their way of living to their finances.

  • Save energy by turning off lights and investing in energy saving appliances and other household items. When you leave the house for the day, turn off or unplug anything that doesn't need power. Lower the thermostat when your home is unoccupied. Check the water heater, and if it's on the highest setting, turn it down a bit.
  • Pay off debt and do not let it build back up.
  • Use your credit card as a tool to earn points and cash back. Do not put anything on your credit card that you cannot pay off entirely when the bill comes due.
  • If you receive a raise or bonus at work, pretend that you never got it. Put the money in your retirement or investment account.
  • Shop around for less expensive options for monthly bills and pay for only what you need. For example, last year I cancelled my cable TV service. I purchased an over-the-air antenna and now receive all local channels for free. I do not miss cable at all and am sorry I did not discontinue the service much sooner.
  • Shop for less expensive cell service at least once a year. Currently I am paying $15.00 a month for unlimited text and talk and 4 GB of data.
  • Contact your insurance company once a year as well. Ensure that your coverage is still adequate and make sure you're getting all of the available discounts you are entitled to. Call a few different providers to find the best, most cost-effective plan.
  • When shopping online use free browser tools to get coupon codes and discounts.
  • Don't impulse buy at the grocery store. Before you go make a list of the items you need. See my previous article here on how to save more money.

Downsize Your Closet

When purging items from my home, clothing was a big job. Over the years I had accumulated more clothes than I needed. I got rid of everything I had not worn in a year or more as well as items that no longer fit or were damaged. I kept only those items that I wore all the time and were in good condition. Now I have a very basic wardrobe, and I don’t buy anything new unless I absolutely need it.

When I do buy something, I try to buy items that I can mix and match with clothes I already have. And each time I bring in something new, I go through my closet and decide if there is anything I can sell or donate. I also buy most of my clothes at thrift stores or the Goodwill, which saves me a lot of money.

Each person will be different depending on their lifestyle, job and home life. But having just what you need is the goal. Here are some tips for creating a minimalist wardrobe:

  • 2 nice coats (one for spring and fall and one for winter)
  • 2 or 3 nice sweaters that you can wear with several pairs of pants or a skirt (basic colors work best so that it is easy to mix and match items)
  • 1 or 2 pairs of jeans (a nice pair and a casual pair)
  • 4-5 t-shirts in basic colors
  • Depending on your style, several pairs of dress pants, a few skirts and dresses.
  • A few nice dress shirts in basic colors in short and long sleeve (choose shirts that you can mix and match to create different outfits)
  • Enough undergarments for each day of the week
  • Only the number of shoes you really need. I find that 1 pair of sneakers, a few pairs of dress shoes and sandals and a pair of winter boots is enough for me.

All of my clothing fits easily — with room to spare — in my small closet. I don’t even have a dresser or chest of drawers in my bedroom anymore. All of my clothing is hung in the closet, and I have a basket on a shelf in the closet that holds my undergarments and accessories.

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