The minimalist guide to simplifying your finances
Could you adapt to the idea of being a minimalist? Well, the thought of having the bare minimum number of items to live with is a difficult pill to swallow for some.
Yet, others who have given it a try acclaim that its given them so much freedom – there’s hardly any clutter to deal with, and the freedom of having more space to yourself instead of items to care and worry over is now a very much welcomed necessity to them.
The minimalistic style of life can be applied in many ways, and here’s an interesting way to start. You could apply the concept to your finances, and see how it could work for you in the long run.
Sometimes simplicity does help you focus on your actions and get more things done. Here’s how you can do just that:
The Art of Budgeting
It does not matter how big your income is; the right thing to do is always spend less than you take in. Consider this as the Cardinal Rule No.1 in budgeting. Despite the concept being so simple, many people still get into debt.
Until you’re able to completely work this part of the equation and streamline all your expenditures, everything else needn’t even be taken into consideration yet. Get calculating and figure out a decent estimate of what you truly need to spend to survive, and you’ll begin to see that everything else you spend on is nothing more than a non-essential want.
Go Paperless With Your Statements (And All Else)
Do you secretly love the pile of bills and statements that come in the mail, yet dread opening them to see the figures that await you?
This in actual effect causes unnecessary clutter. You open them, read their contents and later, bin the papers. Save yourself from these unnecessary actions and opt for e-copies instead. For one, you’re giving a tree a hug.
And another, when you’re done, you can tick and delete it, or save the copy for your records.
Say Hi to Automated Bill Payments
Do you set aside a certain amount of time every month to go through your bills and pay them? Those very precious minutes can be spent on something else than a manually repetitive task.
Increase Your Savings Gradient
Are you used to putting aside 20% of your salary every month? Try upping that percentage by 5%, and as you get more accustomed to reducing your costs and bills, increase the percentage again.
Invest the funds you’ve kept aside to see it grow to its fullest potential. Not quite sure on how to go about it? This article on how to invest should be able to help you out.
Tone Down on the Internet
Information is good, but an excess of it can do you a good deal of harm. The mental clutter that happens when you open all your social media websites, check out its trending news and hop from one shopping app to another might entice you, but it’s also whiling away your time and money.
And in case you haven’t noticed, the same flow recurs every other hour. It’s difficult to put your phone down and attend to things when you’ve got a mental alarm clock that goes off inside you, saying that it’s time to check your Instagram feed again.
Keep your phone in a place that’s away from you, but one where you can hear it when it rings. Switch off the notifications so that you’re not called to your phone by its buzzes. Delete apps which are really unnecessary, especially ones related to shopping.
This way, if you really need to shop, you’ll have to open a tab and shop. Chances are that you’ll reduce your online shopping binges with that one simple move.
Cut Back On Your Accounts and Cards
Yep, you might have seen this one coming. But why should you have three banking accounts and 4 credit cards when you might only need just one or two of each?
With your credit cards, you might want to keep the one that offers you the best in benefits, or the one that comes with the least amount of charges. Pay off in full if you can afford it, and when your credit balance is zeroed out, keep your credit card for emergencies and nothing else.
As for bank accounts, keep the one which has your salary credited into it, and maybe another which is convenient in terms of accessibility, so long as the charges that are tagged to it are negligible.
Give Your Subscriptions a Second Glance
Are you using every single subscription you’re paying for? List down all the subscriptions you do have, and drop the ones that are not being used regularly or at all. You’ll have successfully tidied up an extra part of your financial expenses, and have less to deal with at the same time.
Sell Off Your Unwanted Stuff
We’ve all got a lot of items lying around the home that has hardly been used. Why not make a profit out of it? Have an evening gown that you’ve only worn once? What about that pair of denims that you’ve worn, but didn’t quite fancy after some time?
Snap a couple of pictures these things and post them on Carousell. Quote your price and terms. What you might not want anymore might just be something someone else needs. You might be selling it for much less than what you got it for, but hey, if it’s money back into your bank account and less things to deal with, who’s complaining?
Another option you could also try is eBay. You could also post these items on Facebook, and they’ll be snapped up in due time. You could also donate your items to charity if you want.
There you have it – 8 genuinely good ideas on applying a minimalistic approach to your finances, and your life too. Try it out for a week, and you’ll love the differences you see!