How can you apply minimalism to your money? Do you need an all white bank account, or to to only wear your single black t shirt while doing your budgeting to be a money minimalist?
Uh, no. We’ve got minimalist money tips that will actually help you change your financial life.
What is Minimalist Money?
We’re taking the practice of minimalism and applying it to your money. Minimalism is a lifestyle who’s participants seek to live with only the items they need to live well. It focuses on reducing physical, mental, and emotional clutter in your home and mind so that you can live a more intentional life.
Marie Kondo is probably the best known proponent of beginning your minimalist journey at the moment. Her book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up became an international sensation, even landing her a Netflix show. Marie’s approach asks the now famous question: does this item spark joy?
When it comes to your finances, we at Bravely advocate for a streamlined and values based approach to budgeting, investing, debt payoff and saving. This aligns very nicely with minimalism!
A minimalist approach to money is one that brings more intentionality to how you save, spend, and invest money. Getting rid of the clutter in your financial life will free up both mental energy and hopefully, more money!
Minimalist Money Tips
1- Identify financial stressors.
To begin incorporating minimalism into your money life you should start by asking yourself what the biggest stressors in your money life are.
Minimalism is largely popular for it’s focus on eliminating stress and clutter from people’s lives. So what is the stress and clutter in your financial life? Make a list of those areas because that’s where we’ll start.
2- Eliminate what you don’t need
This is not to be confused with cutting back on your spending. At least, not yet! Rather this means eliminating financial systems or tools you don’t use or need.
Paying for a budget app you never use? DELETE that ish today.
Subscribed to a few lifestyle emails or communities that you never read? Unsubscribe today.
The goal here is to free up your mental energy by accepting where you currently are. If you are hoarding digital or physical financial tools because you “think someday you’ll use them,” now is the time to let it go. We have to eliminate what is not serving us so that we can have the mental space and the financial resources to begin to get the tools that DO serve us.
3- Streamline, streamline, streamline
A big part of incorporating minimalist money tips into your financial life will be to let the robots do as much of the work as possible. This is a bonus for anyone dealing with executive dysfunction or who has a hard time remembering things as well!
I’m a spreadsheet lover. But I am also guilty of making way too many spreadsheets. I have an embarrassing amount of them. So a way for me to practice minimalist money is to combine my numerous budget spreadsheets into one master one.
You can also sign up for things like auto deductions for your savings and investments, or use companies like Capitalize to handle things like your 401k rollover. (Capitalize does that for free, by the way!)
4- Cut back on spending
Now it’s time to get honest with yourself about your spending. At this point, it should be easier to see areas that you are overspending in, or spending to no end.
Give yourself at least 4 months to really make headway on this progress. Completing step one, finding out what your financial stressors are, could take a few weeks alone. There’s no rush to make all these changes at once!
Tools for Minimalist Money
Speaking of streamlining, here are some tools that can help you make the transition to more minimalist money.
Capitalize– Like I just mentioned, Capitalize is a totally free to use company that finds your old 401k and rolls it over into a new or existing IRA for you. I’m very into this, as most people leave behind a 401k when they change jobs at least once in their life. That’s your money! Go get it!
A budget app– Remember, we’re letting the robots do the work! So getting a budget app like Mint, Monarch, Wally, or Tally is going to help you tremendously. I personally use the Bravely Values Based Budget spreadsheet that I’ve personalized ALONG WITH Mint to do my budgeting.
Delete, block, unsubscribe- Take yourself out of or off of anything that causes you to want to overspend or overstress.
I am a huge fan of the mute and unfollow buttons on social media. If someone is making me feel less than, I remove them from my life. It should be the same with your money. Remove anything that brings consistent negativity and the desire to spend from your life.
Do you consider yourself a minimalist? How do these minimalist money tips land for you?
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