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The Art of Minimalism

By Independent Bank April 3 2019 Savings Tips

Is it time to downsize and live a more serene life?

Less is More sign with clouds and sky background

Life gets complicated. It is messy and hectic and full of things. According to a recent survey, the American public spends $1.2 trillion each year on non-essential items. Some of those items are thrown in the trash after they are used, like the coffee you just have to buy every morning or the magazine you picked up at the grocery store checkout line. Other items, however, stick around and clutter up the home. Whether you are financially comfortable or currently living paycheck-to-paycheck, there is something to be said for living a minimalist lifestyle. Not only can it save you money, but it can also uncomplicate your life.

How to get started

There are extreme minimalists who rid themselves of their belongings, move into a tiny house and hit the road, but that is likely too extreme for most people. Instead, spend some time going through your home and look at the things you own. What in your house is absolutely needed and what is just taking up space?

Go room to room and sort your belongings into piles; you can either keep them, donate them, discard them, or set them aside to be sold. From there, put back the items you absolutely want to keep and deal with the piles left behind. You’ll likely find that the piles of goods that you don’t need are rather large.

How to make money living minimally

When you clean out your belongings you likely will find that many of your goods are in perfect working order. Just because you don’t need them doesn’t mean no one does. If you are ready to rid yourself of excess belongings, consider having a garage sale. Use the proceeds to fund your savings account, or you can even use the profits to splurge on a fun family outing.

If you have high-end items that you are ready to part ways with, consider calling a consignment shop. For a fee the store will house your items, and pay you when the item is sold. This can be a great option if you have antique goods or pricey clothing and handbags.

How to maintain the lifestyle

Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, you’ll need to work to maintain your new minimalist approach. Before you purchase anything for your house, ask yourself if you really need it. For larger purchases, consider holding off on buying the item for 24 hours. Sometimes a cooldown period can help you avoid impulse purchases.

Reassess what is in your house every six months to one year. Sometimes items in your house will no longer be necessary, so don’t be afraid to go back through every so often and toss items that you no longer need. You may have less in your home, but every item will have a purpose, allowing you to live a much less complicated and cluttered existence.

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