Do you try to keep extraneous items and clutter to a minimum? Do you avoid purchasing new items unless you absolutely need them? Do you focus on quality over quantity and believe that every item you own should be used regularly and have a proper place and purpose in your life? If so, you may be a minimalist.
Minimalism is a big trend among health and wellness gurus, and its catching on throughout the world. In a nutshell, minimalists livewell, minimally. They believe in owning only completely necessary possessions, decorating lightly and purchasing consciously. However, theres more to minimalism than simply clearing out your closet.
You can apply the tenets of minimalism to many different aspects of your life. Here are a few areas where you may want to consider downsizing:
Its trueyou can be a minimalist with your finances. In fact, embodying minimalism in the financial sense closely resembles spending the way everyone did about 60 years ago: with cash. To simplify your finances, make sure to avoid using credit cards. Pay for everything with cash or your direct debit account, thereby ensuring that you can afford everything you buy. Bonus: This will also have the effect of ensuring that you buy LESS, which will help you keep extraneous clutter at bay.
Applying this in a broader sensemeans saving to buy things like cars or home appliances, rather than taking out lines of credit. It means consolidating the debt you already have so you can make one or two monthly payments, rather than many. And finally, it means balancing your checkbook the old-fashioned way (or usingan app or digital budget tool) so you track your spending and curb it appropriately.
Why deal with oil changes, gas purchases, detailing, car cleaning and tire replacement when you could simplify by going car-free? Obviously, depending on where you live, this may or may not be an option. But youd be surprised to see how much going car-free, or even just driving less, can change your life when you opt to walk, participate in a car-share, take public transit or carpool to work.
Not only will this save you from the bills and time spent on car payments and maintenance, it will also help you get into better shape thanks tothe extra physical effort it takes to live a car-free lifestyle. Hello savings on gym memberships!
If you dont live in a walkable city, you can still simplify your transportation options. Do you and your spouse really need two separate cars? Could you potentially leave a little earlier and carpool to work? Perhaps you have a coworker who lives nearby whod let you chip in for gas in exchange for a ride. Think about slashing your car-associated fees in half and it may look like an increasingly attractive option.
Yes, you can practice minimalism with your food purchases! And no, it doesnt mean eating out every day rather than buying kitchen supplies. Get in the habit of eating meals that can easily be combinedi.e. one protein, one vegetable side and one grain. This means you can pick up a few filets of salmon or blocks of tofu, a few fresh veggies and bulk brown rice or quinoa and thats literally all youll need for at least one weeks worth of dinners.
Do you have frozen foods crowding up your freezer space? Get rid of them! Purchase (or grow!) simple, fresh foods that will keep you healthy and full all week at a low price.
Finally, meal prepping on Sundays can be a huge minimalist-friendly time saver. All you need to do is cook your weekly meals in one two- or three-hour sitting on Sunday, and then distribute them onto five plates, covering with plasticwrap or tinfoil. Now, your meals will be perfectly proportioned and ready to heat up throughout the week, cutting down on weeknight prep time as well as food waste.
Memberships and Subscriptions
Do you have subscriptions to magazines, gyms, clubs and programs? Give some thought to what you REALLY need. Sure, maybe your gym membership is actually minimalist-friendly if you use it regularly and it keeps you from purchasing workout equipment to clutter your home. But if you dont really use it, its just weighing you down.
Magazines and newspapers are now almost always published digitally as well as in print. Checking out your favorite publication from your laptop, Kindle or iPad will mean that you dont have extra papers and clutter lying around your home. Plus, itll save a bunch of trees from certain peril in the process.
Theres nothing wrong with maintaining an active social life, but if you find yourself getting stressed out by the hustle and bustle of your schedule, you may need to employ some minimalism to your social engagements. Learn to say no to events that wont bring you joy and only cause you stress.
For example, if you truly look forward to your girlfriends weekly Thursday night card game, by all means, dont give it up! But if those after-work happy hours with your coworkers feel more like an obligation than an indulgence, skip themgo home and take care of the things youd rather be doing instead. Learning to say no to work and social pressures is increasingly difficult in our society, butlearning to do so is dire.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.
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