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Minimalism. It seems like it’s a very trendy topic these days. More and more I’ve seen families downsizing, and even celebrities buying smaller, more space efficient condos. To some extent, the economy has had an impact on this phenomenon, but I think it comes down to people changing their life habits.
I think people are starting to realize how much stress all their extra “stuff” adds to their life. Take boats for example. Yes, owning a boat seems cool but there are so many hidden costs and paperwork that suck your time! A co-worker of mine recently purchased one and now he regrets it. He talks about the countless headaches and maintenance on the boat’s engine. No thanks, I’ll just make friends with people who own a boat!
I’m so thankful I don’t have excess toys, a big house, or extra cars. I like and enjoy living the simple life. Lately, I have been on a minimalism extravaganza. I have seen my place clutter and I’ve seen myself lose the fundamental principle of being a minimalist.
So, what have I done? Well, I embarked on a quest to get rid of stuff I haven’t used in a while or just flat out don’t need.
Cleaned out my closet
This was the tipping point for when I realized I was out of control. Literally half my closet was full of clothes that I hadn’t worn in months. Solution? I took them all to the local clothes drive and gave them away to charity. I had everything from work boots to old dress shirts to socks with holes in them. The closet was past due and I did something about it. Now, my closet is much freer and I can actually see all my clothes! Another tip would be to sell my belongings and make some cash. I chose to give to charity but selling for money is a good route too!
Throw away paperwork
As organized as I think I am, I have not be diligent about separating paperwork I’ve received in the mail recently. I have this one folder that is constantly being stuffed with miscellaneous letter and notices in the mail. Do I really need to keep these papers? No, probably not. I shuffled through all of these papers and boom, no more paperwork. My desk is clear now and I don’t have any paperwork that I don’t need. It’s amazing how little room the most important documents take up.
Reduced my number of credit cards
I sat down a couple weeks ago and my wallet was making me uncomfortable! As it turns out, I have quite the collection of credit cards in my wallet! I sifted through some of these cards and have decided to cancel a couple. Since I’m a rewards addict, I’m constantly opening and closing credit cards, but I guess I wasn’t closing enough of them! Now, I have streamlined my wallet down to two cards, a gas rewards card and my general Chase Freedom card for all other purchases. I can sit on my wallet again! Ahh, the small things in life…
Avoiding unnecessary purchases
Part of being a minimalist is never spending money on luxuries unless you have a REALLY good reason to. Recently, this has been with leading up to my marriage in May. I currently live in a furnished home so I don’t own my bed or kitchen utensils. I’ve been thinking about buying my own bed and getting my own coffee machine, but what’s the point? I’m going to get all that stuff as wedding presents anyways.
Another item that I’ve resisted to purchase is wheel refinishing. I love my 2004 Acura TL but the wheels are bashed from downtown street curbs! Just the other day, I parked at my gym and I was in a hurry. I heard a screeching sound and realized I was scraping my wheels against the curb. Imagine if I had them refinished, I would have hated myself! So, I will not be getting them refinished because I will probably bash them again in the future.
Are you ready to join this lifestyle?
See, it’s not so bad. I encourage you to become a minimalist and decrease the amount of “stuff” that you own. Reduce the clutter in your life and see your stress levels plummet. Also, start practicing “purchase avoidance” and refuse to buy something unless you really need it. I know all of you will only take this lifestyle so far, but every little bit helps! And remember, why own when you can rent?!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.