You may think minimalism is about having hardly any possessions and living in a bare-walled house…but that is not exactly it. Minimalism is mainly about focusing and reorganizing your goals, priorities, and pursuits.
This does usually include owning less stuff, because too much stuff just gets in the way and clutters our lives. The accumulation of stuff often invokes a never-ending cycle of wanting more and buying more and never being satisfied with what we have.
I have been on a purging marathon for the last 6 months. I feel happier and lighter with less stuff.
I have never been a hoarder, but it amazes me how much stuff I have accumulated over the years, and it always seems to end up in the spare closet or the jam-packed junk drawer.
Today I want to share a few huge benefits I’ve discovered lately in owning less stuff – like saving money. I hope this inspires you if you are looking for some motivation to pare down your own possessions and save some money doing it!
Here are several ways minimalism saves you money:
Buy less stuff. The obvious, first no-brainer step. Buy less = save more. Once you make the decision to own less stuff, you will automatically stop seeking out and buying new stuff to bring into your home.
Donate your stuff. Donating your stuff is actually tax-deductible. The IRS allows you to deduct the fair market value of donated items such as clothing, household goods, furniture, shoes, books and even cars.
Sell your unwanted stuff. Houses are full of stuff that can be sold for easy cash. Sometimes you can make a decent amount of money just by finding and selling hidden and forgotten treasures, collectibles, antiques, etc from around the house. eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and garage/yard sales are great ways to list and sell your stuff and put some cash back in your wallet.
*Side Note: I used eBay and Amazon for many years during college to sell collectibles and unwanted stuff and made some decent money doing it. This was my first side-hustle gig.
Housing Less Stuff. The average new house is over 2,600 square feet. That’s 1,000 square feet bigger than the homes built in 1973. It’s no coincidence that as houses have gotten bigger, people have also accumulated more stuff to fill these huge houses. In the last 50 years, the average house has tripled in size. Obviously, these bigger houses are coming with bigger price tags, jumbo mortagages, increases in energy/gas costs, and increases in overall cost of maintenance. There’s a reason the tiny house movement is growing rapidly in popularity. Smaller, tinier houses are just more practical.
Storing Less Stuff: Even though it would seem there should be plenty of room for storage in today’s average-sized house, the fastest growing commercial real estate is actually off-site storage. People are paying on average $100/month for an average 10×20 storage unit. That’s $1200/year to store stuff that has no obvious day-to-day need or use if it’s going to be packed up and stored away.
Less maintenance/repairs. Having less stuff means less stuff to take care of, clean, repair and maintain. It can be costly to maintain stuff. Things wear out and break down and then it costs more money to repair or replace.
Lets take cars for example. Cars can be expensive to purchase, insure, maintain, repair and replace. According to a study by Experian Automotive, American households own an average of 2.28 vehicles, with more than 35 percent of households owning three or more cars. Imagine if we scale back to only 1 or 2 cars per household (or maybe none). This could save you a tremendous amount of money.
More Time and Freedom to Earn Extra Income. One of the greatest benefits of minimalism is the amount of time that is freed up. Implementing steps 1 through 6 above means you will have less to clean, organize, maintain, and repair. This will allow you to have more time for other pursuits, such as making extra income/money. This extra money could help pay down debt, fund an emergency fund, or contribute to investment and retirement accounts.
Your Turn: How could you live with less and simplify your life?