This is how a minimalist thinks: How dare you complain about the money you spend on gas, when you drive a car that uses gas. How dare you complain about the money you pay in property taxes when you live in big old house on Grand Street. How dare you complain about the cost of credit cards when you use a credit card…
See what they are saying there? The main tenant of the minimalist lifestyle is to remove yourself from the situation entirely, or almost entirely if you don’t want debt, money problems or to be a slave to credit cards. Why do some people find a life where very little money or credit is used, attractive? There’s a lot of answers to this one, but its kind of like starting a budget. They feel by paring down their lifestyle, getting rid of debt, credit cards, and spending very little money, they get to the heart of what they want in life. That very well can be more money in the bank, a bigger house, or doing their share to help preserve the planet.
Does this debt and credit free lifestyle seem like something that might appeal to you? If it does, here are some tips:
Have some goals
Don’t just toss everything and live like a monk because it’s “cool” or it “feels good”. You have to have a goal or a purpose in mind that you feel very strongly about in order to make it stick.. Are you drowning in debt? Disillusioned with your career goals? These may be reasons enough. Then, set yourself a timetable as to where you want to be in say, a year or two. Do you want to be living in an RV? Sharing an apartment with a like-minded friend? What is your money flow going to look like?
Don’t do anything rash, like give away all your money, cut up all your credit card, or move out of your house. Start by going through your house or apartment and giving away things you feel you don’t need anymore. Recycle. Put your credit cards in the freezer or cut them up, but leave one just in case you need it for an emergency.
Do your research
Start reading books and going on the Internet to find out more about the subject.
“The Minimal List: A step-by-step guide to living the minimalist life” by Madison Bradford is a great book, so is “The Last Drop of Living: The Minimalist’s guide to living the high life on a low budget” by Robert F. Lee. A really practical guide is “The Complete Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn. It’s a classic in the field when it comes to saving money, getting free of the credit card cycle, and getting out of debt.
Do what’s good for you
It’s okay to stop when you’ve reached a certain level of minimalism. Maybe you have a family, kids in school and it’s impossible to live minimally like you would want to if you were alone. That’s okay, we’re sure you’ll be able to keep some financial lessons you’ve learned along the way. Every little bit helps.