Financial and Psychological Benefits of Minimalism
Mail, keys, and envelopes stacked on your counters, desks, or bedroom surfaces? The truth is, clutter is more than just a visual distraction. Studies show that excess belongings add to your stress levels, making everyday life much harder than it needs to be. That’s why we’re going to tackle the psychological and financial benefits of minimalism.
Why we’re getting overwhelmed
Does every item in your home bring you joy? The world is constantly changing, and we have something new to deal with daily. The list is endless, from high inflation rates to global warming and conflict between nations. With all that, sometimes we turn to retail therapy that inevitably sparks anxiety, whether it’s from spending more than we mean to or accumulating more than we want to.
Minimalism and mindfulness
Minimalism is quickly gaining popularity as a mindful way of life with numerous financial and psychological benefits. It helps us focus on what is truly important in life. It’s about having fewer distractions by reducing clutter and increasing mindfulness. An uncluttered life promotes mental clarity and peace of mind. It creates a sense of calm.
Adopting this lifestyle not only helps you with your mental health and well-being, but it will also help you boost your finances. It makes you happier and more fulfilled while accelerating your journey to financial freedom.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism is a concept that focuses on decluttering or getting rid of things one may feel are not worth having in their life. It involves determining what you value the most and removing anything else that distracts you from them, allowing you to live your life with intentionality and freedom. It helps rid yourself of life’s excess to focus on what’s essential to find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
Those who practice minimalism say a tool that can assist you in finding freedom from several things, including fear, worry, being overwhelmed, guilt, depression, and the trappings of the consumer culture.
The financial benefit of minimalism
Minimalism helps shift your money mindset from a consumer mentality to an investor. When you start being mindful about spending, you will cut unnecessary purchases leaving you with more money to divert to savings. More savings will encourage you to start investing in growing your wealth. Spending less is the first step towards transitioning into the investor mentality.
Encourages mindful spending: Dave Ramsey, financial advisor and New York Times bestselling author, says, “we buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
Minimalism encourages you to spend money on experiences rather than material stuff that ends up cluttering your home. Once you disconnect from the conditioning societal belief that more possessions equal more money, you will find a newfound enjoyment in spending money on things you value.
For example, instead of spending most of your money on new clothes or upgrading your devices, you can invest it and take a trip to an exotic island.
Minimalism liberates your time, money, and energy, allowing you to focus on what brings you worth and value.
It saves you money: Having fewer possessions means you can choose to live in a smaller apartment, significantly reducing your monthly living expenses. By only buying what you need, you will reduce your expenses considerably, thus having more money to divert towards savings and investments. You will also have more to divert towards paying off debt.
Helps you choose quality over quantity: Minimalism isn’t about living without or being cheap. It is more of focusing on quality than quantity. As such, a minimalist will tend to buy cost-efficient quality appliances. These appliances will last longer, require minimal or no repairs, are energy efficient and have less operational costs over the years.
Helps you avoid impulse buying: When you adopt minimalism, you quickly realize that most of the purchases you have been making are because of an ingrained pattern. A pattern of constant shopping and conspicuous consumption (incurring expenses to enhance one prestige). For example, what is the need to update your phone or other devices if the ones you already have to fulfill your needs? Minimalism helps you refocus your priorities. Over time, it will help reduce overspending and completely do away with impulse buying.
It simplifies finances and brings your focus to financial planning. When you are not so fixed on what to want to buy next, you become more focused on achieving meaningful financial goals. These include going on a much-needed family vacation, pursuing that MBA to advance your career, or buying a home. Minimalism helps you find clarity between wants and needs. Being self-aware will help you move from a consumption mindset to one of abundance.
Saves time: How long does it take to decide on your ‘outfit for the day’? Wouldn’t it be easier to decide what to wear if the options were limited? When you have a few items of clothing, it takes less time to decide what to wear. If you have fewer items around the house, it will save you cleaning time. The less time you spend on frivolous things and decisions, the more you will have to focus on what matters, whether spending time with friends or loved ones or focusing on your work. Time is money, so when you save time, you save money!
Psychological benefits of minimalism
Clutter bombards our mind with too many stimuli (visual, olfactory, and tactile). It causes our senses to overwork on stimuli that isnt necessary, distracting us from what is essential. It makes it challenging to relax physically and mentally, leaving us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Reducing clutter in our lives makes us more productive and less anxious. It sparks our creativity and enhances problem-solving.
Mental clutter is also stressful, and one of the most effective ways to declutter your mind is to focus on one task at a time. Avoid distractions such as phone calls, emails, and social media. In general, decluttering has a significant impact it will have on your overall wellness.
Boosts motivation and productivity: Simplifying your life will allow you to focus on what matters. You will notice an increase in productivity when you declutter. Decluttering builds self-trust and self-worth and helps with problem-solving.
Improves your self-esteem: Instant gratification always makes us feel like we need to buy more until we feel happy. After all, no one can deny the instant mood boost that comes with retail therapy. But how long does this boost last? It isn’t a way to achieve long-lasting contentment.
Reduces anxiety: Psychologists have found a relationship between physical clutter, anxiety, depression, and stress. Clutter affects how we feel about our homes, workplaces, and ourselves. For example, I find it particularly hard to work if my home is messy. However, I am more productive once I clean and everything is in place.
Living a clutter-free life offers immediate benefits to our self-esteem.
Minimalism brings awareness of feeling capable and in control in a healthy way helping to regulate emotions that benefits you financially and emotionally.
It helps us create healthier relationships. Imagine if you stop competing with your friends and family to have the most expensive car or the most prominent house. Or when you can stop trying to impress people and begin to connect with them at a deeper level. When you stop being a people please and just be yourself, it shouldn’t surprise you that your relationships will improve. Meaningful and wholesome social connections are vital to our mental health. Such relationships aren’t built on guilt or competition but by shared experiences and great memories.
Final thoughts on the financial and psychological benefits of minimalism
Living a minimalist lifestyle can benefit your overall mental well-being and finances. By focusing on what is truly valuable and worthy to you, you free yourself from a lot, giving you the freedom to live your life intentionally. Minimalism enables you to feel more at peace, have more control over your spending, and gives you clarity in your life. Fun fact, you don’t have to adopt minimalism to be able to enjoy the benefits it brings. Just apply the basic principles, and you’ll be good to go!