So I think there are a lot of preconceived notions around what minimalism is exactly. Sometimes people have this idea that in order to be a minimalist you have got to live in a studio apartment and only wear white. Or black. The thing is, anyone can be a minimalist, in any size house, with any type of wardrobe, and it can be a total life-changer and income saver! I wanted to share with you how adopting a more minimalist way of living has allowed our family of 5 to increase our income. Take what you will and apply what you can!
Minimalist life makeover
As I said, minimalism can be an entire life makeover. It’s all about focusing on the things that bring you the most value in life and allows you to be really choosy about what you want put as a priority.
This can affect areas of your life like:
- The stuff you own
- How you spend your time
- Who you spend your time with
And, all of these things can go hand-in-hand with helping you to increase your income.
Re-evaluate your job
Chances are, I don’t even have to ask you to think about whether or not you like your job. Specifically, do you feel like you get paid enough for the time you put in?
I had started a photography business when my kids were young. I wasn’t charging people very much, but the demand for my time continued to increase.
I was needing to buy props and spend hours and hours of my time either photographing or editing photos in order to keep making money.
This took weekends away from my family and left my nights jam-packed as well. I was not making enough income to justify me losing this amount of time away from my family.
Like I said, minimalism is looking at where you are over-doing it in some area of your life including how you’re spending your time.
Chances are, you are spending a lot of time at work. Is the pay balanced for the effort you put into it? If not, it might be time to consider a career change or look into negotiating a better salary for yourself.
Buy a cheaper house
This right here is probably the toughest thing on my list, so let’s just get it out of the way right now.
I understand that not everyone can quickly and easily downsize their house like we did. And even if you do you aren’t guaranteed to find a home that saves you money every month.
However, keep it in mind if you are already overwhelmed by your housing expenses (make sure you are calculating them all) and the time it takes to maintain your home.
A smaller home can not only increase your income but also give you new found freedom!
Reduce the amount you buy
Adapting a more minimalist way of thinking naturally steers you away from over-consumption.
The more you focus on the things you do want, the less tempted you are to spend your money buying things that don’t really serve a purpose. Don’t get me wrong, the temptation might still linger, but you become less and less tempted by things that used to suck you in.
As you continue to practice minimalism, you’ll find you are buying less, therefore spending less and increasing your income.
Re-evaluate spending habits
In the process of picking and choosing your priorities and what means the most to you, you are also able to review how you have been spending your money.
Taking the time to be fully aware of how much money you spend and what you spend it on can be very eye opening.
Doing a spending inventory allows you to decide what things you would no longer like to spend money on. Maybe this means getting rid of your pricey gym membership for a more affordable one. It could also mean reducing your Starbucks purchases from $150 per month to $100!
One major area our family used to over-spend on was groceries. Now we hover right around $100 per week for groceries.
Spending less on gifts
When we were a one child household, we would spend lavishly on things like Christmas presents. I’m talking $1,000 easily just on presents.
Maybe you’re reading that going, “Yup, that sounds about right.” If so, let me tell you minimalism can save you here my friend!
Because we have decided we don’t love toy clutter taking over out house, (and we have realized time and time again that kids never really play with the toys they are given), we have decided to stop spending so much of our hard-earned money on gift-giving.
This doesn’t mean that we don’t do fun things with our kids. In fact, I would say the exact opposite is true. The less money we have spent on gifts, the more money we have had available to have a flexible life with more travel.
Create an automatic cash-back budget
If I could get minimalist in any area of my life it is the area of managing finances! Yes, I love learning more and understanding more about my money, but I have never been someone who loves doing tracking and spreadsheets.
That’s why we set up an automatic cash-back budget system. It works like this:
- Open a cash-back rewards credit card
- Set up this card to pay off a few monthly bills
- Get automatic payments set up to pay off your credit card every month
This simple method allows you to budget less, make some extra cash and build your credit.
Say no to more things
If you are someone who is in the habit of going out often or agreeing to do things out of obligation, slow down for a minute and really prioritize your time.
Do you want to spend extra time baking things for the bake sale?
Is it a top priority to be in every wedding you are invited to be in.
Often times we say yes to things simply because we feel like we have to. However, the more you say no to things that just don’t align, the less you’ll find yourself not shelling out cash to be a part of different events.
Create an income stream
The last thing we personally did after downsizing our house and freeing up income was to find new ways to bring in more income.
I did this by starting this little blog of mine. Learn how to make your first $1,000 with a blog.
The most minimalist way to create an additional income stream is by finding passive ways to make more money.