Monday Musings, 33: "Save Your Time and Money, Become a Minimalist"

At one point in high school, I owned anywhere between ten and thirteen pairs of shoes. Granted, I only wore four of them on a regular basis. The rest of them collected dust until I eventually got rid of them.

We often buy and keep things we don't need. I guarantee you that you never use and don't need at least 30% of the items you own. But, for some reason, you want to keep these items, "just in case." While most of us don't have a compulsive hoarding disorder, it's safe to say that we have a bad habit of holding onto things that we don't need and shouldn't have bought in the first place. There may be many reasons why we tend to waste money on worthless things and waste time on worthless activities and people who don't provide any value to us. I'll let the field of psychology explain those reasons, but here's how a minimalist mindset can improve your life.

Minimalism (in a lifestyle context) isn't just about buying, having, and doing less; it's about refining your focus towards the things that are most important in your life. Think about it, the less money you spend on junk, the more money you'll have to travel, see your family, save for a house, pay down your debt, and other important life goals. Furthermore, the less time you spend on people who don't bring value to your life, the more time you get to spend with the people you care most about. In my personal life, I've been able to save a ton of money and travel frequently by cutting back on shopping, something I loved to do a few years ago. Now, I only shop when I have an absolute need to or when I want to buy something that I know for a fact I will use or wear indefinitely. I've taken pride in knowing that I'm spending my valuable resources on things that will make my life richer.

With a minimalist mindset, the point is not to think about just having and doing less; the point is to think about what you can gain when you cut back on certain worthless items, habits, and activities. So the next time you're in a store or are on Amazon with your credit card in hand, think hard about your purchases. Do you really need those lime green pants that you'll only wear once? Probably not.