Of course, you’ll need to draw the line somewhere and all of us will vary in regard to just how minimal we want to be.
Do you want to cut back entirely and live in a hut in the wilderness with no TV? Or do you want to have a few luxury items to create an incredible lifestyle that looks much more expensive than it is while keeping your maintenance down?
And you also need to think about your other expenses and where they come in. A minimalist home and lifestyle might be used to support specific visions for your décor, but it can also be used to support a lifestyle of travel, of financial security, or of being able to send your children to the very best colleges.
If you know you love travelling, then why bother buying a huge house?
Why not buy a small one bedroom flat in an area that is affordable and then pump all of that money into travelling? Having a smaller home can actually force you to live that more minimalist lifestyle and help you to really make the most of what you have instead of extended your reach.
This is not what the media wants us to believe. This is not what big corporations want us to discover.
It’s not even what the politicians want us to know. As we’ve alluded to already, modern culture is geared toward creating things that people want (but don’t need) in order to give us a motivation to keep working harder and harder. The irony is that actually being healthy and warm can cost a tiny amount.
If you head to the right part of the country and buy a property that is small enough, you can potentially completely pay off a mortgage in a couple of years.
Combine that with a minimalist lifestyle, some self-sufficiency… and in a few years’ time you’ll have all the things you’ve ever wanted while spending barely a couple of hundred dollars a month on your living costs.
You’ll never face debt again and if you can find a way to make just a small amount of money online, then you can even quit the 9-5. Life really can be how you want it!
Creating a Budget for Your Minimal Lifestyle
Again, it comes down to having that vision, so you know what it is you want to do. But you don’t just need a vision – you also need a plan so that you can go about enacting it and actually making it happen. We do this by creating a budget.
This budget should include all of your income and all of your outgoings and you’ll want to put this into a spreadsheet. You should be able to use this information to create a visualization of your finances and even to use ‘financial modeling’ to see if you have an upward or downward trend.
Then what you’re going to do is to look at how much money you have left over at the end of a given week or month and how much money you can save or opt to spend on other things you want.
And from here, you can then use your graph to see how long it will take for you to earn X amount of money. Keep your vision clearly in mind. Whether that is travelling the world or building that home spa.
Know exactly how much it is going to cost and using your projections; exactly how long it will take you to amass that much money. And now start thinking about ways you can shorten that time frame.
This might mean that you start cutting back on the things you don’t really need. It might mean selling off a few unnecessary items. It might mean reducing your outgoings by buying fewer things you don’t need.
Notice how you are naturally starting to create a more and more minimal lifestyle. But it will feel worth it now because you have that amazing vision in mind at the end of it And in the meantime remember, you should have that list of great activities to do in the evenings and at weekends to help you live that minimal lifestyle.
You don’t need to keep spending money on Netflix and on junk when you’re spending your weekends exploring your area, learning languages, writing books or doing things that are just much more fulfilling.
Hopefully, you’re also now spending more time with family and friends – which is also free – and seeing yourself move inexorably towards your goals.