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A man admiring his minimalistic room.

10 Ways Being a Minimalist Will Save You Money

We are living in expensive times. And while you may very well have a good job with a decent salary, it often still feels like money is tight for many of us. So, we're here to tell you about how you can save more money without making any more.

One secret to saving money is minimalism. Minimalism focuses on living with more intention and drilling down to true purpose and value. Being a minimalist allows you to let go of extra things that often become waste and start living only with what you need more so than just what you want.

Key Takeaways

  • Minimalism involves focusing on what you truly need rather than what you want. By living with fewer extras, you make spending decisions based on value rather than impulse.
  • Frugality focuses on saving money, often by going without. Minimalism, on the other hand, is about intentionally living with fewer things to increase value, leading to spending less money indirectly.
  • Minimalism helps you spend less by living with less and buying only what adds value to your life. It also indirectly saves money by reducing the need for upkeep on fewer possessions.

What Is Minimalism?

Minimalism is simply living with less. This doesn't mean going off-grid and moving into a tent without electricity and indoor plumbing. That would be more extreme than what we're talking about. 

Minimalism means living with fewer extras and making your spending decisions based on what you need instead of what's on sale or what you like when you see it.

A minimalist mentality promotes thinking differently than much of modern society. You'll have what you need while saving more money at the same time.

Minimalists make more intentional choices. They don't spend frivolously on things that don't matter. Instead, they purchase with purpose so they can focus on the things that mean more in their lives.

Minimalism goals

What Is the Difference Between Frugality and Minimalism?

There are some simple basic differences between what it means to be frugal and what it is to be a minimalist.

  • Frugality is based on financial benefit and the way your expenses can be tailored for a better financial picture.
  • Minimalism doesn't even truly focus on the saving of money. The basis of minimalism is intentionally living with fewer things to increase value. 

When you're living frugally, you tend to go without. You live without any extras because your sole purpose is to save money. Minimalism doesn't require that you go without any extras, it just means you live with less wants and more needs. Living with less, in turn, leads to spending less money. These are two different concepts that lead to a similar result.

How Does Minimalism Save Money?

The biggest piece of minimalist living that helps save money is living with less and buying only things or experiences that add value to your life. A minimalist lifestyle helps you look at your life with a perspective toward finding out what makes you satisfied with living. You think with clarity when you're making purchase decisions and skip those things that don't add any value to your life.

For instance, rather than buying a load of groceries and then spending three nights out to dinner, you spend your nights in cooking meals with the groceries you already have. You spend less money while having quality time with your family in your home.

Minimalism also saves money indirectly. When you have less stuff to maintain, it naturally takes less money for upkeep. Those who live minimalistically can save upwards of $20,000 per year.

Steps toward minimalism

10 Ways to Be a Minimalist and Save Money

You should get the gist of minimalism now, so let's get a little more into the details of things you can do to practice minimalism.

1. Buy Only Clothes You Need

Most of us can fall for a deal on clothes we like in a heartbeat. But do you ever stop to think about how many pieces of clothing you already have? And what's worse, think about all the clothes you have but never wear. Do you need all of them and more?

For most of us, the answer is no. We do not need the amount of clothing we have. So, why not have fewer articles of clothing that are higher quality so they last longer? Don't buy items just because they're cheap. They likely won't last long and you'll be trying to replace them soon anyway. Invest in higher quality pieces but keep a smaller wardrobe filled with only clothing you wear regularly.

2. You Will Spend Less Money on Food Because of Minimalism

Let's start by talking about going out to eat. This is much more expensive than cooking whole meals at home or taking your lunch for work. Here's why. 

Restaurants mark up the food they serve to you. Menu prices are marked up 32% on average. That's just the average. Some more upscale places mark up even more. You are likely paying double or even triple what the food costs the restaurant. 

Eating in doesn't mean just saving by not eating out. It also means you'll use more of the food you buy from the grocery store. Generally, Americans waste a lot of food. According to Fortune magazine, the average American throws away about a third of all the groceries they purchase. That's an insane amount of food. A minimalist will not waste nearly that much because of the nature of the lifestyle.

3. Don't Buy Purses (or Other Accessories) for Fun

This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can only ever carry one purse. You won't be using more than one at a time. There's no reason to buy several different purses except that you just like them. 

The same is true of other accessories. If you can't wear them all at one time, then having only a few things that work well with different styles and colors is ideal. Buying items for fun that are only going to lay in a drawer or hang in a closet is wasteful.

4. Don't Buy Things Just Because They're On Sale

So here's the thing about retail sales. They're designed to capture your attention. Retailers want you to impulse buy so they create big advertising campaigns meant to draw you in. While it's true sales are also used to move inventory to make way for the next season's worth of items, the real goal is to get you to buy. 

Unless you're already looking for that specific thing, don't buy sale items just because they're on sale.

5. Buy Practical, Multi-Purpose Items

Let's use a kitchen environment to show what we mean here. A knife set is a good example for this concept. You can do a lot with a knife set. You can slice, dice, peel, split, spread, and more. That means you can use a knife set to do the job of a peeler, pizza cutter, automatic chopper, bagel splitter, apple corer, and slicer. You don't need any of them.

6. Limit the Number of Toys You Buy Your Kids

Every parent in the world has complained about toys all over the floor and the house. Most of us also complain about how many toys just sit in a bin and never get played with. 

As a minimalist, you can limit the number of toys your kids get from you which will also fix the other issues just mentioned. The value in this is increased by the fact that the kids are more prone to find other creative ways to spend their time. 

You can also start selling the items as they become too young for the children or they become disinterested.

7. Be a Cord Cutter

Watching tv or movies can make for a good time with your family. But, do you need to spend a ton of money to keep the service you have? No, you don't. 

Get rid of the hundreds of channels no one ever watches anyway and try out one or two streaming services that have quality programming for you and your family. You'll save money and get value in the time spent doing other things with your loved ones.

8. Consolidate Your Hobbies

Hobbies are great to have. That being said, they can cost a lot of unnecessary money to keep things you need for them that sit around while you're doing other hobbies. 

We recommend consolidating down to only a couple of hobbies that give you the most satisfaction. You'll find more value in the hobbies you keep because you're better able to focus on the ones you like doing the most.

9. Buy High-Quality Items

This tip will cost you more up front but is worth it in the long run. You should buy the items you're going to anyway with higher levels of quality. 

You might be thinking, but, higher quality means higher price tags. You're likely correct, but hear us out. When you buy items that are higher quality, they last longer. That means you shouldn't need to replace them for a long time. It will save you money down the line.

10. Embrace Reusing and Re-Purposing Items

When items do start to fall apart on you, you don't always just have to get rid of them and buy something new. You can find other uses for things that won't be used the same way anymore.

An example of this could be taking old clothes the kids have outgrown and turning them into a quilt for a loved one. You can use broken dishes or mirrors to make fun mosaics to decorate the patio area or the hallway. Not everything should just be thrown away.

Save Money with Minimalism

Living smaller with less things has been proven to save money. Just take a moment and analyze the way you live, your purchase history, why you buy what you do, and if the things you buy add any value to your life. 

You may be surprised at what you find. You'll likely see many places where you can cut back on the stuff you're buying and build value in your life through minimalistic behavior. We can all do it, it's just a matter of making the choice to do so.

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