You may already be intimately familiar with the minimalist mindset. It's a hugely popular lifestyle choice among millennials, one that revolves around cutting all waste out of your life and focusing on the things that matter. When many people begin their minimalist journey, they tend to focus on esthetics. They might paint their house white or clear out their closet, thinking that this is the way to achieve a minimalist spirit. However, to truly embrace this lifestyle, one needs to go beyond the skin-deep elements. Minimalists often cite their budgeting and spending habits as one of the central tenets (and appeals) of the lifestyle. With minimalist budgeting techniques, you can build financial independence and ensure that you spend your money on the things that you truly find meaningful and enjoyable. Here's your guide to budgeting like a minimalist.
determine your priorities. The first step is to identify where your spending priorities lie. Make a list of the things you enjoy spending money on and which enrich your life. You'll also want to identify areas where you're wasting your money and not getting any value from it. If you have something you're saving up for, such as a house or a memorable travel experience, even better. Goals are a crucial part of the minimalist mindset.
eliminate your debt. Debt is one of the most expensive things you can be burdened with. Many minimalists recommend focusing all of your energies and resources on eliminating your debt before you can even begin working towards other goals. The longer you leave your debt sitting there, the more you will pay in the long-run. Construct a debt plan to get your balances settled as soon as possible.
always see what you can get for free. As the old saying goes, "Why pay for something when you can get it for free?" Discounts and freebies are abundant, especially online. Say you're wanting to entertain yourself with some online slot games. You can spend your own money playing them or you can consult a review website revealing hundreds of different ways to play all the real-money games you want for free. These kinds of resources exist everywhere, so take the time to search for them before spending money on anything.
opt for experiences over items. Non-essential material goods are anathema to most minimalists. Rather than spending money on a pair of high heels you'll only wear once or the latest generation iPhone, put that money to better use by paying for memorable experiences that won't contribute to the clutter in your life. Think vacations, dinner with friends, trips to museums and galleries, or charitable donations. These spending experiences will feel much more rewarding than the sugar rush that comes with a shopping spree.
set strict limits. Finally, the minimalist mindset is all about reasonable limits. Set yourself a daily spending cap that you can go over. You can even use a debit card that is designed to stop working once you have reached your spending limit. Doing this will not only save you money—it will help you get a perspective on your habits and realize where you're being wasteful.
True minimalism starts with your spending. Follow these tips today to eliminate waste and free up cash for the things that matter.