3 Tips on How You Can Become a Practical Minimalist + How this can help you to have the Life You Always Wanted?
When I’m thinking about minimalism I must say I don’t consider myself a typical minimalist ,if there is such a category,:) I find myself rather a COZY Minimalist, in searching for ways to make life simple but I’m doing it on my terms, on my rhythm and also taking into account my family needs for a cozy, comfortable everyday life. What do you think about those people who live truly simplified lifestyles? The people who go for long walks during the day, come home to cozy homes and cook simple, healthy meals so that they can enjoy a quiet evening together?
I can tell you that it can sound kind of ideal! But sure, it’s not the case, because even if you imagine at first, that it’s all about getting rid of everything, from clothes to books, sleeping on the mantra on the floor and have only 1o clothes to wear…there is also this kind of approach, but this is not my path…I never get rid of books, I rather would plan a room only for books:) But I believe in decluttering, in getting rid of things that no longer serve you, in a simplified way of living, starting with your mindset through your daily habits and eventually with your dreams, goals. This is for me COZY MINIMALISM.
You can start with changing a few things to get you closer to a simplified lifestyle. In this post, we’re going to look at exactly how you can go about doing just that and start enjoying a more simplified life today! It is a journey – don’t feel like you have to do all these steps at once! Pick a place in your home or surroundings to work on first, and slowly you’ll build a habit.
Here are my basic habit building steps:
1. Changing your mindset
The first thing you need is to change your mindset and learn that you don’t always have to push harder and further to be happy. What you need to be happy is right there in front of you, and if you don’t agree, that’s because you’ve been misled by clever marketing.
You don’t need beautiful clothes, a sports car or a huge mansion to be happy. You need your family and friends and some spare time. And that doesn’t cost anything.
The more you chase after promotions so you can have more shiny things, the less time you’ll have to enjoy said shiny things…It’s ok to like quality lifestyle, but pay attention that the lifestyle you have chosen to be by your values, material situation and to give you peace, not anxiety.
Do it for yourself, not because of the marketing pressure, magazines, neighbors, tv commercials….
One of the extreme methods to start to simplify your life is to take your belongings and reduce what’s on display by 60%. Sounds extreme? It may well be, but once you do that, you’ll find that what’s left is only the most beautiful and most important to you – meaning your entire home will look much better.-
Better yet, it will now be very easy to clean and tidy. See how simpler is easier?
2. Scale Back
From there, you can begin to scale back. Cancel subscriptions to services you don’t need, address whether you need the latest phone. Learn to appreciate the things you already have and try making the most of free time with your family and friends without necessarily having to spend a considerable amount.
3) Start Meditating
Do you feel your mind is just too full of thoughts sometimes? I know it’s sound strange, but believe me, when you ‘re up on something first thing you’ll need if confidence, patience, and discipline. Meditation can give all of this in just 2o minutes a day. You’ll be able to fulfill yourself with gratitude, with endurance, inner strength and also calm your mind.
All this will move you closer to simplified lifestyle. As soon as it ‘clicks,’ you can count yourself a member of the club!
MAKE IT SIMPLE, BUT SIGNIFICANT!
MAKE IT FOR YOURSELF AND NOT FOR THE WORLD!
STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF!
How will a Minimalist Mindset help you To Plan Your Family Expenses?
It’s just a matter of time before it happens. The transmission blows on your car right around the time your daughter needs braces, and your washing machine decides to call it quits. All of these are unexpected expenses and something we need to deal with throughout life.
Being prepared as much as you can is your best bet when life throws you a financial curve ball.
Do your best to anticipate upcoming expenses. If you’re driving an older car, or your dishwasher has seen its better days, start saving up to replace the item. You may also want to start keeping an eye out for good deals on the replacement.
The first thing is to have a BUDGET.
Why You Need To Keep A Household Budget
We work hard to earn a living. We should make sure we spend the money we bring home wisely. That’s where a household budget comes in. It’s a good tool to see at a glance what we have coming in, what’s going out (and what that money is paying for) and if there’s anything left at the end of the month to put into savings.
Before we dive into exactly what a budget can do for us, let’s consider for a minute what will happen if we’re not tracking income and expenses. We may end up spending more than we’re making in a given month (or two, or three). Over time that can put us into some pretty hot water financially. We may also spend a lot more than we’d like to believe in things like eating out, going to the movies or new clothes.
Having a budget gives us more control over where we want to spend our hard-earned cash. Maybe that’s dinner and a movie, but maybe it isn’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an actual choice?
An even better strategy is to have an emergency savings fund. Set up a savings account and add to it monthly.When you get your monthly payment to make sure to transfer 10-20% of your monthly income to your savings fund. Use it only for completely unexpected expenses. Make sure you know what’s in the account. And once you have to take money out of it replace it as quickly as possible.
This brings us to a good point. Here’s how to recover quickly from that purchase. Go over your budget and look if you can temporarily cut back on some things. Stop ordering Pizza every Friday night and make your own at home. Skip a night out on the town and watch a couple of movies on Netflix instead of going to the theatre.
Use the money you’re not spending for the next few months to refill your emergency fund. For an extra boost, work a few hours of overtime, do a few freelance projects or temporarily pick up a part-time job to get back on track fast.
But what do you do when the expense comes up before you had a chance to set up the emergency fund? Take a deep breath and assess the situation. Can you make do without the item for a little while? Just long enough to scrape together the funds to repair or replace it. If it’s the dishwasher, that’s easy. You can wash dishes by hand for a little while. If it’s the fridge or the car you rely on to get you to work each day, that’s a different story.
If you need the item that broke, evaluate if it would be less expensive to repair than replace. Even if it isn’t the perfect solution, it may get you to work until you can save up for a different car. Shuffle your money around and if there is no other option charge it to the credit card and get to work. Your only goal right now is to pay off that expense. If you stick every penny of discretional income in, it won’t take you long.
One your bills and credit cards are paid off, do what you can to get that emergency fund set up. Because you know something else will break down the road.
Why do you need To Plan Your Family Expenses?
1. It Tracks Where Your Money Is Going
A budget simply tracks your money. You record where the money comes from each month (your income) and then write out everything you spend it on, starting with your regular monthly bills like mortgage or rent, car payments, utility bills, etc. What’s left after all the bills are paid is your discretional income.
2. Helps You Identify Things You Waste Money On
Having it all in front of you in black and white enables you to identify things you’re wasting your money on.
It makes you reconsider if you want to spend well over $200 a month on Cable TV or $150 on your large cell phone plan. Or how about that yearly magazine subscription to something you no longer read? Go through your expenses and reevaluate if this is REALLY how you want to spend your paycheck.
3. Allows You To Be Proactive About Savings
Saving money without a budget is hard. We go in with the best of intentions at the beginning of the month, but somehow there isn’t anything left at the end of the month.
A budget gives you a chance to be a bit more proactive. Set aside some money for savings at the beginning of the month, even if it’s just $20. Put it in the budget as a regular expense, just like you do with your other urgent bills. If you need to, open a separate saving account, so you’re not tempted to spend it.
4. Ensures You’re Not Spending More Than You’re Making
Most importantly, your budget will keep you on track and help you make sure you’re not spending more than you’re making. And I don’t have to tell you that that’s pretty important for your financial wellbeing.
Put Your Savings On Autopilot
Putting a little money away for a rainy day isn’t always easy. You may have some good intentions, but at the end of the day, there just isn’t any money left. Somehow whatever you make is spend before you make it to the next paycheck.
Start by making a personal budget. Take a look at what you bring in each month. Next, write down your fixed expenses. These are things like rent, car payments, utilities, etc. Figure out how much you need each month for groceries and other essentials. This is your bare bones budget. It’s good to know what you need to get by each month.
Next, it’s time for a little bit of math. Start with what you bring in each month and subtract all your core expenses. What you’re left with is your discretional income. This will pay for entertainment, clothes, getting your nails done, etc. And from here on out, part of that discretional income will go into a savings account.
Pick a number you’re comfortable with. Maybe that’s just 10€ per month; maybe it’s €500. Put it in your budget and treat it like any other bill. It won’t take you long to get into the habit of setting aside that money for savings.
To make it even more hands-off, talk to your bank about setting up a separate savings account. Then set up an auto-deposit to have the savings transferred to the new account as soon as your paycheck comes in each month. If you don’t see it, you’ll never miss it, and your savings will run on autopilot.
Don’t forget to audit your savings from time to time. Take another look at your budget. Can you increase your savings a little more? Another great way to boost that savings account is to take any extra money – thinks like birthday cash, tax return, bonuses, etc. – and put them straight into the savings account. Again, you won’t even miss the money, but it will help you build up your savings quickly.
Make sure your savings are sitting in an interest-bearing account. Since you won’t be touching this money unless it’s a dire emergency, you should be able to earn at least a little interest. Talk to your banker about your best options and start putting your savings on autopilot.
My last tips:
- Keep a good track of your expenses, make a schedule every end of the month to create a family budget meeting and plan the next month ahead.
- Don’t spend money you don’t own ( like credit card stuff)
- Make a family need list (clothes, toys, sports subscriptions, vacations, gifts, etc. ), detailed it in a way to see if you really need that thing in your life and also think about how to substitute to save money for your family.
- Don’t buy something just because in on sale (if you don’t need that thing you can save all the money in your budget, not just the 2o%-30% )
- Don’t try to fit in anyone else’s life, don’t buy things just because someone else has it, try to figure it out If you need it if it will help you to accomplish something or it’s just your ego how’s trying to get is over)
- Make a cozy minimalist wardrobe, list your clothes, make a list of every stuff that you own and try to establish your style and buy only what you wear ( and it’s on your basic wardrobe list). In a future post, I’ll show you how to do it.
- Try to prepare meals ahead ( list a meal planning list, a grocery list and don’t go shopping without a list and hungry:) )
- Don’t try to do it all by yourself. If you have a partner, discuss with him/her and make the planning together. It’s always easier what you have somebody to lean on…and also somebody how can check your expenses too:)
- Try to use cash instead of a card. You can put money in envelopes for every category that you planned and only put as much as you’ve planned.
- GIVE IT TIME. PE PATIENT. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT. You have to have patience with yourself, and you’ll see that after a couple of months you’ll be able to see how many little steps you took and be PROUD of yourself.
Make it simple, have faith in yourself and plan it well!
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With love and respect,