As part of the lifestyle changes I’ve been making to help manage my (lack of) money situation, the single most important thing in helping me begin to achieve this has been changing my mindset towards buying and owning so many things.
Being lucky enough to grow up in a pretty well-off family, I spent the vast majority of my life with a ridiculous number of things – clothes, books, magazines, games, souvenirs, makeup, jewellery, objects relating to hobbies I had indulged in at one time or another, old school projects, reports and certificates – the list just goes on and on.
For the longest time, it had never crossed my mind that there was any other way to live. My dream was to one day have an enormous
castle house in which to store my many precious possessions.
And some of them are truly precious. Or, so useful that my life would be harder without them. But, the more I thought about it, the vast majority of them just don’t mean that much.
Some of you may recognise the title of this blog post as being linked to two influential guys known as the minimalists – Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus blog about the happiness that can be found from living a life ruled less by ‘stuff’.
Am I a minimalist? No, not even close, in the sense that most people interpret the word. However, the longer I spend living away from home (and away from my wonderful parents, who must have spent a ridiculous number of hours tidying up my many possessions), the more I come to realise that owning, and caring for (cleaning, tidying, getting out, putting away, and feeling guilty when I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually used them) so many things is actually really draining, mentally and physically.
So, I began to gradually remove some of the clutter and excess stuff from my life. Donating or throwing away the things I owned that were no longer bringing any happiness or value to my life. As someone living on a tight budget, I try my best not to do this in a way that involves wasting things, but started slowing clearing out my living space (and brain space) by getting rid of the things that were (although I didn’t always know it) dragging me down.
But how does all this link in with trying to save money? Well, through decluttering, and getting rid of the bad vibes that come with owning more stuff than I can realistically use and enjoy, I noticed that my mindset really started to change.
I began to value the things I owned far more than I had before. I started to treat my things better, which meant less money (and heartache) spent on trying to fix, or replace things that I had carelessly broken, lost, or just worn out.
With my new, cleaner, fresher living space, I’ve stopped feeling so much desire to buy yet more things, as they would only start to clutter the place up once again. I now spend far less on clothes, books, and other small things that I used to pick up on impulse because I thought they were cute, or would be a fun, novelty item – because I’ve started to ask myself if I really want them.
So, although it may seem somewhat counter-intuitive to money-saving, getting rid of some of your possessions can really help change your mindset towards the need to ‘own stuff’, which can not only help you spend less, but might also help you become a happier person in general.
Any decluttering / minimalist tips or stories are forever welcome!