How a minimalist lifestyle can help save you money

Published: February 28, 2021 at 4:19 pm

In this article, author Smriti Tuteja explains how a minimalist lifestyle will help you save money as well as time to do things that give you joy.

About the author: Smriti is an author, freelance content writer and avid reader. She quit her six-year-long IT career to embrace her love for writing. Her previous article – How much money can I make as a content writer – went viral. She writes content across genres and takes pride in her ability to research and carve magic with words. Over her six years of content writing experience, she has developed a knack for technical and digital marketing content.

She also passionately writes about parenting and is currently working on her book. When not writing or reading, she can be seen running behind any of her two kids or learning Deutsch. Reader’s may recall Smritis is the lead author of this popular book published via freefincal: How to profit from content writing.

If you compare your parents’ or grandparents’ house that you saw as a kid to your house now, you will come across stark differences. The hearth or the fireplace got replaced by a glistening hob with 3-6 burners. The house now gleams with smart bulbs and mood-based lighting, and you can sense modernity in each corner. Most of us eat out at least twice a month or collect takeaways. Watches, perfumes, clothes, there is an abundance of everything that was once a dreamy luxury.

All this, due to the significant rise in disposable income over the years. Lives have become simpler, they say. Well, technically, yes, but from where I see, there is a lot more complexity. Charge all devices, add costs of maintenance, keep the stuff spic and span and to top it all, we are continuously looking for ways to save money.


Do you agree? While one reason for the increased rigour towards saving is the increase in wealth, a more valid reason is the way we spend. 2 cars in a family of 3 or fitness watches for everyone despite the sedentary lifestyle they lead explain it. There are many more examples of over-spending or hoarding. 

Have you ever wondered if the best way to save money could be not spending it on non-essentials? You may ask, “Who defines what are essentials and what aren’t”? That is a valid question because we all have different goals and varied dreams. After all, YOLO. 😉 Yes, you live only once, how about make it about substance than material?

Over the past few years, the word minimalism has been gaining popularity. So much so that capitalists have tried to monetize it too. From bags and jewellery for a minimalist to things you need to be a minimalist, the internet is full of oxymorons.

We, as a family, have been trying to embrace a minimalistic lifestyle for over 2 years now. Have we succeeded? No. But we haven’t failed either. We are slowly reaching there. Baby steps, I say. So today, I talk about how a minimalistic lifestyle can help you save money?’

  1. By not spending on new stuff: This is a no brainer. All the money that you don’t spend on buying things is what you keep safe in your account.  However, there is a lot more to it than just saving money upfront. A valid point to remember is that minimalism is not about not spending at all but about spending on stuff that matters to you or adds value to your living.
  2. Cut down on recurring costs of maintenance: When you have 365 pairs of clothes for the year, you also need a huge wardrobe to store them and run the washing machine multiple times a week. Your gadgets spike the electricity bills, and you pay for repairs too. The more vehicles you own, the more you spend on fuel and servicing. So, in addition to the fixed expense of buying stuff, you also spend a great deal on maintaining it.
  3. Cut down healthcare expenses: Most people I know would happily spend Rs3000 on a trip to the restaurant or a couple of beers. However, all hell breaks loose when the doctor advises health investigations worth 1k or the medical bill is 2k. Well, leading a minimalistic lifestyle will help control this issue to a great extent. It will significantly bring down your healthcare spends. Let’s see how:
  1. You eat out less and cook more at home: Healthy homecooked meals often mean less frequent visits to the doctor. This way, you also ensure that you are healthier when you are old.
  2. Better mental health because you don’t have 500 devices for 5 tasks: A mobile phone, a television, a fitness tracker, electric cooker, rice cooker, induction, mixer grinder, masala grinder, egg boiler, dough maker, and all the hunky-dory. Do you think you need them all? A few of these? Yes! But, all of these will only add to your stresses. You need to find a place to store them all, maintain them, keep them dust-free, charge them and do a lot more. When gadgets start controlling your life, mental wellness certainly goes for a toss and medical expenses higher. Remember, people have been working out forever without trackers, and 5 different screens will only take a toll on your eyes and brain. More the number of distractions you have, the worse will be your mental and physical health.
  3. More physical movement because you do not have 6789 vehicles: That is clearly an exaggeration, but the ill effects of having motor vehicles at your disposal are not. My 15-year-old nephew doesn’t go to the neighbourhood shop without a car. The shop is literally 50-70 metres away from home. That he goes and buys packaged coffee is another story on the essential or non-essential list. When you don’t have these options, you move a bit more and embrace healthy living. How about walking to the dairy or vegetable shop each morning?
    1. You get more time to focus on earning: Most people trying to get a side hustle or an alternate source of income complain about the lack of time. A simplistic reason for this lack of time is household and work commitments and time with family. However, a closer look into it, and you realize that it is majorly due to the amount of clutter and loads of stuff you have accumulated. Time mostly goes in either maintaining or cleaning stuff or staying busy with it. The 2 hours you spend in front of the iPad can very well be used to make paintings and sell them online or work on your finance blog. Rather than dusting random objects, you could be building income for years to come. And no, not dusting is not a good idea. Not hoarding is.
    2. Better mental health: You got to believe me that a lot of stuff tends to weigh you down and tire you out merely by looking at it. You stay calmer when there is less stuff to distract you. I cannot emphasize enough how mental health is extremely important and how you can maintain in by living a minimalistic life. 2 years ago, I had a wardrobe full of bed linen and 2 beds at home. Now I have 3 beds and 8 bedsheets in all. This way, I have more space for kids’ books and toys that are quite space-intensive. It also saves me the hassle of dusting open bookshelves. A peaceful trade-off, I say. The 8 bedsheets include a good set that I spread only when we have special guests, so that is sorted. I feel a lot better because I have only stuff that I love and not stuff bought on a whim lying around, taking space on shelves and my brain. Downsize as much as you can and save yourself the mental space that leads to more prosperity.
    3. Stay clear of debts and interest: Every day, I hear people complaining about the vicious cycle of debts and credit cards that they are stuck in. Howsoever attractive the no-cost EMIs are, they are still EMIs that you need to pay out of your earnings. They work by manipulating your brain by an illusion that you can afford the stuff. In reality, you cannot afford it and fall into the debt trap. This is how lending companies are growing prosperous and you are surrounded by stuff that you don’t need and is just depreciating (Hint: jewellery transactions cannot be made into EMIs, and houses cannot be bought without interest).
  • Declutter and earn: Well, what is done is done. Years of hoarding has left you with some barely used stuff that you may not use ever. Take it out and get rid of it. This is the first step to a minimalistic lifestyle. You may donate the stuff but think about it. Which person struggling for essentials will need a bottle of Burberry perfume that you ordered in the last online sale. Isn’t it better to sell it to someone who will use it? And there is a market for second-hand objects. There are numerous preloved groups on Facebook and pages on Instagram. Or just head over to the Facebook marketplace and list them all. You can also hold a garage sale at home and invite people. So, earn from all that stuff lying around idle.

A minimalistic lifestyle will help you save money as well as time to do things that give you joy. Who knows, you could use all this money to build your dream business. It is a sure-shot way to follow substance and live with a purpose than just browse shopping sites looking for the next best thing to clutter your life. You will also get more time with your family, and you can spend it on experiences instead of things.

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