What Is Minimalism And Can It Save You Money?

There is a movement taking place around the world – people are committing themselves to live a more purposeful, happier life with less. Minimalism isn’t a new thing – you can argue that Tyler Durden was an anti-consumerism minimalist when Fight Club came out in 1999!

But, thanks to the recent work of Joshua Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus – the minimalist life is gaining momentum as more people seek a happier and fulfilling debt-free existence.

What is minimalism?

Minimalism isn’t about living with nothing. But, it is about living with more purpose; being more deliberate in your decision-making and choosing to buy only the things you need.

Do you need to eat out every night of the week? Do you need a new pair of shoes every month? Do you need to buy that belt that matches your new handbag?

All this stuff is cluttering our lives. Minimalism is about re-calibrating and consciously moving against consumerism and the society-driven hunger to own more stuff. It’s a tool to help you find your freedom from the excesses of life.

What are the benefits of minimalism?

Minimalism helps you find freedom from stress, worry, guilt, and depression. There are many benefits in owning less, you:

  • Reduce debt
  • Buy less stuff
  • Save money
  • Eat healthier
  • Live happier
  • Spend your time and money more wisely.

How you can use the minimalism philosophy to save money

What’s interesting is that you don’t need to commit yourself fully to a minimalist life – but, you can certainly use the philosophy to generate some ideas to reduce the clutter in your life.

  1. Cook more meals at home. Plan your meals for the week, and only buy the food items you need to create the meals you’re eating. You’ll save money on snacks, take away, and food wastage.
  2. Trial a week without driving your car. Can you use public transport or get a lift to work with a colleague? Do you need your car to collect your groceries or, can you pick something up while you’re in town? You’ll save money on parking and petrol.
  3. Spring clean your wardrobe. Rifle through every item hanging up in your wardrobe and folded in your drawers. Pull out the clothes you haven’t worn in the last 12 months. Sell the good stuff on eBay or donate it to charity. Everything goes.
  4. Solemnly swear you will not buy any more clothes, technology, or accessories for the remainder of 2017. Seriously, do you really need a new iWatch? If you’re anything like my teenage daughters this will save millions!
  5. Quit your gym and exercise at home. With so many free circuits available on YouTube and Facebook – you can ditch the excessive gym fees and train at home.

You really don’t have to go full hog and force yourself into a strict life of 100 possessions or less. That doesn’t sound fun, and it’s not what minimalism is about. But, you can choose to live with intention and be a more deliberate consumer and decision-maker.

The value here is not just with saving you money, it’s also the effect less clutter and less stuff has on enhancing your health and happiness in life.

How are you choosing to do more with less? Please share your comments and ideas below!

 

 

 

Trying to save money? Maybe it’s time you ditched the car.

Car ownership is such a personal choice. Some are addicted to their car for the convenience it brings. For others, getting around town via train or Uber is less stressful and more practical than driving. But, if you’re looking at saving money for a holiday or to buy a home – ditching your car might be an effective cost-saving strategy.

Do we all really need our own car?

We love our car because it takes us from a to b. But, how often do we really need it?

During the week, most city workers use public transport to get to work – without the stress of traffic or the burden of premium parking fees. So, the car stays rugged up tight in the garage at home. Not being used.

We’re also seeing an increase in employers moving to flexible working arrangements – like, work from home and co-working. So, our need for a private car to get us to the office every day is reduced.

When you consider that living expenses and housing affordability are reaching crisis point – is it time we ditched the car?

Cost considerations for and against car ownership

Owning a car is expensive. From the moment you first jump behind the wheel, your car is losing value with each passing day – It could lose up to one third of its resale value in the first three years! But, there are other financial arguments for and against owning your own car.

Costs to consider when owning your own car

  1. soaring petrol prices / mileage
  2. increasing registration fees (Queensland has one of the highest registration costs of any Australian state).
  3. insurance premiums
  4. parking fees (city workers)
  5. annual servicing, repairs, and wear and tear.

Costs to consider when living without a car

  1. public transport costs, plus
    1. reliability and convenience of services
    2. reliance on services (peak travel, after-hours commute, personal safety)
  2. Uber fees – plus unpredictable surge pricing / peak demands. I once paid 2.3 x the normal amount because of peak demand… at 10.30am in the day, when it took less than 2 minutes for a driver to greet me at an inner-city suburb!
  3. casual car hire via Drivemycar.com.au ($30 / day inclusive), or Budget/Avis car hire ($50 / day inclusive)

Not to mention the limitations of convenience and flexibility and distance from work and essentials (shopping centres, take away, post office) that affect your ability to run errands and hunt and gather for sustenance!

Use these two lists to calculate your expenses for one month’s worth of travel, with and without a car. What works out cheaper for you?

Is your addiction to convenience warranted?

Chances are, if you’re an inner-city dweller or you live close enough to a reliable public transport service – ditching your car would be a solid money-saving strategy that gets you to your savings goal quickly.

If you need to save money fast and you’re still not ready to let go of your car, get in touch for a free financial consultation. I can assess your current financial situation and advise a savings strategy that builds your bank balance without you sacrificing the important stuff in life.

 

Why More People Are Choosing to Buy Local

Why More People Are Choosing to Buy Local (and How to Do It Without Blowing Your Budget)

A local produce market and café recently opened nearby; One of many popping up all over our great city. More and more, people are choosing to buy local, organic, sustainable produce. More and more, we become aware of our impact on our environment and local community.

It got me thinking – should everyone buy local? What are the benefits? And, can you afford to, or is this just a lifestyle choice for hipsters with a disposable income?

Why More People Are Choosing to Buy Local

People are starting to question where their food really comes from and the effect mass-produced products, pesticides, preservatives, and plastics has on our own health. These paddock-to-plate / eat clean / buy local philosophies tell an authentic story about your food and where it came from. You’re encouraged to reconnect with the land that so graciously provides for you.

Buying local provides many benefits to the economy, community, and to your own health.

Economic benefits when buying local:

  • Directly supporting local farmers, suppliers, and businesses means more revenue to reinvest in the local economy and/or their business. A more profitable business means jobs creation, increased supply of products, new products, and better equipment and processes. Long term, you’d expect this leads to a price reduction for consumers.
  • Money spent locally tends to circulate more often in the local economy. The farmer earns more money, so he buys more seeds, buys better equipment from the hardware store, pays more workers. The hardware store earns more money to spend locally; the workers earn more money to spend locally; and, so it continues.
  • There are increased opportunities for new businesses and partnerships, tourism, and wealth creation.

Community benefits when buying local:

  • Improved employment prospects for locals in the community.
  • Increased community morale and sense of purpose.
  • Stronger sense of connection to community. Paddock-to-plate. I know the story of the rib eye I’m about to sink my teeth into – where she began, what she ate, where she roamed, how she got to be in front of me today, satiating my hunger. You also build deeper relationships when you buy from people you know – for happy, warm, fuzzy feels.

Health benefits when buying local:

  • Better quality produce – fresher, tastier, and more nutrient dense because it hasn’t been frozen, picked too early, or travelled in a truck for the last 2 weeks.
  • Fewer preservatives and pesticides. Smaller, local operators may have less reliance on pesticides to manage crops. Presumably, the closer you live to your source of food, the less artificial additives you’re consuming.

How to buy local without blowing your budget

This all sounds well and good but, buying local can come with a heftier price tag than your national supermarket chain. But, consider that, on average, 18 cents from every supermarket dollar go to the grower. Eighty-two cents go to the unnecessary middlemen! So, it’s important to think about the long-term benefits, too.

There are ways you can buy local that won’t blow your budget –

  1. buy seasonal produce only, and
  2. consider signing up to a local food co-op that delivers local, fresh, seasonal produce.

Unfortunately, we have been programmed to expect instant gratification and on-demand products and services. Access to cheap imports has led us to believe fruit and veg are always available. But, foods are seasonal! So, learn to buy in season, and you’ll get fresher, tastier, cheaper food!

What are your money-saving strategies to buy local? Feel free to share your tips in the comments below!

 

10 Simple Ways to Save Money – That Adds Up

With living costs rising, and household budgets being put under more pressure. Do you seem to find it hard to get ahead? Well you are not the only one. For many Australian family just buying food every week seems to push the family stress levels higher. If this is you, it’s time to take a break for the money stress.  Download our book 10 Simple Ways to Save money (don’t worry it’s free), and start getting your financial life under control.

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