Is Minimalism Your Cure for Clutter and Debt?

16We all have our Kriptonite when it comes to impulse shopping and buying more than we need or even want. For me, as a self-proclaimed brown girl bibliophile introvert, I can’t pull myself from Amazon without spending at least $50.

A sweet circuit of joy courses through me when I come home and find those boxes in my mail box or if they are too big, leaning against my door. But more times than I would like to admit, I open the box, flip to the back cover, and then a week later, add that book (or those books) to an increasingly overcrowded bookshelf.

If you want specifics, here are how many books that I have on my shelf today: 96

If you want even more specifics, here are how many of those books that I have read in full: 38

So, I have only read  40% of the books on my shelf. More importantly, I have not read the majority of the books on my shelf. Sixty-percent to be exact.

In addition to being a bookworm, I love pencils shirts. When I spring and summer cleaned, I learned exactly how much I loved them. Well, how much I like owning them, because when I did the numbers, I did not wear most of them.

In total, I have 20 pencil shirts but if I were to be honest, I wear about 10 of them. So, when you look at these numbers, I’m only wearing 50% of my belonging.

The disconnect between what I buy and what I use really got me thinking about how I’m wasting money and unnecessarily cluttering my (small) home with things that are not that important to me. (I mean, if they were important, wouldn’t I be wearing more than 50% of my skirts and reading more than 40% of my books.)

I realized that I was momentarily enamored by what I bought but fundamentally did not love them or need them.And if I did not love them or need them, then I needed to stop buying them so I could invest the extra money on things that could either bring me:

  1. more wealth, (i.e. increasing my monthly investment allocations or pouring extra money into The Frugal Feminista),
  2. more time (i.e. adding to my retirement so I can be “out that piece” sooner rather than later, paying for services like cleaning, cooking, or laundry so The Hubs and I could do other things)
  3. more fun, love, and excitement (i.e. travel, connecting with friends, attending plays, taking classes/courses for personal enrichment).

The criteria that I just listed were my intuitive checklist for living a life that was juicy or more meaningful to me. Others would call this a loose definition of minimalism… and I would have to agree.

Minimalism, according to one of the minimalist bloggers that I enjoy following, is “stripping away the unnecessary things in your life so you can focus on what’s important …[like] your health, your relationships, your mission, and your passion.”

And I bet all of us could agree that health, relationships, and the opportunities to pursue our passions bring more happiness and fulfillment than most of our toys could.

Frugal Feminista Family- Can you relate to any of what I wrote? Have you ever stopped and actually counted your “favorite” items and figured out how much you actually use them?

[info_box type=”alert_box”]Caring for yourself including takes care of your finances.  I encourage all ladies who are serious about self-care to go on The Happy Finances Challenge. In 42 days you can learn to make money decisions that will lead to long-term financial happiness. [/info_box]

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