Minimising, downsizing, simplifying – however you want to frame it – getting onboard with the less is more approach to life, stuff and money is a super effective way to boost your finances.
It also gives you more time, space and energy to spend on the things that really matter.
Living the ‘less is more’ philosophy doesn’t have to mean –
- Depriving yourself of the stuff you love
- Being cheap
- Spending hours comparing groceries online to figure out how to save ten bucks on your weekly shop
- Living in a tiny home with less than 5 pieces of furniture (who needs a chair when there`s a perfectly good floor to sit on?)
- Only owning three white shirts, a pair of jeans and one pair of shoes
There is no right way to ‘live with less’ and of course some people really take it to the extreme (check all of the above boxes) but it doesn’t have to be that way. Find the point of ‘less’ that works for you.
Get really clear on your Needs vs Wants vs Value Adds
Deciding to live with less means you’ll need to get clear on the difference between your Needs vs Wants vs Value adds.
Doing this helps you cull unnecessary spending and activities from your life that don’t align with the things / experiences / goals you really do value.
Needs – Obvious eh, the stuff we can´t do without – shelter, food, clothing, transport are the big four..
Wants – Ah! I want those runners ….but have 30 pairs at home so probably don´t need them.
Value adds – Ok, so these are the things / experiences / goals you really do value.
No one needs a 3 week pasta eating / wine drinking trip to Italy, but if travelling (and pasta) is something you truly value in life then its more than just a want. And if it is for your 25th wedding anniversary celebration, then it makes sense, right?
You’ll begin to see the big picture on the things that count in your life and what doesn ́t add that much value. This then makes the process of saying Yes to fewer things easier.
Saying Yes less is really what this is all about. Saying yes less to buying the stuff and doing the activities that just burn a hole in your pocket and don´t leave you with any lasting value.
When it comes to finances and spending, there are some big benefits to embracing the less is more approach.
You ́ll spend less overall
The most obvious benefit to your wallet is you´ll spend less!
Choosing to live with a less is more mindset means you won’t be buying as much stuff. When you do, you’ll be more conscious with your purchases.
A simplified approach to spending means you’ll focus on the value the item can bring to your life and whether it’s even necessary.
For example, buying multi-use products rather than products that only have one specific use. Who really needs a special banana or avocado slicer when a regular knife will do the job?
You can afford quality over quantity
A less is more approach doesn ́t mean morphing into Tightwad Ted and stressing about spending an extra fifty cents on non homebrand dishwashing liquid. Quite the opposite.
When you buy less, it means you can afford to buy better quality stuff when you do make a purchase.
This applies in many different ways but investing in quality clothes that will last years, not fall apart in a few washes, is a good example.
Paying more money for better quality stuff when you do buy it will save you money in the long run. Ever heard the old saying ‘ I can’t afford to be cheap’?
You may decide to downsize your home (and mortgage repayment)
People who have big homes usually have lots of stuff. When they run out of room at home, they rent storage spaces to hold more. Housing all your stuff isn’t cheap.
If you decide to really embrace the less is more philosophy, you won’t just stop bringing new things home every week. You´ll probably purge your home of a whole bunch of stuff you already have.
This is a great opportunity to downsize to a smaller place – saving money on rent and mortgage costs.
But it doesn’t stop there, a smaller home means less time and money spent maintaining the property. Less space to heat and cool and less gadgets to power will also have a ripple effect on lowering electricity costs too.
Less is More Means You’ll have more time
Time, money and happiness are intrinsically linked. It’s easy to get trapped in the cycle of more, more, more.
- More time spent buying / upgrading stuff.
- More time spent looking after and cleaning stuff.
- More money needed to buy more stuff.
- More time worked to get the money to buy more stuff – or pay off credit cards.
- More time doing activities ‘just because’ or out of obligation.
When you get clear on what really matters, you’ll find yourself spending less time on things and activities that don’t.
Your finances become easier to manage
A less is more approach will help you slowly untangle yourself from things like contracts, payment plans, credit card payments etc.
When you don’t have to juggle so many different payments for stuff, your financial paperwork naturally become more simplified. And easy to manage.
What are your thoughts on the less or more approach to life and finances? Is it something that resonates with you, let me know in the comments?