Stepping into minimalism
12/12/2017 Whitney Lian, Financial Planning Administration Assistant
Minimalism. When most people hear that word, they immediately think of hippies who sell all their possessions and live out of a suitcase. But in actual fact, minimalism can mean something different for everyone and in this day and age, most of us can benefit from minimising aspects of our ever so busy lives.
The Minimalists - a duo who run a popular minimalism blog - sum it up perfectly: Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Unfortunately for a lot of us, our financial life is far from minimalistic. We are a generation that is obsessed with credit cards, Afterpay and spending money we don’t have. However, there are definitely ways we can streamline it all, to keep it simple so we can spend more time focusing on the things that actually matter.
1. Find your Super!
Remember your first job where you had to sign up for a super fund and you had absolutely no idea what you were doing? And then you did the same at your next job? Sounding familiar? A lot of us have multiple super funds in which we have money just sitting there, not knowing what we are invested in and how well our fund is doing. The problem with this is that you’re most likely paying administration fees for each of those funds, for no reason at all!
Nowadays, you can simply roll the funds into one single fund via myGov. However it is always beneficial to seek professional advice, as you do not want to close a fund that has a great insurance policy within it, or end up in a super fund that isn’t generating good returns.
2. Go paperless
It’s 2017, get with the times! You can go without those paper statements that you always throw into the back of your drawer and never look at again. Most things nowadays are digital, so spend a couple of hours going through all your statements and bills and switch to paperless where possible. Trust me, it will be worth it – for you and the environment. And anything that needs to be sent via post, you can just take a photo of it and save it. This is also great for your receipts come tax time.
3. Say bye to buying
How often do you buy something just because it’s on sale? “There’s 30% off, I’ll just have a quick look…” you say. All of a sudden, you’ve maxed out your credit card again and have to live on tuna for the rest of the week. Minimalism is not about never buying new clothes and rotating between three t-shirts; it is about calculated purchases, quality not quantity, needs not wants. With that being said, no one needs that pair of Louboutins but it’s about finding that balance – taking a step back and asking yourself “will I actually use/wear these?” and “am I just buying it because it’s on sale?”
You will find that by making more mindful purchases, you will spend less on things that just sit collecting dust. Beside from having less clutter, you will have more dollars to spend on things that will enrich your life . . . such as those highly coveted red soles.
4. Cut the card
One of the things that weighs us down mentally is debt, and it doesn’t help that we now have all the options available when it comes to spending money we don’t have: credit cards, Afterpay, personal loans… you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve managed to rack up an impressive amount of debt over the years, consider limiting yourself to just one card with a sensible and manageable limit so that you’re not paying multiple annual card fees and having to remember when eight different monthly bills are due.
Simplifying your financial life and taking a few steps into the world of minimalism can help you on your way to achieving your financial goals. By applying a few of the points mentioned above, you can help relieve some anxiety that goes along with managing your money and sooner or later you’ll be able to bask in the glory of your stress-free financial life.
To jump start your journey to a life of minimalism, speak to a financial adviser on 1300 726 082 who can help map out ways to reduce your spending and declutter your finances.
General Advice Warning: This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.
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