When you are thinking about decluttering, often we first thing of our clothes, or a particular closet or junk drawer. Sometimes the most cluttered area of our life is our finances, but since we technically don’t have to look at them every day like our closet, we avoid.
Minimalism in our financial life doesn’t produce the instant gratification that we have come to love in our hectic lives.
Minimalism does not necessarily mean less spending, it just means focusing your habits on things that are actually meaningful to you. We aren’t here to tell you your subscriptions online aren’t important to you, or you wanting to upgrade your house is wrong, because, in and of themselves these things are harmless. It is the accumulation of these things that is problematic, and won’t give you the feelings you seek from these purchases or upgrades.
I have a friend named Lindsey, and she is the best at keeping mental margin in her life for important things. She is calm, focused, and she’s the type of friend you want in your life because she thinks through every detail with wisdom and clarity. She was wired for minimalism, so this, for her, like for some of you, is like breathing.
I on the other hand have to work at it daily, and I like to be right up against the line where chaos could take over at any minute. However, with finances, I have seen the benefits of cleaning up this space, and our vision for you after this course is you have more mental clarity, inspiration, physical and emotional space for the things you love.
There are potential pitfalls to this exercise, and I have actually had someone come in my office like this, where you become obsessed with spending as little as possible. Too much of a good habit ceases to be a good habit, so please be gentle with yourself in this exercise as with any exercise you go through with The Wealth Edit.
Let’s begin with thinking about what makes you the happiest. It doesn’t have to be a physical thing, but it can be, and I will give you ten. Try for these things not to be your family, because clearly they are probably your favorite, at least some of the time. Now list your ten favorite things.
Now look at each of these things through another lens — what makes each of these things special to you? Is there a purpose hidden in these treasures? For more on purpose or if you want to pause on minimalism and find purpose first, which I HIGHLY recommend, read HERE.
Ok now let’s think about the things that make you the least happy. You don’t have to list ten if you don’t have ten.
What did you find from this list? A common theme? Something that you could say, “this in my life definitely does not spark ANY joy.” For me, this is cooking.
Now, look back at your favorites list. These things on your list, do you see common themes? Themes you would like to integrate into your minimalist inspired goals for your finances?
Try to craft three minimalist inspired goals before you begin. This section of the exercise, all that we have been through, should take about two weeks. In our lives everything takes such a short amount of time, that we breeze past exercises like this. If you are someone that likes to check things quickly off your list, before you commit to your goals, if today is Sunday, write down your goals, and then DON’T look at them again until the next Sunday.