How to be a money minimalist
It’s this time of the year that can get overwhelming, financially. Invitations to parties and events all crammed into December. Christmas presents for everyone, including your brother’s girlfriend of two weeks (because he likes to go ‘all in’) so she’ll be there to celebrate Christmas Day with the fam, like a part of the furniture. Token presents for everyone you see within a 2-week radius of the 25th of December. Appreciation gifts for your team, mentors and business besties because gratitude is important, right?
And, then there are the sales! You probably got excited about Black Friday promotions and then Cyber Money came around and who could resist? Now it’s all about the 12 days of Christmas and the deals are hot - I’m the first to spend the obligatory $100 to secure free shipping rather than $12 for delivery. The point is, the sales never stop and by being mindful of your money you can approach 2019 with financial confidence and comfort. It’s all about keeping things simple. Here’s our tips for being a money minimalist this festive season:
1. Get to know you.
You’ve got to start with the deep stuff… What’s important to you and why? Once you know that then every decision is easier. Should you go to that party or stay home? Do you really need to buy that person a gift? What can you do that is personal (aka more meaningful) and less expensive? Can you have a conversation with that person to say let’s not do token gifts this year? How can I get to know those closest to me better so I’m giving them what they need? A movie and dinner date with your Mum could be a much better present than the annual pajama exchange, because the experience of quality time together could be what you both need. TLDR - know what’s important to you and you won’t waste your time or money.
2. Once you find you, eliminate the rest
Don’t want to have a Christmas catch up with toxic friends? Then do something about it! Attending all those obligatory things just limits your finances, which restricts you from actually doing what you want; so graciously take them off your schedule. The minimalist approach is to ask yourself ‘Does this bring me joy?’. Does doing that thing or buying that thing bring a smile to your face? If not, it’s time to find something that does.
3. Free your mind
It’s a busy time of year so help yourself (and your bank account balance) by writing it all down. Use an app. Pull out your moleskin. Whatever works best for you! The point is, write it down. The Christmas gift list. The Christmas lunch shopping list. The New Year’s Eve cocktail night with friends. By planning you don’t have to buy last minute gifts (often more expensive because time allowances are low and guilt levels are high) or grocery items (limes at $49/kg – I’m not falling for that this year Mr. Green Grocer). Get busy on your list as soon as possible.
4. Keep watch
Busyness + lots of social engagements + gift giving season can equal breaking the bank. You need to keep an eye on all things financial so you don’t walk into January with your eyes wide shut (and a freaking huge credit card bill). Make sure you only commit to the things that align to your values and you can afford. Buy now and pay later approaches to shopping do catch up with you. Keep up with your usual financial commitments like managing bills and saving. Things should stay on track even if it is Aperol Season.
Transitioning from a financial free-for-all to money minimalism is a journey so go easy on yourself. It’s a daily war of YOLO and FOMO but nothing feels better than financial confidence and comfort so try on money minimalism. Let’s face it, if you can achieve it in December and January then 2018 might just be your most financial year yet!
This content was originally written for the Collective Hub and featured on GirlBoss