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Minimalism is all about learning how to prioritise the things you value, and remove unnecessary distractions from your life.
For many people, the journey towards a more minimalist lifestyle starts with one simple step: decluttering your environment. However, in order to continue to live a more minimal life, you then need to build a habit and learn how to shop like a minimalist going forwards.
Over the past year, learning how to act with intention has allowed me to live a far more minimalist lifestyle. I travelled the world with just a carry-on bag, trained myself to enjoy a far more frugal lifestyle, and started valuing experiences over possessions.
If this is something you want to achieve for yourself and your family, I’ve included some of the most important lessons I’ve learned when learning how to shop like a minimalist in this post.
Psst…is your home in serious need of a clear out? Be sure to grab your FREE copy of my total home declutter checklist to create your minimal life today – simply click HERE to get your free download as well as instant access to all my other freebies!
1. Act with Intention
There is something really grounding about the realisation that you can use your money only for the things that you really value, and disregard other distractions that you buy because of habit, obligation, or convenience.
Suddenly, you have far more money simply because you have fewer things you want to spend on! For me, this realisation is all down to acting with intention. Before buying something, I ask myself:
- Do I really need this?
- Will this improve my life?
- Is this really necessary?
Sure, I still end up buying some questionable items that don’t add a lot of value to my life – we’re all only human, after all! – but bringing some awareness into the buying process has probably cut the amount of time that happens in half, if not more.
2. Window Shop, A Lot
Do you ever shop online, adding all the things you really like to your basket, only to abandon the website at the end never to buy any of those items?
If you haven’t, it can be pretty fun! However, it’s also a great way of reducing how much you impulse buy. When I’m looking for a new item – especially when it comes to clothing – I’m really picky. I’ll add ‘maybes’ to my basket, but if I haven’t seen the one, I don’t buy anything.
It can be a bit frustrating always window shopping and not doing a whole lot of buying, but it also means that when you finally hit that proceed to checkout button, you’ll be buying something you know you really want.
3. Always Question Your Budget
If you’re used to living a pretty frugal lifestyle, you’ll be accustomed to analysing the price of something and considering whether it really fits into your budget that month.
I’ve learned that this is a really essential part of learning how to shop like a minimalist, as it helps you avoid splurging one month and ending up with too many items and not enough cash!
I’ll give you an example: I came back from my travels at the end of last year with a cracked phone, and an extremely slow, bulky laptop. I knew that both needed replacing – especially since I’m now self-employed and totally dependent on my laptop. However, realistically, replacing both a phone and a laptop at the same time would have been an idiotic decision. Instead, I invested in a new laptop now and will look at a new phone several months down the line.
4. Pay Upfront
That leads me on to another point: now, I always pay upfront.
I have a Pay-As-You-Go SIM card (no contract), paid all at once for my laptop, and will always do this with cars if I decide to buy another one. It means you’re always living within your means – no contracts, no debt, and no purchases that you can’t actually afford.
This can be a hard habit to get into, especially if you don’t have a lot of cash in savings, but you always end up paying less when you pay up-front and aren’t tied to anything for months to follow.
This may not be something that works for everyone – but for me, paying upfront allows me to look at my money and my budget and decide if I can afford it. Buying something that I have to pay for in the months or even years to follow just doesn’t sit right with how I like to manage my money.
5. Make a Space
At the heart of minimalism, you’re learning to find joy in living with less. So it makes sense that every additional item you bring into your home should have a purpose and a reason to make you happy.
Before buying something, make a space for it in your home. Big clothing shopping spree? Have a declutter before or after, and make space for your new clothes. Getting into a ‘replace, not add’ mentality really helps avoid all that clutter building back up around you!
Read Next: How to Declutter: Where to Start When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
6. Plan No-Spend Days and Weekends
No-spend weekends are all about finding ways to enjoy yourself without spending your money in the process – and there are actually a lot of things you can do that are completely free!
My super popular post 50 free activities for no-spend weekends is a great starting point to find some inspiration for some no-spend fun in your life.
7. Make Lists
When it comes to food shopping, the tried and tested advice of making a list always holds strong.
I’m definitely one of those people who gets carried away by all the things I could cook when I’m in the supermarket, so having a list with thought out meal plans and the ingredients I need really helps me stay on track. If you haven’t made this into a habit, this is one thing I’d really advise you start doing today.
Read Next: Meal Prep 101: How to Get Started
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