Are you ready to take a 30 day minimalist challenge and save big?
Have you ever been in a minimalist’s home? It is refreshing to be able to walk through hallways without bumping into stuff. In addition, these minimalists seem to be much more relaxed than those who have endless material things.
Perhaps it’s because a minimalist lifestyle could bring freedom from debt, a ship-shape financial life, and more time to do things other than organize stuff.
In 2020, Netflix featured a documentary titled “The Minimalists: Less is Now.” The film begins with several surprising facts. The most shocking fact is perhaps that Americans spend more on accessories than college education every year.
Another statistic: there are roughly 300,000 things in the typical home in America.
Coincidentally (perhaps not), these average Americans have four credit cards and an average of $16,000 of debt. After seeing these stats, think about the potentially financially-stable life that you could start by taking this 30 day minimalist challenge.
According to Dictionary.com, a minimalist is: a person who favors a moderate approach to the achievement of a set of goals or who holds minimal expectations for the success of a program.
If you take a 30 day minimalist challenge, you’ll be implementing this type of approach towards everything in your life, from household items to finances and everything in between. Keeping your life simple will make it easier to manage.
Taking the 30 day minimalist challenge is a relaxed way of getting organized. Instead of setting particular goals for every single day (time consuming and overwhelming to plan), you can take a weekly approach. This will keep that overwhelming feeling at bay.
An ideal approach would be to first take a look at the areas of your life that need minimalizing. This could be anything: your home, your yard, your finances, even your schedule. Then take each area that needs work and plug it into your weekly minimalist calendar, keeping it to one area per week.
Let’s review a sample challenge and how to implement the tasks.
Week One: The Minimalist Wardrobe Challenge
Week one could perhaps involve decluttering the closets and drawers in your house. Take one bedroom per day to tackle. The easiest way to do this task is to get three bags: one for donation, one for consignment, and one for trash.
Keep three or four outfits that can be mixed and matched throughout the week such as black pants and a couple dressy shirts.
The rule of thumb for deciding whether to keep or get rid of clothing is the year rule. If you haven’t worn an article of clothing in the last year, it is most likely that you won’t wear it this year.
During this first week’s challenge, call local consignment shops and pick a day to drop off clothing and open an account. This can even be done through online consignment boutiques such as ThredUp.
You’ll not only declutter but also make a few bucks from your gently used clothing.
It is very tempting to overload your home with beautiful home goods and furnishings. Sometimes you don’t even realize it is too much for your space until you find yourself dodging accent tables and rearranging your mantle every other day to fit a new knick-knack.
During this second week of the 30 day change your life challenge, try to box up a few home goods that you haven’t used or noticed in the past year. This could include things like oil diffusers, figurines, signs, kitchen appliances you never use, and even old dishes that aren’t in complete sets.
A household yard sale can make up to $1000 if done well. At the beginning of this second week, advertise a yard sale for the weekend. This will not only hold you accountable to gather your items, but also give you a deadline to get everything together.
There are a lot of free printable yard sale guides on Pinterest, including average pricing for a myriad of household items, to help get organized.
Week Three: Declutter Finances
After seeing the statistic of the average American holding roughly $16,000 of debt, it might be a good idea to look at ways to organize finances on week three of the thirty day minimalism challenge.
Every good financial decluttering begins with a great budget. There are countless ways to budget and even more free resources to help you make one. Here are just a few ways to jumpstart that savings goal in the third week of the challenge:
- Make a budget comparison sheet. Use your online banking app to track your spending, then compare it to your budget sheet and write down the areas that you overspent and unnecessarily spent.
- Open a new bank account and take a hefty percentage of any money spent on unnecessary things (found on your budget comparison sheet) and have it directly deposited into the account. You can often do this through your online payroll app.
- Look into consolidating debt to make it easier to manage as one monthly payment versus three or four different payments.
- Look into balance transfer offers with an introductory rate of zero percent, if you have a high balance on a credit card. You can pay off debt quicker without that accruing interest adding to your bill every month. Always look for ways to make credit cards work for you, not the other way around.
These few suggestions should give you enough to tackle for a week of financial decluttering. If these methods aren’t possible because your income isn’t sufficient, maybe take a day to place a few applications for side gigs to supplement that income.
Week Four: Declutter Your Schedule
There is a lot to be said for clearing your calendar. Not only does it give you the opportunity to take this 30 day minimalist challenge seriously, it will save you money in gas and unnecessary spending.
When you are constantly on the go, it leaves no time for organizing your home, your finances, or your time. Try taking a step back from weekend outings, morning coffee breaks, and soccer mom duties for a little while.
Did you know you can save an average of $25 per week or $100 per month by making your coffee at home instead of getting it on the go? Prioritizing your time is an essential step in moving towards a minimalist lifestyle.
In Conclusion: Becoming Minimalist Checklist
Although it may feel like the becoming a minimalist checklist is tedious, it will be worth it in the end. It will take your stress levels down and your savings account balance up, simultaneously.
Most importantly, you’ll learn how to make your time count when you prioritize the essential things in your life. Take this 30 day challenge and you’ll discover it will be a ‘change your life challenge’ when you are better organized in every aspect of your life.
Have any tips for new minimalists? If so, please share them in the comments below!