A simple minimalist lifestyle made a difference in my life!
In 2019, I moved from Ivanovo, Russia to Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The cost of living in Canada is higher than in my home country.
And it made me keen to save money.
I’ve been practicing a simple minimalist lifestyle and love the results so far.
Today, I’ll share them with you so that you can consider the benefits of simple living.
Check out the companion video if you don’t want to read:
Tip 1: Appreciate what you have.
The idea is to get out of the rat race of wanting more things.
If I always want more, I’ll never have enough.
When I was a kid, I could get my hands on about 5 video games every year.
And I played each one until finishing it, often several times.
Whereas my kid today can play 5 different games in one hour.
As soon as he gets bored, he switches to a new game immediately.
Playing one game made me appreciate it way more than he appreciates his games today.
That allowed enjoying each game at a higher level.
And this applies to everything in our lives.
The fewer things we have, the more we appreciate them.
Another example is how eating one meal a day makes me appreciate food more.
Tip 2: A simple minimalist lifestyle stops the scarcity mindset cycle.
I have a scarcity mindset because I grew up in the Soviet Union with its consumer goods shortages.
I’m prone to buying more than I need.
Otherwise, I have this fear that someone else would buy it.
For example, I used to buy countless headphones.
I would buy a pair and like it.
And then I would buy a second pair to use with a laptop.
I don’t do that anymore.
Now I buy just one pair.
Doing that breaks the negative cycle of scarcity.
When I stopped buying more headphones than I needed, I felt the urge to buy more of other things subside.
For example, when I buy groceries now, I don’t feel an urge to buy two items at the price one if I need just one.
Tip 3: Don’t let things own you.
I used to carry a lot of food with me when I traveled.
Now I fast instead.
My benefits include:
- I don’t need to carry food with me.
- I don’t have to worry about getting food ready for a trip.
- I don’t need to worry about where I’ll eat during the trip.
And I love how freeing it is.
It creates more space in my mind to enjoy the trip itself.
Likewise, with other things, the more of them you own, the more they own you.
They don’t let you experience life itself because they claim a piece of your attention.
Louise Hay wrote:
If you didn’t use a thing for six months, give it away, sell it, or trade it.
Tip 4: The more things you add to your life, the more time they consume.
Buying and owning something big like a car obviously takes a lot of time and effort.
But introducing small things into your life can be time-consuming as well.
For example, you buy a second laptop.
You spend time choosing and purchasing it.
Then it takes time to set it up.
And you end up with two laptops to maintain.
Likewise, all things added to your life come at a cost.
That’s another reason why you may want to reduce your possessions.
Decluttering your life means less stress.
Tip 5: Look for contentment within.
Owning things is a source of pleasure.
Take a car, for example.
It takes a lot of time and effort to own a car, right?
But we still do it because of the pleasure and comfort it gives us.
But not owning a car makes me look for alternative sources of pleasure.
These could be:
- Enjoying conversations
- Listening to books and podcasts
- Playing with kids
Draw contentment from these simpler activities and your life will improve immensely.
Tip 6: Buy used things for a more simple minimalist lifestyle.
Buying used things also fits into a simple minimalist lifestyle well.
I used to do a lot of impulsive shopping.
I would look at a thing in a shop, decide I needed it, and buy it.
That’s because shops make it easy to buy from them: it doesn’t take much effort.
But buying used things usually requires more effort.
You need to find a seller online and arrange a meeting with them.
That’s how buying used things rewires you to be more thoughtful about buying.
Which translates into owning less stuff.
Likewise, buying used things is good for the environment.
When you buy new products, you create a demand that leads to producing more of what you bought.
Which puts pressure on the environment.
But when you buy used things, you don’t contribute to that pressure.
That’s how you help the entire planet live a simple minimalist lifestyle.
Tip 7: Resist the urge to buy and the need itself might dissolve.
When you keep waiting instead of buying something that you need, the need to buy it might disappear.
For example, you might think that you need to buy a paperback book.
But then you find an audiobook version at your library and read it instead.
In this sense, patience and postponing buying might pay off.
By the way, I tried a similar approach with minor tasks, with mixed results:
Tip 8: Have a devil’s advocate.
It’s easy to overdo a simple minimalist lifestyle after you gain momentum.
And it can drive you into a scarcity mindset.
- Wearing the same clothes every day.
- Not taking care of your hygiene.
- Not doing laundry.
To avoid that, run your ideas by someone who will point out to you that you’re overdoing it.
A mentor, a coach, or a friend is a good choice for a sanity check like this.
Live a simple minimalist lifestyle with coaching.
If you need help with a simple minimalist lifestyle, check out my coaching services.
Declutter your mind today for a clear mind and contentment.
Here’s a link for you to contact me.