Minimal-izing our Finances
So this was an interesting take on being minimal. I still have trouble even explaining the connection to spending money and being minimal. We all know that minimalism has nothing to do with price or wealth. It’s about buying and managing items that have value, quality or function to us.
So I may buy quality throw pillows that bring value to my life and another person may buy quality camera lenses. To each ,the other person’s quality item has no value to their life.
Similar to finances , to each his own. However, the common thread is that with minimalist approach to finances, money spent is to be well thought out, non-frivolous purchases that add quality to your life, free of guilt and burden of EXCESS!
I have tried to “budget” for my whole married life. Since day one I wanted our lifestyle to fit under the umbrella of one income.
For years budgeting meant trying to keep outgoing money under the incoming monthly amount. It was a great strategy and worked pretty well for many years.
(Analogy : for my years my living room, kitchen area would be clean and decluttered but I could never actually clean the closets , drawers or bedrooms – it was too much )
That’s how our finances were, the big items were accounted for and seemed good but the small expenses were ignored.
I felt like it would be a burden for me to track every receipt and transaction.
(Now I use a super user friendly app that tracks every single transaction daily. I’m tackling all the financial closets and junk drawers!
The first time I used the app we ended the month with a surplus!!)
About 7 years into marriage, I started learning about Dave Ramsey and looking at a bigger financial picture. So I acquired a lot of great ideas and we paid off all our debts except for the mortgage.
But over the last year or two , I feel God Calling me to be even more purposeful with our finances. Never to be frivolous.
I almost audibly heard God say “don’t buy things on sale, or cheaply made items”
How absurd! Surely I didn’t hear HIM right?
I thought it was the holy thing to do, buy sale items, inexpensive items?!?
He has slowly showed me that ,that may not be the case. My purchases now have been more expensive but they have been PLANNED, and prepared.
Here is a great example:
Let’s say before I would buy an area rug for $75-100.
Never really liking it. It would get stained, it would play musical rooms in my house , until I eventually would get rid of it for another sale $100 rug.
With my purposeful purchase, I research rugs for about 4 months. I read articles from my favorite designers . My husband had input. I put aside the money $290. I bought stainguard for the rug, I implement no more food in the living room . We love the rug! It changed the whole living room. The kids love it, it’s so soft , they roll around on it. No buyers remorse. I have pride in the purchase. And it has VALUE, QUALITY, and is FUNCTIONAL . So guess what I take care of it.
Daily and Monthly Minimal-ize Finances:
(Self-imposed rules and challenges I like to do)
- When I “want” something ( like shoes or curtains) I write it down on a want list. If I’m at a store I can only purchase things that I previously put on my list. If not, I have to wait until the next time I’m at the store.
- If the item is at a thrift store or free , I ask myself would I pay $30 for this? If the answer is “no way!” Then I put it down.
- For Christmas, vacations, or major renovations, I cash out the money and put in envelopes. I do not buy a Christmas gift randomly when I see it because it will affect my other monthly expenses.
- Never be afraid to “miss” a sale or deal. In my experience God will always provide and even more generously when I don’t impulse buy.
- If I hesitate at all about a purchase, even if I can’t put my finger on why … put it back!
- Try to not pay monthly for big purchases, you know you are ready to purchase when you have the full amount, if not you may have to wait a bit longer.
- Download EveryDollar Budget App from Dave Ramsey https://www.everydollar.com/budget-app
- Each day during technology time drag and drop new transactions into proper slots (usually 3-10 per day, takes 2-3 mins)
- Check Bank account everyday to move money, and check activity.
Finances can be a source of guilt and stress ( proof of impulse buys, excess and clutter purchases) when we ignore our purchases and frivolous behaviors. But when you exercise order into your finances it can be a source of pride and joy to review !