Life tips

Increase Savings

There is no doubt that for a comfortable retirement you must accumulate satisfactory savings throughout your working life. It’s good practice to save up to 15% of your income. Start with your workplace 401(k), if you have one. If not, a Roth IRA (if you are eligible) or a traditional IRA (if you are not eligible for the Roth) are the next logical steps. Increase in longevity means you might be able to look forward to 25 to 30 years in retirement, or possibly even significantly more. Investing now in good retirement plans will ensure that you have a guaranteed a stable monthly income when the time comes to stop working. [1]

Cut-up Credit Cards

Perhaps you are the type of person who always pays your credit card balance in full before the end of your billing cycle, and enjoys the reward points you gain. If this is the case, then you’re already way ahead of the game. If not, you may want to consider ridding your life of the burden that credit cards bring. Many cards have strategies set up so that if you make a certain number of late payments, they will raise your interest rate much higher. This can really add up in the long run and you won’t be doing your financial situation any favors. If you’re prone to late payments or have a large balance due on your cards, cut them up! Without proper self control on credit card spending and payments, you are basically throwing your money away. To ensure that you have better control over your spending, use only cash or debit for all future purchases (and don’t forget to pay at least your minimum payment on your cut-up cards each month!).

Think like a stoic

A simple tip from the Stoic playbook: be realistic about what you have the power to change. It won’t be everything, so focus your energy and resources on what you can control. While stoicism isn’t directly a part of minimalism, it is a very close relative and both focus on simple living.

Plan a Monthly Budget

This is a great opportunity to get serious. Take a seat with your spouse or partner and make a monthly budget based on your income, not your expenses. You are never again going to spend more cash then you have on hand. Overspending is the thing that led you to more financial obligations. Make sure you decide every month what is coming in and what will be going out and stick to that budget… no matter what.

Stop Unnecessary Spending

We often spend money inwardly, instead of objectively. For example, you may spend when you’re anxious, depressed, restless, exhausted, from fear of missing out, or to please others. This is a very unhealthy way to handle your finances. To stop this habitual spending, log down all your spending over the course of a month. Just as some people keep a food diary, keep an expense diary. Remember not to just write down how much and what you spent the money on, also include the circumstances of why you spent the money. Was it an impulse buy at the checkout line or was it something you planned to purchase? This increased self-awareness could enable you to avoid triggering situations in the future when you are considering an impulse buy.

Create a morning routine

One of the best minimalist living tips is to simplify your mornings. You don’t have to be subject to the whim of other people and their agendas. You can have a choice about how you spend your day. It comes down to one act: use a morning routine to become more mindful about what you want out of it.

Develop a life philosophy

If your life feels arbitrary there’s a way you can feel more in control. Determine what you will live by, and stand for, with a simple strategy for finding yourself.

Develop a growth mindset

You don’t have to be a New Age disciple to believe in the power of a growth mindset. In fact, you can ignore all of the woo and look at science: positive thinking backed with a plan improves your brain.

Practice the 80/20 rule

Brush up on the Pareto Principle because its application can be life-changing. In terms of minimalism, you can view the rule as: of all the things you have and do only a few contribute significant value and meaning. Focus on  those things over all others.

Judge fairly and precisely

Avoid skewing the data with exaggerations and stereotypes when it comes to analyzing people and situations. If you can’t refrain from judging at least be methodical in your approach.