Money affords us the opportunity to purchase everything our heart desires. New car? No problem. Travel around the world? Just pick your dates. When you have money, the world is your oyster to enjoy whenever you wish. However, in recent years, more and more millionaires have swopped their opulent lifestyles, for a minimalist one, and today, we’re exploring why so many millionaires are choosing to follow a minimalist lifestyle.
What is minimalism?
Minimalism started as a movement in visual art that dates back to the 1960s and early 1970s. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s when the term minimalism found its way into the general public's vocabulary. A popular simplicity book The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs was published in 1997 which explored the idea of living with less, but ultimately having more in your life. While a minimalist lifestyle was first mentioned in the 1990s, it wasn’t until much later that the concept was widely adopted as a lifestyle by the general public.
How can you adopt a minimalist lifestyle for yourself?
Minimalism is as simple as the word suggests - it’s all about having less in your life. Here are 3 ways to ease into it:
- Clear your closet. Go through your closet and remove anything you haven’t worn in the last 6 months. After you've created a pile of clothes you no longer wear and want, donate it to charity or sell everything online.
- Move onto a room. Now that you’ve cleared out your closet, move onto a room in your home. Perhaps it’s a painting you bought years ago, an old couch that you no longer like or a prize you won a while ago - when you take time to comb through what you own, you’ll most likely realize you don’t use most of it.
- Repeat. You’ve cleared out your closet and a room, now you need to repeat the process. Do this until you’ve worked through your entire home, removing items you no longer want as you go along.
This process will definitely take time as we often have emotional connections to the things we own. Take your time combing through your home, going back to items you were uncertain about before. In the end, you’ll feel so good, it’s as though you won the lottery.
Though, minimalism isn’t only about the things you physically own, it’s also about our digital lives. Now it’s time to clean out everything you have online:
- Delete apps you no longer use: each time you see an app on your phone you’re reminded of just another thing you haven't ticked off your to-do list. Removing unused apps not only clears up storage on your phone, but it also clears your mind of unnecessary things to do.
- Clear your inbox: each time you open your inbox and see all those unread mails, you can’t help but think what am I missing out on and how can I get rid of everything. Block out a few hours in your day to tackle your inbox. Open and delete as much as you can so that you don't have to feel overwhelmed later in the week.
- Unsubscribe to mails you don’t open: as you’re clearing out your inbox, immediately unsubscribe to mails you no longer wish to receive. Maybe you subscribed on a whim or simply no longer need the information. Take back the power of your inbox by only recieving mails you actually will open in the future.
What are the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle?
- Spend less: when you buy less, you spend less so you can save more for future plans.
- More time to focus on what matters: once you start spending less you’ll have more to use to pay off old debt and loans. With money problems slowly alleviating, you’ll have less to worry about as well.
- Be more productive: the time you would have spent shopping or worrying, can now be put towards doing what you’ve always wanted to try in life.
- You’ll have a cleaner house: less things = less mess.
- You’ll be helping the environment: when you consume less, you have less waste.
- Have less to pack: if you decide to move or travel, you’ll now have less to pack which could save you moving fees and excessive luggage charges.
Which millionaires follow a minimalist lifestyle?
Kirsten Bell: she famously wore a $45 dress from Target to a red carpet event. She’s also environmentally conscious and often rides her bicycle to interviews. Another environmentally friendly act is to buy what you need online.
Sarah Jessica Parker: this Hollywood actress is known for her role as a style icon in Sex and the City, but in real life it’s a totally different story. This actress only dresses her children in hand-me-downs. No designer wear here!
Mark Zuckerberg: this social media mogul opted for a backyard wedding instead of a glitzy gala. The founder of Facebook lives as simply as possible, allowing him to place his focus on his wife and career instead.
Steve Jobs: the mastermind behind Apple was well-known for his iconic black turtleneck and jeans. He considered that his uniform, because when he had less options to choose from, he didn’t have to waste time wondering what to wear to work every day. Instead, he spent his time building one of the biggest technology companies in the world. In his bedroom, he only had a photograph of Einstein, a chair, a lamp and a bed - there was no time for anything unnecessary.
Now that you know more about why so many millionaires choose to follow a minimalist lifestyle, is this something you would do?