14. Crash Course in getting minimal.
It started one year ago when I decided to forgo re-leasing my car. I started to go minimalist.
I have saved an estimated $1560.00 from not leasing a car. No insurance, no car payment, no gas payment, no extra cost of parking, valet, or cleaning services and lastly no extra payment for a car spot (this is something that might be specific to the Miami market). All while keeping a budget of roughly $250.00 to Uber/Lyft. This is without me utilizing the “pool” options that both applications encourage.*
Car is gone. How do I shop, run errands & go out? *Remember, you are looking to only purchase consumables, as you are going minimal.
- Walk to grocery store/CVS: less bulk purchase are made. Only purchase inventory of 1 item. (i.e. toothpaste, only have one extra one at a time, and keep that inventory stocked. Not 3 extra ones)
- If walking is not an option: Utilize Instacart, Amazon, Boxed. This very much increases the amount of time you have to dedicate to other items. I used to grocery shop in my Uber on my way home or on my way to work via my phone.
- Clothes: Poshmark. I started a habit (when I could) of purchasing used items via this application (also because I would sell my items there). I have mostly used this for shoes and jeans. After all, I have actively tried to down-size, so clothes shopping was not a part of the solution.
- Errands: As a result of using amazon and instacart. My errands significantly decreased. The one errand that was annoying was any post-office/ fed-ex needs. I would earnestly try to plan when I would go so I could do a bunch of errands at once (my post-office/fed-ex was near a shopping center i.e. Target, European Wax Center, Dinner and breakfast places). So if I knew I was meeting friends or needed to buy a gift, I would bundle the occasion to get everything done to keep my Uber/Lyft rides minimal.
- Doctor Visits: These happen far and few in between. Not enough to make a decision to keep a car over it. I would just budget my Uber and Lyft rides for the month accordingly.
- Going out: Let’s be real. You already own/lease a car and use Uber to go out at times. If anything, I significantly decreased my transportation spending not having a car because I was already using Uber so much. Also, if you and a friend are going in the same direction- Car pool.
What happens after the car is gone?
Clean Sweep: I started with doing a clean sweep of items I actually didn’t want and couldn’t sell. Those all went in the “give away pile” and was then accordingly dropped off.
The Sell Pile is Essential. Sometimes you might not be willing to give items away… but would you be willing to sell them? It makes the difference in getting rid of items very quickly. I have made-back an estimated $1,200 from selling my things (and I am still selling my things…).
How to do a Sell Pile: Then it came to the sell pile. All items I was willing to sell I stored away neatly in a closet, that I used as “inventory” storage. Sometimes after a week or so the more I sold, the more I was able to look around my space and find more things I was willing to sell. Having a separated “out of sight” space for these items was an essential part of the process.
*I highly suggest using LetGo, Poshmark, and Facebook posts. This is how I sold the bulk of my pieces.
I consider myself minimalist, yet I still have a long way to go. It’s not a short process for the simple reason that humans tie cost and emotion to things. It can actually be all done in a week. However, I would encourage you to go through the phases of getting rid and selling things. It starts to shift your perspective from worth in tangibles and instead worth in experiences. I am not an expert and even to this day just started to read a book on the true art of minimalism. In truth, most of what I have done was fueled my the “Selling everything and travel the world” blogs. Yet, I am actively looking forward to pushing the boundaries of my lifestyle to embody minimalism.
I may in the future write a post on best online selling practices, but I might not due to time. If you message me however I would be happy to point you in the right direction.
*1: A fundamental part of this process is the proximity of my home to my work. A luxury that not all individuals have, yet I would highly advise this at all costs. If you are earlier on in your career, get a roommate, live close to work, forgo a car. This (in my experience) has always led to an increased quality of life.