Minimalism is the Best Investment

Ever since I saw the first cha-ching! of interest accrue in my savings account, I’ve loved investments. I’ve continued to learn the benefits of delayed gratification as I’ve focused on project planning, creating day-to-day systems, and squirreling away money. Of course, these investment strategies are an integral part of a minimalist lifestyle. Still, it also takes an investment of time and energy to create a minimalist lifestyle. And while there’s no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to investments, minimalism is pretty darn close.

With minimalism, we devote time to downsize and organize and create a life we most connect to. By investing that time now, we don’t get stuck later. Later is often an inconvenient or more challenging time to address all of our stuff (ex. aching bones, piles too high to sort through, dealing with damaged/outdated items). That’s the long-term investment. The short-term payout comes with the saved time looking for stuff or buying stuff. You won’t waste time reviewing items over and over again, never quite deciding to let them go. So much aggravation and overwhelm are avoided. Every day you are living in a streamlined space with less stuff, made just for you.

When you think about minimalism as an investment strategy, some actions you can take are:

Avoid shiny object syndrome. It’s easy to get excited about something new: whether it’s a new gadget that you think will solve your problems or a new hobby for which you buy a bunch of equipment. If you avoid this pitfall, you can put these resources toward the long-term things that matter to you.

Know what you want. Focus your time, energy, and money only on what matters most. When we get distracted by what we think we want or shoulds, we’re diluting our investments.

Stick to your goals and priorities. Like investing in index funds instead of playing the market, staying the course often will give you the best rate of return.

Release your FOMO. Fear of missing out is just a distraction from the present moment. Decide how you want to spend your time and money because FOMO rarely has the aggregated payoff that investing in a minimalist lifestyle will.

Undo some of the investments you’ve made. Whether it’s moving from a too-large home or selling still valuable but unneeded items, you can right-size your space and put money into your wallet.

Unpack your scarcity mindset. It’s a good investment to hold on to items that would otherwise cause you financial hardship in the future. But often, we experience a scarcity mindset with objects that are, and will never be, necessities to live a meaningful life. Don’t let this mindset hold you back.

While minimalism is an excellent investment in terms of your time, energy, and focus, it is also financially savvy. A simple life involves streamlining your personal finances so you never pay a late fee or miss a mischarge. You buy less and have less fixed payments like subscriptions or higher rent/mortgage. It also includes a financial strategy that is most efficient and effective. As a result, you have even more to invest, meaning a much more significant future gain (i.e., “It takes money to make money.”). Prioritize setting up and maintaining this system, perhaps investing (time or money) in more personal finance education.

Minimalism is just about recession-proof. This doesn’t mean that you won’t experience financial hardship if you’re minimalist. If you lose your job or have high medical expenses unexpectedly, that’s going to be difficult no matter what. But suppose you’re living below your means and not stuck in the Keeping Up with the Jones’ mentality. In that case, you’ll be able to navigate tricky waters more easily and effortlessly deal with more minor fluctuations.

Investments like savings accounts produce minimal returns but have the least risk. Playing the stock market can lead to bigger wins but carries considerable risk. Minimalism is low-risk, high reward! Even if you let go of something you need later, it’s still a minor impact if you sell those items and re-buy used instead. That’s the only risk you’ll confront. The high reward is freedom, time-saved, more money (to invest!), peace, and focus. You can’t beat that deal.

You might think adopting a simple lifestyle is something you can do later or at a snail’s pace. But just as waiting to invest in your retirement account, you miss out on more significant returns. The same is true with minimalism.

Don’t just invest in minimalism; invest now.

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