With all the talk about rising living costs, millions worldwide are looking for new ways to get ahead financially.
There are undoubtedly multiple options out there. Create a new side hustle, get a 2nd job, find a higher paying job, move to a cheaper country and work remotely etc.
But what if you can be more prosperous by changing your lifestyle? Would you consider looking from within at what makes you happy and fulfilled?
Welcome to the world of Minimalism.
The Rich Minimalist
When I worked for a global recruitment firm, the company’s top salesman (Let’s call him Steve) was a bit odd. He earned well over 300k per year, yet he had simple pleasures in life.
He didn’t own a car, lived in a modest apartment, didn’t have a fancy phone, and only owned five business shirts — One shirt for each particular day.
He’s also vegan and loves Yoga.
Lastly, he practised Minimalism before it became mainstream.
I later approached him during lunch to get to know him more. As the years went by, I discovered his way of thinking about living a life of simple pleasures.
Not giving a F***K about what others thought
Steve wasn’t the most famous person in the business, although many know him to be one of the best (if not the best)
When others bought fancy things once they got their pay cheque and commissions, Steve remained the same and celebrated by making himself a nice cup of tea.
Steve wasn’t the most social person in the team but was the most kind-hearted. He didn’t drink alcohol on Friday afternoons with everyone else. He instead focused on his work diligently.
The one skill I will admire about him is that he never gave a rat’s ass about what people think of him. He didn’t need any validation from anyone, so he had no reason to buy the fancy car and watch, the latest tech gadget and the nice clothes.
When he told me this, I thought twice about my regular purchases. I started to ask these questions before I planned on buying something.
- Do I need this in my life? (Could I live without it?)
- How many hours of work will this item/experience cost me?
- Can I afford to part with this money?
- Can I live without it for a while?
- Will it add value to my life?
- Is there an alternative to this?
After practising these questioning techniques when I want to buy something, I realised that I have more money in my pocket. Roughly an extra $700 a month.
I became so good at it that my wife started to follow me. She no longer needed to buy luxury bags and clothes.
We didn’t have the urge to impress anyone anymore. All we cared about was living a simple yet happy life while maximising our earnings and investing for the future.
Image from iStockPhoto.com
More money to work on autopilot
(This is not financial advice! I’m just sharing what we are doing as a couple)
With my wife and I change the way we live our lives through Minimalism, it wasn’t a coincidence that we were able to save three times as much as before.
But rather than keep the money in a savings account, we realised that the smart way is to invest it so we can make the money work.
So with our savings, we put 20% to the side as emergency funds and the rest was invested in Shares and ETF. Although the market isn’t great, history tells a different story. We are playing the long game here, so our chances of a solid return are great.
Since we don’t need a flashy lifestyle, we can invest all the surplus money we get per month to make money work for us.
What is rich to you?
Everyone has their definition of decadent. To me, there are two kinds of Rich people. You have people who are Cash Rich. Often these people work hard and play hard. They burn their cash and live life through the eyes of what society deems as successful.
Then you have people who are Time Rich. These people have enough money in their lives that they don’t have to work until they die. They can travel the world and live life on their terms.
Just like any other parent out there, a big reason why we work so hard is because of our children. I have a 7-year-old daughter, and I often think about her future. There’s also one type of rich that I want to pursue that almost no one talks about — peace of Mind.
By becoming a Minimalist, we not only have more spare cash to invest for the future (which will give us peace of Mind eventually) We also have more time to spend together as a family as we have a simple lifestyle that ensures that we don’t need to have 2–3 jobs to make ends meet.
Time is the scarcest resource, and we have more of that now that we don’t need to buy useless things to impress people (which sucks most of our income)
Minimalism is not a fad. In fact, it’s been around since the 1950s. At that time, it was used more for visual communication. It has since turned into a lifestyle choice.
Minimalism is a practice of awareness and intention regarding your belongings, time, and energy. If you do it right, you can become rich (without people knowing)
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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