In relooking at my finances and reading blog posts I saw people posting about minimalism – including selling possessions to make some extra money, pay down debt and generally get ahead.
I am lucky – my parents (divorced) had vastly different approaches to money.I learned from their examples.
My dad grew up in the Great Depression in a poorish family. (They weren’t destitute – but they definitely watched their dollars.) My Dad is VERY frugal, had a good job and he has done well for himself – he’s not rich, but he will always be comfortable and he can afford to live well.
My mom on the other hand is much more entrepreneurial and focused on generating lots of income and then spending it! She had a lot more ups and downs. While, there were some really good times and lots of luxuries that I would have NEVER gotten from my dad. It was more feast or famine. She never saved for the rainy days and so struggled more.
My dad’s frugality imbued good frugal habits – because I grew up that way, I’ve never missed the “lattes” there is so much contest (in the financial blog world) about cutting out. The $4 lattes always seemed like a luxury for me and never became a habit My mom’s entrepreneurial spirit inspires me to look for more than just a good job and her mistakes taught me that good financial management is important.
I started looking at minimalism and how to implement it in my life -what possessions I could sell, how I could cut bills down and I realized…I am already there. Converting to minimalism only gets you ahead if you aren’t already a minimalist and don’t realize it! I totaled up what all I could sell and I think I might be able to make a few hundred dollars (and I am being generous) holding a garage sale.
I guess the good thing is that I have saved myself thousands of dollars by not buying things I don’t need.
Ultimately, I think when it comes to financial advice you have to look at your own situation and priorities and figure out what matters to you and what doesn’t. Then figure out how to cut out the things that don’t get you closer to your own goals and the life you want to live. It’s all about thinking in futures. Don’t let the fun latte-filled lifestyle of today prevent you from having a a great lifestyle in the future. Don’t rob your future self of happiness and financial stability.