Mastering Minimalism: Renee’s Guide To Simplifying Life and Improving Finances

The Fellowship of Penny Calling Penny
February 8, 2023
How to live a minimalist lifestyle

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“Minimalism- The Key to Simplifying Life and Improving Finances”

Minimalism is not just a trend; it’s a way of life that prioritizes simplicity, mindfulness, and intentional living. 

But Embracing a minimalist lifestyle is much more than just clearing out your closet or decluttering your home. It’s also a powerful tool for taking control of your finances and creating the life you truly want. 

By focusing on what matters most and letting go of excess, you can free up resources to invest in your future, pay down debt, and build a more secure financial foundation. 

Imagine a world where your finances are like a well-oiled machine – every penny saved, every expense scrutinized. That’s the power of minimalism. 

In this interview, we will delve into the real-life story of Renee, showcasing how combining minimalism with personal finance can lead to a financially secure life. Let’s begin.

Q1) Before we start, could you please give us a little background about yourself and let people know who you are and what you do?

I’m Renee. I lovingly refer to myself as a recovering shopaholic turned minimalist. Starting in 2014, I began a self-growth journey that inspired me to apply minimalism to my life. By 2016 we had downsized out of the house we thought would be ours forever home into a ramble that was nearly 2,000 square feet smaller. 

After applying minimalism to my life in every area, I now share my journey with others and work to be a guiding light for anyone who craves more simplicity in their lives. I do this through my social media platforms, blog, podcasts, and online guides and courses.

Q2) How did you come to know about minimalism?

During my self-growth journey, I started consuming documentaries, some of which spoke about minimalism. The crazy thing I began to notice was that minimalism and living with less seemed to pop up in every self-help or spiritual growth book I read. 

Q3) What is Minimalism, and what are the benefits of being a minimalist?

To me, minimalism has meant looking at the big picture of my life and deciding who I want to be at the end of my days. By putting my focus on who I want to be and how I want to spend my time, it has become so easy to say no to anything that keeps me from achieving that vision of my future self.

Essentially, minimalism is living only with the things that enhance our lives.

Q4) When did you decide to become a minimalist and start saving?

I read a book called, “Wishes Fulfilled,” by the late Wayne Dyer. This book again slightly touched on detaching from our things, although that wasn’t the book’s main focus. As I was reading, I started to feel this deep urge to get rid of anything that didn’t feel aligned with my highest self and who I wanted to be.

Immediately, I ran up to my closet, pulled out my favorite pieces and got rid of everything else! I probably brought it directly to Goodwill that day too!

Getting good at saving, however, took much longer as I had spent my entire life having a love/hate relationship with money. Navigating that mindset shift took some time!

Q5) What is minimalism’s role in helping you become debt free?

The more comfortable I became with having less stuff, the less urge I felt toward spending on pointless things like clothes, shoes and home decor. 

For the first time in my life, I wasn’t getting any instant gratification and instead was working toward a potentially better future for which I continued to hold a vision.

Q6) Would you be able to give us some tips on how to convince your spouse to adhere to a minimalist lifestyle?

This question always makes me laugh because my husband, Tom, was most definitely a minimalist before it was cool. When I met him, he had very little, just the necessities, and always kept a tidy house. I grew up sort of holding onto everything and had adapted to a more cluttered home decor style.

Not once did Tom ask me to change or try to convince me to be exactly like him. He would share his opinions on my giant keepsake box from middle and high school and how he never felt the need to hang onto things like that. 

More than anything, I saw his life’s easy flow and function, and slowly, I began craving that for myself.

Q7) Are you a minimalist parent?

I practice minimalism; however, after a few years, I stopped feeling the need to make my children live the same way. This was my choice, and I believe that they each have their own paths to carve out for themselves, and who knows, maybe that path involves keeping a lot of stuff! My son has always been somewhat of an inventor and is great at putting things together with random scraps or even items from our recycling. I love the idea of him continuing to build this way because it brings him so much joy! That may mean he has more clutter than I could comfortably live with.

Q8) We heard that you used to do impulse shopping, in what ways can impulse purchases be stopped?

More than anything, to kick my desire to spend, I needed to have something I desired more in my life than the next quick shopping spree.

This was incredibly difficult as I would spend a lot of time waiting for my family at the mall, feeling anxious and fighting every urge in my body to get up and fill my arms with stuff.

Reminding myself that my life and time here are so much bigger than the latest trend or biggest sale has always helped keep me grounded and slowed my desire to spend.

Q9) What are the different ways to adopt a minimalist lifestyle?

Just start. That’s such annoying advice, but I think we can so often look at all we have to do or think about all the work that needs to be done to get to where we want to go that it drives us to a state of inaction.

Instead, just start where it’s easy. If you have garbage lying around, just throw it away. When you come across an item you don’t want anymore, toss it in a donation bin. If you get a sudden burst of energy to declutter, run with it. We will each find our ways to simplify. I think just giving ourselves permission to declutter in a way that feels right for us is the best thing we can do.

Q10)  Do you have any tips or tricks to help you live a minimalist lifestyle?

Hold a vision for a life bigger than stuff.

Consume material that encourages simplicity, like the Unstuffed podcast (wink, wink).

Be patient with yourself, and remember that no one gets to determine what this journey looks like except for you.

Conclusion

Renee’s journey to a minimalist and frugal lifestyle taught her valuable lessons about the importance of simplifying her life and finding joy in the things that truly mattered. By cutting back on expenses and focusing on what was truly important, she was able to find financial stability and happiness. Renee’s story serves as a reminder that sometimes, less really is more and that by making conscious choices about our spending, we can create a more fulfilling and meaningful life for ourselves.

Checkout The Fun-sized Life for an abundance of simple financial tips

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