We are all guilty of wasteful practices at home – wasteful practices that end up costing us money in the long run. No, let me rephrase that. I have been guilty of wasteful practices at home. It is an unforgivable habit to develop when you have a family. Or, are trying to hew to a family budget. I have encroaching clutter in my garages, boxes all over my home, and too many items that go unused. Fortunately, working toward a minimalist lifestyle helped get my budget back on track.
How Does a Minimalist Lifestyle Help Budgeting?
Along with creating too much anxiety and feelings of being semi-entombed by the family belongings, this cluttered mind state also contributed to financial waste. We had clothes and items in our home that we never used, and then ultimately ended up throwing out. Over 40% of all Americans throw out food they buy for various reasons. Do you ever throw out food that clutters your cupboards for ages?
Minimalism is the practice of owning only as many items as you need in your home – to declutter your home and life and worry less about owning excess possessions for its own sake. You never realize how much you really have until you begin paying storage fees. Adopting a minimalist mindset freed up more space in my home. And, my home became a place to live in, instead of storage space.
I realized how much money I could save every year by being smarter about my purchases. Also, when you own fewer things, you have less stress worrying about maintenance. Check out what I did.
Storage Units Fees
About 10% of American households rent a storage unit to store excess items they never use. The average storage unit costs anywhere from $85 to $100 a month to rent. For years I spent well over $1,000 a year to store junk my family never used. We sold what we could and gave away everything we had in storage. No more $1,000+ rental fees or maintenance stress for me.
Pest Removal Costs
When your home is full to the brim with clothes, books, boxes, and unused items for years, then you are openly inviting pests to take up residence. You might have fleas, roaches, bedbugs, mice, rats, and other disgusting pests living in your piles of junk and not even know it. Until it’s too late. Pest removal costs can run into the hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Emergency Fund Fees
How many times have you tripped over something in your home? Or stubbed a toe walking around? Having too much junk laying around could become a costly safety issue. An emergency room visit can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,200, depending on the severity of the emergency. Decluttering my home made it feel more spacious. Most of all, it felt less like a hazardous obstacle course as well.
This benefit is less about financial saving and more about an emotional benefit. The more things you own, the more those things end up owning you. I spent too much time worrying about the maintenance of things, navigating junk around my home, and paying storage fees. All I got out of it was stress, a cluttered home, and less money.
Why Own What You Never Use?
Assess your home lifestyle. Do your items own you? Are you so dedicated to owning things that you pay storage units fees to store excess items? Minimalism can mean many things to different people. What it should mean to you is a new dedication to own only what you need and to stop wasting money for the privilege of owning unused items.