It has been a little over a month since I launched Minimalism Journal—time does fly by very fast! As I celebrate my little one-month milestone, I thought I’d write about something different. In my previous posts, I’ve mostly focused on physical and digital decluttering—but minimalism is so much more than that. Sure, my journey began with the physical. However, now I’m seeing that minimalism is beginning to affect other areas of my life, and so I’d like to share with you the benefits I’ve been enjoying since labeling myself as a “minimalist.”
Less spending, more saving
Whenever I finish a round of decluttering, I am always filled with regret upon realizing how much I spent on stuff that I hardly even used. Because of this, I started becoming more mindful of my spendings. I no longer buy just-in-case items, nor do I purchase trinkets impulsively. In the last two months, I barely stepped foot inside a mall or even shopped online! In the rare occasions that I did, they were planned and I strictly stuck to my shopping list.
And because I am no longer spending money on useless stuff, I am able to save up for things that will actually have a purpose in my life—in the near and far future. As I stated in a previous post, I find that I become more motivated to save money if I know what it is that I’m actually saving up for—whether it be my rainy day fund, or my next vacation trip, or even retirement.
Better productivity and efficiency
Procrastination has always been my big enemy. But since extending my minimalist practices to the workplace, I find that I become so easily irritated when tasks pile up. As a result, I would try to get things done as soon as possible.
I’m not perfect, of course. I’m sure that with the influx of responsibilities and demands that come with my work, I still forget some small tasks here and there. This is something I’m still working on, but so far, I find that I’m getting more things done and I’m thinking faster and more creatively—all of which, of course, are a good thing.
If you ever watched Gossip Girl, you’d understand what I mean when I say I grew up like Lonely Boy. I even have a blog to boot! Haha! The difference, I guess, is that I’m not using my blog to ruin people’s lives or creepily stalk others. 😉 (Oh wait, was that a spoiler? Oops, my bad!)
But yeah, basically, I grew up being surrounded by the well-to-do while not actually being one. I do come from a humble, middle class family, but not one that can afford Chanels or Pradas and the like.
And while the difference in the socio-economic statuses between me and the people I hang out with did not bother me at first, I slowly started becoming affected by the subtle digs people made about my financial capacity.
I had a close friend—a close friend!—tell me, “Oh, you’re wearing your favorite shirt again!” upon seeing me wear a shirt for the second freaking time ever. It was, in fact, NOT my favorite shirt. And it was just the second time I wore it! It’s far too early to tell if it was my favorite shirt.
But then again, I was young, impressionable, and insecure. I was at the age when I needed to be validated, so eventually I felt the necessity to keep up with the Joneses: I bought a lot of clothes, because it was apparently a sin to repeat outfits. I had to have the latest gadgets. I even underwent a hair makeover. And so on and so forth.
And I brought that mindset with me until well into my early twenties. And you know what? I absolutely regret it.
I mean, I don’t think I can blame myself for being young and insecure that I’ve allowed myself to become affected by the passive-aggressive comments I hear about my financial capacity. I wish I didn’t let those things affect me, but I also wish our society was not judgmental and self-righteous.
Maybe I can’t change the society, but I can start the change within myself. Ever since I started practicing minimalism, I became more contented and happy with what I have—and genuinely so. I’ve learned that I don’t need to impress anyone, so long as I’m happy. Now, I no longer pursue the latest trend pieces, or gadgets, or whatever. And I’m perfectly okay with that.
Of course, I have goals and aspirations. But these are beyond the physical. These goals and aspirations are ones that will improve the quality of my life—a nice house for my family and pets, a nice retirement plan, opportunity for further studies, and so on.
Some people around me still have the nerve to comment on how I’m wearing the same shoes—again. Well, so what? These comments no longer get to me. Minimalism has improved my perspective of happiness and contentment, and my self-esteem has gotten better since.
These are just the improvements I’ve observed so far in my life in this short span of time since I became a minimalist. Let’s see where else this can take me…
What about you, how has minimalism improved the quality of your life?