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Educational Resources for Minimalists, Both Aspiring and Experienced

 

Explore our complete collection of articles on minimalism, the minimalist lifestyle, digital minimalism, and how to create passive income. Get inspired and empowered to live your best life with our library of articles on a variety of topics related to the minimalist life written by a team of writers from all over the world. Check back often for updates and new featured articles.

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  • Olivia - Freelance Writer - Nigeria

Updated: Sep 18, 2021



Canva is an online design and publishing tool that allows users to easily create a wide range of projects. For graphic designs such as like logos, flyers, YouTube thumbnails, etc, Canva is the tool to use.



Is Canva Free?


One of the best features of this design tool is that it is free to use, with the option to purchase graphics and photos a la carte for a small fee. Canva also offers a subscription service starting at $16.99/month. However, for most, the free version works just fine

Canva is an amazing design tool made for non-designers. Easy usability seems to be one of the highlighting features of this tool that attract users. Today, over 30 million people use Canva every month to create stunning graphics for social media, blogs, and print without having to learn a complicated suite of software tools. Oh! Did I mention that it’s free? I think I did.




What are the Benefits of Canva?


Ever needed to create graphics for social media or print projects? If no, consider a change. Did you know that by adding an image to their Twitter posts, users can boost their engagement? That means more clicks, favorites, and 150% more retweets. Enough of the basic, old, text-only tweets.


Is it ever frustrating to search for the image sizes for social media graphics, only to be disappointed when the images are cropped weirdly when posted to Twitter, for instance? Canva makes creating graphics and documents in many standard sizes a stress-free experience. Plus, there's no need to open a "Pro Tool" to add watermarks to images or create simple quote graphics.


What are the Main Features of Canva?


● It is free to use

● It’s cloud-based, so there's no need to download any software

● And if users would rather design on the go, there’s an iPhone and Android app available. If they have both, their designs would be synced between the two on their account. It’s actually very easy to get started.


How Do I Get Started on Canva?


It is as easy as visiting canva.com and creating a free account using an email address, or either a Facebook, or Google account.


Is Canva Easy to Use?


Canva is incredibly easy to use.




Does Canva offer Tutorials?


Canva offers wonderful tutorials to help users at

https://www.canva.com/help/

One that we found very helpful for beginners is

https://www.canva.com/help/article/create-your-first-design/


How do I create my First Design on Canva?


Users who opt for a Pro Account can set up their Brand Kit with their brand colors, fonts, and logos. Users with a free account will simply need to choose the right colours and fonts manually each time. While having a Brand Kit is an extremely useful feature to make the design progress effortless, Canva does show users their recently used fonts and colors each time they log in to create a design.


With or Without a Brand Kit, a user can create their first design by clicking on the “Create a design” button at the top right hand of the homepage or by clicking on the search bar for a particular type of graphic or by using one of Canva’s recommendations.


As with the homepage, the editor is quite similar in the layout. Canva has an intuitive editor








Does Canva Have a Drag and Drop Feature?


Canva's drag-and-drop interface, professional layouts, and predesigned templates allows anyone to design consistently stunning graphics. There are lots of timely-seasoned templates available for users to choose from. There is a full set of features to help users along – icons and shapes that they can drag into their designs. Canva has hundreds of fonts available to choose from.


This tool has millions of professional, quality photos and illustrations that users can just drag into their layout. Many of these photos are free and the ones that aren’t free only require a small fee to use. The images be found using a keyword search. Once found, the drag and drop feature can be used to add these images onto their canvas.


Users can have fun with their photos. Canva offers borders and layouts for making photo collages. This feature is called grids. So, users could drop a new grid onto their canvas and then pop new photos into each of those.


Canva also provides photo filters which can be applied consistently to multiple images. Users can also upload their own vector photos and use them across multiple documents using the upload tab. The upload tab allows users to choose images from their device’s internal storage, Facebook, or Google Drive if they opt to connect those accounts.


When ready to share their designs, users can export these designs as JPEG, PNG, or even PDF to send to their printer.


Once a user starts to play with the interface and all the available tools, they can have fun creating with Canva. No Graphic Design skills needed.


Canva is also a useful tool for the professional designers. For example, they can create designs for their clients in Canva and direct the clients to make text edits or swap in photos, leaving the pro designers to do what they do best – the higher-end design work. This can be especially powerful with the Canva Pro Product for Work.


What Features Does Canva Pro Have?


Canva Pro offers many features which will make upgrading from the free service worth the investment.


The Brand Kit


Canva now allows Pro users to have multiple Brand Kits. The Brand Kit feature allows users to save all their brand’s colour palette, logos, fonts, sizes, etc. This means users don’t have to find the hex code for the right shade of purple, for example, when designing anything. This makes their branding consistent across their social media.


100 GB Cloud Storage


Canva Pro offers users 100GB of cloud storage, significantly higher than the 5GB cloud storage available to free users.


The background remover

The background remover allows users to instantly remove the background from any of their images.


The Magic Resize


This is a one-click resize tool that automatically resizes the dimensions of designs for specific social platforms or when creating posters


Premium assets


Free Canva members often discover an element or photo which perfectly suits their needs, but can't access it as it's a Pro feature. An upgrade to a Canva Pro Membership can prevent this from happening.



Join Canva Today


For those interested in creating attractive and engaging graphics, Canva is the tool to adopt.



#Canva #FinancialMinimalism #SimplySimpleOrg

 




  • Meredith Kucik - Freelance Writer - United States

Updated: Sep 18, 2021



Pre-planning Your Capsule Wardrobe


One of the first things you need to consider when building your capsule wardrobe is how your collection might change with the season. A wardrobe of short sleeves and tank tops might be ideal in the summer, but once the winter months roll around, you’re going to need clothes that keep you warm.


The entire concept of a capsule wardrobe is based around minimizing quantity and maximizing quality. Or in other words, approaching your wardrobe with a more intentional mindset by only keeping a small selection of clothes that you absolutely love to create a number of interchangeable outfits, rather than having to dig through a plethora of pieces to put an outfit together.


Shifts in Season—The 30/15 Rule


So, the first rule of thumb in creating and maintaining a successful capsule wardrobe all year long is the seasonal 30/15 rule. Here’s how the 30/15 rule works: each season allows for a total number of 30 pieces in your wardrobe, with 15 of those pieces transitioning into the next season as the weather begins to shift. The other 15 of your least worn items, you can feel free to donate & replace, or not. As long as that other half doesn’t exceed 15 pieces, you’re still within the margins. If we do the hypothetical math correctly, that’s 15 re-used pieces per season and 15 new pieces per season. By keeping up with the 30/15 rule, you’ll only have to replace a small percentage of your wardrobe four times a year or less.


Lifestyle Considerations


The next thing you’re going to want to think about when curating your capsule wardrobe is creating interchangeable combinations that accommodate your lifestyle. Perhaps you’re an athlete, or just live a relatively on-the-go lifestyle, so your wardrobe is probably going to consist mostly of activewear—training leggings, yoga pants, breathable tank tops, etc. Or maybe your day-to-day is the complete opposite and your career requires business professional attire—a matching blazer and skirt set, flattering cardigans, and some classy slingback pumps.


But what if your style is more hybrid? It might seem like a little more of a challenge to keep a minimal collection of clothes that appeals to two different aspects of your lifestyle as opposed to someone who only dresses in activewear all day every day.


Planning a capsule wardrobe around your hybrid lifestyle is simpler than you think. Say, for example you need to dress professionally while on the clock, but outside of work, a trusty pair of jeans and a loose-fitting tee shirt is your go-to look.


Here are some questions to ask yourself to get you in the right mindset for your capsule wardrobe:


  1. How many times a week must you dress in professional attire?

  2. How many times a week do you stick with a more casual outfit?

  3. Are you comfortable with repeating your outfits in a social setting each week? If so, how many times are you willing to repeat that same outfit?

  4. Do you tend to shop for things you genuinely love, or do you just follow trends?


Answering some of those questions should bring you sense of clarity and direction while assembling your hybrid capsule wardrobe. Even if you dress in professional attire 5 days a week and casually primarily on the weekends, that’s only a total of 7 outfits right there! You still have plenty of room in your allowance of 30 total pieces to implement alternative options for mixing and matching.


Even if you’re not comfortable repeating the same outfit twice in a week, the versatility of a capsule wardrobe is design to give you a versatile range of outfit combinations by strategically creating a closet of fewer items that all coordinate without being too monotonous.


If you’re someone who tends to shop solely based on current trends, it might be time to start approaching your style with more intention. Trends are transient—they come, and then they go. Once they die out, you’re left with a closet full of things you might not have even loved in the first place, and definitely don’t now that they’re out of style. Focusing on only purchasing things for your capsule wardrobe that truly bring you joy! And then start considering how you can make those new pieces work with what you already own.


Body Type


Our bodies will continue to change and grow throughout our lifetimes, but it’s good to have a sense of what styles and pieces generally tend to flatter your figure. Everybody’s body is beautifully different, so not all might fit in these categories. And that’s perfectly normal! But from a style guide perspective, some of the most common body type generalizations include, but aren’t limited to:


Color Palette

Do you love animal prints and patterns, or would you rather keep it simple by dressing in black from head-to-toe? Whatever, your style is, there of course aren’t any rules—you do you! Keep in mind, however, that you’ll get the most out of your capsule wardrobe if all of your pieces are interchangeable with one another. This is easiest to achieve if about 90% of your wardrobe consists of a base palette of colors that agree with one another—neutrals, black, white—and 10% being pieces that bring some flair and personality into your outfits.

Building Your Perfect Capsule


Let’s get to work! We’ll start with building a blueprint plan for your capsule that is organized by category and season.


The three main categories of your capsule plan are going to be tops, over-tops, and bottoms. Here’s the breakdown:


  1. “Tops” will include t-shirts, blouses, shirts, knitted tops, tanks, etc.

  2. “Over-tops,” will include cardigans, sweaters, blazers, jackets, and any other outerwear.

  3. “Bottoms” will include pants, shorts, skirts, jeans, dresses, etc.


As for what to leave out of your capsule plan, for now you can keep the following items out of consideration. Paring down those items can wait until you have a bit more experience in maintain a capsule wardrobe.


Here’s what you won’t need to include:


  1. Outerwear

  2. Shoes

  3. Underwear

  4. Celebration wear

  5. Accessories

  6. Swimwear

  7. Athletic clothing (unless your day-to-day requires activewear)


Intermediate Tracking— “The Wear Log”


We’ve created a simple table system for you to use once you’ve created your capsule wardrobe to help you keep record of what items you wear most and how many times you wear them per year, which in turn reveals the items that hardly got worn at all. It’s something we like to call The Wear Log. It’ll help you hold yourself accountable to your minimalism goals through a process of elimination technique.


Overtime, as you pick and choose what 15 items you’ll be taking with you between seasons and which you’ll be donating, The Wear Log will make your progressive closet purge a lot less stressful and time-consuming. You’ll have cold, hard evidence as proof as to why you should keep certain items as well, which should help negate that “maybe I’ll wear it in the future” mindset. If you haven’t worn it yet, the reality is you probably won’t.


Here’s an example of a filled-out Wear Log so you can get a sense of how the system works…




How To Use It:


The process is pretty self-explanatory, but here’s how The Wear Log works anyhow

Purchase Date: Of course, it’s going to be difficult to remember when you’ve purchased items you already have. But as you add new items to your closet each season, mark down in your log the date you purchased them or at least close to it. As time goes on and items cycle through your wardrobe, you’ll eventually have a rather complete timeline of how long you’ve had an item.


Item: Your item descriptions are just to help differentiate between items on your list. Easy enough.


Cost: The cost column of the log is going to give you a sense of how much you’re typically spending on items. For those who are big budgeters, this column will be especially helpful. Also, if an item was particularly expensive when you bought it, you can also decide whether you want to donate or try and resell it if it’s something you eventually decide you don’t want to keep.


Times Worn: This is perhaps the most vital column in the log. It’s your own personal time that keep track of how often you tend to reach for certain items. If you get to the end of the year and an item with only one or two tallies is still holding a place in your closet, it’s time to say farewell to that piece. Out with the old and in with something that you’re actually excited to wear, and thus more likely to put into use.


Ready to create your own capsule wardrobe Wear Log?


Download the #FREE Editable PDF below to get started. Happy logging!



WearLog
.xlsx
Download XLSX • 12KB


#GoingGreen #CapsuleWardrobe #Minimalism #Free #WearLog #SimplySimpleOrg

 



  • Olivia - Freelance Writer - Nigeria

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

As you head into your Financial Minimalist journey, many questions about your finance will cross your mind. How are you going to pay your bills? What are your budget and expenses? “What payment system suits you best? We need to get paid, right? We’re minimalists, but we have bills to pay. Our finances still need to be organized, even though money isn't the focal point of our lives.


So, let’s take a look at a simple question – what exactly is PayPal, how does it work? The easy answer – it is a way to send and receive payments. While there is a little more going on. Let’s take a closer look and describe in-depth what this payment system is all about and see how it might help you manage your finances.



A Brief Overview of PayPal


PayPal has been around for quite some time now. It is an easy platform to send and receive money. Some people, however, may not fully understand how PayPal operates. Well, PayPal was a forerunner to what we currently know as cryptocurrency. It’s not cryptocurrency (don’t get me wrong) but it functions in a similar way.


PayPal is an American online financial service company that allows users to transfer money or pay for items using a secure internet account. PayPal was founded in December 1998 by Max Levchin and Peter Thiel. It was acquired by eBay corporation in 2002. With headquarters in San Jose, California, the payment service is available in most countries and it is free to create an account.


Payment is accepted in many different currencies and you can set up an account for personal or for business use. The users can add bank accounts, credit cards, or debit card details to pay or receive money with PayPal. A user can set the default payment method.

Besides paying for any product or service using PayPal, users can also receive money through PayPal. You can purchase with a PayPal account from many online or offline sellers. You will often find the PayPal logo on their webpage.


As a PayPal user, you’re able to:


● Transfer cash from your bank account to your PayPal account.

● Cash advance from a credit card via PayPal.

● Transfer money from one PayPal account to another.

● Instantly transfer money from PayPal to your connected bank account.

● Get an email of your PayPal account details.

● Get a PayPal debit to make real global purchases from your PayPal account.


The cool thing is, when you make payments with PayPal, all those funding sources are protected inside your PayPal wallet. So, all the seller is going to get is your name, email address, and shipping address (if your purchase requires a shipment). Your sensitive information, like the bank accounts numbers, credit card numbers, expiration dates, security codes, and the actual billing address associated with these funding sources are protected behind the PayPal barrier inside your wallet.


Consider, you go shopping on 15 different websites and you put in your credit card number on all of these sites. This means that there could be 15 different chances that your information is stored in their database. If such websites get hacked, and their data is stolen, your confidential banking information can be compromised. Obviously, this isn’t a good thing. But when you pay with PayPal, none of your information is provided to the seller. They will only get your name, email, and shipping address.


For the sellers, PayPal makes receiving payments very easy. There are different PayPal payment services that you could integrate on your retail website to receive payments. You can take payments over the phone, or use the PayPal app. It all drops into a single account into your PayPal account and the money is typically available instantly. So, there’s no batching out at the end of the day, something you find with a lot of other credit card processors.


How It Works


Most of PayPal operates in US Dollars. However, there are a lot of currencies around the world that can operate through PayPal. All you need is a bank account, such as a checking or savings account, or even a credit card or debit card, and PayPal serves as a digital wallet. When you need to send money to someone, that money will come either from the bank account or credit or debit card.


Once the money has been transferred to your PayPal account, it would do one of two things. It can be paid out to someone directly into their PayPal wallet or you can just keep it in your PayPal wallet.


With PayPal, if you’re transfering funds from a bank to PayPal then from PayPal to a savings or a checking account at a bank, there are no fees attached. Now, if you do have a merchant account or a credit card you’re using, there are what is called “merchant fees.” Anytime you have a credit card transaction, merchant fees apply.


You typically don’t have to pay merchant fees as a customer. But as a service or product provider, merchant fees are unavoidable. These fees are usually in the range of 2-5% depending on the credit card that you’re using. A Visa card is typically the least expensive. Discovery and American Express cards can get up there as far as merchant fees go.


Let’s say that you’re a vendor using PayPal. You’ve created an invoice for $50 and sent it out to your client. That client gets the invoice and uses a credit card to pay. Now, they don’t need a PayPal account to pay you, but they can – either way would work. If they have a PayPal account, they can just buy using their wallet balance. When they pay using a credit card, they get charged $50. However, you as the vendor would only receive about $47 or thereabout because of the merchant fees.


Signing up with Pay Pal


You can use PayPal to send money securely with no fees or minimum as long as both users have an account. You can also use PayPal on your web browser, tablets, or via the app on a mobile device.


How to Set Up a PayPal Account


There are two types of PayPal accounts – personal and business PayPal accounts. While the former is recommended for use in your personal life, the latter is best for businesses. It's pretty much the same, although the layouts are a little bit different.




● Here is what a personal PayPal account looks like. This is the summary page, which also serves as the website’s homepage. You will have your PayPal balance. Yours would be zero dollars if you just signed up. This is your digital wallet. This money will sit there forever if you don’t transfer the money to your bank account. This is why it is always important to link your PayPal account to your bank account first. If you wanted to transfer funds out, it just requires you to click on send money. If you wanted to add some money to your PayPal and use your PayPal account to pay for goods and services, click on the three dots beside the balance statement and it would bring up your bank account.




Money added to PayPal from your bank incurs no fees. That’s why adding a bank account is the best way to use PayPal.


● The Wallet page allows you to link a debit or credit card or bank account. It’s the same option that came up when you signed up initially, but you could always come back and do it.



● On the business account, it is called Money, instead of a wallet. Click on the Link a Bank option to add your bank. You will be shown a list of banks to choose from.



● To link your card, you would be asked to fill in the fields containing your credit or debit card number, your card type, expiration date, and security code.

● When you’re ready to take your money out of PayPal, click on the transfer money option. You can transfer to your bank or you could request a check by mail.


Sending Money


● Make sure the other party already has a PayPal account. Ask for their account details.

● The Send & Request page allows you to send and receive money from someone. To do this, type in their name, email, or phone number and press NEXT. This money would be sent to their PayPal. If they don’t have PayPal, they will need to create one to access the funds.



If you are sending someone $100, for instance, select the currency type and then input the amount. You can then indicate why the payment is being made.



● Click on continue, and you will be taken to a payment review page. When you’re sending money to a friend, there’s no fee attached, as long as you use a bank account or the PayPal balance on your wallet. If you use a credit card, you would be charged because credit has fees attached to them. If you’re paying for an item or service, the seller pays the fee.



Note: If you’re sending money to a friend, you’re not covered by the Purchase Protection, a PayPal feature that gives your money an extra layer of security.


Requesting money


You can use PayPal to request money from your peers or send invoices.


● From the home screen, click on the Request button.



● Fill in the details of the person that you want to request money from and click NEXT.



● Type in the amount that you want to request, select the currency, add a note and click on

REQUEST NOW to continue the process.

● To send an invoice, click on REQUEST.

● Create an invoice from the right-hand side of the page.




● A template invoice would appear, which you can fill out.



● Once completed, go over to the SEND button, and choose to send to a PayPal account or click on Share Link Myself to share through another platform.



Receiving Money


To receive money on PayPal, first make sure that you have a bank account or debit card linked, which can accept payments.


● Click on the Settings tab on the top righthand of your webpage.

● Give the person sending you money, your PayPal email address.


You can also send a PayPal link to them, wherein they can send you money without needing to put in your details.




● To set up your unique PayPal link, click on Get PayPal.Me under your name.

● Click on the Create PayPal.Me Link and choose a link name for yourself.



● Click Done and you will see your PayPal link.


This is what ours looks like paypal.me/SimplySimpleOrg



Cryptocurrencies


You can buy and sell cryptocurrencies in the US using your PayPal balance.


● Firstly, go to the Summary page by clicking on the summary tab.

● Click on the Buy Bitcoin and More banner.

● This will take you to the cryptocurrency portfolio page. Here, you will see the full list of cryptocurrencies available. There’s metric analysis in percentage that gives you the real-time performance of every crypto listed.

● Click Buy and choose the amount of Bitcoin or any other coin that you’re buying.

● Please note that once you buy your cryptos using PayPal, you can’t send them to friends and family. Additionally, you cannot withdraw it to other cryptocurrency wallets.

● Then we have the activity section that shows you all of your recent financial activities. It’s going to show you every transaction you’ve made. There’s a filter to search through your transactions by activities or by date.


Other Features


● The Shopping tab allows you to explore deals on various marketplaces.

● The Settings option allows you to change or update any of the information listed on your account profile. If you started as a personal account, you could upgrade to a business account and also close your account permanently.


Final Thoughts


I hope I’ve been able to answer your questions on “how does PayPal work? So, now that you know the very basics of how this payment service works, use the button below to get started.

It doesn’t matter if you need PayPal for your personal needs or for selling online at your e-commerce site, this service is one of the convenient and safest ways to handle your online payments.



#FINANCIALMINIMALISM #PAYPAL #SIMPLYSIMPLEORG