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Own Less, Live More

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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  • Caroline - Freelance Writer - Canada

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

When we think about minimalism, oftentimes the first thing that comes to mind is living without excess material objects. Although this is true, it is only half the story. Minimalism has more benefits than just a clean room and an organized cabinet. Minimalism can also lead to a clear mind and better mental health. A minimalistic lifestyle allows for the space to find your own individual priorities of what makes you happy and what you want to fill your life with. It focuses on genuine and meaningful experiences rather than short term pleasures. It also leads to mindfulness about our emotions, thoughts and opinions, who we are and who we want to be. So how can you mentally implement minimalism?

Photo by Paul Gilmore on Unsplash

Rainy Days

In today’s world, we are told that money equates to happiness. This is because in a capitalistic society, companies profit from selling and convincing people to buy what they think they want. Consumers buy in abundance in an attempt to satisfy the search for happiness, but these pleasures are fleeting. Happiness is an individual responsibility and cannot be fulfilled with a new sweater or a sparkly bracelet. Money holds too much weight and often becomes a major source of stress as it does not provide purpose within our lives no matter what we buy. We often put a price tag on our relationships and experiences and worry about the cost, rather than what we can gain from it. Happiness can only be found within the connections we make with one another and the experiences we fill our lives with.

Mental illness has been deemed a silent killer as it is invisible from an outsider’s perspective, yet one in four people in the world will be affected by a mental disorder at some point in their lives. Studies have shown that in the US, more than 50% of people will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder. Anxiety and depression are the two most common types as they often come in pairs and anxiety alone, affects 40 million adults in the US every year. These alarming statistics prove that people are suffering in the society we live in and we lack a meaningful component to our lives which provides drive and purpose. This is likely because money is the dictating factor of how we live our lives. Where we live, our careers and free time are determined based on our financial freedom. This does not mean, however, that we have to let this control us. If we focus on experiences and relationships rather than monetary value, we can find happiness.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

We also live in a society where an “on the go” lifestyle is promoted and we stay so busy that we barely have enough time for ourselves. We fill our lives with countless distractions and rather than putting time into ourselves, each day is a repeat of the last. Research has shown that in the US, 33% of people feel as though they have reached a dead end in their career and another 21% want to change careers. Yet despite these startling numbers, countless people continue to work long and stressful hours in positions that they have no passion or drive for. This can then lead to anxiety and depression because we continue to put energy into things that will not make us happy. We chase after the next best thing without taking the time to ask ourselves if this is something we truly want, or is it what we have been conditioned to think we want. The extreme rise in mental illness within our population, particularly in the West, is a clear indication that this busy way of life is not working.

Minimalism to the Rescue

It is evident that living a lifestyle filled with distractions is unsustainable and unfulfilling. Minimalism combats this by ‘decluttering’ your life in more ways than one. Although cleaning out your closet and donating the things you no longer need is an excellent first step, it is key to also declutter your mind. It is found that overall, minimalists are happier because they have less materialistic worries and stress in their lives. Rather, they place emphasis on their relationships with others and their own individual priorities. Minimalism leads to mindfulness about our own emotions because without the materialistic distractions, we are able to take the time and space to figure out what our own passions and desires are and what will truly make us happy. Rather than spending our lives chasing after ‘the next best thing,’ we can appreciate what we already have. As well, understanding our emotions is key to forging better relationships with the people around us. With mindfulness, we can learn how to better connect with one another and place value on the people in our lives.

How to Declutter Our Minds

There is no one way to begin your journey to minimalism. Different methods work for different people, but the following are helpful steps to get started.

1. Take the time and space to get to know yourself

This is perhaps the most important step because no one knows you like yourself. Oftentimes our lives are full of so many distractions that we lose sight of our original hopes and dreams. It is imperative that you take a step back from the materialistic problems and focus on what matters: you. Ask yourself, what did you want to be when you were younger? Would your younger self be proud of you if they saw you now? How did you end up where you are? And most importantly, who do you want to be?

2. Cut off toxic people

When people think about minimalism, it is often associated with decluttering a closet, but the important thing is getting rid of the things that no longer make us happy. Some people are meant to play a temporary role in our lives and that is okay. Take a look at the close relationships in your life and ask if you feel happy with these people. Do you like the person you are around them? What lessons have they taught you? Distancing ourselves from people we were once close to is hard, but sometimes necessary. If someone causes you stress and constant problems, it is okay to walk away.

3. Meditate

This step can come in a multitude of ways and it all depends on what you feel works the best. This could be doing yoga every morning or going to the gym. They key is doing something that clears your mind and makes you in tune with your body. Meditation is not only about peace of mind, but it has many benefits to your health as well. It allows a period of peace and quiet for you to reflect on your day and what you want for tomorrow.

Photo by radu emanuel on Unsplash

4. Find a hobby

This does not necessarily mean speeding to buy knitting needles or baking a thousand cupcakes. It is important however, to have an activity or interest that you do only for you. A simple pleasure that you can look forward to that benefits you. Minimalists appreciate the simple things in life and so they are able to value the things that truly matter. By working on and taking care of yourself in the little ways, you are able to see the big picture.

5. Be proud of yourself

In today’s society, we often go, go, go and don’t pause to acknowledge all the hard work we have put into getting where we are today. We put a certain definition on what an achievement is and what deserves recognition. We also do not take the time to appreciate the work we have done and instead, launch towards the next goal. This can cause stress and feeling lost, as if nothing is ever good enough. From a minimalists’ perspective, all of your efforts to better yourself should be recognized whether that be starting a new book or finishing a crossword. As long as you are working on loving and taking care of yourself, you have every right to be proud of yourself.

Minimalism cuts away all the excess from our lives that distracts us from the things that truly matter. It is not enough to just declutter our homes from materialistic objects, but we need to declutter our minds as well. This helps us to reach mindfulness about our emotions, who we are and who we want to be. Mental illness and disorders are far too prevalent in today’s world and it is because of the focus on finding happiness in materialistic objects. Happiness is an individual responsibility that can only be found within our individual priorities. These are discovered through minimalism when we step back and appreciate what we have and who we are. Following the steps of taking time and space, removing toxic people and clutter, meditating and focusing on your interests for you and you only, will begin your path to a minimalist state of mind.

#Minimalist #MentalIllness #DeclutterOurMinds #Minimalism #MinimalistStateOfMind #SimplySimpleOrg #General


  • Jessica Duncan - Freelance Writer - Canada

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Where Do Minimalism and Finances Connect?

If you’ve been reading our latest articles on #DigitalMinimalism, you know that reducing clutter not only in your daily life but also in your digital life is so important. Benefits from digital minimalism include: reduced time spent online, improved mental health, more value in your daily experiences, improved concentration, improved filtering of superfluous life experiences, and so on. But what about our other major digital life, beyond social media? What about our finances?

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Can Digital Minimalism Help You Save Money? Since reducing clutter in our lives allows us to focus on the things that matter most, minimalist thinking pairs extremely well with financial responsibility. Your money is a tool that can allow you to engage meaningfully in your life, as long as you’re in control of it (and not the other way around). In a world of clutter and overconsumption, it’s no wonder people overspend, feel anxious and confused about money, and do their best never to look too closely at their chequing account. While finances can seem extremely overwhelming and complicated, with conscious attention, and keeping things minimal, you can feel safe in the knowledge that you know where your money’s going every month, and that it’s going towards things that will actually serve you. Read more about digital minimalism or keep reading for how to implement financial minimalism in your daily life. 4 Tips To Implement Financial Minimalism 1. Educate yourself on personal finances. Unless you have a BA in Business Administration, it is likely that your financial knowledge is pretty slim. The North American school system fails to educate on personal finances and how to take care of your money, so the very first thing you need to do in order to help you stop overspending and start becoming a financial minimalist guru is to read everything you can on personal finances and a minimalist approach to money (this article is a great start!). 2. Identify the difference between needs and wants. For example, groceries are a need. You need to eat. But the $15 dollars you spend on Starbucks on the way over every single time you shop? Definitely not a need. And if you want to treat yourself every once in a while? Go for it. Just make sure you're setting boundaries. Even if you only went and spent that $15 dollars at Starbucks twice a week, you’re still losing out on $120 dollars monthly or $1440 dollars a year. While that might seem worth it, think of if you invested that $1440 dollars yearly instead - in 30 years you’d have $72,509.96 - with over $27,000 of that from the compound interest you’d earn from the stock market. All that money, just from setting boundaries around your weekly snack!

Photo by Victor Ballesteros on Unsplash

3. Set Up Automatic Transfers. Setting up automated transfers is a tried and true way to make sure your money is going to the most important things first. Automate your money to transfer to a High Yield Savings Account to maximize your interest potential, your investments, your retirement, and your monthly bills before you even consider your personal spending. Once everything is automated, you no longer have to spend time worrying about where your money is going. Investing the time and effort up front into automation is easily worth never having to worry about where your money is going every month and not having cash shortfalls at the end of the month.

4. Pay down debts first. Before you make major purchases in your life (house, new car, etc.), it’s important to do your best to pay down the debts you do have. Think of debt as mental and financial clutter. Once this clutter is taken care of, your financial journey will only get easier. While you certainly don’t need to never spend money or buy items when paying down debt, using the money you have to minimize the damage of your overspending habits is one of the most important parts of financial minimalism. The more you simplify your finances, the more freedom you have.

What We Recommend

Now that you have the skills, it’s time to put them into practice. The number one bank we recommend for financial minimalism is Tangerine. Tangerine is the oldest and widely accessed online bank in Canada. Founded in 1997 as ING Direct (with a name change to Tangerine when acquired by Scotiabank in 2012), Tangerine helped Canadians begin their journey to solely virtual finances. Thanks to it’s online platform, Tangerine’s lack of overhead costs directly benefit the customer in a host of ways, including higher interest rates on saving accounts and investments, and lower interest rates on credit products.

Chequing and Savings Accounts

Unlike many major Canadian banks, Tangerine does not charge monthly maintenance fees or mandate a minimum balance to keep the account open. Tangerine also waives ATM fees as long as users are withdrawing from one of Tangerine/Scotiabank’s 3,500 ABMs in Canada. They offer introductory interest rates of 2.10% on savings accounts (for reference, this is almost 2% higher than brick and mortar banks) and unlimited transitions and Interac e-Transfers. Your debit card is included and the first cheques are free.

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Tangerine Credit Cards Tangerine's credit cards come with $0 annual fees and offer cardholders up to 2% back in rewards. The bank offers two Mastercards: the Tangerine World Mastercard and the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card. Tangerine World Mastercard features: ● Unlimited monthly cash back rewards ● Personalized rewards categories ● Boingo Wi-Fi for Mastercard ● Mastercard travel rewards ● On-Demand and Subscription Services ● Rental car insurance ● Mobile device insurance ● Mastercard airport experiences from LoungeKey APPLY NOW

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card features: ● Unlimited monthly cash back rewards ● Personalized rewards categories ● No annual fee ● 2% cash back APPLY NOW Money Management Tools

Beyond Tangerine’s money saving, spending, investing, and borrowing tools, they have a host of money management tools that make financial minimalism so much easier than traditional brick and mortar banks. One of their most popular features in Tangerine’s money management tools is the goals feature. You can add a savings goal in the Tangerine Savings Account, whether this be for debt repayment, an emergency fund, retirement, or just general savings. If you want to save for a vacation for $5000, you can add a goal for this amount and feel the excitement grow as you get closer to your goal. Overall, Tangerine has a wealth of tools that are perfect for keeping up with your goals and perfect for anyone starting their journey to financial minimalism.

#DigitalMinimalism #FinancialMinimalism #Tangerine #OrangeKey #AutomaticTransfers

#MoneyManagementTools #SimplySimpleOrg #ForwardBanking


Updated: Sep 18, 2021

How to Change Your Life by Following These Simple Financial Minimalism Tips

If you’re into the minimalism scene you already know the direct benefits the minimalism lifestyle can bring. We’re going to take it a step further and I’m going to tell you how to change your life by following simple financial minimalism tips.

Let’s first get down to the basics. Financial minimalism is essentially the process of cutting out excessive useless spending and investing more into things that add value to your life. Aka spending money with purpose and intention, rather than random purchases.

Financial minimalism involves not getting caught up and spending on trends or useless entertainment because of boredom. Financial minimalists believe in spending on quality vs quantity and are not materialistic. They understand that if they don’t spend more money on discretionary things, they could have a nicer house where they’ll ultimately spend most of their time anyway. It’s not necessarily about being cheap, it’s about choosing to make purchases with intention.

Money is spent on quality items that were built to last because the rest of the money can be saved or invested to earn more.

Keep track of your spending habits

This may sound obvious but a huge number of consumers don’t track their spending habits. If you don’t track them, you don’t know where you can cut out useless spending.

Take a look at your monthly budget. Find the discretionary categories and track what you’ve spent money on month over month. Add that number up, then total it for the entire year. That is the entire amount you could be saving and/or investing to earn more.

That $100 per month on Starbucks coffee could easily turn into thousands if invested in the right places. Spending hundreds on eating out or shopping could also turn into thousands if saved or invested. The number one thing holding you back from becoming a financial minimalist is your belief patterns. Understand there is a difference between a want and a need and only choose what’s necessary.

Saving money by online shopping is a myth

The pandemic certainly changed spending habits for many, by switching to online shopping rather than in store. Many believe that shopping online will save you money because you can watch what you are spending in your cart, but that’s not always the case.

Things like social media make it easier than ever to spend money online. You can purchase anything now days with the click of a button. While it might seem like you’re saving money by not spending as much each time you purchase something, the little excursions add up quickly if you’re not careful and can become a dangerous habit.

To offset this expense make it your mission to sell what you don’t need before shopping. This will provide you with money towards new items rather than having an excess of old and new while draining your bank account.

Choose quality over quantity

It’s your number one goal as a financial minimalist to only spend money with intention and purpose. It’s ok to spend a bit more on a product if you know you’ll get longer use out of it. Many believe in buying the cheaper option to save money but there’s a good chance it’ll need replaced before it would have if you just spent a little more on the higher quality product.

Think about the last time you wanted something. Did you cut corners and buy a cheaper product because you were worried about the money? If you’re anything like me you may have done so and then ended up spending more money anyway to get the product you really wanted in the first place because the quality was so much better.

This is true for just about any product, good, or service. Think about the quality of the item you’re shopping for vs the quantity. Having more stuff does not translate to more happiness. Adding value to your life is the number one goal, not taking away from it because you overspent.

Save first when you get paid

Make it a habit to save a portion of every pay check as soon as you get paid. Setup an automatic transfer into a savings account so you don’t even have to worry about it. Soon, you’ll forget the money is there and it’ll grow over time. A savings account that will pay you interest is even better!

Start out by saving a small portion of each check if you haven’t before. Make it a goal to set aside a little more from every check until you’ve maxed out your savings possibilities. This way you can ease into cutting back on your spending habits over time while increasing your savings.

Think of it as a game. Challenge yourself to see how much you can put away every month, with the goal being more than the month before.

Work on your beliefs and relationship with money

Your relationship and beliefs about money have a direct impact on your ability to live as a financial minimalist. If you always believe you never have enough, you’re setting yourself up for failure from the start.

Having an abundance mindset is key when it comes to managing your money. Work on telling yourself daily that you have more than enough. When you become more conscious about your spending habits it will be easier to live out of abundance because you will recognize the difference between a need and a want. Having bills means you have the opportunity to live lifestyle others aren’t always able to.

The ability to create wealth happens when you understand your relationship with money. Recognizing that you always have enough will create opportunities for more income.

Summary – How to change your life by following these simple financial minimalism tips

Remember, the number one key to becoming a financial minimalist is to only spend with intention and purpose. If something doesn’t add value to your life, don’t buy it! Take a look at your finances and cut out discretionary spending so you can save money and/or spend it on what really matters and will enhance your life.

#FinancialMinimalism #FinancialMinimalismTips #QualityOverQuantity #AutomaticTransfers #SimplySimpleOrg


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