Minimalist Living: Reining in Your Expenses

Simplicity involves unburdening your life, and living more lightly with fewer distractions that interfere with a high quality life, as defined uniquely by each individual.

Linda Breen Pierce (Author)

I’ve recently been on a minimalistic kick trying to simplify, simplify, simplify. I’m not where I want to be, but I have been trying.  I’ve donated books that I’ve carried around for decades without reading, sold clothes that have gone unworn, and recycled dated electronics that no longer work. Along with getting rid of all the stuff, I’ve also tried to be more thoughtful with what I’m purchasing. Being a minimalist doesn’t only apply to items in your home. It can also apply to the non-tangible things like finances, that can make a big dent over time.

The other day I was cleaning the contents on my laptop and stumbled upon a Microsoft Office account that I opened in 2015. I’ve since been a user of Google products so I rarely used any of the tools I was paying for like Word or Excel. I was about to close out the window when I noticed I had a recurring subscription that was set to auto-renewal. I was paying $69.99 annually for a service I wasn’t using. I quickly cancelled and started to think more about where else I was “leaking.”

We have so many services at our disposal these days that just didn’t exist when I was growing up. Need groceries delivered to your home? Place an order on Instacart for a fee. Want entertainment? Subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO or the many other streaming services, for a fee. Need Tide Pods and a camping tent by Saturday? Amazon Prime to the rescue, for a fee. I say all of this to say that if we aren’t being vigilant with our expenses, we could easily be experiencing a slow financial death by a thousand cuts.

Do we really need all of these subscriptions and services?

As we enter the prime season for holiday spending and wrap up the year, this can be a good time to take stock of where you may be “leaking” and where there are opportunities to simplify. Perhaps dedicate some weekend time to account for all of your recurring direct debits and charges, subscriptions, and anything else that could be weighing you down. At least then you will have peace of mind that what you are spending your money on is intentional and not an accidental oversight.  


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