Last Updated on July 9, 2020 by Early retired mom
Setting up a minimalist family home is another important step in the journey to achieve total financial freedom. I personally believe, it is a MUST step, otherwise, the journey will be way longer.
This post is in continuation to my previous posts on my journey to get out of the rat race:
- 1st step (why do I want to retire easily)
- 2nd step (how to get out of the rat race by setting up a budget in 4 steps).
We are moving in 3 weeks to our new home, which means that in the next few days we’ll start packing. This is the perfect time to get rid of stuff that we do not need and create a minimalist family home.
I would like to have more clarity to us as a family and to start downsizing. This step should include every aspect of our life at the moment:
- Minimalist finance
- Minimalist toys
- Minimalist clothing
- Minimalist grocery shopping
I have heard about minimalism and I like it. To think of clearing out our space and de-cluttering gives me a piece of mind.
The idea that we can do so much with what we have hit me when my twins were born. The heavy cost of raising them in their first year was a substantially affecting my ability to save, that year, I only used unplanned income for savings and didn’t save on a monthly basis.
With my eldest I used second hand clothes from my sister son and received most of his toys so my spending on kids’ clothing was quite low compared to other parents I know that spend a fortune on toddler’s clothing. They grow so fast that it is a waist to buy so many cloths. As for toys, I do not buy a lot.
Most of the stuff I have were given to me if very good condition and I use my kids’ birthdays to ask for toys as gifts. And I make sure to choose wooden toys that will be useful for them a few years in the future.
In general, I think we live in a time where there is so much stuff to buy. Kids grow today appreciating stuff they get over anything else.
30 years ago, things were simple. There was a limited number of things you could buy. Today, you can have anything you want, shipped to your door from any country in the world. It is so easy.
I was never a person that buys too much stuff. So, I do not have a closet full of clothes and shoes. I usually shop when I am abroad as it is a bit cheaper but other than that, I am not a big spender.
Another important thing is that I would like to focus more on creating experiences as part on going for creating minimalist family home. Using our money wisely to create those joyful moments which will always be remembered versus a gift that at some point in time will be abandoned.
When my husband and I were traveling to Koh Phangan in Thailand (we tried to do that once every 2 years), we didn’t in fancy places, with a pool and big pool. We stayed at a bed and breakfast on the beach which cost us half the price. When stopping in Bangkok, we saved a day for market shopping in Chatuchak market and bought good (lampshades, pillow cases, etc.) think that serves us until this day in ridicules prices.
We also do not spend too much money on electronics. We have one 37-inch TV and if we buy something it is generally because the previous one broke.
Why do I want to create a minimalist family living?
I just want to simplify my life and organize it. But moreover, I really do want to raise my kids to be content with what they have. Kids that realize the value of money. I realize we live in a time where people can buy anything in a click of a button. When they go out, the richness of the merchandise that is available to them, is unreal.
I was raised in a middle – lower class family. There were many times that my parents had to say no to my request simply because they couldn’t afford it. Also, my dad hated credit cards. He used them to pay bills or buying expensive things where he needed to have installments. All other purchases where cash. If there was no cash – he didn’t buy. He hated debt.
I grew up with those values and this is what I want to inherit to my kids.
How to create a minimalist home?
So especially now, that I have decided to get out of the rat race, it is important for me to view all the things that we use today in the house, that we value and are sentimental for us and leave those. Which means getting rid of the rest.
There are a few aspects that I am considering when I look to create a minimalist family home. I will explore each one of them separately.
By financials, I mean understanding the following to create clarify in this aspect of life:
- What do I have in my saving accounts currently
- How much do I spend – I need to be able to tack that
- And finally, budget.
If we want to achieve total financial freedom, we need to sort out the mess in those 3 areas and decide to track spending on weekly / daily basis and savings every once in a while. It takes work and persistence to follow up on it. But it is definitely worth the time I spend on it.
This is the tasks to get started in this area. At least the once that work for me.
I have written a post about this process in details here.
As you have probably figured out, my kids do not have a room full of toys.
Usually when something breaks or a puzzle is missing a piece, I trash it.
When it is no longer suitable for my kids age, I move it forward to another member of the family with kids in that age.
I found this really great article by The Parenting Junkie that summarizes it – The Only 10 TOYS You “Need”.
Every few years I run though my closet and see which items I can throw away and which one to donate – meaning, those items are still good to wear. This makes it easier for me to find what to wear and also how to combine different items to create different loos each time using a small set of cloths.
As I am not a big shopper, my closet it not full. But believe me I am still able to accumulate pieces to that needs to be thrown away.
Moving to a new home is a perfect opportunity to clean this part and create a minimalist family home. And that means, not just MY closet. My kids deserve that their closets to be sorted out as well.
Here is a great post by Dan Silvestre on how to setup a Minimalist Wardrobe
Minimalist Grocery Shopping
Ohhh… this is a touchy area. I love to cook good food. So, sticking to a minimalist grocery shopping list (with all my cooking aspiration) is not easy.
Both my husband and I love cooking Japanese, Thai and fresh meals but I have to say, it is not that expensive. What is expensive are certain things like fish and some of the fruits and sauces.
So, downsizing food spending is definitely a personal challenge for me more than all the other topics above.
My husband thinks we through a lot and that’s probably close to the truth. But I did improve and now my grocery list is filled with more basic products and things that I am sure I will use. However, I do leave room for some indulgence (like fresh Tuna fish or asparagus once in every few months) as long as it is within the budget.
I have to say, it didn’t work for me with a meal planner. Even though I am a rather organized person, with meals it is different. I usually know what I want to eat a day before or the same day I make it. I found someone that shares my challenge and really liked her advice on simple eating.
Just to summarize
Minimalism is really all about us investing in things that we love, instead of accumulating and buying things we like.
It is not that hard to get there once you are focus on achieving total financial freedom and getting out of the rat race.
Yours, Early retired mom