Minimalism and the Get Rich Slow Lifestyle
Let’s talk about consumerism and the proliferation of stuff that’s just not conducive to a GRS lifestyle.
To recap, what is Get Rich Slow?
Get Rich Slow, or GRS, is all about slow and steady sustainable wealth creation. It’s about looking at the value you’re getting for the money you’re spending and being intentional with how you’re spending it. GRS is about ensuring you feel really good about every dollar you spend and what you’re getting in return.
Consumerism, all the stuff in our lives and the material world we live in isn’t all that conducive to a GRS lifestyle!
But our CEO Sarah Riegelhuth is proof that is can be done.
Minimalism and the Get Rich Slow Lifestyle
She shipped all her possessions to Canada in her recent move – all of which amounted to around three boxes.
In fact, each time Sarah has moved, especially over the last few years, she’s been able to cut more stuff out of her life.
“I think essentially it’s just constantly decluttering. It’s the opposite of accumulating, right?
I guess moving helps because you do tend to throw out things and I have moved a lot. II’ve lived in 20 different houses since I was 18 so I’ve moved on average more than once a year. I’ve always been moving but sometimes you just move stuff from one place to the next and you can still tend to accumulate.
I definitely made a decision around the time that I moved from Melbourne to Sydney. I knew I’d gotten to the point where I’d been in Melbourne for about 5 years and there was just so much stuff around me and I started living by the concept where anything I bought I had to throw out two items.”
This approach also led to change in Sarah’s wardrobe, moving to a more minimalist, capsule wardrobe system.
“The amount of clothes I gave away! I had a huge lounge with two deep piles all the way with clothes!
Some of those clothes were really expensive and a lot of them I was holding onto because they were expensive. I just thought, Oh that was dress was $500 and I bought it like 5 years ago and I’ve only worn it twice but I don’t want to throw it away because it cost me so much, that kind of thing.
It was around that time I started doing more of a capsule wardrobe. So most of my clothes now are denim, black, grey, white, maybe a neutral tone.”
Minimalism in general is an approach many take in their journey to financial freedom, as we begin to understand the items that bring us value – which we tend to spend more on for higher quality – and the things we don’t – which we tend to start avoiding all together.
“It just makes everything easier.
I could wear a white top so much more often and I wouldn’t feel like it’s as obvious as if it was a red top with yellow flowers on it! Everyone has seen that top once you’ve worn it once and you’re not going feel comfortable wearing it once a week. I used to have a lot of clothes like that. Very unique and bright and I didn’t feel comfortable wearing them all the time whereas now I really could wear the same clothes every day. I do wear the same clothes every day!”
Minimalism is an interesting concept with various levels on the spectrum.
Some different aspects are demonstrated in this image from a GAIA Foundation report:
Many people have taken on the one in, one out approach to clothing, makeup and decorative items, but a large part of the conversation is actually around how to refuse gifts that you might not necessarily need or want. Our families and friends almost always have good intentions behind beautiful presents, but if you don’t feel over the moon because you don’t need something, you can also add ungrateful to the mix.
So step one might be decluttering and organising your life and home, but often overlooked step two is around empowering yourself to say no to more stuff, whether from well-meaning relatives, or even yourself.
“It’s really challenging but it’s so fun when you do it in a way.
I used to have so many pairs of shoes and I realised I was only ever wearing 20% of what I had. Now I’m basically two pairs of heels, one black and one neutral because then that basically goes with everything. I have one pair of running shoes, casual shoes like Nike Frees and then I have one pair of boots and a pair of sandals.
If I just went and bought another pair of shoes and added it into the collection… Why is it different? What do I need? Am I getting rid of one of my current pairs? And because I don’t, I just wait until one of those pairs is dying and then I buy something else.
Otherwise, you get to the point where you’ve got all these shoes but you’re still only wearing your favourites. You’re only wearing that trusty black pair of heels.”
Living more minimally ties back to our ongoing conversations about how to Get Rich Slow and understanding our personal spending.
It’s all about setting the intention of what we choose to use our resources for.
“One of the cool things Finn did last year was he went a whole year without buying a single item of clothing. The learnings he had when he went back to, Okay, now I’m allowed to buy things, it changed his whole mindset.
You realise how much you can live without. I went shopping the other day because I was back here in Australia and I walked around for ages and just didn’t buy anything. Unless I really love it and I really need it, I don’t want to spend the money.”
Sarah has completely shifted her sense of value and become more intentional and mindful in her spending, but there’s also an environmental element.
“The environment is something that underpins everything for me now.
There’s just so much stuff in the world being produced. I want to be less of a contributor to that. It’s just littering and ultimately ends up in landfill.
If I buy a really cheap top that I can wear a couple of times and then just trash it, what’s the point? That actually makes me feel a bit sick. If you walk into any of those cheap chain stores, they’re just filled with clothes. Every single day they’ll be getting more stock and they’re selling that stock. It’s going out into the world, this cheap crap that’s going to end up in landfill fairly quickly.
I don’t want to be part of that. I don’t want to be part of that problem in the world.”
Feeling drawn to the minimalist movement? Start by asking yourself if you’re making smart choices around what you spend money on.
What do I want to:
Do I have an opportunity to recycle or to reuse?
And how can I be really intentional about the way I go about that?
It’s not about necessarily about spending less, it’s about spending better.
Want to chat minimalism, GRS-ing and the proliferation of stuff and how you can change your spending and your life? Sweet, so do we! Book in a time for a free Financial Possibilities Consultation:
Disclaimer: Information contained within this article is of a general nature. Do not be rely upon it when making financial decisions. Please consult a professional financial advisor or planner (like us!) before acting.