How to Save Money & Sanity with Minimalism

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Life has been hectic and stressful at the FAF household for the past few months.

I started a new job after going through four months of sleep deprivation and stress in an apprenticeship program.

Our son started kindergarten online. Mr. FAF and I have been taking turns monitoring him every day and helping him with school work.

Our two-year-old started pre-K two weeks ago after six months of staying at home.

Mr. FAF was assigned some challenging projects with tight deadlines which his boss said would set him up for a promotion if done well.

That also means a lot of pressure for Mr. FAF to perform. Mr. FAF has also been on call for a week once every five weeks.

It means that most of the housework and childcare falls on me during that whole week of him being on-call.

In a nutshell, Mr. FAF and I have been exhausted both emotionally and physically.

Seeking solutions

In my last post about the challenge of being a full-time working time, I was relieved to be able to share with you that is going on in our lives.

And I’m glad to receive a lot of encouraging feedback and advice from you all.

Deep down, I have also been thinking about what I can do to help make life better and more breathable for us. The current pace is not sustainable and is detrimental to our health and our marriage. Ultimately, it also has a bad impact on our children if we are not happy as parents.

I do hope and believe that things will get better when COVID is over. But none of us know when it will be. I’m just afraid that if I wait too long, the current situation will just get worse before it can get any better. I have to do something about all the stress and pressure we are experiencing.

Rediscovering minimalism

This past Labor Day weekend (Sep 5-7), after finishing a major part of my project for work on Saturday (while watching the kids), I decided to cook, do a deep cleaning of the house, and take sometime to relax.

One of my most favorite and frugal forms of entertainment is watching YouTube videos about the topics that I’m interested in. As I was clicking through the videos about cooking and frugal living after the kids were in bed, I came across a couple of videos about the miminalist lifestyle.

I have written about minimalism on my blog before, and I also stated that I wasn’t a minimalist. It was three years ago. As I was watching Christine’s video about her minimalist partment, I suddenly felt a sense of simplicity, peace, and tranquility, especially after I had just cleaned up the clutter in our house (i.e. toys, clothes, shoes).

In the video, Christine talks about living a simple life without clutter so that she can focus on what’s really important to her: her passion for sustainability and her relationships with her loved ones. That really resonates with me.

When I was broke, I thought that I would be happier if I made more money and could buy all the clothes, food, and things that I wanted. However, now that Mr. FAF and I are more financially secure, I find no long-lasting joy from online shopping or eating out at fancy restaurants.

I find all the emotional and physical chaos in our lives exhausting. Buying things is a temporary fix. It won’t solve our problems.

And I thought about how little time it would take me to clean up our house and how much more time I would have to spend with Mr. FAF and our kids if we just had fewer things to clean up at home.

A simple home is a beautiful home. 

Pursuing a minimalist lifestyle

As I went on to listen to Christine’s videos about her diet, cleaning routine, and simple clothing, I realized that maybe staying simple was what I needed. I also discovered another channel about minimalism by called Heal Your Living.

Over the past two weeks, I would listen to their videos while feeding our baby or doing housework. It gives me a sense of peace that helps me stay calm and think about what really matters to me.

I still care about money, but as a means to financial security rather than to a life of luxuries. I want to focus most of my energy on taking good care of my husband and kids and doing well on my job.

It’s interesting that when I didn’t make a lot of money, I wanted to make more. But now that I make more, I no longer think so much about money.

I just want to do my best at my current job simply because being able to perform at work makes me happy. And it helps that it pays well so I don’t have to think about other ways to bring in more income for my family.

And I made a life changing decision (for me at least): I will try to pursue a minimalist lifestyle.

It means that I will try to simplify my life to focus on what’s important to me: my family and my job.

Conclusion

I will write a separate post about what I will do to pursue minimalism. In pursuing minimalism, I hope that it will simplify my life and allow me to have more time on what matters to me the most.

We won’t accumulate so much stuff – whether it’s food, toys, or clothes – in our house to the point where I feel the need to clean up clutter every few days. We won’t bring home kitchen gadgets or electronics that take up space and offer us little use.

In doing so, we won’t be triggered by the clutter or mess we see at home and will be able to keep a clear mind. We will also be able to save a lot more more money and invest more in our future instead of purchasing unnecessary things that cluttter our lives and make us feel irritated.

And more importantly, hopefully, one day, we won’t be able to rely on our jobs for financial security and will feel more free to do what we enjoy whether it can generate an income or not.

What do you think about minimalism? 

Have you tried pursuing minimalism before and what has your experience been?

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3 thoughts on “How to Save Money & Sanity with Minimalism”

  • Such a timely post for me. The clutter in the house seems to be growing with everyone home all day and I do find it irritating and a huge source of frustration. Thanks for the YouTube video links. I’ll check them out.

  • I was thinking earlier that you decide to do minimalism because programming life influences how you look at things around (your house) differently (I really did have the thought!). However, reading this post really helps me understand that your decision is much beyond that. I am having a baby and my house is like a battle right now!! I even don’t have much time (and sleep and sanity) to think about rearranging or doing something new. However, I strongly agree with you that a minimalism lifestyle will enable us to have clarity about our life goals and passions. Can’t wait to read your next post!!

  • I was driving my 1.5 hours each way commute 17 years ago and decided something had to change. I couldn’t keep living this life forever. I was stressed, and I ended up buying a lot of random crap in the precious free time that I had. I made a series of changes in my life, and it made things much easier. I moved, so I didn’t have the commute. I stopped buying random crap and got rid of about 80% of my belongings. I created habits that allowed me to live a simpler life. It’s all that our two younger children have ever known, and the oldest was 3, so it’s just how life is in our home. Although I didn’t have a name for it when I decided to embrace it, I’m all for minimalism. It’s one of the better decisions I’ve made in life.

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