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Simple decluttering tips to save money are about removing things that drain energy, time, and funding away from what’s important.
As a loud and proud Millennial minimalist, I give a rose to my undying love for simple ways to increase my finances while removing clutter.
The combo is better than chicken and waffles without heartburn.
Decluttering and saving money have similar values, reducing burdensome areas to give more fun and funds elsewhere.
Like how I won a date challenge.
Mr. BuLL’s and I had a challenge to craft the perfect date in secret. He schemed his date plans, while I crafted mine.
Then, we had to pawn an item. As a human who had yet to step foot in a pawn shop, that alone was an adventure for someone who avoids stores as a default.
After each of us pawned an item, we’d compare who made the most because whoever cashed in the most valuable item won their perfectly crafted secret date.
Despite the odds, because Mr. BuLL has pricier hobbies, I won.
I won my ideal date which included dining at a new restaurant, devouring cookies bigger than a toddler’s vocabulary, and meandering around an island. As an adventurous sort, I had more on my list, but after the food and cookie influx, I went straight into a starry-eyed food coma.
Along with getting rid of stuff, I got paid for it too. Those funds directly resulted in a fun adventure shared by 2.
1. Sell stuff to declutter and collect cash.
One way to cash in with decluttering is by selling unwanted stuff. From pawn shops to Facebook Marketplace, there are options to take the unwanted and turn it into wanted.
I’ve sold many items over the years, including:
As an introvert, hawking isn’t a typical intuition because haggling with humans for unwanted stuff sounds nothing like reading a good book with a hot beverage. But, I’ve never been disappointed with getting money for something I was trying to get rid of either.
2. Donate stuff for credits and coupons.
Sometimes an item is worth little and not worth the hassle of selling. Another simple decluttering tip to save money is to donate it.
Donations can lighten a tax burden, though it’s rarely as much as expected. Considering I get zero dollars when I donate to a landfill, it’s better than nothing.
At my local thrift store, where I donate goods, they give a receipt with a 20%-off coupon. In some industries that might be considered double dipping, well not in this virtual space!
Bring on the olive dip, I’m doubling my savings!
3. Decluttering bank accounts is a way to save money and improve finances.
At one point, I had more bank accounts than the one time I was a Monopoly banker. Some accounts were old 401(k)s, some were robo-investments, and others were the standard savings accounts.
Having so many accounts spread around made it hard to keep track of how much was where. My spreadsheet for my net worth was longer than a Monday morning to-do list.
Slowly and sustainably, I started rolling over accounts into a lone account. I picked the retirement account with my current employer because the fees were the lowest of the gaggle and I like their stock options.
I rolled over all the little brokerage accounts into one at Vanguard, which has low fees and many stock options, even though I only use two index funds.
After getting forms, signing papers, and talking with many customer service agents who were more uncertain about the process than I was, I streamlined my finances to the bare basics. A process that took about 6 months.
So worth it.
Now, there are only a few places I need to log into to see what I’m worth. I can’t prove it, but the accounts seem to grow faster than when they were small and lonely.
4. Get rid of toxic mindsets that hold back savings.
For far too long, I believed I would never be “good” at math, investing, or anything that involved arguing over stock options.
Turns out, that was a toxic mindset that was only holding back my potential. My big shift happened when I realized I was being taken advantage of by my bank. They were holding my retirement fund in an account bloated with fees and skinny in growth.
One day, after learning about investing 101 and the average stock market growth, I asked my bank how much my investment had grown over several years. Her response left me feeling sick and angry.
Not at the human I was chatting with, but at the institution for putting their profit over my future.
I vowed, like only an angry woman can, to never again let someone else dictate my finances. A huge emotion dump is what forced a radical mindset shift.
I didn’t want to, but I felt like I had to. After years of letting the professionals chip away at my profits, I had to change my mindset from a reluctant investor to bet your favorite Chia pet, I’m a DIY investor.
5. Dump-draining events that steal money.
If it’s on my calendar chances are it’s going to come with a price tag. Sometimes it’s doctors appointments, other times it’s massages. Perhaps a baseball game or dinner with friends.
Either way, there’s a chance money will be involved along with a side of time.
Time and money are finite; I choose wisely.
I avoid shopping trips, salon visits, and frequent dining out. Instead, I invest my time in adventures or people who guarantee joy.
That means saying no to invitations that take time and money away from what I want to do and who I want to be.
Sometimes, the best way to move forward is to discard what is no longer working and replace it with what does.
5 simple decluttering tips to save money are all about redirecting what doesn’t work for what does.
One of the many things I love about decluttering and personal finances is that it’s highly individualized like a fingerprint, career, or cuddle buddy.
I love the one-size-fits-one approach because each person gets to craft what success looks like for them. What works for me may not work for my sister, neighbor, or intern. Yet, I enjoy sharing the journey because when humans grow together, we grow forward. Hopefully, with less stuff and more savings.