You don’t need most of your crap. I’d usually say “probably” there, but for most people, this is a safe bet. Give yourself a lifestyle purge every once in a while to save yourself money and declutter.
Photo by Lindsey Turner.
As personal finance site Money Ning points out, no one needs to tell us how to upsize our lives. It happens the minute you get some extra money or find a new job. It just happens. To keep your budget manageable and your house clear of clutter, you need to intentionally go on a downsizing mission every once in a while:
Look at all of your expenses. Do you like what you see? Is there any real reason for the spending other than the fact that you have the means at that moment? It also helps to consider whether you need what you are buying, or even want it. The first step in lifestyle deflation is to cut out unnecessary expenses, and stop buying things and experiences you aren't really interested in having...
Another essential step in downsizing your lifestyle is to get rid of the clutter in your life. It might be time to clean out the garage, the attic, and all the little nooks where various items have been hidden for years. If you haven't used something and it has been sitting in a box for years, maybe it's time to get rid of the item. You can have a yard sale (and get a little extra cash), donate to charity (and get a tax deduction), or pass your items along to relatives and friends who might need them (and feel good about helping someone else).
Downsizing your life isn't just about cutting out an expense here or there. Getting rid of crap you don't need means you can afford to live in less space, which means you can reduce your bills. Downsizing how much you go out (vs. staying in) decreases your entertainment spending. Eventually, downsizing becomes a mindset. In the beginning, though, you might need to declare, say, a twelve hour period during which all rules on what you just can't get rid of are temporarily suspended. Then go through your house getting rid of all the junk, bills and expenses you just don't need.
How to Downsize Your Lifestyle [Money Ning]