Minimalist Lifestyle






Minimalist Lifestyle.  What is it?

A great question that has many different answers in the Minimalist world.  As a general rule, it is scaling down and minimizing your life.  This can be MANY different things to a number of different people.

Minimalist Living, as some may call it, can be anything from the visual appearance of a streamlined living space with an arrangement of minimal furniture, no clutter and/or merely a simple approach with your lifestyle.

The minimalist lifestyle to me is a way of life that doesn’t require the big fancy house, shiny sports cars and “keeping up with the Joneses”.  In fact, I could care less about what Mr. and Mrs Jones have anyway.  I bet they are riddled with debt.  No thanks.

A big part of my simpler life was getting rid of the mindset that I need to have the BMW (although I love the 80′s models of the 6-series), big house and designer clothes to impress my friends.  As a matter of fact, along with the Joneses, almost everyone that I know that looks like a million bucks owns virtually nothing to their names (financed to the max) and have minimum credit card payments that they can barely make (high interest).  Some even personally lease their cars to have a low payment.  Leasing a car is worse than renting one – they are still responsible for all repairs and more than likely when the lease is up, they will have to pay more for the mileage overage to even be able to just give it back and walk away with nothing.  How financially smart is that?

Now, don’t get me wrong…I dress nice (not name brand) and drive a decent car (10 years old but near perfect).  I wear Italian suits ($40 – $120 each – I will share sources) for my profession, but I do not “break the bank” to live this way.  As a matter of fact, when I lost my job in 2009 (11 years with the company), I continued living very well!  Everyone was yelling about how bad the economy was (and still is).  How bad the job market was…along with everything else.

What it came down to is that although THE economy was horrible, MY economy was excellent!  Even after losing my 6-figure job.

Most people live paycheck to paycheck.  Most are two paychecks away from complete financial disaster!  I was once at that point and was so overwhelmed with debt that I was not only swimming, I was drowning in it.

When I grew up in upper middle class America in a well-to-do suburb, I felt that I needed to perpetuate this lifestyle and keep the image of success.  My parents originally moved to this area because the school district was excellent.  It was and still is the #1 public school district in Ohio.  Yes, it was “public”, but you had to pay the outrageously high property taxes there to be part of this “public” school district.  Even though we were situated in the middle of a somewhat larger metropolitan city, our village had it’s own police, fire and sanitation departments.  We had our own village council and even our own public dump site.  Others within the larger city could not use any of these unless if you were a taxpayer of the village that was within the city limits of the larger area.  I know, sounds weird, but that was the way it was.

My battle came in my late 20s when I moved to Chicago.  My credit cards were maxed out and I couldn’t even keep up with the minimum payments.  My debt, due to the 25.7% interest rate, accumulated to about $40,000.  The job that I took in Chicago paid me exactly that as my yearly salary.  Living in Chicago certainly isn’t cheap.  Basically, I was screwed.  I even considered bankruptcy.  Luckily, within a few years, I was able to completely get out of it.  I did not do this by keeping up with the Joneses.  In future posts, I will go through everything that I did to do this.

The purpose of my blog is to share my experiences with the minimalist lifestyle to help others get out of debt, eliminate the depressing clutter, along with anything else that I can share that may possibly improve the lives of others.

Please come back often and allow me to share this with you.  I consider myself to be a “Go-Giver” and my approach with a lot of things in my life is to help those around me, in turn helps me help myself.

Less is Positively MORE!™

Minimalist Living





Minimalist Living


We’re glad you are here to learn about minimalist living. We both have this goal in common. I am here to provide you with information (tips, applications, resources) that will help you with this life changing endeavor; it is something that I started with about 9 months ago and I remember how hard it can be in the beginning.
Minimalist living, in simplest terms, is to live with as less as possible, mentally and physically until you achieve peace of mind. The concept is simple but achieving it is hard. Just look at the desk you are sitting on: how many items does it contain? Is your desk surrounded by papers, notebooks, books, pens and pencils?

What about your closets, living rooms and bedrooms? How much joy does all this clutter bring you? What clutters you physically also disables you mentally.

While I am no expert at living minimally, it is something that I practice. I know how it is when I started so I realize where you are coming from. Please understand that minimalist living is a process that will free you of the excess baggage that nothing else can bring.

What should be your first step? Get rid of excess. Go through your closets and pick out all the things that you don’t need any more. Donate all clothes to a charity of choice. I promise you, this might seem tiring but at the end of it all, you will feel ecstatic for not only helping yourself, but helping others. I will be writing about how to make this process a bit easier.

What was once considered ‘cheap’ (with a negative connotation) is now expressed as ‘minimal’ and ‘smart’ thanks to this economy. If you are curious about what minimalist living is all about, welcome to this website and I hope you’ll stick around!

With that said…

Minimalist Living Isn’t For Everyone!

This lifestyle isn’t for everyone so if this isn’t you, then don’t feel bad. Many people try to be something they’re not–this is never a healthy thing for your mind so do what is true for you and what will benefit you.

However, if you’re here then obviously you were searching for this topic. Have a look around!

You Don’t Need Books to Enjoy a Minimalist Living
It’s true. I think most people know the concept of this lifestyle is easy and most people should be able to achieve it.

But here’s the problem: most people lack motivation. Usually it’s when they get inspired that they take action. This kind of action can seem mentally taxing and the pay-off seems too far away.

It’s for those reasons giving things away was a struggle the first four months. Confession: I still have small moments but I’m enjoying my life immensely and love the freedom it grants me.





Closet Organization Ideas for a Minimalist Lifestyle


An approach of minimalism for your closet.   Can you do it?  Yes, you can!

Most of us possess a fairly big closet, but more than likely it is still the virtually worthless space in the original layout when you first moved in to your home.  It truly is no wonder things end up “piled up” and absolutely lost in there.  Part of becoming a minimalist is getting organized.  I want to provide you with some closet organization ideas.

First of all, one that I have always loved to do since I was a kid, pull EVERYTHING out of your closet.  Make a quick decision of what you can keep and what you can get rid of.  A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, you probably never will.

Once you’ve got decided on what you are going to keep, you must decide how you wish to keep it there back in the closet.  Do you wish to hang it?  Put it about the floor?  Possess a handful of shelves? Or store some things around the floor?  This info, hopefully, will assist you to take the proper steps to get your closet organized once and for all!

Multi-tier hanging clothes rods are extremely useful.  You’ll be able to install “half rods” in several locations as very well.  This can be an superb choice in case you need to have a full length rod spot for dresses and want a shorter hanging space for shirts.  Most of us possess a standard closet with one particular hanging clothes rod all of the way across.  Even simply adding a second 1 down below will positively DOUBLE your closet storage space.  Hopefully, you may not need a second rod if you were able to get rid of a lot of old clothes you never wear anyway.

Use baskets, bins, dividers, or smaller shelves to separate and organize your smaller closet things.  You should definitely place your sweaters in a basket or on a shelf as clothing hangers can trigger them to lose their shape and/or stretch them out.  No reason to ruin perfectly good sweaters because that will cause you to go out and buy more.

Cubbies, as they are called, are good for footwear, scarfs, belts and items like these.  Carousals are great for ties, hats, purses and the like.  If you might be creative you may perhaps would like to use a specific closet organization item for an entirely several purpose.  This really is YOUR project so make it function for YOU.

This really is your chance to customize your closet storage.  Make it accessible, convenient and efficient for what you need to keep.  Some of us have a boatload of clothing and only a couple pairs of shoes.  Some of us even have two pairs of shoes for EVERY outfit (Again, refer back to the paragraph about getting rid of the stuff you don’t use).

What it comes down to is that not one “cookie cutter” closet organization system is for everyone.  For the most effective outcome, take a complete inventory of the things you will be putting back in your closet and make an organization plan that may give the proper amount of space for the things you need.

Are you planning to live inside your current residence for a long time?  If so, a permanent closet organization system is something you will be interested in.  For those who move often or who are paying rent, look at making use of removable closet organization products so you can take it with you when you bail ship.  Otherwise, every time you move out, you will be buying more closet organizers and wasting a lot of money.  Make sure you price out different closet organization systems before making your decision.  Even start online and go to the websites of the big box stores to see what they have.

Most of us out here do not realize the great amount of space that we have inside our closets.  Another thing to consider is the space on the back of the door.  Use that space!  There is room to hang a bag for hats, belts, umbrellas, purses, gloves, and so on.  Actually, it is an ideal location for hanging a shoe organizer. Please take the behind the door space into consideration when devising your customized closet layout.  You may then realize you have more space than you think.

Take measurements and bring them with you when you go looking at closet organization systems.  It is good to have this with you when you go.  In addition, bring the measuring tape, along with the pen and paper with you so you can measure and compare the closet organization system.

Some final words about closet organization ideas.  First thing is first and please make sure to go through your closet for items you have not worn and will probably never wear.  I know that it is hard to let go of things, especially when you paid money for them.   Remember that there are a lot of other people that could really use those items if you donate them to The Salvation Army or Goodwill.  This will be a tax write off too for the value of the items.

There you have it – a minimalist lifestyle approach for your closet!

Less is Positively MORE!™

Government Debt Relief grants to accelerate a minimalist lifestyle? Think again…


Can you get a US government debt relief grant to pay down your debts?

The short answer is “not on your life”, but there are possibly other Government Options available to you, depending on your specific situation.

There is a good number of mistaken information going around recently about government debt relief grants.  Many people believe that the government will pay  individuals to get out of debt.  Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. However, there may be different ways that the government will help you on a financial level.

Government Grants

The US government will NOT give you money simply because you are in debt, however it may be that you will qualify for a government grant for other purposes. This grant could definitely assist you financially.

You will find about 26 different government grant making agencies.  Several are established to make grants for community projects, for instance, within the arts or community development.  Other grant opportunities are government research grants,  mainly for hospitals or doctors carrying out research into health and disease.  However, some government grants are available to us as individuals.

One needs to be in a specific situation to qualify for these grants. For instance, there’s “disaster prevention and relief” which helps those who have lived through terrible disasters (hurricanes, fires, etc).  Other government grants may be readily available for housing or for starting or the development of a small business.  You can see these and all of the grants offered at grants.gov

Government Loans

There is also a government loans program.  While this will not get you out of debt,  should you qualify you could get great financing at a much better rate of interest than you would pay with most credit cards or commercial loan providers.  Again, these are usually for specific purposes such as business, housing and education (student loans).

Some of these government loans are administered through banks. So if you’re asking your bank about a loan, it is usually worth inquiring whether they have government loans that you may be entitled to. You can find information about these loans at govloans.gov

Debt Settlement Agencies

There are many debt settlement agencies that have nothing to do using the federal or state government, but may have a business name which makes you believe they are a government agency.  At least, this is what they want you to think.  Be cautious in working with any of these. A number of them are probably reputable agencies, but others might have the intent to deceive you.

Rest assured,  if a website leads to .gov, it is definitely a government website. If it ends in .com or other things, it is more than likely not affiliated with the government, but it is possible that it is.  If you’re in doubt, look into the the website or question them to find out any affiliation, if any.

If the agency tries to bill you or impose a fee for finding you a grant or assisting you get rid of debt, it’s definitely a sign that you’re dealing with a commercial debt counselor or debt relief agency.  They may be in a position to assist you in reducing your debts, however they will charge you something for their service.  You have to thoroughly evaluate and decide if what they are offering is going to make financial sense and help you overall.  For the most part, I would recommend staying completely away from these companies.

A safer bet going this route is to work with Consumer Credit Counseling Service at cccs.org.  Personally, I worked with Money Management International (moneymanagement.org), which is affiliated with CCCS.  They were a HUGE part with helping me get out of debt.  When I used their service, no fee was required on my end at all.  There was an optional $30 monthly donation for their service, but again was completely optional and not required whatsoever.

Sometimes a company may advertise that they have “government debt relief” available.  What they will usually offer you is suggestions about declaring bankruptcy.  This method might be regulated through the federal government but it is not a grant. For most of us there are possible ways of getting out of debt than bankruptcy.  Please stay away from bankruptcy as much as possible and look into all of the other options out there first.

Even if it may be bad news to hear, it is best to understand the truth about the the options that are offered to you so you know what you are getting yourself into.  The fact really comes down to is that the so called “government debt relief grants” do NOT exist.

For the Minimalist Lifestyle, remember – Less is Positively MORE!™

Accelerated Debt Snowball for the Minimalist Lifestyle


Debt Free.  It sounds great, doesn’t it?

Being part of minimalist living is recognizing that debt really cramps your style – minimalism style.  You need to be debt-free.  Get rid of debt!

One way to get out of debt and a distinct variation that I personally used is what is known as an accelerated debt snowball.

Your accelerated debt snowball is a type of self managed debt relief,  a method to finally get rid of your financial troubles.  Yes, it’s possible and you can almost certainly do it, however much your debt.

The first thing to do is accept that your debt is not going to disappear overnight.  It probably took several years to mount up and it’ll certainly take months, perhaps years, to operate it off.  Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Forget about winning the lottery.  If you want to get out of debt you have to develop patience and determination.  You also have to prevent using your credit cards.

Next,  figure out just how much you have to spend.  Take a look at methods to decrease your expenses as much as possible, which in turn, increases your income allowing you to have enough to live on,  pay your essential bills and make the minimum monthly payments due.  Cut out any repeat billings that aren’t strictly necessary,  like gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, daily $4 Starbucks coffee and any additional “luxuries” that you realistically can live without.   Make it a point to lower ALL of your expenses.  Get your monthly “nut to crack” down as minimal as possible!

Figure out how much you saved by lowering your expenses and use this as your accelerator margin.  For example, if you were able to cut down an extra $100 a month (c’mon – it is only $25 a week), then your accelerator margin is $100.

Then, with your new accelerator margin and if you can find anything else extra, start to save.  Before you can operate the accelerated debt snowball you should have minimum savings of $500 for a single person or $1000 for a couple or family.  This cash is for emergencies – not food or rent, you have to cover those from your income,  but for example to repair your car if it breaks down.  Like most, you definitely need your car for work to earn income.

The main reason you need this sum of savings is so when an urgent situation occurs,  you won’t borrow or use of the money that you’ll require for your monthly obligations.

After this,  you can start the accelerated debt snowball.  Make a list of ALL of the debts to your name, large and small.  Include everything, even $5 that you simply borrowed from a friend they never expected you to repay.  Arrange the list so as to how much you owe, lowest first (the total debt for each one, not the monthly payment).   Make sure to list it in this order.  You should finish up having a list that starts maybe with the absolute lowest amount first  and then ending with your home mortgage or whatever is your biggest loan/debt.

Now you will require the accelerator margin and ALL of the spare money you have each month, also known as discretionary income.  This is the money that you simply were putting toward your savings before started the snowball and begin to repay those debts, beginning with the absolute smallest on the list.  Again, start with the smallest amount of debt FIRST.

Many people will try to start with the highest interest rate debt first.  In theory, this makes sense, but it does not work in practice because, as a general rule, people are not motivated by merely saving a little bit in interest charges.  We are more motivated by a sense of achievement.  This is exactly what we get that whenever we can cross one debt off our list and move to the next.

As you pay off one debt, take the accelerator margin, along with what the minimum payment of that debt was – and add the whole thing to the next debt.  So, if one card you had a minimum payment of $100 plus your $100 accelerator margin, you were paying a total of $200 to that card each month.  Once it is paid off, move to the next credit card’s minimum payment PLUS that other $200 that you were paying on the other card.  This is where it becomes a SNOWBALL.

Paying off the smaller debts first and working your way through the subsequent debts shows that you can do this.  Paying off your friend that loaned you a small amount that you keep putting off repaying is rewarding too because they will appreciate the repayment.  Heck, they probably never thought they would see the money again.  What a surprise.  The result of the accelerated debt snowball is to keep you consistently motivated to maintain paying off your debts one by one and having you receive the great feeling of achievement.

To maximize the sensation,  make sure to “treat yourself”  if you pay off a debt.  Don’t allow this treat to be too costly of course, but do something that you will really enjoy.  Maybe this is going to the new movie you have been wanting to see or something similar.  If you are married and/or have a family, the treat should be for all of you.  Make eliminating debt an entire family experience.   You all need to be in this together for it to work.

Once you experience the positive feeling of what it is like paying down the initial few debts, you really will never wish to return to having more debt.  As they say, “once you pay off the debt, you will never regret!” (Actually, I just made this up – LoL).  That’s the reason it’s known as the accelerated debt snowball – you successfully start it  and it takes off rolling under its momentum.

Use the accelerated debt snowball to get yourself the very best kind of debt relief.  Be debt-free the minimalist way.  Become debt free to ensure a minimalist lifestyle.

Less is Positively MORE!™

Funny Video about “What is a Minimalist?”


Funny Video that explains the Minimalist mindset.

Less is Positively MORE!™