How to Stop Wasting Money & 7 Ways It Has Enriched My Life

Connie Riet
by Connie Riet

I have been on my minimalist journey for 13 years. Over that time, I have learned so much about myself. When I stopped wasting money, so many other unexpected things started happening in my life. Today I would love to share my experience on how to stop wasting money and how that enriches one’s life.

Understanding the value of money

1. Understanding the value of money

Oddly enough, when I stopped wasting money, I actually began to value money much more. I became better at managing money, became more mindful of it, and began to use my money and time intentionally. 

Losing the craving to shop

2. Losing the craving to shop

Shopping had become a pattern in my life. I would mindlessly shop for anything and buy things just for the sake of buying them. The more I bought, the more I felt like I needed to keep shopping.

At the beginning of my minimalist journey, I had to intentionally avoid stores: every time I found myself in one, I was urged to start purchasing things that I didn't need. It took me about a year to finally break that habit of shopping. Now I can go into any store freely and admire all of the beautiful things without feeling compelled to buy something.

Things to stop wasting money on

3. Realizing my self-worth

I used to buy the newest trends of clothes and have a very nice car because I felt like it gave me value. I thought that if I did not have the nicest newest things, I might be looked down upon by other people.

My minimalist journey showed me that my worth is about the kind of person I am and not what I own. When I stopped wasting money on things and became a minimalist, it really forced me to stop and take a hard look at myself.

Instead of using material items to feel better about myself, I started to look inward and think about the kind of person I wanted to be. As I started cultivating all of the characteristics of that type of person, that actually fed my self-esteem and raised my self-worth.  

Developing connections with others

4. Developing connections with others

Moving away from hiding behind my material possessions allowed me to have a deeper connection with other people. I was living a more authentic life and started to view others for their authentic selves as well.

Other people’s clothes or cars, as well as my own, did not matter to me anymore. What really mattered to me was the kind of person who was in front of me, and I began truly seeing and connecting with each individual person sitting in front of me.

Finding joy in simplicity

5. Finding joy in simplicity

Before becoming a minimalist, I would use shopping as a form of entertainment. Breaking this habit gave me the time to get out to nature. Nature not only gives me a sense of joy but also a sense of calm. When I am outside, I feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I picked up hobbies like baking fresh bread or knitting; I began to find joy in cooking with new recipes. Mealtime is now an exploration of new foods and a time when we come together as a family and share our day. Instead of an expensive date night out with my husband, we now enjoy a picnic in the mountains.  

Ways to stop wasting money

6. Becoming resourceful

As a minimalist, instead of buying books, I started going to the library, and I have fallen in love with it. It is so nice to explore books on all kinds of topics that I normally would not think of.

I have found the coolest second-hand stores. I got some of my favorite clothes in thrift stores, not to mention all of the unique vintage things.

I also engage in DIY projects to refurbish old furniture I found in a yard sale, or to repurpose something in my home and give it a new life. 

Learning to be adaptable

7. Learning to be adaptable

I used to waste money on things that seemed convenient but did not truly improve my life. Living minimally has taught me to be adaptable to many different situations and lifestyles.

When we traveled in an RV, I learned that I do not need a big house, or any house, to live comfortably. When we sold everything and traveled with a backpack abroad, I learned that I do not need all of my stuff or even a car. I found that clothes dry just as well hanging on the line as they do in a dryer.

I do not get caught up in thinking that I need certain possessions in order to live a good life. Every day is an adventure, and life is what you make of it, not what you own.  

How to stop wasting money

How to stop wasting money

So here is what I learned while living minimally. Thank you so much for sharing my journey towards a more mindful life, and I hope that it inspires you to try it yourselves.

Have you implemented minimalism into your own lives? If so, what did you discover about yourself? I would love to see your thoughts in the comments.

Join the conversation
  • Kay Kay on Sep 25, 2022

    Agreed more people should do it

  • Laura Laura on Sep 27, 2022

    Hi Connie,

    I started reducing my spending and the need for "things". I've enjoyed thrift store shopping since I was a child. My grandmother taught me to enjoy thrifting. However, I grew up in a materialistic world. My husband and I downsized from a larger home to a town house in NC. A year ago, I started cognitively downsizing throughout our home. I started consigning some of the things we don't love or haven't used in a year. I donate a lot to Habitat for Humanity. Thank you for writing this article.


    Laura D.