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5 Ways Minimalism Saves You Money

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5 ways minimalism saves you money

If you’re like me and most Americans, you own way too much stuff. I have items scattered throughout my living space. There are piles of papers in random places and shelves packed with who knows what. In my basement, I have two full pallets of storage.

Want to hear something more embarrassing? It used to be worse. But over the years I managed to downsize during moves. And I learned something really surprising…

Getting rid of stuff helps your finances

This is one of the benefits of practicing minimalism, which is a simple philosophy. Minimalism takes the phrase “less is more” and applies it to different areas of life.

In this post, I’ll show you the financial benefits of having less stuff.

I didn’t do anything extreme, like move into a tiny house or live in my car. I just got rid of things I didn’t need. And in turn that changed my mindset about spending money.

Here’s what minimalism can do for your finances:

1. You buy less stuff

When you start getting rid of stuff, you want to buy less stuff. Since you’re trying to accomplish a goal, you’re opposed to anything that hinders the goal.

If you start getting rid of your clothes, you’ll resist buying new ones when you’re out shopping. Once you begin donating your books, you won’t want to buy anymore.

When you desire to own less stuff, you want to stop buying new things.

2. Less maintenance saves money

Less stuff means you have less stuff to take care of. Let’s say you have two cars and three ATVs. Not only do you make payments on them, but you also have to fix them every time they break. If you go down to one car, you only have to spend money repairing one vehicle.

Doing less maintenance also saves tremendous amounts of time. The less landscaping you have, the less upkeep you have to perform. The fewer clothes and dishes you have, the less cleaning you have to do.

3. Belongings last longer

Once you start getting rid of your belongings, you begin to value the items you keep. If you only have one computer, you’ll make an effort to make it last. You’ll clean it and make sure it’s properly updated so it lasts for a long time.

When you have many belongings, you can neglect them. I do this all the time. If all of my kitchen knives are in the sink I think, “I don’t want to wash all of those.” Even though those knives were expensive. And they would last a lot longer if I dried them immediately.

When you have few items, you give more attention to those items.

4. You make money by selling

This is the most immediate way to make money from downsizing. There are a ton of ways to sell your belongings. The Facebook marketplace is very popular these days. And don’t forget the classics: eBay and craigslist.

Try downloading some apps where you can list things for sale. Check out some pawn shops (keep in mind they can be cheap). And of course, you can always do a yard sale.

5. You buy smarter

Earlier I mentioned that you buy less stuff when you get rid of your belongings. But you also buy smarter. If you’re trying to own fewer items, you end up buying multi-purpose items.

Maybe your cleaning closet is full of sprays and cleaners for every surface under the sun. Then next time you need a cleaner, you’ll go for the multi-purpose one. Over the months your closet will shrink in size. And you won’t waste money on 15 different carpet cleaners.
Less stuff makes big changes

Your finances might not look different right away, but give it some time. When you start emptying your house, you’ll want to keep it that way. Items that usually last 6 months end up lasting a year. Instead of bringing home five shopping bags, you only bring home two.

Practice minimalism and watch your spending go down.

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Business

RetailMeNot’s Five to Buy in February

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RetailMeNot's Five to Buy in February
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The wintry temps may make you cold, but February deals are sure to warm your heart. It’s not only a great time to shower your valentine with roses and gifts, but it’s a great time to make other smart and timely purchases as well.

The shopping and trends expert for RetailMeNot, Sara Skirboll, agrees. “With the biggest football game of the year, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day on the horizon, retailers will offer tremendous savings on a variety of categories — from TVs and TV dinners to all of your Valentine’s Day needs.

1. Play Cupid

With Valentine’s Day this month, shoppers might be struggling to find the right present that symbolizes their love. You can never go wrong with a customized gift made especially for them. This month, shoppers looking to go the extra mile for their loved one will save an average of 40% on items like personalized photo albums, picture frames, wall art and more. You name it, they make it — and just because it’s customized doesn’t mean it will break the bank. Turn to retailers like Shutterfly who is offering a RetailMeNot exclusive for 28% off your regular priced purchase.

2. Ding-Dong Deals

While some might make dinner reservations at the fanciest restaurant in town, many will opt to eat at home. Those who do can take advantage of special promotions and discounts. In fact, diners can save an average of 30% off all month long, so be sure to search the food delivery deals from RetailMeNot. Right now, DoorDash is offering 25% off your first purchase and Postmates is offering $15 delivery credit for existing users.

3. Flower Power

Everything’s coming up roses! According to a recent RetailMeNot survey, 46% of shoppers plan to buy flowers for Valentine’s Day this year, up from 34% in 2019. Many florists will be offering promotions and discounts to help shoppers prepare for the holiday. This year, retailers like 1800Flowers are having up to 40% off flowers & gifts and FTD is offering a RetailMeNot exclusive offer for 20% off sitewide.

4. Get Your Game On

Attention sports fans: Discounts on electronics are not strictly reserved for Black Friday! In fact, February is the second-cheapest time of year to buy a new TV. With the big game right around the corner and March Madness close behind, manufacturers will use those big-time events to highlight big savings on big-screen sets. Another reason for the markdowns is that new models will be released next month, so retailers will be looking to make room for new inventory. Shoppers in the market for a new TV should head to Samsung where they can get 10% cash back with RetailMeNot, and Best Buy where they can find up to 64% off clearance items.

5. Meet Your (Price) Match

Life can easily get in the way of finding “the one,” but online dating sites and convenient mobile apps are here to help. Those looking for love are in luck: Dating sites can offer up to 75% off enrollment fees to encourage singles to put themselves out there. Dating sites like eHarmony are offering 35% off all subscriptions and OkCupid is offering free membership.

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Lifestyle

STUDY: Being Wealthy Adds 9 More Healthy Years to Your Life

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STUDY Being Wealthy Adds 9 More Healthy Years to Your Life
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By Amelia Hill

Being wealthy adds nine years to healthy life expectancy: a life free from disability and pain, according to transatlantic research.

The 10-year study, conducted across the UK and US, looked at all the social and economic factors behind the reasons why people sink into ill-health as they age.

“We found that socio-economic inequalities in disability-free life expectancy were similar across all ages in England and the US but the biggest socio-economic advantage in both countries and across all age groups was wealth,” said Dr Paola Zaninotto, a professor in epidemiology and healthcare at University College London, which led the research.

Published on Tuesday in the Journal of Gerontology, the data from 10,754 UK adults aged 50 and older, and 14,803 US adults over 50, examined how long people can expect to live free from disabilities and to what extent socio-economic factors play a part.

The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the US Health and Retirement Study both found that while life expectancy is a useful indicator of health, the quality of life as we age is crucial to determining our health.

“By measuring healthy life expectancy we can get an estimate of the number of years of life spent in favourable states of health or without disability,” said Zaninotto.

“We know that improving both the quality and the quantity of years that individuals are expected to live has implications for public expenditure on health, income, long-term care of older people and work participation and our results suggest that policy makers in both England and the US must make greater efforts into reducing health inequalities,” she added.

In both countries people in the study were divided into groups based on total household wealth. Comparisons were made between the richest and least wealthy groups.

The paper shows that at 50 the wealthiest men in England and the US lived about an additional 31 healthy years, compared with about 22 to 23 years for those in the poorest wealth groups.

Women from the wealthiest groups from the US and England lived around an additional 33 “healthy” years, compared with 24.6 and 24 years from the poorest wealth groups in England the US respectively.

Recent ONS statistics also showed that those aged 65 are seeing their healthy life expectancy increase: since 2009, men in England and Wales aged 65 have gained 31.5 weeks of life and 33.5 weeks of healthy life. Women of the same age have gained 17.4 weeks of life and 23.3 weeks of healthy life over the same period.

But the data also revealed that children born today are likely to spend a larger proportion of their lives in poor health than their grandparents.

They will also benefit from substantially smaller increases in their life expectancy than those born a few years earlier, in the first decade of the 21st century.

In contrast, the proportion of life expected to be spent in good health in the UK has decreased between 2009-11 and 2016-18, from 79.9% to 79.5% for males and from 77.4% to 76.7% for females.

This article’s headline was amended on 20 January 2020 to more accurately reflect the content of the article.
Copyright © 2020 theguardian.com. All rights reserved.

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Economy

STUDY: Number of Billionaires Doubles in Last Decade

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Number of Billionaires Doubles in Last Decade
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The number of billionaires has doubled in the past decade and the world’s wealthiest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined last year, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

Meanwhile, unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the world’s economy each year at least $10.8 trillion than the technology industry, the Nairobi-based charity said in its “Time to Care” report.

Women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without any pay or recognition, while the world’s 22 richest men have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

“It is important for us to underscore that the hidden engine of the economy that we see is really the unpaid care work of women. And that needs to change,” Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India, told Reuters.

“Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist,” Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam beginning Tuesday.

“Women and girls are among those who benefit least from today’s economic system,” he added.

There will be at least 119 billionaires worth about $500 billion attending Davos this year, according to Bloomberg, with the highest contingents coming from the US, India and Russia.

“The very top of the economic pyramid sees trillions of dollars of wealth in the hands of a very small group of people, predominantly men,” the Oxfam report said.

“Their wealth is already extreme, and our broken economy concentrates more and more wealth into these few hands,” it said.

To highlight the inequality, Behar cited the case of a woman called Buchu Devi in India who spends up to 17 hours a day walking almost two miles to fetch water, cooking, preparing her kids for school and working in a poorly paid job.

“And on the one hand you see the billionaires who are all assembling at Davos with their personal planes, personal jets, super rich lifestyles,” he said.

“This Buchu Devi is not one person. I in India encounter these women on a daily basis, and this is the story across the world. We need to change this, and certainly end this billionaire boom.”

Behar said that to remedy the problem, governments should make sure above all that the rich pay their taxes, which should be used to pay for amenities such as clean water, health care and better schools.

“If you just look around the world, more than 30 countries are seeing protests. People are on the street and what are they saying? That they are not to accept this inequality, they are not going to live with these kind of conditions,” he said.

Source: New York Post
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(c) 2020 2019 Vanguard Media Limited, Nigeria Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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