【Minimalism】 How to create a system and habit of saving money



When you hear the words “saving and saving,” don’t you have an image that you need to be patient? Actually, saving and saving do not require patience. If you catch a few tricks, money will accumulate naturally. The trick is to create a system and habit to save money.

The system to save money is to review your monthly fixed costs. Fixed costs are those expenses that are fixed every month. Fixed costs are money that goes out of your pocket regardless of whether you save or shop in your daily life, so if you can cut these costs and control your spending, you will have more money to spare. Fixed expenses actually don’t feel like you are paying much. Since we pay by bank debit or credit card, our fixed expenses are always swelling up without our knowledge. If you don’t feel like you are spending money, but somehow you are running out of money before payday, please review your fixed costs. Monthly fixed costs are rent if you live in a rented apartment, management and repair expenses for homeowners, cell phone charges, electricity, gas, water, and subscriptions. Landline phone and NHK reception fees should be the first to be cancelled to reduce fixed costs. Fixed costs that should be reviewed are rent, car, insurance, telecommunications, and subs. Rent and cars reflect a person’s particular needs and the characteristics of the area in which he/she lives, so it may be difficult to reduce them, but it is a good idea to review each fixed cost from the viewpoint of whether it is really necessary and whether there are other inexpensive ways. Once fixed costs are reviewed, a system will be established whereby expenses are automatically reduced from the following month onward. You will be able to accumulate money on your own without any special effort. We have explained how to review fixed costs in a previous video. Please refer to the link in the summary section.

Next, we will discuss habits that save money. One of the common characteristics of people who do not save money is that they spend money without any reason. By asking yourself, “Why am I buying? When you ask yourself why you are buying something, you will be able to cut down on unnecessary purchases. When you dig deeper into the answer to the question, “Why do I buy?” you will eventually come up with two answers: “Because I need it” and “Because I want it. If you dig deeper and think about “why you want it” and “why you need it,” you will find out what you are willing to pay for it. Then, by considering whether what you are paying for is really worth the price, you will be able to avoid unnecessary purchases. If you ask yourself “Why do I want this?” and “Why do I need this?” and you do not get a clear answer, then it is likely that the purchase is a waste of money, and you should not buy it. For example, if you want a brand-name wallet, ask yourself, “Why am I buying this wallet?” Think about it. If you need a wallet, you don’t need a brand name wallet, so in this case, the reason is “because I want one. If you further consider why you want a branded wallet, you may come up with reasons such as “I’m in love with the brand’s worldview” or “I want to be recognized by the people around me”. In the former case, you are willing to pay for the brand because you find value in it, so even if it is an expensive purchase, you may be willing to buy it because you will be satisfied with it and will be able to use it for a long time. On the other hand, if the reason is “I want to be recognized by the people around me,” you are not paying for the value of the branded wallet, but for the feeling of superiority you will gain over the people around you. Think about whether it is worth paying tens of thousands of yen for such a sense of superiority. The feeling of superiority you get from having a branded wallet will probably be gone in less than a few weeks. Is such a momentary interval worth tens of thousands of yen? If you still think it is worth paying money for, then buy the wallet. If you think such a thing is not worth tens of thousands of yen, then you should not buy it. At the stage where you want an expensive object to look good in the first place, that purchase is not a necessary purchase, and you will probably choose not to buy it. In this way, if you try to buy only what you need and what is valuable to you, you will waste less money and save more money.

In other words, when you buy things, your shopping expenditures will be drastically reduced if you think about what you are buying for and what value you are paying for, rather than simply trying to buy things based on a “want”. When you shop this way, you realize that you don’t have to hold back on what you really want. If you only hold back, you will not be able to continue saving money. If you have enough money, you can buy what you really want when you want it, even if it is expensive. Since the purchase is based on a well-thought-out decision, the joy and satisfaction of acquiring the item is great, and you will become attached to it and use it for a long time, making it a cost-effective purchase.

Some people may think it is a hassle to think about it every time they shop, but even if they think about it consciously at first, they will gradually become able to shop while thinking about it unconsciously. Once you get into this kind of shopping habit, you will naturally save money even though you do not feel like you are holding back.

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