A Minimalist Approach to Personal Finance

A Minimalist Approach to Personal Finance


For most of my life I wasn’t very good with money I made it and I spent it the money came in and out and since nearly eight out of ten Americans live paycheck to paycheck I’m guessing that’s something that you can relate to as well after four years of college I left with a degree in mass communications and 97 thousand dollars in student loan debt. Then I bought a brand new car I told you I wasn’t very good with money. There was something holding me back from even looking at my personal finances It had become a joke. I owe him some money What kind of money I had dug myself into a hole so deep it didn’t even seem possible That I’d ever get out the crazy part all that debt wasn’t stopping me from spending after I got the new car I added a new TV Computer and even a leather jacket to my running tab that leather jacket was pretty cool though soon after college, though I came to the realization that I needed to make a change that I couldn’t just pretend like I wasn’t in massive trouble It was one of the most challenging things that I’ve ever done in my entire life But over the course of 4 years I was able to pay off every single student loan even that car payment and that’s what I want to talk about today Money our problems with it and how minimalism has helped me there’s a basic formula to win at personal finance and It’s this. Spend less money than you make In practice though It’s not that easy money seems to completely slip through our fingers no matter how much money we make our bank account seems to have a Completely different agenda. One of the reasons that we’re bad with money is because money is taboo We can’t even talk about it with coworkers with family members without people feeling judged or downright Offended we can only improve if we start to have honest conversations About money we need to remove our egos and actually try to learn. One of the best ways that I’ve found To learn about personal finance is through books and I’ll give three recommendations Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover Ramita Sadie’s I will teach to be rich and Tony Robbins Unshakable, all three of these books lay out great advice trusted advice that has worked and I think that you’ll find a lot of value from them Don’t fall into the trap of lifestyle creep Whenever we get a pay raise or we start to make a little bit more money We land a really big project. The first thing that we want to do is Upgrade our apartment buy a better car Increase our lifestyle. So then that way we’re in some way rewarding this win But if we were instead to be more mindful about our spending if we were to keep our lifestyle in check and not Inflate it as our income rises. 5, 10 years down the road we’re gonna be able to live a lot more comfortably and we’re gonna have so much more security than if we continue to increase our Lifestyle every year, let’s be honest. We buy a ton of shit and we convince ourselves in a lot of sneaky ways Why we deserve it. I mean I like shopping Is there anything so wrong with that not all advertising is bad but a lot of it is Driven to make us feel as if we deserve the indulgence you’ve worked so hard you deserve this handbag these sneakers or this watch and The truth of the matter is that what you deserve is to be debt-free? You deserve not living paycheck to paycheck we face pressure from social media keeping up with the Joneses or the Kardashians is a very real thing and if we’re not Curating and mindful of our news feeds and our social media feeds it can be Very tempting to want to keep up and have the things that everybody else have otherwise, we’ll have the fear of missing out But here’s the thing rich people are rich because they make smart decisions With their money, they don’t go out and lease a brand new BMW They don’t rent an apartment that they can’t afford and the last type of pressure that we face is pressure from ourselves There’s this thing called the myth of ‘I don’t have’ and it’s something that we tell ourselves To convince us that we need to go out and buy that thing So as a filmmaker, you might say I really want to make that film or that video but I don’t have this lens or I don’t have this camera so I can’t do it or I can’t go out for that run or that jog I can’t start my new workout routine because I don’t have that pair of sneakers but really the only thing that’s doing is procrastinating us from getting started with our goals and our dreams and It’s convincing us that buying that extra thing is gonna solve everything which it won’t you need to make sacrifices when I graduated college Within 3 months I decided to move home with my parents and I lived in my parents basement Literally in the basement for two years. I didn’t date much didn’t spend much I didn’t go out much because I knew that I had to make some sacrifices To get to a point when I could start to take risks You have to be completely clear with why you’re doing this in the first place. Why do you want to be debt-free? Why do you want to have? Financial freedom when we truly understand why we don’t want to be living paycheck to paycheck Why we would want to be debt-free Everything else comes a little bit easier when We think about having the security and safety being able to take care of our family and our friends if they run into trouble It becomes more obvious Why this is so important you’re able then to take more risks to challenge yourself. Put your push yourself outside of your comfort zone In ways that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to I know for myself if I wasn’t debt-free, I Wouldn’t be where I am today. If I didn’t take in that first step and realize that I had a problem I wouldn’t have had that domino effect that led me to where I am to be able to take pretty ambitious and risky decisions to move across the country to Leave my business and start a complete new one these aren’t easy decisions and when you have debt It’s gonna be that much more difficult and that less likely that you’re gonna succeed The strategy couldn’t be more simple spend less money than you make but as you know We face a lot of pressure to do the exact opposite But if you can out maneuver these forces, if you can build a healthy relationship with money, and create positive habits that stick You will be able to become financially free Thanks so much for watching. What strategies tips tools and books have helped you on your own Personal finance journey what things have helped you to chip away and even get out of debt? I’d love to hear about your success stories as well as a part of that conversation opening up the dialogue about money I think we should be encouraging each other and Really rewarding each other for making positive steps in our lives try not to feel threatened or discouraged if other people have a great success story see it as Potential in yourself if somebody is able to get out of debt. That means that you probably can too. Thank you guys for watching

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100 thoughts on “A Minimalist Approach to Personal Finance”

  • Matt D'Avella says:

    Hey everybody! I'm making a course on habit change (it's my first one and it's going to be awesome). There will be lots of videos, silly jokes, & most of all actionable steps to make any habit stick.

    Sign up to hear about it… http://mattdavella.com/newsletter

  • Scott Black Cycles says:

    Here is my minimalist approach to finances…NO CREDIT for anything except real estate. One debit card for my checking account (which is kept in a safe at home), a bank-issued pre-paid debit card that I use for my monthly bills (all my bills are paid online and this card, like the checking debit card, is kept in a safe at home), and another debit card that I carry all the time; I only put cash on this when I am making a purchase.

  • Tenacious Tonya Heathco says:

    Thank you for saying so much that I've wanted to say for years Matt! I allowed myself to accept the permission given by others to not pay attention to my personal finances my entire adult life and now that I am living on my own, I feel a freedom to live financially free. Ironically, because I broke free from a toxic relationship this year with no budget, no job ( I am permanently disabled) and no financial help, my best choice to begin my financial freedom was through carefully chosen credit cards. Debt is well managed and low. I am working a personal plan to break free of government funds to enjoy true financial freedom.

  • I finally got a job and I came up with a simple strategy to save money so that I can move to a better home- closer to my family.
    Simply 50% goes to my saving account, I live in a tiny apartment and I learned to make cheap food when I was a "starving artist"
    In the most hardcore scenario, I can survive with 10:USD a week.

  • Douce Minique says:

    it was really interesting!!! If you have a familiy, go check Jordan Page's channel, Fun cheap or free, it has really help us changes our finances habits and we now save a ton of money! Have a budget and stick to it no matter what! Thnaks Matt for your instructive videos!

  • Frank J. Alejo says:

    Honestly enough seeing how horrible my parents where at money and always in debit made me want to learn how everything worked at a young age before I even had a job which helped me so much. When I had a part time job for me saving money was tough due to the small pay checks but now that I am working full-time I finally everything I built up too is working out.

  • Edward Lomaseng says:

    Live a simple life pay everything w cash . When u learn to take care of ur money . Ur money will take care of u.

  • This is quite the American centric perpective. In my country far example, friends and family talk about money, share tips with each other and it was always something discussed in my home. It's also always advisable to save as much as possible from a young age. We also rarely have student debts or health care related debts. But that's socialised democracy for you 😀

  • Holly Louise says:

    Debt is modern day slavery and materialism, advertising and the need to keep up with the Jones’s and this crazy image of what we should live like and what success looks like is our new master. I have a small home that is older, but I can comfortably afford the repayments. My car is 10 years old but I own it. My books are second hand, but they tell the same stories as the new version. I am still in debt and it is the most stressful and anxiety inducing situation I have ever been in, but I am heading in the right direction and minimalism, living a simple life and being a part of the debt free community is allowing me to make extra debt repayments every month.

  • The Millionaire Fastlane is a book which really helped me incredible. It was so Lifechanging I had to order my closest friends a copy. I Encourage everyone to get the book. I read pretty much every self help, finance book out there and it is by far the most practical and best if you are trying to become not only financially independent but also wealthy.

  • The Deadly Tikka says:

    I have a very simple financial setup. I have 3 bank accounts. 1 for paying my bills, 1 for savings and investments and one for my spending money. I get paid into my spending account. My bills come straight out, I round down what’s left to the nearest reasonable amount and put that in my investment account then use what’s left over for food and stuff

  • Three Little Birds says:

    Rich Dad Poor Dad! Debt isn't all bad! You can put yourself $25000 in debt today that can make you a million over the next 10 yrs!

  • https://www.amazon.com/No-Fear-Discover-Passion-Purpose/dp/1079250999/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=no+fear+czech+biber&qid=1563394453&s=gateway&sr=8-1

  • It gets a lot of flack but "Rich Dad Poor Dad" is a very easy read that started me on the way to being responsible for my finances. Also lots of good channels out there about this topic!

  • Peter Javorkai says:

    Thanks Matt for these awesome tips in the video, really appreciate it! Recently I’ve started working on an app together with my mom who was the main inspiration to do something against mindless shopping, and start saving on things she doesn’t really need. I leave the project here, it might help some viewers later: https://wstlss.com

  • I'm a 24 year old young man who just got promoted from my job and is earning a significant amount more than my family. I found this YouTuber at a perfect time, I just finished spending a lot in buying new stuff that I needed but my older ones still worked fine. Thanks for the great video, made me think about my goals again.

  • Victor Alfonso Paredes says:

    How can one remove from the neoliberalism without hurting others , even oneself? All our jobs are somehow related to the industrial complex that produces all the stuff we consume. So, what im targeting here is to make a deal with all society classes to stop stuffing the world….you get what i mean. If they dotpnt want, we could do it by war and start from scratch. Got it.

  • "Trade-offs" is a term you will seldom hear in the mainstream media. Thinking of trade-offs when making financial decisions will help you much more than the corporations

  • Jeihan Multazam says:

    A new way for you who want to increase your funds without waiting for a long time. If your payday has to wait a month, return in AsetKu can you wait for only 15 days! Now its time for you to increase your funds! for more info please contact me 😃

  • I don't care what Tony Robbins has to say, his whole empire is built on being an abusive, sexist prick who gouges people for thousands of dollars at his worthless seminars.

  • Totally agree with you spend less than you make.. Spend money wisely.. Set and prioritize goals.. easier said than done but it's not impossible to be debt free.. It feels awesome to be debt free..👍👍👍

  • A great book is how to be richer smarter and better looking than your parents. It’s a fun read and it’s VERY inspriting!

  • In Punjab, we spend less than 50% of what we make. we people save from old age. People dont buy things event they have money. we buy things that are very important for us. It seems like in US have most of the stuff that is on loan. In Punjab people by things on Cash for example car, home etc. They save money and then buy

  • Stefan Hendriks says:

    Are there any people who got into this knowledge and goal when they both are in student loan-debts, have kids etc. The expenses are high and not much to save. Paying off debt takes a looooong time now. How do others do this?

  • PoweredByPurpose says:

    Great message. Question… can I have permission to use this video in my Personal Finance class at the Bauer College of Business at University of Houston this semester? I’m looking for great resources to supplement our course content and your video would help encourage and motivate our students. Please reply with any instructions. Thanks again.

  • I think people are beginning to talk about money. I talk about money with my parents a lot. Last week I discussed the pros and cons of buying a house with 2 different colleagues at work, and the week before that I discussed pension with one of my senior co-workers. I think the taboo around the subject is slowly fading away.

  • Teja Karlapudi says:

    I calculate how much I actually need to live ($X). Whenever I get my Salary, I keep X + $300 in my account and send the remaining money to a secondary savings account and I pretend that, that secondary savings account does not exist. I only take money out of that during an emergency.

  • Garry Arik Pradhana says:

    where were I be for so long? youtube algorhytm worked just right, my new favorite youtuber, thank you for the advice!

  • Shirine El Zaatari says:

    You can also use Monzo bank app which automatically categorises your spending! Monzo has been like the best money related thing that I came across.
    You can use this link to sign up for free if you live in the UK and you'll get 5£ also: https://join.monzo.com/r/nboa2ce

  • My dad taught me to always put 10% of my paycheck into a high-interest savings account – the one that denies that month's interest if you withdraw from it. So if I only made $200 that week, I'd only have to put $20 into savings. I also learnt to ALWAYS pay rent and utilities first. I learnt to dumpster dove for groceries and I would bring home $600 worth of perfectly good food each week from bins behind supermarkets. It was all wrapped in plastic, so safe to eat. I'm vegetarian which when done thoughtfully is very cheap. Now I earn more so I can buy food instead of diving for it and I can put 30% of my paycheck into savings. I cut my own hair, make my own meals from scratch, have a vegetable garden, drive a super fuel-efficient car, make my own cleaning supplies, repair my own clothing, buy clothes and household stuff from op shops and garage sales and so much more. Living cheaply doesn't mean skimping on luxuries either. I call Fridays 'junk food Friday' and that's when I buy dinner, usually I go to Lord of the Fries and pay $13 for my meal. That's a treat for me and it doesn't cost much. Before I buy something, I write it on a shopping list and if in 3 months time I still want it, then I buy it, but I always look for secondhand first. I opted for extra tax taken from my pay so at the end of the financial year when everyone else gets $700 back I get $7000 and I can pay for bigger expenses and out what's left into my savings. I don't really use any of it for mindless spending. Some people think I make a lot of sacrifices, I disagree. I think mindless spending is a sacrifice. It sacrifices your future, your bank balance and in time your happiness. Now in an age where millennials are facing the reality that they may never own their own home; I have other plans. My savings have amounted to enough for a deposit on a block of fertile land. I will build a house from rammed earth, off-grid and self-sufficient. My house will likely cost less than 50k and will cost less to maintain too. I will grow a food forest and live a comfortable, low-impact life. What will you do?

  • Since I'm paid an hourly wage, I think of the things I want to buy in terms of how many hours I have to spend at work. Certainly has helped cut out spending on things I don't really need or want. For the first time in my 30 years of living, I've got a modest but growing savings!

  • Nothing new here. Spiting out the same content that every other “personal finance” guru on YouTube speaks for profit. Moving on

  • When I was in University my mom begged me not to take student loan..she will send me money when i needed it..even though I wanted more, I managed ..So grateful now… but the loans wasn't that much in my country ..American student loans are ridiculously high..

  • Debt free? Easy – I tell myself, I’ve done without until now and I won’t die for not having it. I also see an item that I know that I need, ie new vacuum cleaner( the old one caught fire, I’m not such a minimalist that I’ll just use a broom ). I will see what I need go away and think about it check prices elsewhere, then go back and buy it if it’s right on another day, or if a friend is going that way I get them to pick it up for me. The bonus, peace of mind, I sleep at night. Thank you for your lovely videos. Xxx

  • Hey! I love your channel and your videos are so helpful and amazing. I was wondering if there's any chance you could make a video based on finding freelance work. Typically freelance work is more popular in LA and SF and there's a lot of websites claiming they have the best choices and as college students looking to gain experience and maybe a little extra cash, it would be helpful to know where to start, as I heard you mention that you did some freelance work yourself in film. Anyway, love your content!

  • Easy advice from somebody who makes 10k+ per video.
    Just die a minimalist with money under your pillow and a lifetime of sacrifices and deprivation. Save money, yes, at least 10%, but do not strain yourself into a minimalist lifestyle. Life is too fragile to live it with a deprivation that strains and drains your mind.
    I tried and became ill.

  • There’s a really fantastic book I can recommend called “young money” by Dasarte Yarnway. It’s about how you can use your time to make money for the future.

    The basic philosophy is that, as a 20-30 year old you have something so valuable that even no amount of money can buy – time.

    The 20+ years you have over a 40-50 year old entrepreneur is more valuable than his entire stock portfolio if you spend it right.

    It taught me how best to budget and build habits to build wealth as efficiently as possible.

    Cannot recommend enough <3

  • I stopped halfway through the video. First I want to say the visuals are great as well as the music. But as a financial planner, the overall theme of this video is terrible. I got as far as him saying that you don't deserve things after hard work, but you deserve to be debt-free, lol. Look man, we deserve whatever we want! I don't believe in minimalism AT ALL. I've never lived my life like that. What people NEED is a good budget that allows them to blow some cash on themselves every time they get paid.

    If you allow yourself to blow money on yourself all the time, it gets old and you'll end up more conservative. It usually only takes a few months to reach this level of conservatism. It's the same reason lottery winners go crazy and end up broke. They've never allowed themselves an allowance to blow on themselves.

    Bottom-line you should have at least 4 accounts. 1 for Expenses, 1 for Savings, 1 for Investments, and 1 for Blowing it. Savings, Investments, and Blow it all accounts should be allotted the same percentage. You can check my video about that out here: https://youtu.be/96bwT9SkWbE

  • America you have such a big problem with student dept. First thing you can do: Don't elect Trump again

    Second thing: Try to get a degree in an other country for less money
    Third thing: Get a fucking insurance! If you get cancer without no insurance you are fucked and all others around you too. That shit costs you 100k per year.
    Fourth thing: Do not get a credit for ANYTHING

  • Dark_Architect1 says:

    The hardest thing is to find somewhere to live thats super cheap.
    All i need is a place to sleep, small bathroom, small kitchen.

  • Quiting social media + changing friends + hanging out less exept if it is somewhere like forests or cascades where I will not need to spend any money + preparing food instead of bying it.

  • It's such a simple concept "don't spend more than you make" but yet so many of us fail at this concept (including me!)

  • Manolo Sánchez says:

    I've been living for 10 months in Paris, without my parents. Working to gain my own money… Watching your videos has been really helpfull trying not to espend all my money in the Forst days of the month

  • celeste mcguigan says:

    I am 42. own my own home outright. have essentially semi retired and have never had a credit card…ever. apart from our mortgage (when we had one) If we didnt have the money we couldnt afford it and therefore didnt get it. don't get me wrong looking back I have still wasted money in my time but it was my money credit cards are killers!

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