Yes, it’s the dreaded R-word. By pinpointing your priorities in various areas, minimalism can help you navigate economic turmoil. On this basis, here are 7 minimalist skills to help you through a recession.
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Open an economics book, and you’ll learn that recessions are nothing unnatural. They are part of a repeating economic cycle. Moreover, downturns generally precede booms.
Nevertheless, preparing for periods of economic instabilities will help you face them with more poise and tenacity. That’s where minimalism comes into play.
Minimalism is all about prioritization. And this prioritization will be of great benefit during a recession.
Minimalist skills to help you through a recession
The following are some of the most valuable minimalist skills for a recession.
By using an essentialist approach when it comes to money, organization, and daily routines, a minimalist lifestyle will help you overcome obstacles linked to economic recessions.
1. Knowing your essential possessions
During a recession, we often face pay cuts, job insecurity, and economic mishaps. We may lose money on the stock market, and our assets may decrease in value.
In such a scenario, knowing which possessions are essential and which are expendable is of paramount importance.
Do these branded t-shirts add genuine value to my life? Do I need all these video games?
A recession is an ideal moment to re-evaluate our material possessions. Ask yourself the following: how can I counterbalance financial losses?
Getting rid of items that do not add value to your life is always fruitful. And even more so in a recession.
Before the recession, you might have fallen into consumerist traps. You bought trendy items spontaneously, not intentionally.
When the recession strikes, there are two possibilities.
First, if the economic downturn hits you hard, you’ll be forced to sell a few items and rethink your consumption habits. If not, the recession can serve as a mental impetus to reassess your consumer behavior.
2. Willingness to learn and adapt
Minimalism is about questioning your values constantly.
Am I setting the right priorities in life? Do I invest my energy, money, and creativity in the right areas?
Once you’ve adopted a minimalist mindset, you’ll ask these questions frequently. And during a recession, these questions will come up more often than not.
Your job might on the line. That could be an incentive to question your career choices.
Your replaceability could become apparent. That might be an encouragement to learn new skills.
In short, recessions accentuate the need to adapt.
3. Self-care rituals
Strong self-care rituals are certainly among the most effective minimalist skills to help you through a recession.
Whether it’s meditation, gratitude, or sports, your wellbeing routine will serve as a mental and physical backbone throughout times of economic hardship.
This mental and physical balance a dual advantage: it will safeguard your sanity when economic woes threaten your mental wellbeing.
On the other hand, it will also give you the courage to take on new challenges.
And we all know that opportunities arise during recessions. At the height of the Dotcom Bubble, Apple increased its R&D expenditures by 13%. A few years later, the results gave birth to the iPhone.
4. Healthy spending habits
As a minimalist, we always control our spending – recession or not.
As an example, one of my spending rules is to delay every purchase of over 100 dollars for at least 24 hours.
This habit works even better when times are tough, and frugality becomes the norm. The 100 dollars I spend or don’t spend now impact my savings and income more – making the delay rule an ideal way to reassess a given purchase.
5. Financial skills
On par with spending rules, financial skills are crucial in times of economic trouble.
The 2020 crisis has already halved most of my stock market assets. Should I bury my head in the sand and put all my money under the pillow?
When I became a minimalist many years ago, I became obsessed with learning about money and investing.
One of the first things I learned was that risk and return go hand in hand. Another major lesson was the role of fear when it comes to investing.
On this basis, during a recession, it’s best to take a hard look at your investments and determine whether they still make sense in the long run. If not, it might be time to re-allocate your money.
In this context, two books have helped me deal with financial anxiety during tough times.
First, The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham is a fantastic book if you want to learn the mechanics of investing and especially crisis-driven decisions.
It may be a bit outdated, but most of Graham’s lessons are timeless. It is, by the way, also Warren Buffett’s favorite book about investing.
Secondly, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle is a no-nonsense guide to the stock market with a lot of hard truths and techniques.
It offers enticing insights into how investing can be a lose-lose situation if you aren’t careful and how a beginner should approach the financial jungle.
6. Knowing how to prioritize
Minimalism is practically synonymous with prioritization. And prioritization becomes an essential part of daily life when times are tough.
Financial constraints will force you to prioritize when it comes to spending. Increased workloads will lead to prioritization in your job. And less free time will help you prioritize leisure activities.
With the help of prioritization, a minimalist mindset can guide people through recessions.
In this sense, learning how to concentrate your efforts in the areas that matter most to you is among the most vital minimalist skills to help you through a recession.
7. Proper organizational routines
Finally, minimalists are famous for loving organizational routines. And these plans will help you survive and thrive in a recession.
Your morning routine will ensure a productive start to the day. Your daily decluttering habits help you remain sharp and organized throughout the day. And your night routine secures the quality of your sleep.
No matter if you are an entrepreneur or an employee, you’ll want to come out stronger on the other side of a recession. The only way to do that is to retain a healthy routine.
Adaptations are naturally required, but your routine should not be affected by an external crisis.
When the world around you crumbles, your routine will evolve into a small triumph every day.
Your habits will help you celebrate small wins – and these atomic gains will lead you through the recession.
For instance, your daily routine might include 30 minutes of reading.
If the recession cuts your income in half, these 30 daily minutes might not immediately make you richer.
In the long run, your reading habit could, nonetheless, become the key to creating a new income stream. And this income stream could compensate your losses.
Useful links on Minimalist Skills to Help You Through A Recession
- read more in the section “Life”
- read How The 2020 Pandemic Will Inspire a New Wave of Minimalism
- check out 6 Inspirational Books for Hard Times
Don’t miss a beat!
Jack Krier is a writer, photographer, and entrepreneur. On Minimalist Focus, he shares his ideas on minimalism and personal growth, helping thousands of readers improve their lives by focusing on the essentials.