Minimalism for Anyone

martinis and your money

Minimalism for Anyone

In case you don’t know, I have a private Martinis and Your Money Facebook group that you are more than welcome to join. I think it’s a great community of financially minded people where we like to share ideas, thoughts, questions, and from time to time, my members suggest podcast show topics. Today, I’m excited to have Cait Flanders on from, formally Blonde on a Budget to talk about minimalism.

This show topic came to me thanks to one of my Facebook group members, and I am so excited to not only share this episode but to say that it’s inspired me to downsize my life even more than I thought I already had. Cait found solace through a 12-month spending ban – but in that process, she also embraced some of the concepts found in minimalism like “buy one, give one” and the $20-20min rule. How much was she able to cut out of her budget? Listen to her story and find out.

What are we drinking?

Cait — coffee and a glass of water because she quit drinking 3 ½ years ago!

Shannon — club soda

Podcast Notes

  • Cait originally started her blog five years ago to document her debt repayment journey, which she accomplished in two years.
  • Cait’s advice to those paying off debt is to include money in your budget for fun so you have a balanced life.
  • After she paid off all of her debt, she let lifestyle inflation creep back into her life for 13 months.
  • Shannon and Cait agree that we should live off 50% of our income and save the other 50%.
  • Cait decided to do a one-year no-shopping ban and is now into her second year of the ban.
  • Cait’s rules for her ban and approved shopping list are on her website.
  • Cait also decluttered during her shopping ban and got rid of 75% of her things.
  • She follows the one-in-one-out rule, which means it’s okay to replace things as long as you actually get rid of the original thing you set out to replace.
  • Financially at the end of her challenge, she was living off an average of 51% of her income, saving an average of 31%, and spending 18% of her income on travel.
  • Shannon says a poor habit in personal finance is not knowing the difference between a need and a want.
  • The minimalist lifestyle teaches the difference between needs and wants.
  • Realizing why you are buying certain things is so critical and is something that comes to you when you start to embrace minimalism.
  • There is no one goal or one destination with minimalism; it gives you the freedom to say yes to what you actually want and no to all the rest.
  • Cait’s advice for decluttering is to be aggressive and actually tackle every room.
  • Remember the $20-20min rule for just-in-case items.
  • Whenever you are thinking of over consuming something, it’s usually because something else in your life is lacking and you are trying to make up for it.
  • TAKEAWAY: We shouldn’t allow stuff to define our lives. We are so much more than the sum of the things that surround us. The less we focus on the things, the happier and wealthier we will get!

Random Three Questions

  1. What was your most recent indulgence?
  2. What is one of the most inspiring books you’ve read that you would recommend?
  3. What is your favorite time of year?

Connect with Cait:


Podcast: Budgets & Cents with Cait and Carrie

Twitter: @caitflanders

Instagram: @caitflanders

Do you practice minimalism? Have you ever tried a spending ban?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.


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