How Living A Minimalist Lifestyle Helps My Trading
I originally got interested in minimalism as a way to increase my trading account. The less of lifes ‘wants’ I didn’t buy, the more money I got to put in my trading account. The idea of having an organized, clean, and uncluttered home, was also another big reason I became attracted to the idea of minimalism.
One very important thing to point out is that minimalism is not about depriving ones self, and the second point is that it certainly does not mean that the things you do purchase have to be cheap and ugly. It is about cutting out the unnecessary, and focusing on the things that truly matter to you.
After years and years of saving, my trading account is at a level I am somewhat satisfied with for now, and I now use minimalism as a way of spending less time on trivial everyday life decisions/chores, and more time on studying the markets (along with other things I love).
The thought process that led to me living with less:
- Why do I need a dining table when I eat every single meal from the coffee table?
- Why do I need bedside tables and lamps, when I don’t even use the tables or turn the lamps on? In the past, my bedside tables were just used to store clutter.
- Why do I need more than 2 plates and mugs, when it’s only my fiancé and myself living in this apartment? I live right in the city, so when guests come over we almost always go out for coffee/meals.
- Why do I need an entire wardrobe of blouses and shoes, when I always reach for the same ones?
- Why do I need so many decorative knickknacks, when they have zero sentimental value to me and I can’t stand dusting?
A trader that isn’t obsessed with money and material possessions? WTF?
I know, I know — talking about minimalism when most people get into trading to make more money to buy more stuff is pretty much trader blog suicide.
Just remember that yes, money does buy opportunity. BUT money will not solve all of your problems.
Some misconceptions about living a minimalist lifestyle:
‘You have barely any stuff, which means you don’t have a lot of money, therefore you must be a bad trader.’
Not true. The amount of stuff someone has in his or her house is not a measure of his or her bank balance/trading account and is definitely not a measure of my trading ability. I would rather spend on books and travel, than filling my house with stuff.
‘Real minimalists only own 1 pair of shoes and live in a tent.’
I am definitely not an extreme minimalist, but I do live with considerably less than average. You don’t have to live like a monk to bring minimalism into your life. It’s about eliminating those things that you never truly use in your life and keeping what matters most to you. You need to get the balance between voluntary simplicity and outright deprivation correct with what’s right for you.
‘To be a minimalist, the stuff you have should be second hand, cheap or ugly.’
It really depends on what you are trying to achieve, but I prefer quality over quantity.
For example: I’d rather have a few pieces of beautiful real wooden furniture, than many pieces of poor quality chipboard furniture, and I’d rather purchase 2 sets of expensive good quality bed sheets/towels, than 10 sets of poor quality bed sheets/towels.
‘You must be a hippy!’
Nope, not a hippy. I just don’t like a house full of stuff.
The 5 ways minimalism helps my trading:
1. An open, uncluttered and clean space is very calming for me. I just love the look and feel of it. Great trading environment for me.
2. Day to day chores take less time. And that leaves me with more time to trade and look at market related things. Less furniture means less surface area to clean. Minimal amount of clothing means that laundry takes less time. Minimal amount of plates/cutlery means that dishes can be done in a couple of minutes.
3. Minimalism is not just about reducing physical possessions. It can also be thoughts and people too. Sometimes you just have to let certain people out of your life that don’t positively influence you. Stressful thoughts can lead to bad trading.
4. Simple Trading System. Cluttering your chart with 20 indicators is not going to make you a better trader, and it’s more than likely going to give you lots of conflicting signals and confuse you.
5. Eating simple and clean for peak concentration. I try to eat healthy when I trade. I prepare a massive container of salad with some kind of protein that lasts a few days for quick and easy lunches. Probably boring to some people, but better than me eating a packet of Oreos for lunch. When I eat a lot of junk food, all I want to do is sleep and I miss setups. (Doesn’t mean I don’t love the occasional dessert and pizza!).
Things I will never be minimalist about:
• Books – I am a major book junkie!
• Spending time with my fiancé and family.
• Travel – I want to see the entire world and come home with memories, not travel knickknacks.
• Monitors – I have 3 and I love them. It certainly makes watching different time frames and multiple pairs a lot easier.
Blogs on uncluttering and minimalism: