How Minimalist Living Can Help You Pay Off Debt

Episode 11

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Show Notes

Think there’s no way minimalist living could be right for you?

Let me ask you another question: When’s the last time you felt truly content? When was the last time you looked around and thought, I have everything I need—right here. I feel happy and whole.

For many of us, these thoughts usually hit the hardest when we’re at risk of losing the things we have or the people we love. And so we hold on a little tighter, promising to cherish each moment as a precious gift.

But what if we could live that way right now? What if contentment was just your way of life? Today’s guests and the theme of this episode might just hold the answer. We’re talking about minimalist living.

Right now, the only thing I want more of is your attention.

So let’s go!

The Best Examples of Minimalist Living Around

You guys know I like my entertainment. Lately, Winston and I love to kiss our sweet girls goodnight and settle on the couch to watch a show.

Recently, on one such night, I scrolled through Netflix and came across an option called Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things. Interest piqued, I hit play and spent the next hour nodding along, taking notes, and plotting how we might invite the stars of the documentary on our show.

I love the minimalist living tips shared by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Here’s why:

  • They remind us that stuff doesn’t equal happiness.
  • They discourage debt as a means of getting more things.
  • They show us how to make room for what really matters.

And, you guys, isn’t this what we talk about episode after episode?

After all, who set the standard of living in America today anyway? Who decided that you must have a garage with two cars in it, a house filled with all the latest and greatest technology, a home just for vacations, and a closet full of new, trendy clothes?

I’m getting mad again just thinking about it! Are you guys mad too? I hope so! It’s time to challenge the status quo. Otherwise we’ll all end up like rats on a wheel, running after a whole bunch of stuff and never finding satisfaction.

Wouldn’t our society look a whole lot better if we all spent our time and money wisely, working to enrich our lives and the lives of others—rather than filling our homes with needless junk?

Want to stop filling your fridge with less junk?

Get Home Chef and stop throwing away food and wasting money!

Money and Minimalism Challenge

This week’s challenge—and it should come as no surprise—is to part ways with some of that junk. I’m challenging you to find just one thing you can do without.

Maybe you have five black, long-sleeved shirts taking up valuable space in your closet. Grab your least favorite one and give it the boot. Sell it, donate it, give it away . . . just get it out of your house! Or better yet, choose your favorite black, long-sleeved shirt and say goodbye to the other four!

You can do it. Make sure to share what you got rid of and how this action made you feel in the comments below.

One thing you should always keep? Life insurance!

Get a quote from Zander Insurance today!

Real Talk With Rachel

Are you guys feeling the heat? Are you thinking maybe I’m over here judging you for wanting stuff?

Have you forgotten who I am? I’m Rachel, a self-proclaimed spender with a desire to shop any chance I get.

And I’ve got a confession for you.

Once upon a time, I got it into my head that one of my financial goals was to . . .

Do you want to guess? Maybe you’ll say:

  • Rachel hopes to fully fund her retirement early and travel around the world.
  • Rachel hopes to live so frugally that she can build a school for kids in need.
  • Rachel hopes to find ways to make a passive income become the main source of income for her family.

Nope. Nope. And nope.

Those are all great financial goals—smart even. But me? I was dreaming of shoes.

Not just any shoes. Shoes that would impress the likes of Carrie Bradshaw. And I only wanted one pair. So that’s not too bad, right?

I figured if I could get this one pair of super nice shoes, I’d feel a real sense of financial accomplishment. I could check the contentment box, wear them regularly, and never dream of shoes again.

But I couldn’t quite bring myself to fully commit. I would save up enough to almost buy them and then back out every single time.

Enter Winston.

When our second baby, Caroline, was just three weeks old, the doorbell rang, and he traded me a box for the baby. You guys, when I saw that logo, I cried. (Give me a break—I was hormonal!)

They were so beautiful! I mean, Cinderella’s glass slippers had nothing on these shoes! Winston chose the right size and heel height and the perfect style. I loved them.

And that elated feeling lasted all of about 48 hours. Now they sit in my closet as a wonderful picture of Winston’s love—and a painful reminder of how stuff will never fulfill us. That’s because the finish line keeps moving farther and farther out with each new item we buy.

Where True Contentment Comes From

When it comes down to it, even minimalist living doesn’t hold every answer to finding contentment.

I’m going to be bold here and say that nothing on earth will fulfill you. Nothing. If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, nothing else will do. You’ll always be left wanting more. He’s the ultimate answer.

Jesus sets the foundation for how we view everything. A relationship with Him changes the way we think about money, stuff and people. Our priorities and actions shift dramatically when we follow Him.

Of course, even with Jesus’ help, the process takes time. I’m learning every day. I mean, remember those shoes? I’m still learning how to practice what I preach.

How Minimalist Living Could Change Your Life

I could not be more excited to have Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists on the show today. These guys live out what it means to value relationships and experiences over stuff—and I think we all have a lot to gain from their story.

Before we dive in, you might be wondering, What does minimalist living look like?

Maybe you’re picturing a drab apartment and a guy with one plate, one fork and one spoon in his cabinets. But Josh and Ryan see minimalist living in broader terms, describing minimalism as “the thing that gets us past the things to make room for life’s most important things—which aren’t things at all.”(1)

Take a look at that line again. There’s a lot going on there, and it’s so good.

The Minimalists applied this concept to their own lives. And as a result, they each paid off loads of debt and focused their energy and efforts on making more of life with less stuff.

On today’s show, they offer powerful minimalist living tips like:

  • First, ask yourself, How might my life be better with less?
  • Start small. Try the 30-day minimalism game with a friend. On the first day, each of you will part ways with one item. On the second day, you’ll get rid of two things, and on the third day, three. Keep going until one of you gives up. If you both make it to day 30, you’ll have gotten rid of 465 items!
  • Carefully consider the items you keep. Everything The Minimalists own either serves a purpose or brings them joy. If an item doesn’t fit one of those categories, it’s gone.
  • Buy quality over quantity. Spend a bit more money on items you intend to keep around for a long time. You’ll save money on the replacement costs, and you’ll save room too!
  • Remember: minimalism doesn’t mean deprivation. Your children can—and should—have toys to encourage learning through play. They don’t need every single toy on the market, but a big crate of stuff they love is just fine.
  • Live the example. The best way to encourage someone else to join you in minimalist living is to show them the benefits as you practice it in your own life.

You can find more ideas from The Minimalists through their blog, YouTube channel or podcast.

If you’d like practical tips or encouragement for getting out of debt, budgeting, and creating a life you love, check out my book Love Your Life, Not Theirs.

How to Bring Minimalist Living Into the Kitchen

Food is a struggle. We’re trying to eat healthy, not bust the budget, and keep our kids happy all at the same time. Show me a meal that does all three, and you’ll be my new favorite friend!

Well, lucky for us, my college friend, Jenna Waters, joins me in the kitchen today. Jenna’s a mom of three and a registered dietician, and she shares not one—but FIVE—family- and budget-friendly dinners we can make at home.

Want to know the best part? She repurposes ingredients throughout the week to save us time and money. I already loved Jenna, but now I love her more!

Jenna’s minimalist approach to meal planning: source and systemize

When it comes to sourcing healthy meals, Jenna suggests using the same recipes you know and love, but considering different ingredients:

  • Cut out high-fructose corn syrup
  • Exchange hydrogenated oils (like canola and soybean) for olive or avocado oil.
  • Replace junk food with a snack bin full of healthy treats like granola bars, unsweetened apple sauce, and fresh chopped veggies with a side of hummus, guacamole or peanut butter

As for systemizing, Jenna encourages us to check the calendar at the start of the week. Look for nights when you might be tempted to grab dinner out and plan to use the instant pot instead. For days when you have more time in the kitchen, cook ingredients in bulk so you can use them again later in the week.

With this in mind, Jenna walks us through five unique and healthy dinners:

Monday

Make a large batch of chicken fingers breaded with almond flour and flaxseed and serve with a mustard dipping sauce.

Tuesday

Use the leftover mustard sauce as a marinade for salmon. Roast the salmon with some vegetables all in the same pan. 

Wednesday

Make chicken parmesan by adding sauce and cheese to the prepared chicken tenders from Monday.

Thursday

Create taco bowls using cauliflower rice, ground beef, bell peppers and guacamole from the snack bin.

Friday

Have pizza night using cubed-up chicken, pesto, cheese and a cauliflower crust.

You have to check out this segment to see for yourself how delicious each dinner looks. And I love the idea of repurposing ingredients throughout the week to make meal prep easier and cheaper too!

She Works Hard Saving Money

As we come to the best part of the show, I’ll make a totally not minimalist plea for more and more of your awesome #sheworkshardsavingmoney stories. I love the pictures you send in, but now I want videos. Give me all your awesome, money-saving stories!

A couple of my favorites from this episode:

“Our family is growing, and it was time to get a bigger vehicle. Just paid cash for a new-to-us Honda Odyssey!” — Abaigeal

“Emily worked hard the last three months saving her commissions for her pillow. She was so excited. Love this hardworking, loving girl. Give, save, spend.” –Sarah

I hope each and every one of you found something to take away from today’s show. And remember to take control of your money and create a life you love.

 

Sponsors pay the producer of this show, The Lampo Group, LLC, advertising fees for mentioning their services or products during programing. Advertising fees are not based upon or otherwise tied to any product sale or business transacted between any consumer or sponsor. The following sponsors have paid for the programing you are viewing:

  • Zander Insurance
  • Home Chef

Documentary footage provided by The Minimalists.

Read the full transcript

– I am so excited because today’s show is all about minimalism. So keep watching. One of my favorite things in life, right now, is Netflix. I can binge watch a show, I love documentaries, I just love Netflix. It’s a way I can come home after we put the girls down and eat dinner. Winston and I, we love to have a good show. And it’s great. So as I was scrolling through Netflix I saw a documentary that I had heard a lot of people talk about, but I hadn’t seen it, it was called Minimalism. So, I was like, oh yeah, this will be cool. I’ll totally watch his. By the end, I was like praising Jesus, hallelujah, I was so fired up. Because not only do they talk about so much of what we talk about here on the show about getting out of debt and getting rid of stuff and selling stuff and not going into debt for things. I mean everything we talk about, they kept reiterating and kind of had the same philosophies. But their whole thing was that they got rid of a ton of their stuff ’cause they realized that stuff does not equal happiness. And in America today we’ve fallen into this lie that the more stuff you have, the better your life is going to be. And I just realized as I was watching this, man, we have so much crap in our lives. And in our houses and in our bathroom sinks and in our closets, we have so much stuff, so much stuff. And you know me, I enjoy some things so I always say it’s okay to have nice stuff just don’t let your nice stuff have you. But you walk into the average person’s home and it’s like, you just have stuff everywhere. It’s just unbelievable. And then again for the average American that goes into debt to buy stuff that we do not need and I just go so fired up. I was like, who, who set the standard of living in America? Everyone says you gotta have this style, this lifestyle, this is average. Whether it’s a three car garage or a room for every person, it’s just like everything is just like, yeah, this is it, this is it, this is what your life should look like, this is the vacations you should take, these are the clothes you should wear, this is the brands that are great, here’s the grocery stores you should shop at, this is what’s average. Who, who said that’s average? Who said that’s average? I’m like, no. It just made me so mad. Because I think we really have, we’ve gotten into this idea that man, our lifestyle should look like this, no matter what we make, no matter what our income is, we deserve this standard of living. And it just fired me up. And so I was like, we’ve gotta get The Minimalists on our show. We have to get them here to talk about all of this because you guys, again, stuff is not going to make you happy. Stuff is not going to make you happy. Stuff is not bad. I want you to be able to shop at the grocery store you want to, take the vacation you want, that’s fine, those are not bad things. But when we put our value and our happiness that that stuff is going to fulfill us, it’s not. We end up like a rat in a wheel for our entire lives, chasing something that is never ever going to fulfill us. Are you mad too? I hope you’re mad. I hope you’re just like, you know what, I need to get rid of some crap in my house. So, the money challenge for this episode is when this show is over, I want you to look around your house and I want you to start small, but get rid of one thing. Like go in your closet and be like, wow, I have four or five black long sleeve shirts. Have I worn one shirt, one of these shirts in a year? The answer is probably no. No, you haven’t. Get rid of it, sell it, give it away, I don’t care what you do with it. Get rid of one thing. So when you start to purge a little bit it’s like, oh wow, I did this. I went into my closet and I did this, I went and I looked and I was like, okay, I had this filter of okay if I was going on a four week vacation, what would I pack? So, that’s a lot. Right, I mean I enjoy clothes. But I’m like, half this stuff I haven’t worn in like a year and a half. But I always have it in there. I’m like, well, just in case that one thing comes up I’m gonna need it. I chucked all that clothes and it felt so good to purge. It felt so good. Because again, every time I buy that stuff this little part of me thinks, life’s just gonna be better if I just have that thing. Have you said that to yourself? If I could just have this, I would be happy. Well, I kept saying this about one pair of shoes for about four years. Well, my lesson was a heartbreaking one. So there’s this pair of shoes, well not a pair, it’s more like a brand. And through like the last four years, I’m like, my goal, it’s so stupid and shallow Rachel but I’m gonna say it, in my heart I was like my goal is to own one pair of those shoes, just one pair of those shoes. But every time I went to go buy ’em I was like, I can’t. It’s just too expensive. It’s stupid to spend that kind of money on this shoe. I’m not doing it, I’m not doing it. So after Caroline, our second, was born, she was probably like three weeks old and the doorbell rang, Winston was home and he went to the front door and he got the box and he said, “Okay, Rachel,” but I had Caroline, I was holding Caroline. He was like, “Give me Caroline, you take the box.” And I was like, “What, what is this?” He was like, “This is just a gift to say, “I love you, I’m so proud of you, just enjoy, “this is just a gift from me to you.” I was like, “What?” And so I opened the tape of this big box and there was the name of the shoes on top of the shoe box and I may or may not have cried. I was like, “Winston, what, no, “there’s no way you bought these, you bought these.” And I was hormonal, I had just had a baby people, okay, so I probably wouldn’t cry over a pair of shoes today, but I did, I cried. And I’m opening ’em and I mean my adrenaline was like pumping and my hands were sweating and I was like, “Oh my gosh.” And I had got ’em out of the box and they were beautiful. I mean, they were, perfect. It was everything I thought, I had ever imagined in my life. Side note, credit to him, he went in, ladies you’re appreciate this, he went in my closet and saw my other shoes and found my shoe size and then even the heel measurement, he took a ruler thing to measure the size of heel that I wear with my heels and ordered the perfect shoe. I mean, like, Cinderella has nothing on me. I mean, it was like, it fit like a glove, it was perfect and that feeling lasted for about 48 hours. And now, about a year later, those shoes are in my closet. And honestly, when I look at those shoes, what I think of is more of Winston’s sweetness and love towards me than the actual shoes anymore. And so that’s what’s so funny to me about this accumulation of stuff that we have in our lives and this thing that we think if we could just go on that vacation, if we could just get a new car, if we could just, just, X, Y, or Z everything would be better. And you guys I’m telling you, the finish line keeps moving and moving and moving. The finish line never fulfills you guys, never fulfills you. Contentment is something that you have to find. And I’m gonna be bold here and say you guys, there’s nothing on this Earth that is gonna fulfill you. The deepest part of you that’s gonna be fulfilled, this piece that you think is missing, if you do not have a relationship with Jesus that is it, that’s the ultimate answer. Preacher Rachel’s coming out. But I’m telling you, you guys, if you don’t know him, if you’re not in a relationship with him, that’s the ultimate. That’s the foundational of everything in your life. And everything beyond that you can build on your giving changes, your generosity explodes, things suddenly have a different meaning in your life, your relationships change, everything is dependent upon that and not stuff. Not stuff, I can tell you, tell you, I’m telling it to myself again, remember my shoes, man, Rachel, come on. That we gotta learn together, we gotta practice what we preach people, right? So remember stuff is not going to satisfy you. And the guys that teach this, the best are The Minimalists. And I’m so excited because there are coming up next. Planning and cooking meals for the family can be stressful. Knowing what I’m going to cook, having all of the ingredients and making something everyone will love is a balancing act. That’s why I use Home Chef. They deliver straight to your door. And get this, the ingredients are pre-portioned so you never end up wasting food and throwing money away. Plus they offer 18 fresh choices to choose from every week. You’ll find easy to make, well balanced meals that the whole family will love. And it makes me feel like a true chef at home. Home Chef, meals anyone can cook and everyone will love. Visit homechef.com/rachel today. Or use the promo code Rachel at checkout and get $30.00 off your first order. Guys, let’s be real. Being a parent is hard work. Now that I have two daughters of my own, it feels like the to do list never ends. And as every parent knows, your priorities change and you have to make important decisions for your child’s future. That’s why term life insurance is a must for every parent. It’s so easy to get. And it’s affordable. What you’re looking for is 10 to 12 times your annual income to make sure everyone in your family’s taken care of. Winston and I use Zander Insurance. They do all the work for you to find the best prices and options. So go to Zander.com to get started on a quote today. Because that’s who we trust to take care of our family. My friends The Minimalists are here on the Rachel Cruze Show, you guys.

– Thanks so much for having us. We’re excited to be here.

– Yes, I’m so pumped you’re here. And I was telling everyone earlier about your documentary and how much I just watched it and became obsessed with everything that you guys are doing. So, for those people that have not seen the documentary or even heard of you guys, just explain what is a minimalist and how did you guys get into all of this.

– Well the thing with minimalism, the way I describe it is minimalism is the thing that gets us past the things so we can make room for life’s most important things, which actually aren’t things at all. Ryan and I both grew up in Dayton, Ohio. We were really poor and we thought the reason we thought the reason we were unhappy growing up was we didn’t have any money. And so when I went out, when I was 18, I got that entry level corporate job and I spent the next dozen years sort of climbing the corporate ladder. And by my late 20’s I was living the American dream. I had six figure salary, the luxury cars. And there was nothing inherently wrong with the stuff, but I wasn’t fulfilled, I wasn’t happy. Because of course I made good money, but I spent even better money and so I, along with the American dream came the American debt. And I was just consumed with almost half a million dollars worth of debt at my peak or I guess my, at the low point.

– Yeah, which ever way you want to look at it.

– And I didn’t feel like I had control of my time, my resources, my own life. I realized I was focused on the wrong stuff. I was focused on success and achievement. And it’s really where this thing called minimalism entered my life.

– Yeah for me it’s interesting, if you were to have told my 18 year old self, what my 28 year old self was going to have, I would have been so excited. And when I was 28 I found myself questioning I was the opposite of happy. I was drowning in debt. I was had a lot of discontent. I was depressed. And I remember seeing Josh, he had a major shift in the way he was living his life. And I sat him down one day and I was like, “Dude, what is going on with you? “Why are you so happy?” And that’s when he

– Why are you so happy? What’s happening?

– What’s going on? And he introduced me to this thing called minimalism. So Josh and I, we came up with this crazy idea called a Packing Party. Where we decided to pack all my belongings as if I were moving. And then I would unpack only the items I needed over the next three weeks. So Josh came over and he literally helped me box up everything, my clothes, my kitchenware.

– You weren’t moving, this is just the exercise.

– Just pretending.

– Just pretending.

– The idea was if I packed up all this stuff and I really really missed it and I really really wanted to put everything back out, I could totally unpack it and put everything back in its place. But of course after three weeks, I had a completely different perspective on my life, a completely different perspective on my things. And I remember going to Josh and I was like, “Man, this is a really cool story. “There might be some people out there “who could benefit from this story.” So we went and did what any two 30 year old dudes would do, we started a blog.

– Yeah. Spread the word.

– That’s right. That’s really where TheMinimalists.com started. It was with that 21 Day Packing Party.

– So good, that’s such a brilliant idea. ‘Cause I even think, because confession, I have not done the complete minimalist lifestyle. But when you say that, even my bathroom sink right now, like, I’m thinking about it underneath, I took out all the lotions and the eye cream, all this stuff and put it in a box to see for three weeks what I actually used out of that. You guys, I mean it’s probably like what? Four things. I’m feeling convicted right now. As you’re talking about all this. Because it is, that’s such a smart way to think about it, it really is. And I love this concept that you guys live out so well, that stuff it doesn’t fulfill you. And I think we all know that. The contentment piece of that foundation of your heart is so huge in this process. So, someone that’s hearing this, what’s the first couple things they need to do?

– If you do want to simplify your life, the first thing you have to do is not an action, we’ll get into the action in a second. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself a question. And that question is, how might my life be better with less? And by asking that question, you start to identify what the benefits of simplifying are. Because for me initially it was finances. I knew that my finances were out of control. I needed to simply my life so I could regain control of my finances. But then I uncovered all these other benefits, like, I made more time for creativity and the people in my life and improved health. And so what are the benefits for you and understanding that won’t just give you the how to, but it will give you the why to. Why am I simplifying my life? From there, I think it’s important to start small. And just start somewhere. We have something on our website called the 30 Day Minimalism Game. And here’s how it work, you partner up with someone, a friend, a family member, a coworker. At the beginning of the month, you each decide, the first day, we’re both gonna get rid of one item. Second day of the month, two items. Third day of the month, three items. It starts off really easy.

– Yes.

– It gives you the momentum you need, but by the middle of the month it starts to get more difficult. Day 15, you’re like I have to get rid of 15 items.

– I was gonna say 20 items.

– Right?

– I’ll start in February. Just 28, just 28 items. Well, okay, so by day 20 you’re like, I have to get rid of 20 items today and then tomorrow I have to get rid of 21 items. Whoever goes the longest between you and your friend, you win, but if you both make it to the end of the month, you both won because you gotten rid of about 500 items, it’s a really good start.

– So I’m just curious, personally, what is your house look like? Like now, where you all live, your closets, what’s your life look like?

– If you were to walk into our home it’s not like you would jump up and say, “Oh my goodness, minimalists must live here.”

– Yes, yes.

– You probably would just look at our house and say, “You know whoever lives here, they’re pretty tidy.” And that’s because everything that we have in our lives, it serves a purpose or it brings us joy. Everything else is gone.

– That’s so great, so fun.

– We’ve got a washer and dryer. And we still like to use hot water.

– Right, right, right, totally. So there’s kind of the extreme, I’m guessing there’s a range to be a minimalist there’s like the crazy extreme, that you’re like, we laughed about this, like a fork and a spoon and one plate, just like something over here. And then some people that are like, okay I like the idea but I would rather be like minimalist-ish like I don’t want to dive in all the way. Can you go 50-50 on this lifestyle?

– We can determine what is appropriate in our lives and I think everything that we own fits in one of three categories. It’s either essential. And we all have the basics, same basics. We’re all wearing clothes right now. We need housing, we need food. We have the same essentials and we have the non-essentials. Things that we could probably do without but they truly add value to our life. The augment our experience of life. They amplify our life. And then we have this third category. That category is junk. Most of the stuff that we own is junk that gets in the way of the more meaningful experiences in our life.

– Absolutely, well we went into our Facebook community and people love you there in my Facebook community, so we have some questions from people.

– Awesome.

– For you guys to answer.

– A Brianna asked, in what ways can being a minimalist help save you money and become debt free?

– I know for me that was one of my biggest drivers behind getting into minimalism. So I’ll tell you the first thing that I did when I started going down this road is I took my brand new nice Toyota Solera, a real nice brand new car, just a couple years old and I traded that in for a 2004 Toyota Corolla that had no car payment and I still have that car today. So that’s for me how I really appreciate what minimalism has helped me do when it comes to my finances. I am, I was officially debt free back in 2015.

– Oh, I love that.

– And I certainly owe minimalism a lot of credit for that.

– Absolutely so good. Okay the next question is from Emily, she asks, my husband and I like to think of ourselves as minimalists. I think the one thing we struggle with though is do you buy qualitythings or do you buy cheap? I think the terms minimalists and the term frugal are very similar but they’re also different.

– I think when we think about minimalists we think about some guy living in a cave with no possessions or something. I tend to own really high quality items. I own far fewer items. It’s the weird paradox of minimalism for me I get far more value from the few items I own, than if they were watered down by 300,000 other items that were sort of getting in the way. Wouldn’t you rather have one pair of really nice pants that’s gonna last you for two years as opposed to 10 pairs of pants that’ll last you for a month each?

– Right, so good.

– Absolutely.

– Katie asks, what’s the very first small step you recommend to anyone that wants to move toward minimalism?

– Man, I think starting with that question how might my life be better with less, that’s definitely, you’re gonna get the leverage by getting to the why of that question. But ultimately, there is the Packing Party approach if someone is extreme. The 30 Day Minimalism Game, I mean that is huge, Josh talked about that earlier, that is amazing. You just find someone else who wants to encourage you to minimize and wants to minimize themselves and you can have a lot of fun with it. There’s a lot of little small steps you can kinda get started.

– So good. Sensing another Chad and Diana challenge.

– Uh oh.

– Date night challenge to the minimalism challenge so we’ll see if that happens.

– Okay, Nancy asks, how to part with stuff when spouse wants to keep it because “we might need it for, when, if”?

– I think, ultimately, in order to get a spouse, or a friend or anyone else on board with this you really have to show them the benefits. I mean, if Josh had come to me and said, “Hey Ryan, you know what? “Your life’s a mess, you need minimalism.” I probably wouldn’t have reacted so excitedly towards that. But by seeing the changes that Josh made it made me want to ask him that question, “What are you doing different with your life, “you seem pretty happy.” But, ultimately, by just kind of living the example and showing the benefits of it that’s really how you get someone to make a move with their stuff, you can’t force anyone into any of that.

– Okay, last question. Lauren asks, how to be a minimalist with children. I’m actually very intrigued.

– Well, me not having any kids it’s very easy for me to project my advice onto others. I do like to use this one example, we were at an event where one of the people who showed up they were talking about what they do with their child. The example that they gave is their five year old, six year old would come home from school, and of course they’ve got pieces of art that they made that they’re very very proud of. And they would go to their parent and would, “Can I put this on the refrigerator?” And the mom was like, “Yes, you absolutely can “put this on the refrigerator.” So as they’re walking over it’s already covered with other art projects just the whole refrigerator door. And they’ll say, “Now you get to choose which one “you want to replace this with.”

– Oh that’s good.

– “And we will go over and we will get rid of this “so we’re not having a bunch of clutter in our life.” So that’s what they do, they’ll pick the one that they want to come off the fridge, they put the new one up. And they go over and they might scan it or take a picture of the work and then toss it in the trash.

– Sure.

– I thought that was a cool approach.

– Well, honestly kid craft stuff. Amelia comes home from pre-school and it’s just crayon that’s like this. And I’m like and you’re never remember that. Unless there’s like a picture or a hand print or a footprint, I mean, very small things to keep as kid’s craft, there’s sweet, but.

– I think it’s important to realize that minimalism is not about deprivation and we need to especially keep that in mind with our kids. I know with Ella, I first, she’s five now, but when she was really little, I’m like, you’re gonna be a minimalist and you can play with sticks and stones and that’s it. And I’m like what am I trying to do here? No, she gets a lot of value from the toys that she has. So having a big crate of toys that she really enjoys is great. Now she’s not gonna get more value if I got her 10 crates of toys. They’re actually gonna start getting in the way, just like us, we just have our own toys as adults. And so, with her I’ve realized once she’s done with a toy, the thing that I want to instill in her is she’s no longer getting value from it, but some other kid can, so let’s go donate that together. And letting her realize the benefit of giving as well.

– Alright you guys, well that was so great, thank you so so much for being on. I so appreciate you guys and your advice and your wisdom and everything.

– Likewise, thank you for everything you do.

– Oh thanks, well it’s been fun. So you guys, if you want to check out more about The Minimalists, you guys are on every social media channel. I mean YouTube, you have a YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook and you have a great podcast. And if you want more tactical ways or encouragement as you’re selling your stuff to get out of debt make sure to check out my book, Love Your Life, Not Theirs you can click the link below. Okay so we’ll head back to my kitchen where Jenna is gonna help us take ingredients, the same ingredients to use and prep for five meals for the week. Okay, we all know food is a struggle in life. Eating healthy things, but yet not busting the budget. And it’s just like the tug and war constantly. So I brought in Dietitian, Registered Dietitian Jenna Waters to help us out. So thanks Jenna for being here.

– Yeah, thanks for having me.

– And we’re actually friends from college. College friends.

– College friends.

– Go voles.

– Go voles.

– Okay so you’ve been doing this for how long now?

– So, I’ve been a registered dietitian for about five years and my background is with sports nutrition and then I became a mom, we have three little ones. And I just couldn’t help but think, we are professional athletes, moms are athletes.

– Yes, we are, all the time.

– All day everyday. But at the same time we have so many demands and need to find a way to balance all the variables.

– And want to feed our kids well, right?

– We want to feed them well, but not, go crazy in the process.

– Yes, that’s right, that’s right.

– Absolutely.

– And so you have two words that I love. Source and systemize.

– That’s right, I feel like every family has to find their sweet spot of let’s source things well in terms of ingredients, what ingredients are we using. So essentially we could use the same recipes that we’ve always been using. But, by having better ingredients automatically you’re changing it.

– Changing the source. Which is over here.

– Yep.

– So a few things that you’re like you know what? Look and see and you switch out a few ingredients for better ones.

– Absolutely, no high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, like canola oil, no soybean oil. Instead we’re going to choose things like olive oil or avocado oil.

– And I’m guilty of this, I’m not gonna lie. I probably have terrible stuff in my refrigerator, but I love that you say, it’s just like a baby step, one thing at a time instead of buying that type of ketchup, switch to buy something else.

– Exactly.

– And look on the label and see. And I love this, this is.

– The snack basket.

– The snack basket, brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

– Well it was born out of the fact that my kids ask for snacks 20,000 times a day. So these are healthy granola bars, these are called Perfect bars, unsweetened applesauce, at the beginning of the week I’ll just chop up some veggies and put ’em in here, so hummus packages, individual makes it easy, guacamole packets, a bunch of fruit. Our policy at home is when this is gone for the week, it’s gone, y’all are snacked out. We’re not buying anymore.

– Yes, yes. It can get expensive. Okay so sourcing and then systemize.

– Systemizing for a week. And this is gonna look different for every single family. So taking a look at your week what are maybe the nights that you can spend a little bit more time in the kitchen, what are some nights that we have to do leftovers, or maybe night that would have been a drive through night maybe let’s just do a quick Instant Pot meal. So here’s an example, on Monday nights I have a little bit more time, so I always choose a recipe that I can make in bulk or double or triple and then use in different ways throughout the week.

– Okay so where do you buy something like this?

– Really this would just be at any conventional grocery store, so we just bought chicken breast, organic chicken breast and then cut them into three pieces each and then just dipped it in egg wash and then into a almond flour flax seed mixture. I make a big batch at night and then like I said with the leftovers we’ll use them in different ways through out the week. And so this is a honey mustard dipping sauce. So then on Tuesday here’s what I do. I just do a easy sheet pan meal. Tuesdays are really busy nights for us and so whatever night might be busy for you you can just, I do a honey mustard salmon. So we’re using the leftover sauce and putting it on top of the salmon. Just some veggies, it’s all one sheet, really easy.

– Pop it in.

– Pop it in. Bake it, roast it, whatever you need to do.

– It’s so good.

– Yes. So this is, these look familiar.

– [Rachel] Chicken tenders.

– These are the chicken tenders. And so we’re gonna make chicken parm. And so we’re just gonna take the chicken tenders and literally put the sauce over it.

– All over it.

– Yep. If you want to do the cheese?

– [Rachel] Yes.

– Provolone cheese. That was literally like a five minute dinner. And then taco bowls. This is cauliflower rice.

– Yes. I actually bought that for the first time this week.

– It’s good.

– The first time, I’m going healthy.

– Good, that’s awesome. A plus that’s awesome. And little transitions like that can make such a big difference in terms of nutrition. But doesn’t taste a whole lot different.

– Use ground beef, peppers, some guacamole.

– Exactly, these are those individual guacamole packets from that basket right there.

– Okay.

– So using ingredients in different ways can really go long way.

– Love it.

– Yes.

– And then I’m seeing, I’m feeling a pizza.

– Yes, feeling a pizza.

– The spirit is moving, the spirit is moving here.

– That’s right. So instead of take out pizza which kinda used to be our go to, we’re like, alright we need to save some money and we’re gonna actually try to make it a little bit healthy. So this we’re gonna again, I cubed up the left over chicken and we’re gonna make a chicken pesto pizza.

– Oh yum.

– So I’m gonna do this, the pesto, if you want to put cheese. And this is a cauliflower crust.

– Okay, in the freezer section.

– It’s in the freezer section at any grocery store.

– How does it taste?

– It’s great, it’s like a flatbread basically.

– [Rachel] Okay, which I do love flatbread.

– The chicken and some sliced roma tomatoes.

– And how do your kids like it?

– Honestly, they love it. I think sometimes we have a you have to try it rule in our house because we’re just not doing this picky thing.

– That’s how I grew up, it was you make what mom cooks and that’s it.

– Amen, amen. So they try it and interestingly, studies show it takes about 20 times for a kid to try something before they start to like it if they don’t like it at first.

– Interesting.

– And I give up at like two.

– Easily, easily.

– So, we just keep trying.

– It’s so great. And so a big thing again, plan, think ahead so you’re not last minute running through the drive through and spending extra money you don’t need to.

– Totally.

– Think ahead and you can do stuff so quickly. I mean we literally just made these meals so fast. I love it.

– Yes, just a little kind of forethought.

– So great. So you guys if you want all these recipes in detail, make sure to click the link in the description and enjoy, enjoy the good food. Thanks Jenna.

– Thanks for having me, Rachel.

– So good.

– So fun. Oh I just love Jenna and she’s so smart, I love that she kept reusing everything. And she planned out the entire week of good healthy foods. Love it. Alright, now it’s time for, she works hard saving money. I love these, love these, love these. Abigail said, our family is growing and now it is time to get a bigger vehicle. Just paid cash for a new-to-us Honda Odyssey. Well done, Abigail, well done. Jessie said, I can’t believe it’s been nine whole years since we said, “I do.” I would not trade our $500.00 wedding for anything. My grandmother was right, a wedding is just a day on the calendar, but marriage is a lifetime. Grandma’s always right. Nine years, three dogs, three moves, three kids and over $100,000 of debt accumulated and paid off, and many, many more memories to come. Oh Jessie, congrats, that’s so great. Sarah said, Emily worked hard the last three months saving her commissions for her pillow. She was so exited. Love this hard-working loving girl. Give, save, spend. You guys I love this. I love seeing everything you’re saving up for and even your kids. How cute was that? Okay, you’ve been posting photos, which I love, but I also want you to post videos, which is so fun because we may show them on the show. And remember to use the #sheworkshardsavingmoney Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all the things, so exciting. And remember you guys to like or subscribe so you do not miss the next episode. So hopefully in this episode there was something that you could take away to make your life better. So thanks so much to our guests, The Minimalists and Jenna. And remember to take control of your money and create a life you love.