How to Stop Overspending, Build Generational Wealth


Lifestyle strategist and former lawyer Christine Platt, now known as The Afrominimalist, has made a career out of teaching people how to be conscious consumers. She even wrote a book, “The Afrominimalist’s Guide to Living on Less.”

Her journey started accidentally, when she was confronted with her spending habits during a closet cleaning. “Before I was an Afrominimalist, I was probably an Afromaximalist,” says Platt, now 45. “I had a serious problem.”

Like many people, Platt was always tempted by a sale or a bargain, and the “emotional expense” helped offset the stress of being a young legal professional. “I’ve accumulated so much stuff,” Platt says.

When she caught herself thinking, “We should probably have more trash cans,” a light bulb went out. “It was like, are you really about to buy more stuff, hide stuff to store it?” she remembers.

That’s when she decided to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. And now she’s also helping others make the change.

Minimalism and mindfulness, says Platt, can help you find the root causes of overspending and lead to better spending choices. Ask yourself: “Do we want to create generational wealth?” She suggests. “Or do we want something else that we don’t really need, don’t use, and don’t like?”

‘Go to the root causes’ of your spending habits

Christine Platt, The Afrominimalist

Tamara Darden

“I think it’s really important that we do that in our work, and that we really get to the root causes of not just what happened in our childhoods and our cultural and societal expectations, but what are some of the choices we make on a daily basis, which have led to our overconsumption,” she says.

“For me, a lot of my drinking was grounded, visible drinking and I was trying to keep up with the Joneses,” Platt says. “So I really had to forgive myself. Because there were a lot of emotions that, you know, just bubbled to the surface.”

Identify the values ​​that still apply to your life

From there, you can start peeling back the values ​​that still apply to “your authentic self,” Platt says. “What are your core values ​​and goals, as opposed to what society tells you or what your friends and family tell you?”

Identifying these goals, values, and beliefs can help you sort out what you have in your home and even in your life that is no longer useful. It can also help you identify aspects of minimalism you want to embrace in your life.

Christine Platt, The Afrominimalist, and her daughter

“I always say, even with minimalism, minimalism your way,” says Platt. “For me, it ended up being Afrominimalism: a minimalist life influenced by an African Diaspora, because it’s part of my core values ​​and goals: to preserve, honor, celebrate the history and beauty of the African Diaspora.”

Find a way that a minimalist lifestyle can work or make sense for you. “I love Marie Kondo, I KonMari my closet all the time, but I don’t fold,” Platt says. “The folding technique just doesn’t work for me! And that’s okay, right? I can take other elements of his work and his philosophy, which work for me.”

“Be intentional” to keep spending at bay

After some deeper and often difficult personal reflection, Platt says it’s time to figure out how to make your new minimalist mindset last.

“What I like to say is, ‘minimalism is like the gateway to intentional living,'” she says. what you have in your wardrobe or whatever home decor you choose, and that intentionality doesn’t spill over into all areas of your life.”

Apartment Christine Platt

Christine Platt

A rule that Christine practices is “one inside, one outside”, which means that for each new “thing” she brings into her life – whether it’s an item of clothing or a project – a similar thing must go. “I’m super intentional with what I bring home, with what’s in my closet,” she says.

“I’m super intentional with how I spend my time, with the projects I’m working on.”

Give way to madness

Platt says she always allows herself to splurge and finding that balance is important to maintaining a minimalist lifestyle. She shares with her followers on Instagram when she buys things in her crazy category, like soaps and candles.

By doing this, she wants to prove that while spending is normal, overdoing it doesn’t have to be.

“I blame the aesthetic of traditional minimalism,” she says. “It’s this idea that because you’re a minimalist, or because you’ve chosen to live on less, that means you’re not buying anything, that means you’re just living off the Earth, right? It’s like, where does this come from?

“I love getting these DMs and emails and comments where people are like, I literally felt like you were talking about my life! And that’s so powerful, we need to be able to share these things. We let us therefore realize that our stories are much more similar than dissimilar.”

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