Being a minimalist means different things to different people, because each individual has a different perspective on what he or she considers “minimal” or basic.
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What Does Minimalism Mean?
But we can sum up the desire to live a more minimalist lifestyle as one that is not tied down to material wealth, possessions, career, or other superficial riches that may not necessarily be wrong but are causing the person to lose an enriching life experience.
Wealth is more than dollars & the minimalist lifestyle knows that
To me, wealth is composed of so much more than just material wealth. After all, no one wants to be the super rich star sitting in a giant mansion but mopes around because their life lacks all meaning and fulfillment.
A lifestyle of minimalism champions freedom – freedom from paralyzing debt, freedom from the pressure to maintain a lifestyle beyond one’s means in order to fit in with society’s expectations, and freedom from the stress and fatigue of taking on too much work in order to earn more money to buy unnecessary things.
Minimalism means embracing life for what it really is, and taking the time to enjoy its little joys and pleasures without being encumbered by today’s consumerist culture.
Benefits of Minimalism
What benefits can you get from letting go of all the non-essentials and becoming more minimalist in your lifestyle?
A clearer path to financial freedom.
A lot of people struggle with debt; if you are having trouble with debt, think about how you can end the vicious cycle if you simply decide to live within your means, buy only what you can afford with money you already have, and purchase only the essentials.
To a minimalist, paring down typically means giving up certain expenses in lieu of more cost-effective options, with the goal of having more money at the end of the month to set aside for savings, debt payments, and other more important expenditures.
Less mental stress and emotional pressure.
Bills, payments, debts and responsibilities can quickly add up and cause much stress on a person. If you’re always worrying about making ends meet, and how to continue to survive paycheck-to-paycheck, it will have a negative effect on your physical health, with likely effects such as:
- lack of appetite
- eating disorders
- or panic attacks
If you don’t believe me, then read this article about stress’ effect on your health from the Mayo Clinic.
Becoming a minimalist and freeing yourself from the ‘give me more’ mentality of contemporary society will restore your positive disposition as you begin to enjoy more of life without all the unnecessary trappings.
Stick to what is important.
Having too much possessions means added responsibilities as well. For example, if you drive two vehicles, that means two monthly payments (assuming they’re both still being paid for), twice the insurance costs, and two times maintenance and repair costs also.
Can you let go of one of the vehicles? If you can, it will allow you to only absorb the costs of one, and you can use the savings from the other previous expense for other things.
The minimalist recognizes that the same thing applies to other common things we pay for that are not really that necessary, or have more cost-effective alternatives, such as:
- satellite TV for basic cable
- monthly cellphones for prepaid phones
- or, gym memberships for community health centers.