Minimalism Explained: What Does This Really Mean? How Will This Lifestyle Benefit Me?

By: MinimAlicia

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For those of you who might be asking the obvious question; what is minimalism?Minimalism in its true sense have been a concept that has been practiced for years throughout the world; however, the industrial revolution, globalization and the rise of the internet has definitely reduced this somewhat. I can say that Millennials and Generation Xers are throwing it back, because minimalism is on the rise.   Being a Minimalist is so much more than saving money; it is about really simplifying one’s life by living with less. According to Vocabulary.com When you call a person a minimalist, you’re mainly defining their interest in keeping things very elementary.

Many people get turned off when they hear the term “Minimalism”, they often think that you are living like a caveman or cavewoman in my case. I am here to tell you, that this is not true at all. In my opinion, it is merely living within my means while rejecting the things that I don’t need; and at the same time trying to get the best deal for the things that I do need. This may sound simple, but it proves to be very difficult in this society where consumerism is at the core. Social media also plays a big deal in providing various triggers to make you think that you need something when you really do not; anyhow, that is another discussion for another day.  My family and I made a conscious decision to live our lives this way but it was not always like this. As humans, it is seen that something bad or drastic has to happen first which pushes us to try something new. Minimalism was us trying something new, we had a period where our expenses far outweighed our income and as a Banking professional and trained Accountant, I had to go back to basics. Going back to basics meant us turning off all electronics when we were not at home, changing our phone and cable plans from unlimited to a lower plan with the bare minimum. We even started using up foods that were in our pantry before buying anything new; these were canned goods that were not being used. This also meant that there was a complete halt on buying anything new.

After coming out of our “rough patch”, we started to feel better and we clearly saw the benefits of us living minimally.  We decided to make this a lifestyle and not just a fad, best decision ever! We had to develop a mentality where we had get complete security in ourselves and that made us not care too much of what other people thought. I often think about my life growing up, where it was not easy and we did not have much. I thought, “well if I survived that and I am alright now”, then why can’t I live my life without fear and without harboring all these valueless worldly possessions.  And my friends, just to be clear, you know I am not talking about houses and other assets; I am referring to the clothes, bags, electronics and shoes (for the ladies) that we invest thousands of dollars in.

Without a doubt, the benefits of living this minimal life is vast. You will literally feel free, you will save more money, reduce your debt, get rid of valueless clutter, be happier and improve your experiences and relationships. The most freedom you will feel will come from not caring about unimportant things, especially other people’s opinions. This will save you thousands of dollars over the years, since you will start spending less on clothes and general merchandise, the money saved can be invested in something worthwhile. The biggest benefit to this minimal living is that it will reduce your debt to income ratio and improve your credit score, this will be a double-edged sword because there will be more temptations when the bank sends you that limit increases and that black credit card. You will also have the pleasure of living in a decluttered space, letting go of things that you no longer value or will use. This new-found freedom will mean that you will enjoy life more outdoors and travelling and you will even see where it will lead to an improvement in your social life.

Guys, I know this is not for the faint at heart (In my best Les Brown voice), but it is possible. I’m truly grateful that you took to the time to read the Minimalist Mentality blog. I appreciate your time and would love your feedback. If there is anything I can do to make this site more helpful, or topics that you’d like me to discuss, send me an email or leave a comment below.

 

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‘If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come. Simplicity is extremely important for happiness. Having few desires, feeling satisfied with what you have, is very vital: satisfaction with just enough food, clothing, and shelter to protect yourself from the elements.’ — The Dalai Lama

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