A Minimalist’s Train of Thought

Less money spent means more money saved

More money saved means the longer you can live in financial peace and security

Financial peace and security comes from owning less

Less stuff owned means less to carry around, move, or have to travel with

Less responsibility for your stuff also means less maintenance and more time

The more time you have, the more relaxed you will feel

The more relaxed you are, the less you will care about stuff

If you care less about stuff, it means you’ll care less about image

If you care less about image, you will care more about experiences and memories

If you care more about experiences and memories, you will be happier with less

If you are happier with less, you’ll never want or need for more

The less you want or need for more, the more you will feel free

This is one of my favourite passages on minimalism; it reinforces how wonderful life can be with nothing more than the possessions in your backpack.

Every time I return home to Calgary, Canada, I get caught up in the North American consumerism lifestyle. Caring about image. Wanting more. Needing more.

Consumerism is encouraged to drive the economy and keep people chained to their jobs. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to work long hours and try to make money through an honest effort, but I think it’s important to apply that earned money to living life. To me, living is done through epic experiences, rather than the temporary thrill of a new purchase and thus time is in many ways more valuable to me than money. Rather than focus on working more hours, I try to focus on productivity and maximize the financial output from my input of time.

There are certain possessions that may lead to wonderful experiences and allow people pleasure through their hobbies: sports equipment, cars, boats, motorcycles, cookware, cameras, art supplies, and tools all come to mind, but there are also possessions that simply create more stress and less flexibility. How many kitchen gadgets does one person really need? Is a big house worth the extra time and financial cost of cleaning and maintaining?

Whenever I find myself wanting to purchase a material good, I like to read this passage and consider if the purchase will add benefit or burden to my life.

I am not sure who originally wrote this passage but if anyone knows, please leave a note in the comments so I can give the author due credit.

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