“Things you own end up owning you” – Fight Club (Book/Movie)
Minimalism is a buzzword which one hears often, seldom understands and rarely follow. But many people (including me) have it as a part of their wishful thinking.
Different people have different interpretation of minimalism. For some it is about things, for some it is about the things they own (or do not own). For some this includes non-things too (for instance, number of people one interacts with in day to day life). For others it may be about prioritizing experiences over things. For some it may be about partially automating a part of their lives.
The above interpretations may not be mutually exclusive. Nor they need be one of them or just one of them – there are many more interpretations and combinations of interpretations possible. But one underlying thing is the need to de-clutter. More so, if one tends not to be too attached to things.
How can minimalism be helpful?
- Less clutter at home. Easier to find things. More space.
- More the things you have, more the things you need to maintain. This may not be good for your money or energy.
- Less expenses, especially in maintenance & storage costs.You may need an almirah less to store your stuff. More so, if you have stuff that you haven’t used for ages and unlikely to do so in future.
- More the things you don’t need, more the things you won’t buy. For example, if you decide not to wear a watch, you won’t feel the need to buy a watch.
- More space – physically and mentally to do the things you love.
- Health benefits, since you may spend less time fretting about unnecessary things and focus more on things that matter.
- Less need for external validation by showing off things.
- Virtuous cycle of not feeling the need to compare yourself with others, benchmarked by things you own.
- Being content with less stuff may eventually come naturally to you. And isn’t contentment a great state of mind to aspire for?
Minimalism, even if done half-right can be a good tool to manage your finances. By following it, you avoid spending on unnecessary things, avoid wasting things since you don’t buy what you don’t need, you need less space because you don’t need all the space to store all the things you don’t want. This all, in turn can avoid few cash-drains and lead you to invest that money instead, which can grow. In addition, the peace of mind you may get can be priceless.
Despite seemingly several benefits, minimalism is often difficult to follow because we usually love accumulating things – partly due to love of things, partly due to love of showing off things and partly due to – well, it has always been this way.
What do you think?
(Disclaimer – Despite my affinity for minimalism, I am still struggling to follow it and hopefully, should be able to traverse a part of this journey over next decade!)
You may also like to read – Long term opportunity cost of impulse spending.