When minimalism and personal finance collide
Now, I am not a minimalist by any means. I don’t strive to only own 100 things, travel for months with just a small backpack of possessions, or get rid of the gadgets that I love (Kindle, iPhone, Macbook Pro, Canon G10). And while I don’t mind our small apartment here in Germany, I’m looking forward to having a bit more space in my townhouse back home. :) But I do respect minimalists. And ever since I forced myself to condense my life into a 60L backpack, I don’t even remember or miss the things that I left at home.
But if I only brought the items that I actually care about, where does that leave the rest of my stuff? Does that mean I only need 2 pairs of shoes, 1 jacket, 2 pairs of pants, 1 sweatshirt, and a handful of t-shirts? I’ve never once uttered “oh, I wish I had brought X with me.” In fact, I overpacked. By a lot. I could probably do without 30% of the stuff I brought with me. And hypothetically if I were to leave my possessions in Vancouver behind forever, the only thing I would have regretted not bringing are a few pieces of sentimental jewelry.
So what does that mean for my personal finances when it comes to minimalism? Fabulously Broke touched upon the subject in a guest post for me – Minimalism and finances go hand in hand. And just like my No Spend Day Challenge – where I’m trying to curb my needless impulse purchases – I feel that minimalism is the same concept. It’s trying to de-clutter your life and make it a little simpler.
I know that I could be happy with only owning whatever I can fit into my backpack, but the truth is, I like the comfort that my “stuff” provides me. I like having a home – which is why I am a homeowner. And while I don´t (and never will) have a lot of stuff, I like having a comfy couch, nice dishes, a bread maker, a flat screen TV, and a few more pairs of pants than I actually need to have. :)
Do you ever think you could become a minimalist?
Author: Krystal Yee
I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.