There’s an article out there that says that only people in a safe nation, in times of wealth, with abundance can enjoy minimalism.
On my youtube channel, I originally disagreed. I said that, I was on welfare and through the use of credit cards, I still managed to buy way more than I needed and through all that folly, discovered the benefits of minimalism.
But now that I am into frugality, wow, I really do agree with the statement that minimalism is a privilege.
To better mange my money, I applying the principle of Mr. Money-Stash. He considers his normal baseline of monthly spending to be at zero. So he thinks long and hard about what he buys. Everything and anything.
For example, even something as fundamental as food. He won’t buy bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, fast food or fake food, from the store OR from a restaurant. You can only eat it for free at parties. He considers buying it with your OWN HARD EARNED CASH is just self-destructive. He also says, “Respect the 10$”. So no more buying lattes. You gotta make it at home. Oh, there goes that kitchen counter top space, needed for a coffee machine.
So I makes me think long and hard about what I spend my money on too. That means anything I buy, I consider it. Before, if I wasn’t feeling my bowl, I would declutter it, and go out and buy a cheap affordable one from Daiso in a color that be suited me. Just because it didn’t spark joy anymore.
I used to feel entitled to my decluttering (kinda wasteful, in retrospect), because I ONLY HAD 1 of the item. I am being such a good minimalist! Roll eyes.
I know there’s more to minimalism than owning little or decluttering, or spending money to re-purchase things.
The point that I’m trying to make is, because of my new self-imposed frugality, I couldn’t just switch or change or buy new things and rid of myself of my current things as it suited me. I could no longer just be like that white man in the article, who just has a laptop, keys and wallet. If he needs anything, he can just buy it. No need for an umbrella or a backpack to wear a water bottle or a book. If he gets bored, he can buy a book or if he’s thirsty, he can buy a bottled water.
Mr. Money-stash said, you should never buy bottled water. You drink it at home or carry a bottle with you from home.
So this newfound way of thinking of my money, made me think, wow, I can’t just spend money for the sake of minimalism anymore. All the luxuries that I thought were not part of minimalism, actually are.
I have more stuff now that I’m frugal. I can’t just go out and buy whatever I need. I’m very strict about it. I try to go without or see what I can use from what I already own. So I’m also very careful about what I declutter. I store away things I’m not currently using, instead of just decluttering for the sake of “empty space”, and if I need it, waste more money to go out and “re-buy it”.
Furthermore, the desire to pursue minimalism is a equal reaction to excess. When I grew up on welfare, I wasn’t thinking, “Oh since I can’t afford anything anyway, let’s not bother with consumerism. I don’t need it anyway.” I wanted it all!
In order to crave “less”, there must be excess to experience. It wasn’t until after I was able to use a credit card to buy things I couldn’t otherwise afford, that I got to experience excess, and it’s negative repercussions.
To be able to experience excess is also a privilege. I can say that, because unlike the USA, Canada and other common wealth nations where individuals can afford beyond their means via credit cards, not all countries run like that. In China, it’s extremely difficult to obtain a credit card. So people buy only what they can afford. And with the rising economy in China, people can now buy all that unnecessary stuff they otherwise couldn’t afford. And what’s one of the reactions to all the stuff?
Many Chinese are becoming fascinated by Japanese minimalism movement. They want to be feel “freer and lighter” among all their clutter. Sound familiar?
So I finally understand why the article said that minimalism is a privilege. Let me know what your thoughts are.