Would You Be a Minimalist?

English: Lottery

English: Lottery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Would you be a minimalist if you won the lottery? Aquired an inheritance or other large sum of money? Would it make a difference in how you live?

These questions were one to ponder as I came into some money this spring.

The laws of supply and demand may actually affect my course to minimalism. I hate to admit that. At first I went on a shopping trip and actually bought myself some new clothes. I wondered how I would explain this to my friends that have come to understand my minimalist reputation. Then I went out and bought makeup and it felt so good to dress in something nice and not be invisible. I scolded myself inwardly when I realized what I had done. Why?

I ventured toward becoming a minimalist because I wanted a simpler life, a life without chaos or keeping up with the neighbors. Minimalism had freed me from the past notions of having to keep everything that created a memory or might be useful. I liked not having to worry that if I died my children would be stuck with going through a mountain of things. Minimalism has given me the opportunity to see and consider what matters and to get rid of what doesn’t.  When it feels so good to become simple its easy to get carried away. My rules became a prison.

No one else has imposed upon me the ideals that I measure myself with. Then I looked at the true nature of things. Could I feel good about myself and yet keep things simple? Should I ?  Just because I spent some money doesn’t mean that I will start hoarding or spend needlessly. Being a minimalist does not require me to always buy things used or to get them for free. There is no rule that says that I can’t have nice things. Part of my thinking was, “what will I say to my readers?” and it became clear that it wasn’t the reader that I need to worry about.

Its me.

My journey has taught me more about myself. Its allowed me to learn that we as humans often make our own self-made prisons by the preconceived notions and expectations that we put upon ourselves and others. What I walk away with is knowing that I can still make choices that please me and not feel guilty about not fulfilling expectations. I’m still a minimalist at heart and still look for ways to have less but try to find the beauty in it all as well as the balance.

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12 Comments

  1. What a great post. We hear all the time about people who win the lottery spending all the money and being broke in a few years.
    I do believe I would still be a minimalist. When the powerball reaches a large amount everyone wants to talk about what they would do with the money. It made me think and I realized there were a few things I would do. Yes, I would buy the piece of land along the lake, but it would be small and I would bring what I currently own with me. I wouldn’t add a fridge to my home now that I’ve gotten to like not having one. I would take one big vacation to Ireland, where I’ve always wanted to visit and after that would pay off my children’s homes for them, put money away for my grand children. With the balance I would live off the interest, and give most away. I am disabled and see so many families disrupted by not being able to keep a family member at home due to the layout of the home. I would use my money to make their homes handicap accessible so they could keep family members with them and give them the freedom I still have. For me, there really isn’t much I could think of that I need or want.

    I’m not sure how I feel about self imposed rules, other than to say we all have limits in life, we can’t do everything and we can’t have everything. It’s a part of life to place limits whether it’s in our spending or in the amount of food we eat. I think if you are comfortable with the decisions you made then it doesn’t much matter if you bended your imposed rules or what others think.

  2. Wonderful post. I think if I came into money I would spend some, but I think that now, after downsizing, I would buy with the thought of how the things would make things easier and I would get rid of (donate, sell or throw out) the things I did not need. I would also try not to spend on things and rather, spend on experiences — some travel, leisure activities. I would like to be able buy tickets to an event for the whole family without it breaking the bank. And I certainly wouldn’t spend a lot at one time. I also would spend some in making my elderly parents’ life easier, a better quality of life. So for them that might mean stuff — but stuff like comfortable chairs since they don’t get out as much, same with nicer TVs, and getting them some help with household chores and encouragement with and equipment for hobbies. I think I’d also have some fun with random acts of kindness. I think differently now. I think you think differently now, too, so even when you buy, the reasons that you buy are different and I’ll bet you appreciate the stuff you buy more. You can be a minimalist and still have nice things. It’s the quantity of things and the need for things that matter, in my humble opinion. Great post.

    • Thanks for reading. I agree that what really matters is the value it has to us. I wouldn’t live without my smartphone. Its not “minimal” to most but to me it makes life easier and is simple in its own way. Like you, I would make sure that family is taken care of and give random acts of kindness. I think I would volunteer more because my time would be more of my own. That would be quality to me as well.

  3. Pingback: Friday Favorites, March 15 | livingsimplyfree

  4. What a brilliant post! It’s so true we get stuck in prisons of our own creation. Once mine was ‘ living out of home, doing it 100% on my own’ and getting frustrated that I’d never buy a house when my brothers had the easy life living with my parents. Man did I have to eat my words especially to all the people I’d chided for still living at home whilst studying.
    Now it’s zero waste and no sugar and similar convictions. They’re admirable but at what point is it too much? Too hard? Too punitive? It’s life and as much as I loathe to admit it, life has grey.

  5. I like your view on minimalism. It doesn’t require a stark and deprived life. Just one of conscious decisions. I most enjoy giving things to others. I need very little at this point in life and if I won the lottery, well a small home with garden space and room for company would be just perfect. The rest would go as gifts to those in need. At this point in life, I think so differently than when I was young and healthy. Loved reading your post. Livingsimpleand free sent me over.

  6. I like your view on minimalism as well. I definitely think a balance can be achieved where you have enough things to be able to easily function in all capacities; physically and emotionally, yet you don’t have so much that you feel overwhelmed by your worldly possessions. Also, as you consciously make a decision to think for yourself on the things that you do allow into your life and what purpose they serve, then you can be free from all the commercialism and consumerism that is foisted upon all of us from those who are trying to get us to part with our hard-earned money.

  7. To answer the question;Yes I would. I would use the money to get out of debt, and then buy a new car that is much cheaper on gas. That is it the way I see it, the money although great will take away any money issues I have that as of now keeps me awake at night. I would create a balance only buying what I need and getting some much needed sleep

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