At the outset of the journey, inspired by minimalism and personal finance, we focused on the process of downsizing every aspect of our lives.
We consumed unconsciously and at a rate that meant we would have never, ever retired. It’s impossible to outearn our overspending. Creating a budget, cutting our expenses, and then paying off our debts were merely the symptoms of the disease. Learning how to stop spending was the real cure.
To cure a disease, we needed some tools…weapons, really. Podcasts, blogs, and books were amongst the tools in our toolbox, weapons in our arsenal.
Minimalism is one such tool we used to cut this disease out of our lives, to rid ourselves of the excess we acquired in favor of freedom and fulfillment, to achieve the benefits outlined by The Minimalists. Minimalism, like money, is a tool to rid of life’s excess (and debt).
Because we downsized from a 1,500 sq ft home to a 536 sq ft home, we downsized our debt. That’s obvious. But we also eliminated the excess space and stuff and stress.
“Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps people question what things add value to their lives. By clearing the clutter from life’s path, we can all make room for the most important aspects of life: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.” – from The Minimalists
100% of this quote is true…
We cleared the clutter, created space in our lives for what’s most important.
For us, the key to minimizing is questioning everything.
- Is the stuff in our lives adding value?
- Are we contributing in all the ways we’d like to be contributing?
- Does our spending time and money in ways that align with our values?
The more we question, the more clutter we clear, the clearer our questions become.
It’s no longer a matter of whether or not we should keep [fill in the blank] item that we haven’t used in 15 years. The question becomes, “What compelled us to keep items for 15 years that we don’t use?”
It’s no longer a matter of whether or not we should build a new tiny house. The question becomes, “How will a 200 sq ft tiny house serve us in ways that our current home doesn’t?”
It’s no longer a matter of whether or not we should keep creating budgets. The question becomes, “How will a budget help us ensure we’re spending on what we value most and not on what we don’t?”
Questioning everything to cut the extraneous helped us reclaim our health, our time, our money, our freedom, and our passions. No longer are we bound to one way of life out of necessity. We can choose the work we want to do. We can choose where we want to live. We can choose how we spend our days.
What a privilege is it to able to say we are minimalists.