Minimalist Living - The Conserver Lifestyle
Security doesn't come from having more but from needing less. "Because we lack a divine Center, our need for security has led us into an insane attachment to things. We really must understand that the lust for affluence in contemporary society is psychotic. It is psychotic because it has completely lost touch with reality. We crave things we neither need nor enjoy. 'We buy things we do not want to impress people we do not like'. Where planned obsolescence leaves off, psychological obsolescence takes over. We are made to feel ashamed to wear clothes or drive cars until they are worn out. The mass media have convinced us that to be out of step with fashion is to be out of step with reality. It is time we awaken to the fact that conformity to a sick society is to be sick. Until we see how unbalanced our culture has become at this point, we will not be able to deal with the mammon spirit within ourselves nor will we desire Christian simplicity."
― Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth
"a man there was, though some did count him mad, the more he cast away the more he had." ― John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress
Read My Story
Job, Money, Status, Stuff . . . the American Dream? The American nightmare! The more I have, the more I want, the more things breakdown, the more stress to replace them and get more.
How does it end? An unfullfilled life (and death) or with removing those "things" that satisfy so little.
The older I get, the less I need, and the more I realize how my possessions have become more burdensome than comforting. The more I have, the more I have to lose. I am a slave to my stuff. The more money I make, the more stress I have and more fearful of losing what I have strived so hard to accumulate. "The one with the most toys wins" is a favorite saying for the one who seeks stuff to make them think they are happy. A movie called "LESS: Losing is Everything" helps to make the point that "when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change" and will gain a new-found sense of freedom.
Needs vs. Wants: I ask myself the question "do I NEED this or do I WANT it?" Is it a necessity for my health or to perform a task, or is it something I want, just because? I have found that most of what I thought I needed, is simply something I wanted and could have done without and saved money, space and the aggrivation to get it. Later, I find those wants have lost the alure that sucked me in to buying them, and now I just want to get rid of the financial burden, or inconvenience, they cause.
I encourage seeking simplicity. The more I have, the more I have to lose and greater will be the pain when it's gone.
Things I Have Learned:
1 - Don't envy those who have more. They, generally, have more to lose, more to maintain, less freedom and less financial discipline.
2 - Become keenly aware of income, spending and savings activities. This is best done with a Spending Plan/Budget.
3 - Establish and practice a strict NEEDS vs. WANTS mentality. Don't justify giving in to WANTS.
4 - Eliminate unnecessary (WANTS) monthly expenses.
5 - Find ways to reduce necessary (NEEDS) monthly expenses.
6 - Combine travel. If you need to go to the store, stop by the store on your way home from work. And shop at stores on route to/from home.
7 - Understand that "less expensive" does not necessarily mean "cheap". "Less expensive" soap will clean, and "less expensive" toilet paper will wipe, and go down the drain just as well as the "best" expensive brands (see The Dollar Store is My Friend).
8 - Turn off or unplug electical applicances and lights when not being actively used (see Kill Your Electrical Vampires).
Suggested Resources: (You are not alone)
100 Great Tips to Save Money
Living on a Dime
The Frugal Life
The Prudent Homemaker
The Frugal Girl
$100 a Month
Surviving & Thriving
The Peaceful Mom
The Frugal Navy Wife
Money Saving Mom
How to Live Without a Salary
How to Make a Living Without a Job
Is Simple Living For You?
You Can Do This
The Dollar Store is My Friend
Killing Electrical Vampires
18 Tips for Enjoying a Frugal Lifestyle
LESS: Losing is Everything (the movie on TUBITV.COM)
Too many of us trade our happiness and well-being for the reliability of a steady paycheck. We work long hours at jobs we dislike or find unfulfilling so that we can buy a lot of stuff that never really seems to satisfy us. And when that paycheck turns out to be not so reliable, we panic. Unemployment terrifies us. Is there any way out of this dilemma? Charles Long reveals one possibility -- the Conserver Lifestyle. . . . Security doesn't come from having more but from needing less.