How I Become A Minimalist
My journey into minimalism started in the summer of 2010 when I had just finished working a 16 hour day to finish a client project. I thought to myself that the £2000 I had just made would pay my credit card debt. I then thought about where that £2000 had been spent….an expensive wrist watch that I had purchased 4 weeks previous. On one hand I had a great watch and on the other had worked 60 hours to cover it. Would the £2000 watch tell the time better than a £50 watch? No. Would it look nicer and make me worry about losing or damaging it? Absolutely. Would anyone really care that I was wearing £2000 on my wrist? Not at all!
So I could have spent that 60 hours doing someone I loved rather than working and still be in exactly the same financial situation. Interesting.
At that time many of my friends were considerably wealthier than me earning hundreds of thousands a year and living the lifestyles to match. Fast cars, boats, wild holidays and expensive women! They wouldn’t think twice about spending £10k on a piece of jewellery or £100k on a car. It was a lifestyle that I aspired to and was working all hours of the day in an attempt to buy my way into it. I asked one of them why they were still working every day and the answer was ‘because my lifestyle is expensive’.
I was sitting in my flat one evening and looked at all the possessions that I owned – most of which I hadn’t touched in months. I did a few calculations of the back of a laptop and was shocked to see that I had spent close to £15k on things which I didn’t use. I obviously didn’t need these things, but had spent considerable money buying them. Immediately I created a bunch of eBay auctions. From that initial spend I had recovered £5k. A waste of £10k! But the feeling that I had after parting with these unused items was extraordinary. I felt free. Free from having clutter in my life which doesn’t actually add anything to my existence.
Everything you buy has a hidden cost over and above the purchase price. Things take up space in your life…. Things require maintenance and depreciate. From then on I committed to being more aware of the things that I purchase and any item over £100 goes on my 30 day purchase list before purchasing.
From then on I vowed to make my life as simple as possible and also contribute towards a financial independence fund each month, that way I could save for a potential break in employment and build up my financial security.