Rethinking Debt and Minimalism: The New American Way

Imagine yourself in line checking out during one of America’s most popular holidays, Christmas. You shuffle your feet uncomfortably as the cashier scans item after item; the mechanical hum rings in tune with the ever-increasing sum. Eventually, your eyes are near enough to spot the amount on the register. A sense of unease and anxiety fills you as you consider if you can really afford all the excess in your cart. You assure yourself it’s necessary for the holidays and the joy of others.

This common scenario entails just one disadvantage of the American dream: Gain without understanding or need. Debt, the silent stalker, creeps into our lives as a consequence of excess.

Now, this article might have spurred some unpleasant flashbacks for some. So, I want to get back to one of the missions of this blog-positive improvement in your own life. Let’s begin with introducing you to a stark counter to the American way that has become ever more present. People embrace this change without necessarily ever knowing the word, but let’s indulge in a direct exploration here. We’re going to begin with a brief examination of minimalism, minimalists, and why you should consider it yourself.

With that being said, minimalism has as many interpretive definitions as people can generate for it in their everyday life. So, let’s start with a definition of a minimalist taken from Vocabulary.com:

“When you call a person a minimalist, you’re describing their interest in keeping things very simple. A minimalist prefers the minimal amount or degree of something.”

From this definition, it doesn’t sound very American; this blog isn’t about the group but improving your own life. I challenge you to take a moment to pause, look at your surroundings, and count how many objects are located within the room you’re presently residing in.

There isn’t a magic number for minimizing your room; the likelihood is the time it took to count every object and décor within the room could have been considerably shorter.

 Must Read: The Konmari Inspired Decluttering Challenge

Rethinking Debt and Minimalism: The New American Way

In essence, the main lesson from this article is that there can always be less. If you look to your frugal spenders, coupon-clippers and budgeters, they can appear quite burdened as long as they try to squeeze out the maximum amount of possession and products that they can acquire at a given time. Scrolling over a billing statement, looking at all the charges, fees, and forgotten purchases can also be equally agonizing.  In America, these struggles are associated with being an average adult. It doesn’t have to happen this way.

Minimalism can seem like an alien concept; it sometimes doesn’t hurt to simply spend less and only get what you know you’ll need.

As with most lifestyle concepts, a change has its own degree of complications. So, how about starting out with a moderation challenge. Next time you’re shopping, buy only what you need. Don’t be tempted by anything at the register or succumb to another moment of weakness while glancing at some snacks. Exercise your mental fortitude, steel your hand, and get the essentials for your life. See how you feel once you get a taste of the savings.

If you do this, I’d love for you to try it again. If you can repeat this process, I know it will turn out even better. Let’s talk about how it went, and meanwhile I’ll continue to expand on the topic of minimalism. This is a topic I’m finding people are craving and needing. The concepts have been helpful in my own life and I’m hoping it’ll turn into a passion of yours as well.

Just remember that you don’t have to give into excess. Respect your time, hard-earned money, and environment. Make where you place your funds and energy count.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” —Will Rogers

Check out: How to Be a Minimalist When You Love Beauty Products

If you have used any of these techniques or have others to recommend, we’d love to hear about it on our Facebook page!

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