Why I'm a Financial Minimalist
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This video is being made because several of you have sent me a facebook post mentioning me, by Alex Becker. The overall message of the post was just this: buying “things,” getting caught in a consumerist lifestyle, and living to impress others is always going to be a losing battle…so instead, we should strive to REDUCE our overhead, REDUCE our extravagances, and get back to the basics of what we all really value the most: FREEDOM. NOT THINGS.
First of all, having any type of financial “overhead” just stresses me out. Having a big mortgage payment, or having a big car payment, or having ANYTHING that l need to be financially obligated to makes me feel trapped, and makes me feel as though I’m on a hamster wheel just running to keep it going.
Having that “Type” of stress causes me to resent the work I do, and stifles my own creativity when it comes to pursuing my own passions - it just drains the fun out of it. This is why I’ve always preferred a financially minimalist lifestyle - the less financial responsibility I have, the more freedom I have…then, the more freedom I have, the less stress I have - and the less stress I have, the happier I am to pursue more creative and fulfilling work.
I’ll tell you what all that saved money really brings you: OPTIONS. That’s it.
Money is NOT for the purpose of flaunting…it’s NOT for the purpose of trying to IMPRESS random strangers. It is NOT for the purpose of measuring your own self worth, or feeling a sense of superiority over someone else…but, it does give you OPTIONS. That is worth more than ANYTHING I could’ve ever imagined.
For me, that option was not ever needing to work a job I absolutely loathed…I had the option to pursue the work that meant something, to me…it meant I had the option to spend every day doing something that gives me purpose and meaning to my life…and that NEVER would’ve been the case if I had to sacrifice those values in order to work a job I disliked, just to support the cars, and the houses, and the luxuries I never needed in the first place.
This is really, at its core, the entire culture of the FIRE movement - Financial Independence, Retire Early. It’s a community and mindset that you don’t need to be 65 to retire, if you keep track of your expenses, save your income, and grow your wealth to the point where you can live off your investments indefinitely.
And THAT is really the entire point of the financial independence movement - it’s spending money on things that really add value to your life, and SAVING with the intention of building a lifestyle that supports that. And while financial independence certainly doesn’t happen overnight, it can absolutely be a goal to work towards and one day achieve - because the less money you spend, the faster you can get there. And the more you can smash the like button.