Minimalism is the movement that goes against the grain of society and its ever-pressing consumerism. When I first heard of minimalism it was on my search to find ways to cut down on expenses and live a more fulfilled life. I was looking for how little people could live with and still be happy. The thing that got me into minimalism was when I was watching one of Matt D’avella’s youtube videos about how he wore the same shirt for three years. I was just appalled that someone would wear the same shirt for longer than one day, let alone 3 years. Wouldn’t he get stinky? Does anybody notice? How does that affect his social life? Why? Just Why?
The video is somewhat clickbait because he bought several of the same shirts that he will then alternate wearing. It was still amazing that he would wear the same style and he went into all the benefits like how he didn’t worry about what he was going to wear in the morning and how he stopped caring about researching and buying new fashion trends. Did I start wearing the same shirt every day too? I am not as radical as Matt but I like to incorporate it into my life. Here are a few questions that I had about minimalism and the answers that I found:
Should I wear the same clothes every day?
For me, the answer was not so simple. At first, I wanted to just get rid of my whole wardrobe and start fresh with plain, gray shirts and black pants. Then I looked up prices and to start over I was going to have to fork over $100 plus to do it. I realized that it kind of defeated one of the most important reasons for why I do minimalism. To save money! I think Matt did it to illustrate a point that he was adopting a new way of life and was looking for a way to express that while saving time choosing what to wear. I am grateful that he did because he opened my eyes to the idea. For me, that wasn’t the case and I realized that I was just as well off keeping the clothes I had and going from there. Here is what I did change:
I think carefully about what clothes I wear
I don’t know why but I hate pants. For the occasional event where I want to look a little nicer, I have a single pair of black pants but otherwise, I just wear sweats or athletic wear and they’re all just gray or black. I have a few pairs of athletic shorts as well. I don’t go and get nice jeans and I don’t look for the name-brand stuff. I won’t complain if someone gives me some nice athletic wear but it doesn’t matter as long as it feels comfortable. Then I just wear t-shirts. It has been a while since I have bought a T-shirt. Somehow I feel like I just end up with t-shirts. If I do end up buying new t-shirts I will just get some gray or black shirts but for now, I am just going to wear what I already have. I never have to worry too much about what t-shirt I am wearing because all my bottoms are black or gray so it works out. For shoes, I usually switch between black slip-on vans and black Adidas tennis shoes. But I also have dress shoes, climbing shoes, and hiking shoes that I wear for the occasion. Here’s the list of my clothes:
- Random t-shirts
- black or grey comfortable athletic bottoms (one nice pair of black pants)
- basic socks and underwear from Walmart
- A couple of jackets.
- black shoes (plus specific activity shoes)
I choose very comfortably, functional wears. I don’t care too much about style and I don’t worry about what I am going to wear every day.
What physical things do I own and buy?
Every purchase I make is carefully thought out. I feel like I don’t own that many things, Mostly it’s because I am a recent college graduate still living in an apartment that was furnished and full of cookware when I moved in. I don’t think I own very much but I am curious to see if you think it is a lot of stuff. probably the biggest category for stuff is all of my outdoor gear. It’s important to remember that minimalism isn’t about just getting rid of all your stuff but only getting stuff that brings value to your life. Outdoor gear brings a lot of value to my life. I try to make sure that I use everything I buy and that there is a purpose for all of it. Here is the list of pretty much everything I own:
- Toyota Corolla 2013, car wash supplies, snow brush
- twin bed, pillow, sheets, and two blankets
- clothes (mentioned above)
- a small and large suitcase
- instant pot
- electric toothbrush, toothpaste, electric shaver, dental floss, contacts/solution, brush
- towel, swimsuits, sunscreen
- rock climbing/canyoneering/backpacking/fishing gear
- pickleball and spikeball set
- two longboards
- snowshoes and snow-skis
- surface computer, iPhone 11, kindle (all my books are electronic), AirPods
- iPhone video tripod
- miscellaneous things like pens, earplugs, chargers, chapstick, etc.
I think its also fun to emphasize some of the stuff that I don’t own:
- shampoo, body wash, deodorant
- videogame console
I don’t own a television. I feel like in today’s world they aren’t that useful with phones and computers. I also don’t own hair products or shampoo. If the no shampoo, body wash, or deodorant freaks you out I am hoping to make a blog post soon about why I don’t use them. I don’t own a video game console. I like video games but I usually find myself preferring to read, write, or spend time outdoors. Well, and I spend a lot of time on my phone searching webs or watching youtube or TikTok. I am hoping to get a desk in the future but I usually just end up using my bed or I go to the library. I don’t need a dresser because there was built-in shelving in my closet. My apartment came pretty well furnished before I moved in. Eventually, I want to get my own place and I am curious to see how empty it will be. It could end up being a pretty empty home, but we’ll see. I find it fun to see how little I can live with but it’s also important to not get carried away and sacrifice just for the sake of minimalism. It shouldn’t become a religion but just a helpful guide to asking yourself if you need the thing or not. I honestly don’t think I am that minimalistic, but I try to be careful about why I buy something.
What are all of my expenses?
Minimalism got me interested in how exactly I was spending my money. It’s crazy how it can all just disappear. I am always so curious about how people spend their money, so I will try and list all of my expenses here. I think that it can be useful to see how others spend their money because it can open your eyes to how you might want to spend your money. I wish that our culture wasn’t so taboo with talking about money. For simplicity, I am going to just show a rough estimate of the main monthly expenses and not my whole budget.
- $250 for rent. Small towns are awesome haha. It would be cool to try van-life and cut my whole rent out altogether. I just can’t afford a van. Maybe I could just live out of my corolla?
- $40 for utilities and wifi.
- $24 for car insurance, no health insurance, free dental, and $3 for vision
- $60 gas.
- $150 for food. I want to start eating healthier and spending more on this.
- $50 for a phone plan. kind of a lot but I like the hotspot and unlimited data. I need to get this lower though.
- Total: ~$600 per month
How do I spend my time as a minimalist?
One of the main takeaways from minimalism is that time is your most valuable resource in this life. Relationships and personal growth are significantly affected by how we choose to spend our time. Becoming financially independent can open a lot of doors in the time department. Minimalism can be a helpful way to cut out spending so that you can work less and spend time doing the things that matter most. Minimalism goes well with financial literacy and developing passive income while pursuing your passions. It can also lead you to realize that there is a lot of entertainment to be found for free. I spend most of my time outdoors, reading, playing pickleball, or watching TikTok and youtube. All of these things are fairly cheap activities. I think what matters most is spending time with the people you love. There is so much that you can do without money or things while living a very fulfilling life. In a lot of ways getting rid of the clutter allows you to have the life you always wanted all along.
Live life purposefully, and have meaning behind all that you do!