It always turns into an interesting conversation when I talk to people about being a minimalist. I’m always asked, So.. you buy nothing? Do you own anything? or I get the “you just want to throw everything away, don’t you?”. But that’s not true, at all. I may live in a tiny apartment, but I buy stuff all the time. I own things I like and there are certain items I will not throw away! I thought it would be fun to debunk a few myths about myself and other minimalists out there. Just know, this is my opinion and does not reflect every person’s lifestyle choices.
five minimalism myths to debunk:
MYTH 1 | minimalists are all the same
*SPOILER* Minimalism is just a concept or an idea, it’s not real. Some people treat minimalism like it is God, but to me… it’s not. It’s just an idea that I like to guide a lot of things I do by being more intentional in my life. Each person that practices this concept may only do it when it comes to their wardrobe, others do it when it comes to finances. Some people only own fifty items, whereas others have a five-bedroom house. It is all up to you how you want to express yourself and live your own life. I’ve always preached the idea that you shouldn’t let anyone dictate how you live your life, or identify with this concept. Do what works for you, and let go of the rest.
MYTH 2 | minimalism means you don’t buy anything
We have to buy things to live, right? So this is debunked immediately. It’s just being more intentional when it comes to your purchases and making sure you’re not overspending. I’ll be honest, I’ve had moments where I’ve purchased things that I want, but don’t necessarily need. I think we’ve all done this. The point is to not make this a continual habit. The goal is to make sure you’re mainly buying things that you need instead of falling into the consumerism trap.
MYTH 3 | minimalists are vegan and eco-friendly
Being an intentional person has a tendency to make you want to look even deeper into every aspect of your life. Especially when it comes to the food you eat and the types of things you buy, which has to do with what you’re consuming. I’ll admit, I was a vegan. Now, I don’t eat red meat and I consume a lot of meatless meals. I am very environmentally friendly, but I also live my life based on the 80/20 concept because we have to be realistic.
Not everyone that tries to live simply is vegan, nor do they have to be. I think everyone should do their part when it comes to taking care of the environment, but it’s not a prerequisite to having minimalistic values. Do what you want to do, learn, research, and try. But there isn’t anything that says you can’t eat meat or drive your car in order to simplify your life.
MYTH 4 | minimalism is about deprivation
I think minimalism is the opposite of deprivation. I feel like I’ve received more now that I focus on what is important, what I value, and don’t allow myself to be deprived of what I care about. Financial independence is important to me. So it may seem like I don’t want to buy something because I’d rather save for it than put it on credit. But to me, it’s about having more financial access versus less.
MYTH 5 | minimalism means you’re cheap
Some people may be cheap, but I know for me that I value quality over quantity. I’d rather invest my money in items that cost more than buying the cheapest thing available that won’t last. Being frugal is more my speed and there’s nothing wrong with that. Nor is there anything wrong with investing in a good winter coat when you live in a colder climate.