Ever feel inundated with the quantity of shear stuff you manage in your everyday life? Kids’ toys, junk mail, closets full of clothing (and the inevitable laundry), electronic devices, craft supplies, kids’ schoolwork papers . . . for many of us, the list goes on. A large portion of our belongings are not actually getting used for their intended purposes or enhancing our lives. Some estimates calculate that Americans spend $1.2 trillion per year on nonessential stuff.
Accumulating this stuff to “keep up with the Joneses” comes at a cost. Instead of living below our means, we continually suffer from “lifestyle creep,” a term describing higher paychecks yielding higher costs of living. Instead of freeing ourselves from debt, we continue to overconsume—to our financial detriment. Encouraging us in this perceived competition are social media, news, advertisements, and other notifications competing for our attention and our dollars.
Minimalism—or the rejection of this never ending accumulation and consumption—is gaining popularity simply because Americans are overwhelmed. Minimalism can be defined as the pursuit of the essential in your everyday life. Being more intentional with our resources can provide a welcome sense of relief. It is possible to completely step off the track of making more money simply to gain more stuff, and you might just be happier for it.
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