It’s fine to be “minimalist” | Samuel Rosenberg

Back to basics to the beginning keep it simple and basic primiti

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday April 1, 2016 – We can all simplify our lives a little – both mentally and financially. If you have not seen the recent video of a young woman who decided to challenge herself to live on just $2 a day for a two-week period, now is the time to go and search online for it. It has rapidly gone viral.

Fortunately, yet perhaps surprisingly for some, she has succeeded in living normally and did not lose 10 pounds during that time. This makes you wonder how you can simplify your own life and achieve the right balance between what you need and what you want.

We are all taught to understand that more is better, even as we take the first steps in life. We are bombarded by advertisements on television, radio, the Internet, newspapers and magazines, gigantic billboards. They are all trying to sell us something and most of it is that more is better.

Because of this philosophy, individuals work long and hard hours so they can buy the fastest car, the biggest home, keep up with the trendiest of fashions, the most expensive toys and purchase the coolest gadgets that are out of date almost before you take them out of the box.

We can all live with less, but do we want to? We are not forced to consider spending just two dollars a day, but on the other hand there is no need to buy a skinny latte from your favourite coffee shop mid-morning, a take-out meal for lunch and a pizza for dinner, every day.

Those who have simplified their lives often speak about the calmness in their lives because they are no longer chasing the biggest and the best of everything. Of course, most do not wish to go back and live the lives of our great-grandparents 100 years ago, but there are many ways we can get off the treadmill, which is moving too fast for our minds and our wallets.

Too many in today’s society have become hoarders; we keep clothes, furniture and equipment that we are never going to use again. A small garage sale can easily get rid of unnecessary items from your home and raise a few dollars, or you could give it all to charity.

Children will always try to talk you into more and bigger toys, but they do not learn life lessons by being given everything they ask for. The result is that many lose the gift to be creative, helpful and, most importantly, share. Children with fewer toys can be just as happy, and most quickly forget unused purchases.

There are many ways in which you can minimalize your life and lifestyle. By reducing the number of cooking utensils and kitchen gadgets, as well as the extras on your countertops, in drawers and storage boxes, you can make your life easier to manage. Essentially, by only purchasing items that you actually need, you will increase your savings balance and probably add years to your life.

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samuel-rosenbergSamuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to srosenberg@axcelfinance.