This book is not about minimalism directly, but fits in perfectly with my mission and many others who choose the minimalist life. As the name suggests, it is about how to be rich in life. Unlike most personal development books it is written in story format and reads like a cheesy (but captivating) novel, rich with good tips that questions modern philosophies and helps redefine what it means to live the American dream.
Life More Work Less
Too often we assume if only we made more money than we could go on vacation, spend more time with the kids, visit Grandma, relax more. We have this idea that in order to work less, we need to make more. So we work harder, make more money, yet, find that we are no closer to living a life full of freedom and prosperity. Lifeoniaire challenges this method. They encourage us to really examine what we want and also why we want it.
Then when we learn the why, we ask ourselves is the what really the only way to attain what we want. The book gives the example of a man who dreamed his entire life of owning a boat. His why was because he wanted to entertain people and provide them with fun. The guy was challenged, "Would renting a boat proved the same fulfillment." Is there any practical way you can be the provider of fun now rather than wait until you can afford or worse yet put yourself further into debt just so you can fulfill the dream. Then they take it a step further and point out how much time they'd need to work to pay for the debt and maintenance, which leaves little time to entertain. Yet renting, you do not need store, nor maintain, yet you receive all the benefits.
Don't Be a Slave to Debt
Too often we assume if only we made more money than we could go on vacation, spend more time with the kids, visit Grandma, relax more. We have this idea that in order to work less, we need to make more. So we work harder, make more money, yet, do not get closer to our dreams. Most people find that the longer they work, the more strapped for freedom they are, and sometimes even for cash. Why is that?
Some even feel they had more freedom when they were only making $30,000 a year, yet make well into the six digits and feel trapped. Yet again, I ask, why is that? Simply put, our wants grow with our income. We can "afford" bigger loans, which allow us to buy bigger and better things, enslaving us to our jobs just to afford items that we don't even technically own. I say we don't technically own, since the bank holds the title and if we were to stop paying, we would lose all the money we ever paid towards the car/house/etc.
It is vicious cycle. We get the things we want, we find we need more money picking up extra hours or taking jobs that require longer hours but pay more. Or we take on new business opportunities that require more hours but give the higher potential for a payout so we think it is worth it. Yet, we are no closer to living a life full of freedom and prosperity. Lifeoniaire challenges this method. They encourage us to really examine what we want and also why we want it.
Ask Yourseslf, Do You Want More Time Or Money
The Lifeonaire lifestyle's biggest theme is what do you want more: time or money? Most of us, if we were honest, would say time. What do you want more, a big house with an equally big mortgage or to come home from work and relax, play with the kids, invite friends over? What are you willing to get sacrifice? This book does a much better job than I can to explain in a single blog post. I'd recommend to anyone who feels they don't have enough money or enough time to read this book. It opens your eyes to a whole new way of life that helped inspire us towards our minimalist goal, even though the book never talked directly about the topic.
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As I walked through my house deciding what should go next, I realized, had a stranger gone through my house, they would assume, I have A LOT of hobbies. They would believe I...
Ask What Are My Real Hobbies?
Although I had spent a couple years knowing that I had too much stuff, it wasn't until I read this book when I really became serious about it. My husband, who actually bought the book, did not read it until after I had. I suddenly picked up the pace and began really purging items that I no longer needed. Soon, he spent a day reading it and got on board. Since then, I have found a much fuller life by focusing on family and not on stuff. I am now able to find items I truly enjoy rather than rebuying them over and over, because my favorite things are lost somewhere in the abyss of my mess. I have to credit this book for pushing me over the edge to a more focused intentional life.
Have you ever walked into an antique store and seen all the wonderfully crafted wood furniture that is older than your grandma, yet looks like it could last yet another lifetime? Meanwhile, you have a dresser you bought five years ago at home that has a drawer that stopped sliding smoothly about a year ago. Our culture has become a society that loves a good sale and to own a plethora of things. Unfortunately, that has made us a culture of throwaway items and large credit card balances. As our landfills get fuller and our debt increases, many millennials are beginning to realize the need to own less, spend less, and live simpler.
Difference Between Cheap and Frugal
Spending less, does not necessarily mean buying the cheaper item; it means, buying the item you only have to buy once. Yes, you can buy a dresser for $200. It will serve you well... for a few years. It will look nice... for a few years. It will save you money... in the short run.
To truly buy frugally, we need to think of the long term, not just what will get us through until the next paycheck. Yes, buying a $750 dresser at the Amish Furniture store sounds expensive, but realistically it is going to last you the rest of your life. The $200 dresser will probably last five years in good condition, and you will probably keep it another five years before you get sick of the drawer that gets stuck, the bottom of one of the drawers falling out, and the way the top has become wavy. Then that dresser will end up in a landfill or a burning pile, and you will be spending another $200, although with inflation it might be more like $300 to only run into the same problem five to ten years later.
How to Unclutter Your Bookshelf
Getting rid of clothes was hard for me, but not nearly as hard as getting rid of my books and DVDs! I started with five bookshelves full of books, along with random cupboards, shelves, nightstands, etc. My husband and I decided we needed to get down to one - five shelf bookshelf.
Sadly, I cannot say I fully succeeded, I just couldn't do it... yet! But I do have one children's bookshelf and one adult bookshelf! Being a minimalist is a process. I got rid of over half my books, and a quarter of my DVDs and CDs.
My plan was simple.
What Is "Just in Case Clothes"?
On week one, I decided to get rid of my "just in case" clothes. Admit it, you have them! I know I did, at least half of my wardrobe. These are the clothes you haven't worn for years, but you keep "just in case." You know, just in case you:
About two years ago, I was pregnant with severe morning sickness, caring for two foster toddlers, and homeschooling my middle schooler. Oh, did I mention we also decided to open the first of our businesses that year. Needless to say, I was super busy. It was then I realized, I needed life to change.
No matter what I did, my house was cluttered and so was my life. I couldn't change too much in my life; my middle schooler still needed to be educated, I was still puking every two hours, and toddlers, well, if you have had two toddlers at once, you know there is little you can do to ease the pressures. It seemed to make sense, since I couldn't clean out the busyness in my life, I needed to clean out the clutter from my house. It was then that I started the first of my minimalist efforts.
With two toddlers in diapers and one on the way, I used a lot of diapers and in turn had a lot of empty diaper boxes I recycled. So I made the decision for every box that came in the house, I would fill with donatable stuff. Since I was buying at least two boxes of diapers a month, this seemed very reasonable. I then would find a charity that was worthy of the items and off that box would go.
Angela Michelle Schultz
I am abnegating my possessions for the sake of the good things in my life like my church, my husband, my daughters, my family, my friends, and my writing. I am learning the joy of having more time and money for what matters by removing the stuff that doesn't.