The answer? Time.
Looking at every aspect of minimalism, the best reason to become minimalist is creating more time to focus on and act upon what we love, while discarding the rest.
No one can magically create a 25 hour day, and all the lifehacking in the world won’t stop the ticking of the clock.
Minimalism gives us the advantage of being able to ruthlessly eliminate that which does not contribute to our lives in order to more effectively spend our time, the most finite resource of all.
Time to work less.
The more expensive your lifestyle is, the more you have to work to maintain it. Over and over people will talk about how much they hate their jobs or wish that they had more vacation time or wish that they could stop living paycheck to paycheck. But then they go out and trade the money they’ve made for more useless possessions in an attempt for a momentary bit of happiness. This kills their dreams.
I highly recommend reading the book “Your Money or Your Life” for an in-depth explanation of how to determine how much each purchase costs in terms of work hours.
“Work” can even include housework. The less stuff in your home, and the smaller the home itself, the less time needed for cleaning, maintenance and organization.
Time to create more.
What will be your legacy? Do you want people to remember someone who spent their weekends playing xBox and drinking beer? Everyone has some form of art inside of them that they should be working to bring out and share. Stop consuming the mass-produced, dumbed-down marketing vehicles that are all around us and create something of your own. Anything you love can be transformed into an art form. What if you are someone who likes xBox and beer? How about writing and story-boarding your own indie game or home-brewing a craft beer? Art is wherever you choose to look for it and almost anything in this day and age can be monetized into a small business.
I’m not saying that there aren’t truly great works of art out there to appreciate. There certainly are. But create too, don’t just consume.
Time to spend with the ones we love.
If you work 60 hours a week, you are missing valuable time with your friends and family. By simplifying what is truly necessary and eliminating things like consumer debt and frivolous spending, you can afford to work less and spend more time with the people who are important to you.
Stress about money is often cited as the main reason for divorce. Less spending equals less stress and less stress equals a better marriage. All the fancy jewelry or expensive gifts in the world can’t replace genuine love and affection for a spouse or significant other.
And how much quality time are you really spending with friends when you are in a loud club paying for $8.00 drinks? Again, even if you love beer there are better options. How about a local brewery tour? Instead of meeting friends out for dinner, why not host a dinner party at home and cook a quality meal for a fraction of the overall price.