One of the questions Linda and I are asked about our minimalist lifestyle is how we afford to “live large with less.” For starters, that is a somewhat prying question to ask of anyone, as it presumes that one has problems making ends meet, which we do not. And it is actually a misguided question for it likewise assumes that the minimalist life is necessarily an expensive one. The reality is that minimalism actually affords one significant overall cost savings with its emphasis on frugal living and conscientious consumption.
And from a personal perspective, we intentionally choose to live by faith more than most people are comfortable with. It is our experience that if we want to enjoy the fruits of an unconventional lifestyle we need to be willing to do what others are unwilling to do. As minimalism is by definition countercultural, it requires a type of discipline others often lack. Yet daily exercising faith in a faithful God has served us extremely well for half a century and resulted in a lifestyle above and beyond our wildest dreams.
As an example, while Linda and I are middle aged, we have been blessed with good health and so we opt not to purchase what has become outrageously expensive health insurance. I will not delve into all the details of dealing with this sensitive issue here, but suffice it to say that this is people’s number one query about our minimalist experience. I must add that this is a very personal decision and we are not suggesting that it suits everyone else’s situation.
Regarding other practical matters, we share one vehicle between us, and have done so for about 28 of our 30+ years of marriage. And we are on our third lease, which is one of the best financial decisions we have ever made. While it may not appeal to others, we have thoroughly enjoyed the leasing experience, as the peace of mind that comes with driving a warrantied vehicle is well worth any trade-offs in our book. What is more, I am able to work remotely and chauffer Linda to work most days, especially now that we live about an hour away.
Another cost-cutting move we have recently made is “cutting the cord” and getting rid of a costly cable television subscription. With the move to our relatively remote lighthouse location, we decided that the time had come for us to simplify our lives even further and use this opportunity to spend more time in our natural setting while saving money in the process. And not incidentally, we look forward to using our newfound time for creative pursuits instead of consuming mediated experiences. For us, “living large with less” is a lifestyle of liberty!