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Minimalism: Sacrifice or Gain?

minimalist lifestyle


Today is Ash Wednesday, and whether you have a black smudge on your forehead or not, I’m sure the thought of sacrifice has popped around your head. I get asked about sacrifice a lot because of my lifestyle. Don’t you miss going out to eat? What is it like to give up a second car? How do you live without cable?

Those questions only come from one perspective – giving something up. The other perspective is what you’re gaining. The benefits are not usually considered. If they were, it wouldn’t be a sacrifice.

When I live without cable, I’m living without commercials, useless news (do I need to know who was killed in a drive-by shooting?) and mindless entertainment. Instead I can choose something more productive to do with my time.

This is especially true about buying things. If I go without new shoes and I look shoddy, that’s just not cool. If I buy one nice pair instead of 6, that’s smart. I save money, space and time. Sounds like less clutter and expense rather than a sacrifice.

Going out to eat is something my family has cut back to the point of being almost extinct. What have I given up? Limited meal choices, grossly overpriced food and time spent waiting for a table and service. What have I gained? Cooking at home has brought my family together now that my boys are old enough to help with food preparation and clean-up. I have learned to make new meals and have finally perfected my pizza crust (use sea salt!).

A couple years ago I wrote a post on giving yourself time as a Lent “sacrifice.”

What have you gained from giving something up?

Eve of Reduction Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest The debut DIY home decor ebook Rooms Repurposed: A Purposeful Home, A Purposeful Life

The DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).

I’m Cristin Frank (AKA Eve). I love all things frugal and crafty. My mindset is always on upcycling, repurposing, reducing waste and saving money – and Eve of Reduction is my roadmap. You might also want to check out my book, "Living Simple, Free & Happy."

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3 Responses to Minimalism: Sacrifice or Gain?

  1. Carol Grund March 7, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Great article!

  2. Jan Elizabeth March 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

    Nicely put. I used to think it was only about sacrifice, but after several painful years of suffering from too much in every area of my life, I have spent the last year learning the truth of what you’ve written. As for an example of mine, I used to have a six bedroom house with a suite and two sheds, and almost lost it due to the collapse in the housing market. I did manage to sell it, though came out owing money back to family, which I’m still working on paying back. We moved to a two-bedroom suite in the bottom of a house. I was terrified of losing my place in the real estate ladder, prestige, the ignominy of renting, not having enough space, etc. etc. In reality, walking away from that giant millstone of a house was one of the hugest feelings of relief in my whole life! We’ve had mega downsizing to do, but we love our little suite. It’s a walk-out basement, so doesn’t feel like it’s underground, and it goes right into a massive backyard which is almost like a park, all “ours” to garden and play in. We’ve halted the out of control cruise ship that was our financial life and are slowly and with great effort turning it around. The house takes so much less time and effort to care for, and I’ve realized the truth is that I actually much prefer a small home. I would never have known that!

    • Eve March 18, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      Jan, I love your story – thank you for sharing! And cheers to eco-therapy. Your backyard space sounds amazing.

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