I recently read an article online about Heidemarie Schwermer, a woman who has lived without cash for sixteen years! She started a year-long experiment to see if she could live without money, and relied on a barter system of goods and services to get what she needed to survive. After the success of her experiment after a year, Heidemarie was inspired to give up her possessions, job, and even her home in favor of living a nomadic life, free of a “greedy consumer society.” She relies on the kindness of others who offer food and shelter in exchange for her services of cleaning, gardening, and other skills.
I’m really intrigued by her success. For me, giving up everything would be too big a step to take toward a minimalist life. However, I definitely see the appeal and the freedom she has gained as a result of her extreme minimalism. Personally, I have too much going on at the ripe age of 24, and I still have debts to pay off and a family to raise (at some undetermined point in the future!) so I need an actual, physical home base. Maybe when I am 69 years old like Heidemarie, I can give up everything and travel with that incredible freedom!
Giving it all up isn’t for everyone, but reducing spending and consumerism is a wonderful and rewarding aspect of minimalism. Personally, I have begun focusing on the things I want to do instead of the things I want to have, and that is very freeing for me. By reducing spending on “Stuff,” I am able to save up for the things I do truly want to have a place in my life, and I can invest in experiences that will give me lifelong memories that don’t take up any physical space!
Has anyone else improved their life by curbing their spending habits? Comment below!