Any Minimalists on here?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Any Minimalists on here?

Postby snyder66 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:35 am

I realize that it is a word that could easily convey frugal or otherwise. But, I have been reading a lot regrading this way of life and find it fascination. Not so much for my wife and kids.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Norris » Fri Mar 08, 2013 7:52 am

I'm a Minimalist wanabe. My wife and daughter? Not so much. I think simplicity is underrated, not only in investing, but life in general.

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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby CV » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:03 am

I embraced minimalism, as well as frugality, shortly after adopting the principles of this forum. Donated tons of clothes and books, sold tons of furniture and other salable stuff, sold my 2800 sq ft home and bought a 672 sq ft home. The weight of my collective possessions is probably 20% of what is was 2 years ago. And it feels great.

I love it, but it's not for everyone. I'm single and that makes all the difference.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby prudent » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:06 am

I had to google that to see what it meant. Not sure how to answer. We don't consume much, but yet we aren't intentional about it or think of it as a "lifestyle". It's just the way we are.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Cosmo » Fri Mar 08, 2013 8:59 am

Check out this post on small houses from a while back.

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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Toons » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:10 am

CV wrote:I embraced minimalism, as well as frugality, shortly after adopting the principles of this forum. Donated tons of clothes and books, sold tons of furniture and other salable stuff, sold my 2800 sq ft home and bought a 672 sq ft home. The weight of my collective possessions is probably 20% of what is was 2 years ago. And it feels great.

I love it, but it's not for everyone. I'm single and that makes all the difference.


Pretty much the same here except home is 1500 square ft ,donated many possessions.
Very little clutter ,very little paper,all digital.Mostly a few pieces of junk mail weekly.
No debt,no home phone,no subscriptions,basic wardrobe,
Nice to be "free" of keeping up with all the stuff,both physically and mentally :happy
(Married)
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby climber2020 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:18 am

snyder66 wrote:I realize that it is a word that could easily convey frugal or otherwise. But, I have been reading a lot regrading this way of life and find it fascination. Not so much for my wife and kids.


Yes.

After school, I moved from one side of the country to the other for a one year internship, then moved back to the same original city to finish my training. Because of the limited time span of the relocation, I took only what I could fit in my small car and found it liberating to be able to live well with so few possessions. After the move back,I donated or sold most of my belongings over the next several years and continued living the same lifestyle. It was amazing how much junk I had collected over the years.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:14 am

Five years ago we sold the family home in which we lived for the child-rearing era; since then we have lived a rather peripatetic life, four months each year on the road (I teach in China for three months then off to someplace else in the region), then back to some short term rental/share a home with friends/house sit until the next round of Asia. We got rid of many possessions and are down to a 10X 20 storage unit and a few suitcases.

Right now we are in Ithaca NY trying out this small town with a large university and a smaller college, for a North American anchor. I think we are ready to buy something, my real goal is one way or another to empty out the storage unit. Last year total housing costs were around $4500; when we travel we find inexpensive places and tend to stay put for a month rather than tour. Minimalist by one measure, very full and satisfying by others.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby wesleymouch » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:20 am

Less is More. Excess is a bore.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby mcblum » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:21 am

Ah. If I could only fit into my Speedo again....
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Fallible » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:04 pm

I've always tried to identify and stay with what is truly important and essential in life and jettison the rest as much as possible. I also have always loved minimalist art and literature though some art is called minimalist when the artist hasn't, IMO, really captured the essence of his/her subject. It's not easy to recognize true essence. Also, minimalism and frugality differ but work together well since to be frugal, one has to know what is essential.
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." -William James
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby stoptothink » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:13 pm

The desire for "stuff" had a lot to do with the dissolution of my marriage. As soon as we separated I gave away almost everything. Never owned a lot of things most people consider necessities. I can easily fit all of my worldy possessions into my subcompact car...well my bike is on top.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Alex Frakt » Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:28 pm

I'm a minimalist when it comes to shoes :-)

Seriously, I have wide feet and have always been uncomfortable in built-up shoes. It was a real struggle to find shoes that worked for me until the whole "barefoot shoe" thing took off after the publication of Born to Run. I even started running again for the first time since college.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby hand » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:06 pm

Yes...
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby texasred » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:16 pm

I do my best to embrace the minimalist lifestyle. Our home is 2400 sq. feet. I am not a collector and moving to southern state with no basement we got rid of plenty. I use the library, no magazines and keel the paper tiger down. Since we are retired and live in a climate were the wonter are mild, I keep the clothing needs down. I have also downsized my purse and wallet.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby texasred » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:17 pm

I do my best to embrace the minimalist lifestyle. Our home is 2400 sq. feet. I am not a collector and moving to southern state with no basement we got rid of plenty. I use the library, no magazines and keep the paper tiger down. Since we are retired and live in a climate were the winter are mild, I keep the clothing needs down. I have also downsized my purse and wallet.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Fallible » Fri Mar 08, 2013 2:22 pm

hand wrote:Yes...


A real minimalist would've used only one dot, the period. :wink:
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." -William James
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby hand » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:32 pm

Fallible wrote:
hand wrote:Yes...


A real minimalist would've used only one dot, the period. :wink:


My original response was a simple "Yes", but as it turns out, forum software prohibits posts less than 5 characters.
Since there is no grammatical precedent I'm aware of for ending a statement with two dots, I decided to live a little and go with the ellipses. It is Friday after all :P
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Fallible » Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:56 pm

hand wrote:
Fallible wrote:
hand wrote:Yes...


A real minimalist would've used only one dot, the period. :wink:


My original response was a simple "Yes", but as it turns out, forum software prohibits posts less than 5 characters.
Since there is no grammatical precedent I'm aware of for ending a statement with two dots, I decided to live a little and go with the ellipses. It is Friday after all :P


OK :)
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." -William James
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby CherylHall » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:18 pm

Yes.
One of my favorite blogs http://zenhabits.net/
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Dave76 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:24 pm

I suppose I'm a Minimalist. I prefer the word 'thrifty'. :)
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby halfnine » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:07 am

Optimalist here. No need for too much but also no need for too little.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby bungalow10 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:32 am

Definitely not a minimalist, but I strive to have less. I often fail, being the busy mom of three young kids doesn't help.

It is so much easier to keep less stuff clean than more stuff. It's easier to find things and easier to stay organized.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby BBL » Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:50 am

I don't label myself by any particular term but I consider it a personal moral imperative not to be wasteful. I hate waste - it is a pet peeve; I strive to avoid it and cringe when I see it. I have a live and let live attitude so it isn't like I make unsolicited suggestions to anyone else but I have some incredibly wasteful family and it bothers me. But, they probably think I live a life of monastic deprivation... :happy
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:39 am

hand wrote:
Fallible wrote:
hand wrote:Yes...


A real minimalist would've used only one dot, the period. :wink:


My original response was a simple "Yes", but as it turns out, forum software prohibits posts less than 5 characters.
Since there is no grammatical precedent I'm aware of for ending a statement with two dots, I decided to live a little and go with the ellipses. It is Friday after all :P


It can be done. Look:
|
|
V
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:39 am

Yes
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby snyder66 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:53 am

I think it's an idea more than a label. Not confining. A little different than some of my vegan friends...
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby BBL » Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:58 am

snyder66 wrote:I think it's an idea more than a label. Not confining. A little different than some of my vegan friends...


I agree. Sometimes if you say [label yourself as] you are a whatever - stoic, minimalist, etc. others infer certain attributes which may or may not apply. I try to steer-clear of that.
To win without risk is to triumph without glory. Pierre Corneille
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Sunny Sarkar » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:43 am

When I need to microwave something for 20 seconds, I do it for 22 seconds instead - so that I move my finger one less time.
"Cost matters". "Stay the course". "Press on, regardless". ― John C. Bogle
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby hicabob » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:52 am

Sunny Sarkar wrote:When I need to microwave something for 20 seconds, I do it for 22 seconds instead - so that I move my finger one less time.

+1 ... another 11 thru 99.99 person here! Nor sure if it's minimalism or laziness though :?:
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby bp8006 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:14 am

Sunny Sarkar wrote:When I need to microwave something for 20 seconds, I do it for 22 seconds instead - so that I move my finger one less time.

Glad to know I'm not the only one who does this!
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby lws6772 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:17 am

I try to be, because for me, more stuff means more expense, more upkeep, more stress and a bigger footprint.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby stoptothink » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:34 am

BBL wrote:I don't label myself by any particular term but I consider it a personal moral imperative not to be wasteful. I hate waste - it is a pet peeve; I strive to avoid it and cringe when I see it. I have a live and let live attitude so it isn't like I make unsolicited suggestions to anyone else but I have some incredibly wasteful family and it bothers me. But, they probably think I live a life of monastic deprivation... :happy


Waste drives me insane, doesn't matter what or whose it is. Right now it is especially bothers me at work. We recently had significant budget cuts but nobody ever considers turning off the lights or AC in their office when they leave for the night and so much company-purchased food is just tossed. Tablets were recently purchased for all of management for use when we travel. We already have laptops, I didn't see the point at all in wasting $20k on something most of us will simply not use, but I was the only person who stood up and stated I didn't need one. Not that it will fix our budget shortfall, but definitely would make a noticeable difference.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Sunny Sarkar » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:50 am

hicabob wrote:
Sunny Sarkar wrote:When I need to microwave something for 20 seconds, I do it for 22 seconds instead - so that I move my finger one less time.

+1 ... another 11 thru 99.99 person here! Nor sure if it's minimalism or laziness though :?:

Yep. Many such examples, like... :99 instead of 1:30, or my daily fav 16:66 for 2 cups of rice, etc.
"Cost matters". "Stay the course". "Press on, regardless". ― John C. Bogle
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:54 am

I suspect the word "minimalist" is a synonym for "frugal" on this post. Well i have proof that i am a minimalist as my wife uses another synonym......"cheap".
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Fallible » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:08 am

reggiesimpson wrote:I suspect the word "minimalist" is a synonym for "frugal" on this post. Well i have proof that i am a minimalist as my wife uses another synonym......"cheap".


Reminds me of a lunch I had a few years ago with a group of Bogleheads. I was relatively new to the group and one guy was completely new. After listening to the others describe their frugal ways, I thought, "This is my group, my kind of people." The new guy called us a "bunch of cheapskates" and I never saw him again.
"Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing." -William James
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:14 am

Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:I suspect the word "minimalist" is a synonym for "frugal" on this post. Well i have proof that i am a minimalist as my wife uses another synonym......"cheap".


Reminds me of a lunch I had a few years ago with a group of Bogleheads. I was relatively new to the group and one guy was completely new. After listening to the others describe their frugal ways, I thought, "This is my group, my kind of people." The new guy called us a "bunch of cheapskates" and I never saw him again.

Fallible..........sounds like my kind of people. Are they in the NE?
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Fallible » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:47 am

reggiesimpson wrote:
Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:I suspect the word "minimalist" is a synonym for "frugal" on this post. Well i have proof that i am a minimalist as my wife uses another synonym......"cheap".


Reminds me of a lunch I had a few years ago with a group of Bogleheads. I was relatively new to the group and one guy was completely new. After listening to the others describe their frugal ways, I thought, "This is my group, my kind of people." The new guy called us a "bunch of cheapskates" and I never saw him again.

Fallible..........sounds like my kind of people. Are they in the NE?


Bogleheads are EW, everywhere. :)
Last edited by Fallible on Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Dave76 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:49 am

Fallible wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:I suspect the word "minimalist" is a synonym for "frugal" on this post. Well i have proof that i am a minimalist as my wife uses another synonym......"cheap".


Reminds me of a lunch I had a few years ago with a group of Bogleheads. I was relatively new to the group and one guy was completely new. After listening to the others describe their frugal ways, I thought, "This is my group, my kind of people." The new guy called us a "bunch of cheapskates" and I never saw him again.


Bogleheads could probably make communism work. Wouldn't that be something?
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sat Mar 09, 2013 11:57 am

Dave76..................i absolutely love the humor on this Forum. Thanks.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby William4u » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:12 pm

reggiesimpson wrote:I suspect the word "minimalist" is a synonym for "frugal" on this post. Well i have proof that i am a minimalist as my wife uses another synonym......"cheap".


For me, a "minimalist" is someone who only values things that have true value (things that contribute substantially to the wellbeing of family, friends, community, etc.).

For me, a "cheap" person is someone who does not see the value in things that have true value.

Cheap people don't spend when they should spend, and minimalists only spend when they should spend.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Default User BR » Sat Mar 09, 2013 12:35 pm

I don't think many minimalists would be using a computer and internet connection to post on a web forum.


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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby reggiesimpson » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:13 pm

William4u wrote:
reggiesimpson wrote:I suspect the word "minimalist" is a synonym for "frugal" on this post. Well i have proof that i am a minimalist as my wife uses another synonym......"cheap".


For me, a "minimalist" is someone who only values things that have true value (things that contribute substantially to the wellbeing of family, friends, community, etc.).

For me, a "cheap" person is someone who does not see the value in things that have true value.

Cheap people don't spend when they should spend, and minimalists only spend when they should spend.



"Eye of the Beholder"


BTW....I am married 45 years. A sense of humor is essential!
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby FRANK2009 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:22 pm

I live in an 850 square foot home. I have everything I need or want. If that make me a minimalist, I am.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby crowd79 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:27 pm

I'd consider myself minimalist. Who needs lots of stuff, the latest gadgets, and a big home to be happy in life? I don't. It's more of a pain to be responsible for that stuff than to plow all that extra money being saved into retirement accounts, so I can retire at 55-60. My big splurges are taking vacations around the world and being cultured.

I rent, don't pay for cable tv, have a cheap prepaid phone and an old car that gets me from point A to point B when I don't walk or bike, and I couldn't be happier!
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby littlebird » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:35 pm

When we first retired, we spent the winters in a 16- then 30-foot trailer traveling around the southwest. We had so few possessions with us that we didn't come close to filling the modest storage spaces in the RV. It was among the most enjoyable times of my life, in large measure because of the liberating effects of being responsible for so little, being ready to move on any time in less than an hour and improvising when something was needed.

That experience has informed our lives ever since, although I couldn't fairly characterize our current home-bound life as anything less than minimalist-lite. We do like our comforts and as we age, more possessions seem to be needed for comfort, even including steps to get into the shower, but we still have only one small and over-the-air tv, no fancy phones or phone plans, simple appliances, keep our sprinklers off and water with a hose, and look first for a low-tech solution to any problem.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby Levett » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:05 pm

I am an aspirational minimalist.

I'd like to get there, but it will take some work. :wink:

I am ever mindful of Emerson's observation: "Things are in the saddle, / And ride mankind."

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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby stoptothink » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:05 pm

Default User BR wrote:I don't think many minimalists would be using a computer and internet connection to post on a web forum.


Brian


I get it for free, in the room that I rent for about 5% of my income. Never owned a TV or even a bed (or any furniture); all my possessions fit easily in my subcompact car (that I almost never drive). In modern terms, I think most people would consider me a minimalist despite my computer and internet.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby rj49 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:20 pm

I've been interested in minimalism, and followed blogs like The Minimalists, Zen Habits, and Miss Minimalist. It's very popular among young people now, especially with lack of economic opportunities, and the various bloggers do it to different extremes, from tiny houses to simple apartments to living in an RV to permanent travel with nothing but a suitcase. The sticker is always having a family--Miss Minimalist was a purist until she decided to have a kid, then she gave in to the need for more stuff and space. There's an aura of competitiveness about it too, as with trying to live with under 100 or 200 possessions. To me the basic principal of choosing experiences over stuff makes sense, that the lure of new toys quickly wears off, and that clutter, like overeating, masks underlying emotional issues and thus should be dealt with.
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Re: Any Minimalists on here?

Postby crowd79 » Sat Mar 09, 2013 2:31 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Default User BR wrote:I don't think many minimalists would be using a computer and internet connection to post on a web forum.


Brian


I get it for free, in the room that I rent for about 5% of my income. Never owned a TV or even a bed (or any furniture); all my possessions fit easily in my subcompact car (that I almost never drive). In modern terms, I think most people would consider me a minimalist despite my computer and internet.


+1 for free internet. It's included in my already low rent payment. Between having free HDTV with antenna, a Tracfone and free internet service, I pay less than $20 a month for my communications needs. I know others who pay well north of $150/month for tv/phone/internet and I just laugh at them....hahaha!

There's also this thing called a library, where people go to access the internet for free!
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