David is nervously waiting whilst the bank manager is away from his desk. He is paying off the overdraft each month but now wants to increase the limit to £10,000 so he can put a deposit down on a new BMW. After a few minutes the bank manager returns with some news
‘We were able to successfully increase your overdraft limit to £10,000, we can actually increase it to £12,000 provided you are able to pay £150 extra each month ‘
‘Oh that would be fantastic as I’d be able to buy a new Ultra HD TV and sound bar too’ David said to himself.
You may know someone who’s had a similar story to David. Someone who has taken on more debt to be able to satisfy a need or want. Maybe it’s through an overdraft or new credit card, maybe through remortgaging. The outcome is always the same, that they are accepting money from a bank or other financial institution now and in return they will pay more money back to the lender over a period of time. This debt will be with that person until they pay it off and it’s not common for the period to be 1,2,5,10 years, sometimes it can be over a lifetime.
Minimalists understand the implications of living with debt and therefore think very hard before borrowing money. They will try to justify by asking themselves how it would add value to their lives and whether it is worth doing so.
David doesn’t need the BMW, he has a perfectly working car. He also has 2 TVs in his flat (albeit without Ultra HD). He wants these items because he works very long hours in a law firm and thinks that these things are his reward in an attempt to make him want to like his job. His passion is skiing and his dream job would be to own a ski school with his girlfriend but feels the only way that can happen is if he wins the lottery. This is where minimalism can help. It makes you plan a journey to a place where you can live the way you want to. Usually this journey means little/no debt which is why minimalists are conscious of borrowing money, they prefer to use their resources on their passion or experiences rather than processions.
David would be one step closer to his dream job if he didn’t take out the overdraft and who knows what would be the case if he looked at all his possessions and debt.
What about you? Have you ever thought about what your dream career would be and if it’s not what you’re doing now then why? If financial reasons is the first thing that comes into your head then it may be worth re-evaluating too. It may not get you there but it’s one step in the right direction.