Being a minimalist doesn’t mean you have to give up stuff.
And that’s exactly what they do.
What minimalists do have in common is a desire to be mindful of what they consume, make the best use of their time, and eliminate negative emotions.
Here are 13things all the world’s least-dwelling minimalists have in common.
The traditional virtues of minimalism have always been the avoidance of clutter and the desire to make the best use of your time.
From tech millionaire Sean Parker to bestselling author Gretchen Rubin, people who identify with the label typically eschew much of the excess of 21st-century life, and live by the principals that money, stuff, and ego can be the biggest hindrances to happiness.
But a prominent feature of minimalism, as defined by Ashley Westerman, author of “The Zero Marginal Cost Society: How Your Small Business Can Profit from the Transformation of Business,” is the rejection of excess.
So what does that really mean?
In a short list, it means the following:
1. They don’t have stuff
A minimalist is someone who doesn’t have a lot of possessions. Most often, these people downsize their lives to live without a lot of stuff — especially financial assets.
According to a survey by Debarry Goodman, managing director of DebarryGoodman.com, the average American is estimated to have some 13,340 pounds of clothes, about 1,500 books, and 675 or so pieces of furniture.
2. They don’t care about fashion
While most people spend hours and hours obsessing over their outfits, the ultra-minimalists simply go through their closets and discard the items that they’re not wearing.
3. They don’t care about status
The value of things, possessions, and jewelry means very little to the ultrarich.
Andy and MacKenzie Bezos spend their money on a much simpler lifestyle than most wealthy people in the world. The CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, said in an interview with former retail executive Charlie Cheever that he would spend his “retirement living a quiet life” and drinking chai tea.
According to George Hart, author of the book “New Heavens and New Earths: The Economics of Transhumanism,” many ultra-rich people “are apathetic about money and possessions.”
4. They spend money on experiences
Ultra-minimalists like to spend money on experiences.
For instance, Sean Parker has spent millions of dollars traveling the world, going scuba diving with great white sharks, and most recently embarking on a spiritual journey.
5. They don’t travel a lot
Ultra-minimalists may spend millions on flying around the world, but they don’t take a lot of vacations, Hart said.
They also avoid places like L.A., because they don’t want to be disturbed by the hectic city.
6. They don’t spend a lot on food
Ultra-minimalists have an obsession with saving time and money, which means that food is not one of the biggest expenditure categories in their lives.
Hart said in a tweet that “most billionaires don’t eat out much,” and that a majority of the ultra-rich have a “pantry with maybe 4 items.”
7. They don’t spend much on leisure
Ultra-minimalists don’t enjoy the trappings of ostentatious consumption. According to the Guide to Being a Rich British Person, ultra-rich people simply don’t need the extreme consumerism that they see in the United States.
For instance, according to the profile, the average net worth of a British person who doesn’t work in finance is £900,000, which translates to about $1.14 million.
8. They don’t wear a lot of jewelry
Ultra-minimalists don’t need to own a lot of jewelry because they don’t wear a lot of it. According to the Wealth Report, one ultra-rich person may wear a single diamond ring, while another person may own hundreds of gold rings.
9. They don’t hang out in the bars
Ultra-rich individuals don’t tend to enjoy the luxuries of the city.
According to the Wealth Report, they spend most of their time at home, with one ultra-rich person saying he spends 75% of his time at home. In fact, the ultra-rich frequently avoid being seen in the city’s high-end bars and restaurants, because they don’t want to be “forced into spending money,” according to the article.
10. They don’t buy expensive sports cars
Ultra-rich individuals who aren’t famous spend most of their time driving around in more utilitarian vehicles like the Mercedes G550 and Land Rover Range Rover Sport.
11. They spend money on saving
Ultra-rich people don’t make a habit of spending their money on the latest gadgets or fashions.
“Ultra-wealthy people save a lot of their money,” according to the Wealth Report. “They buy things for the wrong reasons.”
12. They spend on trust
Ultra-wealthy people may own millions of dollars’ worth of property and multi-million-dollar items, but they still trust their wealthy contacts and wealthy family members more than anything, according to the Wealth Report.
13. They don’t have high-end furniture
Ultra-wealthy people may be living large, but they still prefer to spend their money on furniture that will last, rather than $12,000 pieces of furniture that might go out of style the next year.