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Old 12-09-2011, 02:58 PM   #1
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Minimalism = Poor?

Have you encountered people who interpret your minimalism as poverty? DH and I get this from his family all the time! We are very frugal and like to keep things simple, but it is a choice not a burden resulting from our financial circumstances. We can't convince them that we actually have money. His mom gives us cash whenever she see us (which is only a few times a year). His stepdad sent us an ipad because our kids loved his and I'm pretty sure he thought we could never afford one. And he gives us more Christmas money that DH's other siblings, "so we can get some toys for our kids." : ) We used the money for our zoo membership. The funny thing is DH is probably the most financially stable of all his siblings. We have savings and live simply by choice. His brothers and sister are constantly broke but have everything and always the best, newest, and most expensive one. KWIM?

Then this week I encouraged my brother to keep Christmas simple for our boys. And he thought I was insinuating that he couldn't afford to buy them much for Christmas. (I just don't want more stuff!)

How do you convince people that you are choosing simplicity for the sake of simplicity?

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Old 12-09-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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Re: Minimalism = Poor?

Yes, all the time BUT we are poor...however our lifestyle really has nothing to do with that. There are plenty of poor hoarders and everyone in between. Being poor doesn't mean you can't/don't have stuff and there are lots of rich people who are minimalist. I just can't seem to convince them that this lifestyle doesn't stem from our financial status.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:16 PM   #3
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Re: Minimalism = Poor?

Why do you have to convince someone of your choice?
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:18 PM   #4
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Re: Minimalism = Poor?

I grew up in a minimalist hope... thank goodness. Honestly, sometimes I envied some neighbors their 300 barbies and 80 my little ponies, etc. but then I went home and happily played with my 5 dolls and made their clothes out of dishclothes and keepsake baby clothes. I'm so happy with my parents' choices. That said, even as a kid I knew that my dad's family thought we were poor and weird. Especially for not having a tv. We had a mobile VCR player (very cool) so we watched movies, but still, we were the weird family. I don't remember minding it then either.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: Minimalism = Poor?

Haha. Yep, everyone thinks we are poor because we CD, dont buy cleaners and other manufactured junk, and because we are minimalist. Truth is, we ARE poor - below poverty level poor to be exact, but that really has nothing to do with our choices on how to live.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:23 PM   #6
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Another one that is poor right now but will continue even when things improve (we are just starting out)
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
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Re: Minimalism = Poor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kej View Post
Why do you have to convince someone of your choice?
Me? I don't have to convince them but they feel bad/sorry for us when that isn't necessary. They think we are "going without" because we can't afford stuff when that isn't the case. SO I try to explain to them.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:52 PM   #8
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Re: Minimalism = Poor?

Is there a chance that you are reading more into their actions than is really there? If you have more kids, it makes sense that they would give more $$ for presents.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:06 PM   #9
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Re: Minimalism = Poor?

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Originally Posted by kej View Post
Why do you have to convince someone of your choice?
Typically I don't feel the need to convince people of our choice to live simply and minimally, but it is difficult with my in-laws. My mother-in-law is very outspoken and can be insensitive. Her perception of us as poor leads her to say hurtful things to my DH. For example she told him "you don't have a pot to p*ss in" Which really is not true. We own our home, don't have car payments, and have money in savings, we just don't have all the bells and whistles she thinks qualifies as a standard of living. She has also mentioned to my DH that I should get a job so that our family can afford more. I stay at home because we feel that is the best option for our kids. It is hard for my DH and frustrating for me. I wish that they could be supportive of our decisions and proud of DH. He works hard and makes smart choices. I guess I shouldn't let it get to me, but it does.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:22 PM   #10
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It's possible some people who think
minimalists are poor are the ones who are actually poor and just dont understand since it's the "american way" to have a bunch o stuff . My sis case in point... TONS of toys and stuff yet they can't afford house payment, bills, and so on. I would just smile and nod and know even if you are "poor" your the lifestyle you choose makes you " richer" and more satisfied than most people (rich or poor). At least that's what I have found
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