Minimalist living in the EU 🇪🇺

Designing a minimalist lifestyle the Kaizen Way.

Minimalist living in the EU 🇪🇺
Photo by Bench Accounting / Unsplash

As I'm designing my new life as a bachelor again, I decided to go the minimalist way.  This is very practical, sustainable, and financially smart.  Engaging minimalist mentality makes me think twice (or thrice) before making any purchases. Instead of starting with an imaginary pleasure, I try to think about the hassles and the (hidden) cost of ownership.  I think about cleaning and maintenance, the buyer's remorse, and other aspects of the ownership trap.  Lately, I have found myself renting and leasing much more than in the past.

Owning stuff is part of our Slavic culture.  This comes from a heritage of poverty, lack of choice, and living in unstable economies and countries poisoned with war, restrictions, sanctions, ... But now we're part of the European Union, and life is pretty stable.

I'm finding it easier to breathe when renting.  I get a car for an extended trip, I enjoy its newness and freshness, and when I return (discard) it at the end of the journey, and there's no worrying about cleaning it, about the maintenance, service, insurance, ... and during the trip, I don't care if something happens to it (full coverage) — and if anything would happen — it's the rental company's problem.  

It's the same with the apartment.  I'm renting nowadays, and it helps me feel free and flexible.  At the start of the summer, I'll be free to move somewhere else, to travel around, and I won't have the burden of a substantial capital-intensive mortgage on my back.  Yes, monthly rent is the same amount as a potential mortgage payment, but rent is short-term, and the mortgage is a 25-year multi-hundred-thousand-euro commitment.  BIG difference!

Rent offers me the freedom to change my mind, and it's going to cost me three monthly rents (vs. 300 with the mortgage).  And yes, in the long run, I will definitely buy something, but I'm not yet sure what I'll need.  In the meantime, my savings are invested in index funds, stocks, crypto, and some are just sitting there in the form of cash.  Liquidity = Freedom.

I sold a lot of the stuff I used to own and didn't use regularly.  My storage room is nearly empty, except for the out-of-season clothes.  And I started building my wardrobe from scratch.  Adding items one by one, carefully considering my purchases to add to a uniform look that doesn't require too much thinking about combinations.  Blacks and whites, and footwear that fits various occasions.  My ideal wardrobe would all fit in a carry-on suitcase.  I'm not far from that.  In the coming months, I'll try to design my needs to be able to live out of a suitcase.  Why?

Welcome to modern nomad living.  I want to keep everything in one carry-on suitcase so that I can pack it up and move to a different location for work and leisure.  With remote working, I can live anywhere that offers solid internet access (and within the EU, I only need a decent LTE/5G service).  My office is now a single Apple MacBook.  All my devices fit in a suitcase that I can attach to my carry-on.

Living life for rent?

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