There's an old adage that says less is more. Right now many people would disagree with that sentiment. But it depends on what you are referring to:
Less debt is good
Less fat is usually good
Less stress is good
Less h.w. is good
Less financial obligations are good
Financial minimalism has to do with contentment and intentionality so that you can spend your time and resources to advance the great commission and to make disciples. I am not prescribing this for everyone it is a matter of conscience and prayer for you to determine if this will help you and your family. Right out of the gate it needs to be stated that vocation/career is good. God is glorified in our work. 1 Cor 10:31. We love our neighbors by serving them through our vocations.
Jesus made it clear though: You can not serve God and money.
Too many americans have bought the American dream without evaluating why they are working, spending and saving the way that they are.
This article really has to do with examining alternatives. Personally, I am not going to trade 25 hours of work per month so that I can drive a Lexus. How bout you?
For me: No WAY! I want those 25 hours so I am going to drive paid for older cars. If you have the cash time and resources to buy a Lexus by all means go for it. I will break down the cost of owning a car like this in another article later.
Let's start out with what Financial Minimalism it's not:
It's not ascetisim
It's not hoarding
It's not being a stoic
It's not being lazy so you don't have to work hard
It's not financial independence
It's not FIRE (financial independence retire early)
We have so much opportunity and affluence here in the U.S. but there has to be a point where you ask yourself how much is enough? How much do we really need in light of eternity and the great commission? Where is our treasure really?
The correct definition of Financial Minimalism or any topic has to start and end with God's word. There are lots of people in this space making stuff up (which is really stoicism and idolatry) and then there are Christians that are not theologically clear about the danger of stuff and money. Both should be avoided.
There another that has made you and bought you and you are not your own. 1 Cor 6:19-20.
Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, Proverbs 30:8
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Here's my definition: Financial minimalism is desiring neither poverty nor riches so that you can pursue a lifestyle that best allows you to fulfill the great commission using your God-given abilities for HIS glory. Poverty is not Godly and riches are not bad. Jesus clearly warns about the deceitfulness of riches do not be quick to dismiss this.
Even now I find myself drawn to arguing why I should go make more money... so I am talking to myself here too.
The point is maximizing your gospel impact by stewarding your resources (Time, Treasure and Talent to the best of your ability).
In the business world, the term MVP is common. It stands for minimum viable product and it's often where companies start then iterate upon as improvements and market feedback dictate.
In a sense that is what I am suggesting as an option. What is the minimum viable standard of living that you can take on as you seek to advance the great commission? Imagine if 100 Evangelists in your city took this to heart?
Perhaps they would have to move to a 1 bedroom apartment? Perhaps they would have to sell their car and buy an older model for cash? Perhaps they would have to forego saving for early retirement?
But if sacrifices like this were made how many babies might be saved, how many people might hear the gospel? How many more Evangelists might be supported in your city to go preach the gospel at campuses, sporting events, and public gatherings?
By focusing on the necessities and stepping down the socio-economic ladder could we free up more people to reach others with the gospel?