Sometimes minimalism and capitalism seem to be in opposition to each other. Today we talk about combining the best of the two to live your best life.
0:00 – Introduction
0:45 – The blend of minimalism and capitalism
2:53 – Success and capitalism almost demands you get more stuff
6:04 – Being minimalist whilst growing your wealth
7:37 – How Ben is applying minimalism to his life
10:37 – Less stuff can equal more happiness and can give you more time for happiness
13:30 – 2 adults and 3 kids in a van
15:54 – Minimalism can help you spend less and build wealth
My Minimalist Wardrobe Tour – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIEF5_ATaio
I recently adopted a more minimalistic lifestyle and sometimes minimalism and capitalism don’t really go together. You find people who are complete minimalists who want to earn no money and have nothing to do with society and government and stuff like that. And then you’ve got people on the flip side that have full capitalists that want to earn of money, don’t care about being thoughtful, one own heaps of staff. Um, and so today I wanted to talk with Ben Everingham from pumped on property about trying to find the balance between minimalism and capitalism, by being thoughtful with your things and with your life, but also working to make money, build wealth, and have an impact on the world. So. Hey Ben. Thanks for coming on today.
Hey Ron, how you doing?
Yeah. Good. So do you want to talk a bit about, this was your idea, this episode, what kind of made you start thinking about this blend of minimalism and capitalism?
It’s an interesting one because I was catching up with my brother in law on Sunday in the pool and we’re sort of talking about decent. I’ll sitting there and he was just so frustrated at each job, so frustrated at the economic model that he’s in. I know that he just wants this really simplistic artistic lifestyle. He’s an artist where he just trains and hangs out with people he cares about, but he’s got a car loan. He’s living in a nice property. He’s aspiring to be financially free in the future and he’s just in that court phase and I know so many people feel twisted about this idea
so that they want to be minimalists and they want to not have to worry about like material things, but then at the same time they kind of do because they got a nice car and I know this know they want that in their life.
Exactly. Like people want a simple life and you and I sort of defined off camera minimalism as less stuff and more thoughtful decision making, but also a healthy mind. A healthy environment and all of those other things. It’s sort of come with this more simplistic life, but a lot of minimalists that I know really struggled financially and so they spend all of this energy and all of this anxiety and these mental angst worrying about money all the fucking time and it’s like, you know, being a full blown hermit isn’t, uh, isn’t a reality for most people and nor would most people be happy with that as a long term lifestyle decision. And so I’ve been struggling with is this concept myself as someone who a long time ago, as you called it the Paavo lifestyle. It was minimalism sorted by choice or by circumstance, like being at uni, not really having much more than 250 bucks a week to live off sort of made me adopt that way of living and then going the flip side because I’ll live like that for four years. Hey, I want to chase money. And then realizing that neither of them made me happy. How do I find a balance in all of that?
Yeah, and I think for me my mentalism journey was just naturally when you have three kids, you accumulate a lot of stuff and as well you as you earn more money kind of progressively move into larger and larger houses and then the largest space that you have and almost demands that you fill that space. I was hanging out with a friend the other day and they have a four bedroom house by themselves and they have a separate living room that they don’t use, but they filled up with furniture because the place you needed to fill that space, otherwise it would just be awkward empty space and so that was kind of the journey that I went down was just kind of filling out that space and then discovering that that kind of made me anxious to be honest and moving towards minimalism and having less stuff, which is difficult with kids who love toys and love to own things. But yeah, kind of moving towards that minimalistic lifestyle. But I guess I’m not a full blown minimalism person. I don’t know what you call them. Full blown minimalists. Yep.
I love the concept man because there’s. I’ve got more children. I haven’t necessarily accumulated more stuff, but when you have kids, as you know, your family and friends become so January and you just accumulate and I’ve moved three times in the last two years and these moves have given me like full blind stress around how much crap that I’ve accumulated from literally seven years ago moving to Sydney in a Toyota Echo with my wife, with everything that we owned to now taking you two or three removable trucks to move furniture in between the houses. It’s just a started to feel sick and so we started to go on this journey, you know, hanging out with you so much and seeing your lifestyle and how much happier having less has made you I suppose. And then like getting obsessed with Marie Kondo on Netflix at the moment in her home organization stuff.
Watching the minimalism documentary on Netflix as well and kind of starting to connect the dots and understand myself better and go man. A simple life with less overhead costs, with less staff, with a better mindset is actually a beautiful way to live, but I’m still ambitious. I still want to help people. I still want to be a part of society. I still want to have businesses and passive income and realizing that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. We can actually have both and you know that black and white thinking of I’m a minimalist still labeling or a full blown live ball are capitalists thought, dude, you know, I didn’t fit into either category properly.
Yeah. And I think on the same sort of thing, I don’t fit into either category. I love the aspects of minimalism, of having less stuff, having a nice space that you really enjoy. Having things that you really enjoy. Like I love that with my clothing. I like everything that I own and so making a choice of what to wear is really simple. Even though I have quite a minimalist wardrobe, they’re going out today. I wore jeans even though it’s really hard because my shorts are just too dirty because I’ve worn them too much, so I needed a fresh pair of shorts at the moment. Um, but yeah, just living that minimalist lifestyle I really liked, but I also and really diligently this year going to be working towards growing my income, paying off debt, building my wealth and my long term financial security and you know, growing, like growing my income, earning potential and focusing on that. So I think minimalism doesn’t have to be not earning money, you can have less stuff, but then still focused on earning more money through a career or through a business that you’re passionate about.
The thing for me is when I was super broke and vegetarian and living this really simplistic lifestyle where I didn’t buy anything brand new, everything was secondhand. I felt hard enough. It was my social conditioning, the way that I grew up, the society we live in or the fact that I just. I did one a little bit more than that and as I started to get a little bit more, I felt really guilty because it was like this old version of myself in a box that I’d put myself in, which is kind of like on the environmentalist guy. I’m the dude that lives it very simply and I feel great about that. And then I started to get some identity attached to your life. You know, I can earn good money, I can start successful businesses, I can buy a property. And then I felt I got caught in that trap for a little while and I came out of it a couple of days later and sort of went neither of these things directly or indirectly make me happy or unhappy.
I just think the best use of, you know, like the way that I want to set up my life is to probably incorporate some of them. So some of the ways that I’ve sort of worked towards this after speaking with you and watching your journey for a few years now is solar panels on the roof water tank. Growing a little bit of our own food, keeping things simple at home, like we’ve really gone through this process of donating everything that we don’t need. Not Filling spaces for the sake of them, but really when we do buy like the guys in the minimalism, Darko say, you know, does it bring you happiness? Is it going to last over time and is it adding value to your life or as Marie Kondo says, does it bring you joy? So like thoughtful decisions and you know, thinking about where we’re buying it from them, what those companies are doing and how it’s produced and the last cycle of the products and changing over the cleaning products. Like, you know, getting rid of some of the staff, not accumulating more stuff. I’ve actually got a goal of this year which so far I’ve been able to hold and that is I’m not buying a single thing for myself personally this entire year. Um, I just want to say if I can do it. What about in those no clothes man. I went through my,
what did it be naked. All you from five
years of accumulating close. I found out this is a blue shirt, I’ve got nine of them. I’ve got 10 white shirts, I’ve got 17 or something duration. It’s like I don’t have to buy clothes for the next 30 years and I’ll be swayed.
Yeah, I was, I was bummed because moving house, I was wearing a white shirt and it got quite stained from like all the moving and that’s like, that’s 20 percent of my wardrobe going, right. Just losing that one show. I couldn’t redeem it and I’m going to have to buy another shirt. But I’m,
you know, like I’ve got some shirts I can donate your next time you’re up.
I just got to fill out a bit and get bigger muscles so I can fit into your tee shirts.
We’re the same man. Um, but like, um, like it’s transpired into account. I looked at the material stuff first, but now it’s gone to looking at areas of my life financially where I was wasting. And like I said to you, I’ve saved 50 percent of the costs in my business in the last six months. And then I went, holy crap, I can save all that in business, what about my home? And I’ve been able to save like 35, 40 percent of those costs. So minimalism to me is gone a lot further than just, you know, that all, you know, like cleaning out our, our rooms in our houses, cleaning out our pantries, like buying local projects, produce from the source or just shopping once a month. Like as opposed to shopping weekly for the non-life perishable stuff. It’s just so many little decisions that make your life so much easier. But I’m still coming to work every day, still kicking ass financially, still planning on buying properties and moving forward and it doesn’t have to
all the other. And I think one of the benefits of minimalism for me is less time doing things I don’t enjoy like cleaning up because we have so much staff that doesn’t really have a place. So when you have smaller amounts of staff and everything’s got to spot, then there’s less cleaning. It’s easier for the kids to clean up and to put their own stuff away. I found like my kids tend to be happier with less stuff, otherwise they fight over ownership, they fight over things. Um, the biggest example I see is when we go to the beach and if we take stuff to the beach, like you take spades. Even if you take three spades, you know, they’re always fighting over who has which colors, spade and I’m whatever. Whereas, and it’s like they’re not happy they’re fighting. Whereas if we go to the beach and take nothing, then they’re digging holes with their hands or they find sticks on the beach or rocks or whatever.
And I found they’re really happy. Um, so the beaches were like a kind of really shows. But then it also shows in life as well that less stuff even for my children often leads them to do more imaginary play to spend more time together to spend more time with me and like as a family sort of thing. So it’s like added to that. So it’s like added to that. But then also less time cleaning and tidying up, which then frees me up to spend more time creating videos, editing content. Working on my business, I’m improving my finances and I guess giving back to the world in a capitalistic way and growing my income that way so it actually frees up headspace and frees up time to then work on growing my income and working towards financial freedom. So I’ve actually found minimalism costs me less because I’m buying less stuff.
Um, but then also frees up head space and time to focus on happen on make more money. Would you people own their foundational properties and they’re trying to pay them off as quickly as possible. That’s something that needs to be thinking about is how can I earn more money to pay off my properties faster so I can achieve financial freedom pass out. So I think minimalism, you can take it all the way to the Zen side of things where you need nothing, you want for nothing, you know, you can live that life and be happy with nothing. But I’d much prefer being in enjoying the things that I do have really enjoying and being grateful for them. Not really wanting for more, but then obviously working to build my wealth and to I guess really just upgrade the quality of things that I do have rather than getting more and more things. It’s just have the same things but better quality. So you know, my little Toyota jazz that costs $6,000 like four or five years ago, you know, I’d probably still want a small car in the future, but maybe if I can earn enough, I’ll upgrade that to a new model. Jazz or new, a different model car or something like that. So it’s like upgrading your existing staff, upgrading your existing bed to a nicer bed, but just not having more stuff.
I love that man. Like one of the reasons that really started me on this journey and I really think you’ve been the biggest influence on Nissan. Me and Lisa is when you guys decided to renovate that then and then as you know, two adults and three kids decide to live in that space with everything in your life. And I remember he came up to visit and we all hung out as a family and your kids came out and they each had one little bag with all of their toys in that bag. And I was like, wow, like looking around my house after I was like, I don’t even know where all this, these toys came from. It’s from like every time they say grandmother and getting them something. And so even this Christmas we’re like, can you guys please just not getting our kids anything.
They don’t need more stuff and more stuff is not making them any happier. Can we do experiences this year and actually be thoughtful around the way that we’re doing stuff. And you know, that ended up being cooler. We got free tickets to Australia Zoo, the aquarium, the girls got their nails done, they got movie tickets and it was kind of like all of these cool things that way then didn’t have to pay for over the break. That will actually like, like meaningful things for the kids as opposed to staff. And simplifying life isn’t just about saving money and moving forward financially it’s, it’s just frame when you don’t have all of that mental attention and time focused on things that don’t matter in any way or that it just bleeding out the bottom because you are doing well financially and I think, you know, I was feeling guilty for so long, being one or the other.
It’s so nice to recognize that you know, it’s okay to operate in society and the way that I’m operating unit as someone that thinks the motor least completely fucking broken honestly. His work, the model, get financially free, contribute to the model, and then have the choice to sort of exit. When I say fit and I think people that don’t focus on the wealth creation, capitalistic side of things struggle and work for so much longer most of the time doing stuff that they don’t enjoy as opposed to you can live that simplistic life, but also set your future up so that you’ve got choices down the line too. And that that’s a 10 year journey for me. Maybe even 15 years. It’s taken a long time to process this and find a happy medium.
Yeah. And minimalism or moving towards minimalism can help you with your spending less money on staff, can help you focus on building wealth, can help you focus on investing in property and finding joy out of that challenge and Adam moving forward financially moving towards financial freedom so it can be a real positive thing towards your longterm financial goals if you let it. So whether or not you guys adopt minimalism, whether or not you guys look into it is completely up to you. Um, I’ve explored it in my life and found that I really like it and really enjoy it. Less things make me happy and then we’re saying experiences and what I probably invest in more now I’m going out with friends. Like for my birthday, I’m going out to um, stay in like a massive house with a bunch of mates and do a house tournament up there.
So that’ll be my birthday present for myself and from whoever will chip into that. But rather than getting things, I’ll be getting experiences and yeah, using it as a way to springboard into financial freedom. Um, but yeah, so I think that kind of covers covers it. I think the idea here is that minimalism and capitalism can work together, that you don’t need to be either zen monk or be an oil barren. You can find your happy medium where you’re living a more thoughtful life, you’re more thoughtful about your things, but you can also focus on building wealth, creating value in society, and moving towards your goal of financial freedom.
Love it. Awesome.
Cool. Well thanks so much for tuning in today guys. We wish you the absolute best out there. If you are interested in minimalism thing, go ahead and check out the video I did on my minimalist wardrobe. You can see how I fit all my clothes as well as my kids clothes and my linen and all of that sort of stuff in one single cupboard. I’m. So I’ll link that up. Go ahead and watch that. And until next time,