029 | The Aspiring Minimalist vs the Reluctant Frugalist

In today's podcast we go through a discussion of the mindset differences between a ‘reluctant frugalist' like Jonathan and an aspiring minimalist like Brad.

In Today’s Podcast we cover:

  • The reluctant frugalist (Jonathan) vs. the mindset of the aspiring minimalist (Brad)
  • How both these mindsets are valid and strong approaches to the concept of Financial Independence
  • How do you talk to your spouse or significant other about financial independence?
  • Voicemail from Royce about how he can get his wife on board with FI?
  • You need to have a conversation with your significant other about what you want out of life and where you want to go as a team
  • The pursuit of FI can bring you closer together as it can make you wealthier and happier
  • Jonathan’s story about FI and his wife plus a story of the ‘addictive nature’ of buying stuff
  • How Jonathan changed his entire life with the pursuit of FI
  • FI as the ultimate life hack
  • You need to see the other person’s motivation and incentives when trying to persuade them
  • Being near or at FI transforms your relationships with your family and friends
  • How Brad aspires to be a minimalist and live in a hotel
  • Excerpt from Physician on Fire’s article: Minimalism vs. Frugality
  • Frugality and the scarcity mindset
  • How people outside the FI community have to deal with a cash flow scarcity mentality
  • The differences between a minimalist and a frugal person
  • How free your brain becomes when you remove the clutter from your rooms and your life
  • How Brad’s daughters are different by nature regarding minimalism and clutter
  • Would you throw out all the items in your house that you haven’t used for some set period of time? 90 days?  1 year?
  • The sharing economy has changed the value of ownership
  • Jonathan’s board game obsession and the value he gets from buying things
  • What a week in Jonathan’s FI future life looks like
  • A minimalist buys one item that fulfills multiple purposes, but is quite expensive and high quality
  • Brand names: Is there any value?
  • Can you actually find a break-even point on certain purchases?
  • The wardrobe differences between minimalists and frugal people
  • How your brain operates better when you don’t make as many decisions and avoid ‘decision fatigue’
  • A minimalist doesn’t want a lawn/yard whereas a frugal person enjoys doing it themselves

Links from the show:

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6 thoughts on “029 | The Aspiring Minimalist vs the Reluctant Frugalist”

  1. Great episode guys! The hardest part for me about having FI conversations with the un-introduced is agreeing on the ‘why’ before even getting to the ‘how.’ While your other episodes like the Pillars of FI etc are great once people are a bit onboard with the ‘why,’ this episode is a great starting point for those who haven’t gotten there yet. Really helps to see some different approaches side by side!

  2. Great chat fellas, and thank you for featuring my recent thoughts on the distance between frugality and minimalism. It’s pretty cool that each of you leans more one way than the other.

    I think there is some overlap of the two concepts’ Venn diagram circles, but plenty of places where they diverge, and people often just lump them together as if they’re one and the same.


  3. This was a fun one. You guys might like reading “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” if you haven’t already. It touches on a lot of what you guys mentioned, and actually gives very structured instructions for de-cluttering (how exactly to go through all of your clothes, for example). That book jumpstarted some much needed simplification around my house.

    Decision fatigue…the struggle is real.

  4. Hey guys! I listened to this podcast last week and wanted to feed back that I’ve been mulling it over since then. Has provided a but of an ‘aha’ moment re myself and my husband. I know we’re on the same page with long term goals but could never understand why we still clash on the ‘how’. Now realise he’s the frugalist and I’m the minimalist. I’d rather invest time/effort/money in something amazing and pare back everything else; whereas he prefers to just make do with what we have already and potentially upgrade down the track. Now hope realising this will help find the middle ground moving forward. Thanks for an interesting discussion.

  5. Jonathan mentioned he was wearing “FI Gear”. Is there FI swag for sale? I would love to get a Choose FI shirt or something to wear to help create a conversation or find other FI motivated people while out. If they see the shirt they’d say “Hey. me too!” and perhaps start up a great FI friendship. I just discovered this site last week from a comment on another site and LOVE IT! Now I am working through every episode and getting more motivated along the way. Got my kids interested in it as well, so that is a huge win. Thanks guys for getting all this together and out there to help people like me that are trying to dig out of debt and start a path to FI.

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