Before I began sloughing off possessions and obligations, I let the tide rise and carry all of my boats with it. I had a Mercedes, so I needed a nice big house. I had a big house so I needed to put a movie theater in it. With such big closets and regular attendance at nightclubs, I needed a huge expensive wardrobe. Even things I didn’t really care about, like china, needed to be a big deal. I bought two sets of Wedgewood bone china, so that I could serve 16 if necessary.
Minimalism helped me understand that imbalance can be a good thing. I live in 80 square feet on the side of the road. Space isn’t important to me, and neither is permanence of abode. So I scrape those to the absolute minimum. The function of clothes is important to me, so I have really high quality “outdoors” clothes. But I have only two shirts and a pair of pants. I don’t need to signal my status with my shirts.
Minimalism has given me focus. In the time I’m not raking my non-existant yard and not shopping for the latest fashions, I am doing things that I care about. My spending becomes as focused as my time. Most of my expenses involve healthy food and getting places (vehicles / plane tickets). Those are things I care about, and because of my experimentation with minimalism, I’m able to enjoy them more. My time and money are spent efficiently.
Minimalism should be a tool, not a cult. I think it’s a good default, too: when in doubt, don’t accept obligations or buy things. But if you’ve really thought something through and want to buy it, even though it might not fall in line with traditional minimalist dogma, go for it.