I have never thought that someday I’d actually be running on the track towards minimalism. I have of course, aspired to do so so many times being a sustainability practitioner and very much believe in living within my means.But knowing all the facts and being able to act upon them are two different things.
Before I got married, I was still tempted to shop every month. I shopped for clothes and everything else, and had very minimal saving, less than 10% of my gross salary each month.
Which was, of course, unhealthy.
Then I met my husband.
This is a guy who have went for his pilgrimage/Hajj to Mecca using his own money (it costs around MYR10-15k these days).
This is the guy who straightforward told me that he has the means to get married anytime financially (he even told me his 6-figure saving he had), only after a year of working and three month jobless period before switching to another company.
This is the guy who saved almost half of his monthly salary.
This is also the guy who could not figure out why he needs to buy any clothes, at all (FYI, it was his mom who normally insisted on him buying anything).
In short, it was a frugal, simple guy I actually chose to be married to.
And he has, since then, been a great motivator and reminder to me not to stray away from this path of simplifying our lives.
The Elected Financial Controller
The biggest change that I have made to date, which I have never ever thought I would, is to let my husband control my finance. Sounds like me losing my independence, but God, I could not be more thankful for Him sending an accountant to be my husband.
Being spendthrift is a weakness that I somehow don’t have the ability to overcome on my own, and I recognise it very well.I know and realise very well that shopping for new stuff, and owning new stuff does not make me happy, but I still buy. A lot.
So I let my husband know every spending I made, even if the money comes from my very own pocket.Any proposal will be met with questions: Why would I need it? Can you live without it? (and the most ridiculous of all: Why do we have to buy? Why can’t we make it ourselves?) etc. He reminds me of our bigger financial goals at that time, be it the downpayment for our very house, saving for the house makeover, a new car that we just have to find, the private school I have been eyeing for Isa…
And yes,for so many months I am very happy with the balance in my bank account.
Do I feel deprived?
At times, yes especially when I am steered by my emotion. But after a year being encouraged by him, I have become aware myself. The self-control came.
He’s frugal, but he’s not cheap – this does make it easier. But he has reasons – very rational you can’t rarely argue with it. It is not that you suppress yourself from the emotional side of being human – to like nice things and all, but it is more about prioritising.
And delayed gratification.
As he always reminds me – Islam has never prohibit ‘wants’ and asks you to concentrate on ‘needs’ only, but it is a matter of balance. It is not that God asks us to be cheapskate, but to acknowledge the fact that this worldly life is nothing but temporary, and that we should invest on our eternal life.
p.s. I will continue documenting about my journey towards minimalism, God willing. More to come.