When Less is More

Documentary: Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2016). How might your life be better with less? The synopsis on the film’s website notes the purpose is to examine the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.

I was interested to see this documentary as I have previously written about minimalism – a cousin to frugalism or frugality in my mind – and was familiar with the minimalists behind the documentary, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. Known as “The Minimalists” to their 4 million readers, Ryan and Joshua help people live more meaningful lives with less through their website, books, podcast, and this documentary.

While I’m not prepared to embrace minimalism to the extent those in the documentary do – I think it’s possible some go too far with the practice – I do appreciate the fact that we are a nation of hyper-consumers and less is often more; and there are certainly things we can all cut out of our lives to make them less stressful, more streamlined, and more focused on the people and things that are truly important.

Check it out today. Considering the time of year, when our materialism and consumerism go into hyper-drive, and we focus a lot on stuff, this may be just the documentary to see. It is available for streaming on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and Vimeo.


James retired in 2005 after serving 21 years in the United States Army. During the latter part of his career, James' interest in personal finance was piqued based on his own experiences and observations of the way most Americans plan – or more accurately, fail to plan – for retirement and the difficulty many face in starting the process. His most valued education has been lessons learned from personal experience and through conversations with smart, savvy friends.

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