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Japan’s Hardcore Minimalists Live in Virtually Empty Homes

The minimalist lifestyle trend has been gaining popularity in the Western world for a while now, but we’re still far from the hardcore minimalism Zen-loving Japanese have adopted in their quest to achieve a stress-free life.

Space has always been an issue in crowded Japanese cities, so from that point of view it makes sense that people try to keep their homes junk free, but some are taking minimalism to such an extreme that they are virtually living in empty houses surrounded by only the barest of necessities. For them, minimalism is not just about de-cluttering their living space, but also about evaluating what material possessions truly bring to their lives and focusing on the things that they consider important. To Japan’s hardcore minimalists, less is more in every sense that actually matters.

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“Most Frugal Woman in the UK” Lives on Just $3,500 a Year

Meet Ilona Richards, a retired truck driver who is well known as ‘Britain’s most frugal woman’. Some of her tips for simple living include scouring supermarkets for discounted food, having guests bring their own tea bags, saving ink by making your handwriting smaller, a weekly bath to save water, and flushing the loo only once a day with old bathwater.

Richards prides herself for her frugality in nearly every single aspect of life, managing on only £2,400 of her state pension of £10,000 a year. She detests wastefulness, so she tries to make everything last as long as it possibly can. She can make do with a bottle of dish soap for an entire year, but that’s probably because she hardly does any cooking. She’s a vegetarian, because it’s cheaper, surviving on a vat of vegetable stew made from expired produce. She makes it last an entire month.

There are plenty of other examples of thriftiness all around her kitchen. For starters, she doesn’t use her kettle to make tea. “I usually heat up my cup of water in the microwave,” she said, speaking to Daily Mail. “It takes two cups to cover the kettle element and I only need one, so why waste it?” Her oven has been broken for ages, but she hasn’t had it fixed because she has no use for it.

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Frugal Homeowner Pays Off $255,000 Mortgage in Just Three Years

Setting the standards for extreme frugality in finances is 30-year-old Sean Cooper. Despite not having a glamorous job, he managed to save enough money to pay off a whopping $225,000 mortgage in only three years!

Cooper purchased a $425,000 house in Toronto, Canada, in 2012 and since then, created a strict pauper-like regime for himself. He started by getting himself two additional jobs to supplement his income as a pension analyst, working a total of 100 hours a week. He wrote financial articles in his free time, and also took a $13-an-hour job at the meat section of a supermarket, even though he’s a vegetarian. “It wasn’t the most glamorous job, but it helped me pay off my mortgage, so I can’t complain,” he said.

“For a lot of people, their mortgage is like a life sentence. I just wanted to not have a mortgage hanging over my head for the next 30 years.”

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