Real Life Minimalists: Me

mm-photo[Earlier this year, I ran a series called Real Life Minimalists, in which I invited readers to submit their own stories. I’d love to revive it, and thought I’d start by jumping into the ring myself. If you’d like to participate, click here for details.]

When I started this blog, I had no idea what kind of response I’d receive (to be honest, I never expected more than a handful of people to read it!). I didn’t know if people would find my minimalism a little weird, somewhat wacky, or way off the deep end. Most of all, I didn’t know if there were any other kindred souls out there.

Therefore, I chose to remain anonymous. That way, I could write about how many shoes, towels, or paperclips I owned without having to answer for my “eccentricities” in real life. I could wax poetic about white walls, empty rooms, and naked windows without putting my name on these musings.

Along the way, however, I discovered that this is who I am. I’m the woman who sold all her possessions and moved to a foreign country. I’m the woman who owns four pieces of furniture, and eloped with her wedding dress in a ziplock. I’m the woman who travels the world with a tiny bag, loves living without a TV, and would like to eat every meal out of a single bowl.

And I’m proud to be her!

Therefore, I’ve decided to come out of anonymity: I’m Francine Jay, and I’m a minimalist.

I’m an American writer currently living in England. I published my first book, Frugillionaire: 500 Fabulous Ways to Live Richly and Save a Fortune, last summer.

mm-cover-frugillionaireSo what’s a minimalist doing writing about frugality? Actually, I’ve found that the two pursuits often go hand in hand.

The book isn’t about clipping coupons, or finding the lowest credit card rates; it’s about saving money by simplifying your life. My goal was to make saving easy and enjoyable, and explain how one could live a rich life by consuming less.

(Click here if you’d like a peek at the Table of Contents and Introduction.)

If you’re interested in reading it, you can pick it up on; for those of you downsizing your books, it’s also available on Kindle.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy traveling, doing yoga, reading philosophy, and rambling the English countryside. Although I’m a city girl at heart, I’ve recently become enamored with strolling through pastures of sheep and meadows of wildflowers.

My short term goals are to publish a second book, and make more of my own food from scratch (like bread, yogurt, and tofu). I’d also love to learn to snowboard, speak Japanese, and play pedal steel guitar.

My long term goals are to see as much of the world as possible, and make some kind of positive contribution to society (I’m not sure exactly how yet, but I’m working on it!).

By writing about minimalism, I hope to promote it as a lifestyle alternative. I want others who are dissatisfied with consumer culture to know they’re not alone. I think it would be wonderful—for ourselves, for the Earth, and its other inhabitants—if we all learned to live with a little bit less.

Well, I hope that takes a little of the mystery out of “Miss Minimalist.” You can still call me “Miss M” if you like, or Francine if you prefer. And now that you know who I am, stop and say “hi” if you see me on the streets of London… :-)

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93 comments to Real Life Minimalists: Me

  • Tina

    I started reading current blogs, went back and read older posts, then read both your books. I especially like your ideas about aspirational clutter. Even though most of my hobby stuff was bought at rummage sales or garage sales, it still takes up space. I am gradually getting rid of it. I have been taking instruction books out of the library for some time now.

  • I’m 58 yrs old and have never been a collector of a lot of stuff. But the stuff I have is starting to suffocate me! I came upon your blog and it has transformer me!
    If we don’t use it, need it, or deathly attached to it, it’s gone; which is about 80% of our belongings. My DH is the only one not on board! My 10yr old and I have literally empty a entire kitchen full of stuff to give to a rummage sale! I have been obsessed with Tiny houses and even though we are not moving into one, I’m am purging as though we were! Thank you so much for your blog!

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