I think the assumption that minimalism saves money can sometimes be a misconception.
It's like a similar false assumption that electric machines are inherently labour-saving. That idea comes (I imagine) from the emergence in the 1960s of vacuum cleaners and washing machines replacing brooms and hand-washing.
I wish we had never put any fitted carpet in our house at all. It was my decision to do so when we moved in, because the floors were all either chipboard laid down in the 1970s because the floorboards rotted, or Victorian boards with much scarring and heavy dark varnish. I mistakenly thought it would be more expensive to have the boards sanded and re-finished and the chipboard replaced with new boards, and we had to spend so much money on repairs and refurbishment that I went for carpet. But I was wrong about that; good carpet (plus underlay and fitting) costs just as much as having the wood floors made good. Later we took up the carpets and sanded the floors in the bedrooms, and we had a wood floor laid to replace the chipboard in the kitchen. But we still have carpet on the stairs and landing, and in the attic room, and the front sitting room. All this means we have a vacuum cleaner still.
If you have little furniture and hard floors and Japanese brooms, then sweeping through the house is easy and quick and blessedly silent.
I have washed my things by hand often in the course of my life and never found it a problem. The secret is to soak them. You start the night before, leaving the laundry to soak in a bath of hot soapy water, which loosens all the dirt. In the morning, you drain it out and run new hot soapy water, swoosh the things about in it, rub any stained places, then rinse through three waters (putting fabric conditioner in the final rinse if you want it. You carry it out in a bucket and hang it on the line to dry. It's easy and not very time-consuming at all — well, it takes time, but not your time, if you see what I mean.
Personally I find 'labour-saving devices' quite labour-intensive. It takes ages fiddling about changing a vacuum-cleaner bag, and the tools are hard to attach and detach, and vacuum cleaners are heavy to cart about and awkward to use on the stairs — plus, whatever the ads say, they don't get into the corners and edges like a Japanese broom. And, geez, how complicated it is to get a washing machine powder dispenser drawer out to deal with gathering mould, not to mention cleaning the filter and tackling the mould that grows on the door seal. A bath's a damn sight easier to clean.
Machines extend what you can do; they don't make it easier.
In the same way, it's unwise to confuse minimalism with frugality.
If you hoard loads of stuff the advantage (the only advantage that I can think of) is that if you need something you usually have it. So if you put on weight and need new clothes, and, instead of disposing of the ones now too tight, you keep them in your house, then it is true that in three years' time when you decide it is a problem and start to tackle it, if you lose the weight you put on, well, lo! — there are the clothes you had three years ago. You can wear them again now.
I think if you do this, you might be surprised to discover it's not quite as nice to have the old clothes back as you first assumed, but that's another conversation.
If you are a minimalist and want to travel light, then two crucial things apply:
- you get rid of whatever stuff doesn't work for you as you are now, in this phase of your life
- you make sure what you acquire really works and you really like it, because you will be keeping down the numbers of items you own.