voluntary simplicity
n. A lifestyle that consciously avoids luxury, flamboyance, and pretense.

Example Citations:
All of these things are part of the — get your buzzword notebook out — ‘voluntary simplicity’ movement. Catered dinner parties are out. Potluck is in. Lobbying for a pay raise is out. Trading increased salary for extra vacation time is in. People are exchanging dry-cleaning lifestyles for wash and wear ones, and they don’t feel deprived.
—Brandy Hilboldt, “Simplify Wanted,” The Florida Times-Union, August 8, 2000

Participants in the so-called voluntary simplicity movement — an environmentally friendly, economically saner lifestyle choice that is the subject of numerous books — could take lessons from people like the Kulmalas and several others in the Sudbury region who have made the choice to become non-combatants in the rat race. The region’s camp culture has a head start in the race for simplicity.

Eliminating the clutter from your life and focusing on what really matters is the basic tenet of voluntary simplicity.
—Rob O’Flanagan, “Stress-free lifestyle attracts rat-race dropouts,” Edmonton Journal (Alberta), April 19, 2000

Earliest Citation:
Thousands of younger middle-class couples have already taken up a life of voluntary simplicity. In Santa Calara, Calif., Katherine and Robert Hostetter (who together earn more than $20,000 annually) are buying fewer clothes, eating simpler foods, collecting fewer possessions. “We have permanently abandoned the notion of vying for the title of ‘ultimate consumer’,” says Roert.
—Susan Fraker, “The Middle Class Poor,” Newsweek, September 12, 1977

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