Joshua Becker is a minimalist with a message.

 Joshua BeckerThe author and public speaker will make the case for owning less at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3, in the Brian and Lori Hesprich Auditorium, in Graff Main Hall at UW-La Crosse. The event is sponsored by UWL’s It Make$ Cents program and La Crosse Area Cru. The event is free and open to the public.

Becker decided to declutter his home and life about eight years ago after cleaning out his garage. He was standing in the driveway looking at the big pile of stuff he’d just spent half the day weeding through while his kid played alone in the backyard.

“I was realizing that everything I owned was not making me happy,” he says. “Not only that, it was taking me away from things that did bring me happiness.”

His suburban family of four decided to intentionally live with less. Now Becker is taking that message to people across the country. He has been featured on the CBS Evening News and National Public Radio, as well as in The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal.

“As American’s we are surrounded by marketing and the constant message of buying more, wanting more, doing more and having more,” says Amanda Gasper, coordinator of UWL’s financial literacy program It Make$ Cents. “I believe this message is key to changing people’s thinking, homes, lives and values; making what matters most the focal point not what society and culture is teaching us.”

Along the way, Becker noticed the benefits of owning less.

“It’s helped me realize that my life was so much more valuable than the things I owned or the things I was chasing,” he says. “I could live for better pursuits than the accumulation of money or possessions.”

Becker’s blog: 

If you go—

Who:   Joshua Becker

What: Making the case for owning less

Where: Brian and Lori Hesprich Auditorium, in Graff Main Hall.        

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3

Admission: Free