I’m in the process of learning more about Secular Institutes. Most/all seem to take a vow of poverty, but my question is what does this really mean? If I think of my own situation, I’m single and I have an okay-paying job (imo), but I also live in the 2nd most expensive city in the US. So just the basics are not cheap or even reasonable for some things. Beyond my cost of living, however, I would be expected to take care of my retirement, healthcare, and possible emergencies (temporary joblessness, unexpected illness, etc.). Honestly, if I paid for the basics (rent, heat, food, work clothes), saved what I’m supposed for retirement and emergencies, and tithed/gave to charity there wouldn’t be anything left over. So is that a life of poverty? I don’t feel impoverished. I’m meeting my obligations and have some leftover for savings. I do also have some leftover for movies and dinner with friends here and there, but it’s not often or lavish.
It seems to me that ‘living simply’ could mean many, varying things. What does it really mean in this circumstance?