The minimalist lifestyle is about reducing waste, saving money, and valuing meaningful relationships, contributing to society in a positive manner, and having memorable experiences rather than acquiring material possessions.
Shopping is seen as a form of entertainment in the U.S. Once Americans are at the mall they struggle to resist temptations. Sticking with a list and purchasing items that are needs instead of wants can save Americans a lot of trouble financially.
Excessive shopping isn't healthy because it contributes to the concept of the rat race, which is buying a ton of money to impress people, and then having to work hard in attempt to pay off debt. A person who is confident doesn't need someone else's approval and knows their personality is what matters. Confident people don't associate themselves with people who don't like them and they don't buy things for attention because they feel like they aren't loved, special, and desired.
Even during modern times debt can still be optional with hard work. The book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter talks about the rat race, paying off debt, living within your means, and saving for potential emergencies and retirement. In the book they talk about not having material items take over your life, learning to purchase assets instead of liabilities, and work hard to achieve financial success.