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Some topics simply don’t have a lobby, like frugality. How stale that sounds. If habits went to school like kids, frugality would probably be a bullying victim. It would be sidelined in the playground and voted last in school sports. The cool habits, on the other hand, like sports and healthy eating , would be the stars in every AG – everyone would be talking about them and wanting to be like them.
Frugality has hardly any supporters. It can’t have much of a lobby behind it, if only because our economy lives predominantly on the fact that we consume steadily and want more of everything. Moreover, frugality is abstract. You can’t easily squeeze this attitude into a few lines or chop it up into individual steps and monetize it, as in the case of recipes or anti-sugar courses, for example.
After all, journalists do make frugality an issue from time to time. When they do, they usually report on extreme cases, because they are exciting and good to sell. For example, they interview travelers without a budget, people without clothes, money or furniture, or minimalism bloggers who take their topic to the extreme. The U.S. American James Altucher sold all his possessions and for a time lived only in AirBnB accommodations. Such approaches may inspire; but they put me off because they are so unsuitable for everyday life.
I’m not interested in extremes, but in an unagitated approach. Frugality doesn’t have to feel like doing without. Rather, I mean a contentment with what you have, because in my eyes, that’s just as healthy as exercise and fresh air. After all, it frees you up to not constantly want more.When I tell you about my hardware, this point becomes clear.
My hardware dream team
My hardware doesn’t look like I work exclusively on computers and online. My laptop, for example, has been with me since I wrote my bachelor’s thesis, back in 2009. The battery stopped working a long time ago, which is why there is a gap in the case in its place. Thanks to a new SSD hard drive, the device otherwise works well. Nothing is particularly fast, but I have gotten used to that. I use a computer mouse for this – with a cable, of course. It is at least 20 years old. At times, it loitered unemployed in the drawer of my parents’ house until I adopted it a few years ago.
Until recently, an iPhone 4 completed my hardware dream team. I’d bought it used from a friend in 2011 and had clung to it ironclad until now, even though I could barely install apps lately. Even older app versions refused to work on the iPhone. Random crashes became the norm, but I put up with them. I kept having mountains of electronic waste in front of my eyes. That’s not where I wanted my iPhone to end up.
Finally, there was an iPhone 6 left in my family. It was older than all the other circulating devices and would have ended up in a drawer. I suspected that the time had come, and was delighted with the unexpected gift. Nevertheless, I somewhat reluctantly slid my SIM card into the new smartphone. I would certainly have been able to get by with my old one for a while longer.e got. Since then, it has been waiting in the cupboard for possible emergency use.
Maybe I’m already as technology-averse as other people are at an older age. But in other areas, I have just as little desire for shopping. Buying clothes has become an irritant that I put off for months. I have no desire for bargain hunting and collecting, for the consumer madness in the city center. Online shopping is only conditionally easier for me because of the oversupply and my decision-making inertia.
So I cherish my things for as long as possible. For years I’ve worn the same dress to weddings I’m a guest at, and of course secretly hope no one notices. I didn’t even buy the dress in question myself, I took it from my mother. But it works – as do parts of my sports and outdoor clothing that I’ve been using for 15 years or more. I’m probably hopelessly old-fashioned, yet I resist the idea of having to follow any trends. Rather, I am proud of how long I have owned some things. I’ve been carrying the same backpack around since my 18th birthday. My hiking boots are about the same age.
Bigger, better, more expensive
For me, it is not desirable to constantly have something new, better or bigger. Constantly for me means every few years. Other people would see this time span as shorter. They think it’s normal to get new shoes every year and a new cell phone every two years.
I, on the other hand, have almost developed a consumer allergy. Moreover, I refuse to participate in the (planned) obsolescence of devices. This means that devices are intentionally built in such a way that they break after a certain time, become obsolete, or are no longer repairable. I can’t escape this scam entirely – after all, I need a printer too – but I try to avoid it as best I can.
Back in the day, when technology was still something special, I never thought my attitude would seem frugal. After all, I’m highly equipped – compared to people in less privileged parts of the world. But compared to girlfriends, boyfriends, acquaintances – I’m rather at the back of the pack. And that doesn’t bother me at all.
I was raised to eat my plate instead of leaving half and ordering dessert. Frugality to me also means not owning a car, even though you could afford it. Frugality to me means keeping your apartment even though you haven’t moved in a long time and could afford ten more square feet.
I never would have guessed that one day I would chalk it up to frugality that I don’t want to build, buy, or rent a house in the foreseeable future. In contrast, many of my peers are digging in their heels: interest rates are low; everyone is building; everyone wants to live on the outskirts of town, in the countryside, in their own home. I feel almost exotic because I don’t need that. At least in the foreseeable future, nothing about it appeals to me.
I don’t need to go on and on. On the contrary, that’s exactly what I want to avoid. I don’t want to go through the typical lifestyle inflation, where the cost of living is constantly rising.
dig increase. However – and I’m becoming increasingly aware of this – hardly anyone out there is interested in me not wanting more of everything.
For years, my mobile provider has regularly wanted to top up my 15-euro rate – with more SIM cards, more data volume, a higher speed and – of course – a new smartphone! They have no idea of my hardware disenchantment.
In the same way, the car industry is waiting for me to finally get a car. Construction companies have enough to do at the moment, but would certainly like to
build a house for me. The insurance industry would like to tie me up with policies. Not to mention all the companies that would be happy if I had a baby and bought new furniture, toys, etc. for it.
I am also a hard case for the advertising industry, because many advertising messages and promises pass me by. By their mere existence, most world novelties
do not awaken any needs in me. I don’t need an electric toothbrush that synchronizes my brushing profile with the cloud. I also get along quite well without “wearables” – i.e. smartwatches, etc.
But before we rant at corporations or debate technological necessities, let’s admit: Frugality doesn’t exactly come naturally to humans. After all, over the course of evolution, it made sense to always make one’s cave safe, stockpile supplies, and impress tribe members with a fancy loincloth. Therefore, it is also somewhat in our nature to always want more. This attitude has brought us to where we are today – not exactly a rosy picture when we look out at the world, but hey, we’re still alive.
Frugality, in my eyes, means thinking and acting against our disposition. In most cases, it saves us money and gives us freedom. Only sometimes is frugality more expensive, namely when the small can of coconut milk costs relatively more than the 1-liter package.
But what kind of world would we live in if frugality were a star? If clearing out clutter were as natural as vacuuming and doing laundry; if people without cars weren’t ridiculed but admired; if it were considered normal
not to always want more and to leave pointless bargains on the left, and if giving oneself nothing as a gift at Christmas were the norm?
Until that happens, frugal people shouldn’t be put off or made to feel guilty. Maybe frugality will come into fashion at some point – and be elected class president after all.
Czytaj dalej: https://www.healthyhabits.de/genuegsamkeit/