From the author:
Use less, use more
It will be much easier for you if you do not think about possession of things, but about their benefits. If you prioritize the benefits, it is no longer about giving up. Because you do not sacrifice anything if, for example, you switch from owning a car to using it in car sharing or carpooling and using a gym instead of your own fitness cellar.
For almost all material possessions in your life there are good alternatives that are more flexible, take less space and can be taken everywhere. Photos and documents can be digitized, PC and TV can be exchanged for a small laptop and the landline phone can be replaced with a Skype landline number.
Adjust your consumer behavior
It's the cycle of income and consumption that keeps you from earning enough. You will not break this cycle with more and more work, but through a conscious consumption behavior. As much as you like to give in to your short-lived consumer lust, so much do you give up a little bit of freedom with every purchase, since you only have to earn those expenses again.
The following advice should help you to resist your consumption cravings:
- Be aware of the total cost of a purchase (insurance, storage, protection, maintenance).
- Buy things because they are useful, not to find affiliation and recognition.
- Ignore deliberately the advertising industry, which tries to arouse needs in you that you do not actually have.
- Do not depend on your possessions (materially as well as psychologically).
- Rent things (and services) rather than own them.
- Exchange things instead of buying them.
- Do not give away useless stuff, but time.
- Decide against short-term satisfaction through consumption and for long-term independence.
Fixed monthly debits
In addition to the one-time purchase of things there are these nasty amounts that are regularly debited from your account. The problem is that they are mostly long-term contractual obligations.
Contracts are the absolute epitome of dependency. Whether a contract of employment, an insurance policy or a telephone contract - what you are sold is a supposed security, which usually has to be bought at a high price.
Examine the edition carefully
An often-mistaken assumption is that the longer a contract runs, the cheaper a service becomes. This has changed drastically in recent years, not least because of greater competition in many markets and on the Internet. In many areas, you can use a service on demand (if required) or at least as a monthly cancellable subscription model.
With a look at your statements from last year, you can see what fixed amounts are regularly leaving your account - contracts for mobile phones and the Internet, gym memberships and tax assistance, subscriptions, insurance, account fees and credit cards.
What do you really need?
Think carefully about whether you really need and want to continue to make these long-term financial commitments, and stick to the following two principles:
- Benefit before ownership (on demand instead of permanent availability)
- Flexible solutions before long-term contracts (independence instead of supposed security)
The same is true, of course, when you think about the conclusion of a new contract. Sometimes it's just a small monthly amount that not only costs you a lot of money in the long term, but also binds you or mentally strains you.
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