The Corona virus has made us walk the uncharted territories of life. While the virus remains to be unseen, the damage that it has created has, in a problematic way, bought the world down to its knees. Everywhere you look, there’s obliteration. Looking out of the window, you see empty streets; people are wearing masks hiding their facial characteristics. There is a shortage of adequate medical supplies, such as personal protective equipment. Doctors are no longer going to hospitals but instead are heading to battlegrounds to save a common man that has now taken the position of an armed soldier battling an invisible enemy. Thinking of the brave new world that we live in terms of comeliness might seem a bit absurd, but “The Lipstick Effect of the Pandemic” has caused many people to reevaluate certain aspects of their life which to some extent they had taken for granted. The Pandemic has not only made us realize the importance of minimalism, but helped us spotlight the all-encompassing humanity that is triggered by it.
So, while I know that there are many different types of people that can survive the Pandemic, I feel that minimalism has helped me and my family survive the Pandemic. Minimalism is indeed a way to find out the things that add value to our life. As the Pandemic has fed a lot of time, which in pre-COVID times spent in traffic, attending meetings, and or running other errands, our habits and our attitudes have changed to compliment the economic downturn bought upon us by the Pandemic. Let’s take a look at a Frugalist’s response to the Pandemic.
Pre-cut Chopped food, fruits and Vegetables
With many states putting restrictions on the amount of milk and meat a single person can purchase given the excessive consumption of food products, one must be vigilant and spend money wisely, especially on groceries. Being frugal, I am thoroughly amazed at looking at people who spend their hard-earned cash on chopped foods, fruits, and vegetables. I mean come on, how hard is it really to copy your fruits, grain or vegetables. The money that one spends on pre-cut grocery produce that is packaged and sold tends to add up over time, which, if spent wisely, can be attributed to the right amount of savings. Remember, being frugal does not mean being cheap; it’s just about being a smart spender and adding economic value to your spending.
As major technology companies such as Apple and Samsung keep up with their trend of releasing new smartphones each year, a frugal person like me would look at the pattern and try to find economic value. A prudent would evaluate the purchase of a branded cell phone to its actual usage while factoring the economic uncertainty of the Pandemic. For example, I am an avid Apple smartphone user, but while Apple was releasing its latest Smartphones, I was quite happy with my Apple iPhone 7 as it does all that I want it to do for me.
If you live in the United States, and not live in a large city, you would understand the importance of public transportation. A car in certain parts of the U.S is a necessity; it’s a requirement. Having worked as a Car salesman, one word of advice I can give anyone that intends on buying a car is not to buy a new car. A vehicle like most tangible assets depreciates the minute you drive it off from the parking lot. Sources say the depreciation contributes to 12% of the purchase price of the car. A car that is a few years old with a decent number of miles on it is way better from an economic perspective than a brand-new vehicle. Branded and expensive cars that will eventually lose their economic value are simply not worth it. Moreover, the real cost of maintaining the vehicle is higher as compared to a non-branded vehicle that would satisfy the same amount of your needs than any branded car would.
The ever so demanding need for increased virtual communication and our increased reliance on technology as part of our social distancing prerogative has led us to rely on our use of our laptops extensively. Now, I know most of us to have our laptops, including people that have substituted their Apple iPad to replace their laptops, the question we must ask ourselves is, do we need a brand-new spanking laptop that is advertised on TV to meet our needs? The simple answer to that question is no. Laptops like any other technology evolve; their evolution can be measured in terms of speed, reliability, ease of use, the components that make up the laptop, and, most importantly, our need. If you as an individual just needs a computer to get your schoolwork done and spend time on videos and movies, then you don’t need a brand-new laptop, you can make do with an old laptop that can do all the above but at a fraction of a cost. Websites like eBay and Amazon allow users to sell old notebooks, and I feel that it is an excellent opportunity to buy them. If, on the other hand, you are a gamer and need the high-end graphics card and processing power, then yes, you may need a high-end laptop, but even then, instead of buying it from a retail store, its best to use online alternatives. Apps such as WIKIBUY can help find you the best deal and bang for your buck. The bottom line always makes a sound choice when purchasing a laptop.
Soda Bottles and Soda Cans:
Let’s hear it. Soda is an expensive drink that is unhealthy for your body. I haven’t bought or drank Soda in over ten years to date. Pop has a combination of sugar, chemicals, and carbonation that can have a severe side effect on your body. While we spend our time confined in the vicinity of our house and away from the gym, consuming Soda can add twenty pounds to your weight, given our sedentary lifestyle. Even the so-called diet soda is not a promising alternative; Diet soda does the same; it adds weight to your body.
Furthermore, Soda is the worst if not the worst drink for people that are pre-diabetic or have diabetes. Soda can reduce your sperm count and can have an impact on your pregnancy. So being frugal who searches for economic value in every way possible, I tend to avoid Soda at all times.
So, while many different people chose to manage their lifestyles differently during the Pandemic, I prefer frugality, it might sound parsimonious, but it sure does have a sound economic value. I believe that it is best to make sound and smart choices with our hard-earned money; we never know when and how an uncertain event such as the Pandemic will come around to overturn our lives.
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Disclaimer: The thoughts shared in the post below are simply a representation of my views and opinion and should not be construed as any financial advice. Please consult a financial professional before making any real financial decision that impacts your life.