Consumerism - Household debt and embracing minimalism

Except if you become an influencer yourself! :stuck_out_tongue:
Even that, that’s true that an influencer could feel down because he “succeeds less” than another influencer or has less followers (suffers from comparison to others) or critics from society.

Social media are there at the right time:
When I’m bored, when I feel down.

For ex: when I’m bored, I go on Instagram.
Between my subscriptions (cooking or quote of the day or my relatives photos), they show me products or experiences influencers lived because I follow influencers for a type of thing they show, but in some of their other posts, they are sponsored by companies to post a pic with a product, so I got to see it (stories: they put their experience in the first pics, middle or last pics, see a product).

When I check their profile, I see experiences… and -will probably see products.

When I am bored, I feel I lack something and when I buy, I feel I have put something in that hole, like a band aid or I have diverted my boredom.

When I feel down, it is about the same. I see pics of relatives.

So in my case, it wouldn’t make me depressed, because the source of my unhappiness is in the real world that makes me want to go on Instagram to divert my attention, to see people smiling or living incredible experiences.

Insta knows my interest centers.

That’s it! Social group. To go against the social group or codes (implicit or explicit) is difficult.
We need to feel we belong to or be recognized.

I have this question. Imagine you bought the last Iphone, the Louis Vuitton bag, but you don’t have the Porsche. It’s the car you dream of since childhood.
You don’t have enough money.
You have 2 options: take a loan and buy the car of your dream, even if you don’t eat for some days or reduce your coffee shots or work overtime, but you will feel “happy”. Or don’t buy it and you will still dream of it.

How do you pick, according to what type of character you have?

To feel a sense of security or to be part of the group or to upgrade the status, how far can sb go?

I think that external signs come from internal events or feelings that are complex to analyse, without knowing that person’s background or what made him that way.

What do you mean by that?
The survival instinct might kick in before the value of character for some ppl? Or not lol

It depends on the situation.
For ex, my nephew lives in another country, I can’t often see him, so I make video calls. I hope I can see him more.
For us to speak on this forum, I can’t phone call or meet!

But on the other part, computer, phones and mails make us more connected so limits between personal life and pro life have become blurry for me. So yeah, it feels more inhumane, in the sense it has extended my time in front of the screen (alone and not with people I want to meet like friends or family).

Without hierarchy, would it be anarchy? What type(s) of hierarchy?
I’ve never been to India and I don’t know a lot about this country. From what I heard of, people know or learn to know the cast they are born in, because other casts would likely make them remember.

Social Media, I used to have Facebook etc, but deleted them, I didn’t realize the weight lifted and the impact they had on me after 1-2 weeks of social media sobriety. To test this out you only need to not use any social media for a month and then examine how you feel before, during and after. If social media has a positive effect on your life, go back, if negative get out. I would argue that with depression and other health issues, it depends very much on your personality and life situation, how big of an negative/positive impact these services will have on you.

My society’s hierarchy is almost completely flat (there’s still no anarchy), I could tell my boss anything in almost anyway possible. It is true what @qapnguyen_28 is saying about India’s caste system, though from Indians that I have talked to, the situation is changing and the strength caste system varies depending on where in India you are. Plus it used to be a formal system, but to my knowledge has been written out of the legal books.

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That’s what I feel too. There is no single use of social media and single effect for all the population.
It depends on how people use them and who they are. Sb I know also stopped FB because she felt she compared herself with others. It woke up something unpleasant in her. She was not conscious of it when she was using it for a good while.

We got to know what is compatible with ourselves.
It is difficult to know oneself totally and it needs time (between the time she used it and between the time she realized what she was doing).
Sth not compatible with A might be with B.

India has a particular system.
I don’t know this system well. I wouldn’t compare it with my country for that reason, but also because it seems from what I know different.

What type of hierarchy are we talking about?

In a organization like a company, what we call “hierarchy” seems to be centralisation of certain powers, because that would be not managable that everyone decides for 1 thing. Also because before deciding, people need knowledge and experience in a field to be able to make the “best estimated” decision.

But for company, there are different types of hierarchy, more or less flexible depending on their size, their activity… different factors that will push a company to adopt one type of organization so it is more efficient.

What about army organization (like in Total War Hammer!)?

For society, is it not the same? Aren’t we a group of humans where decisions need to be taken in the scale of the country, of the region, of the city, of the building?
It’s a question.

Is there an organization in each society that makes it a society?
Can we talk about a “society” without organization?
What’s the difference between “organization” and “hierarchy”?
Can we say that in a country, there is no “hierarchy” or no “organization” or more like in companies, there is an organization but it is more horizontal than vertical?

Social hierarchy pretty much is flat, while ofc there’s titles etc. But those are mostly seen as a designation of responsibility, rather than status. Though this is not universal across the economy, with some industries having more towards old-school social hierarchies, but overall companies tend to lean towards no or very little social hierarchy and titles designating responsibilities rather than status. My colleague has a temper and so does my boss, so they tend to go at it from time to time, pretty normal. While my understanding of some Asian cultures, where hierarchy is both a division of labor and social, as an example, you often see in kdrama ppl bowing and using titles rather than first names etc.

That link with the 7 organisations, those exist and I studied them previously. They exist, but mentioned above, there are many dimensions to a “hierarchy”, which imo, those models don’t necessarily approach, such as social hierarchy and how it relates to the organisational hierarchy. As an example of what I’m talking about, if we take " 1. Hierarchical org structure"; in a society with a strong social hierarchy, someone in a lower position might not dare to criticize or bring up innovative ideas due to the person above has a certain role in society or authority which should not be challenged. While the same organizational structure with a flat social structure would allow for ideas to flow more freely up and down the same organizational structure.

Sure, the army has very strict social and organizational structures. One of the few examples that I’m familiar with here.

Society is the group of ppl within a countries borders and their common culture and values. imo. A “community” would be a smaller sub section in a society.

Imo, already on a mental level, when ppl think/feel they belong to a certain group, they tend to seek to make decisions that affect all of them, thus creating some form of rudimentary organization, where a member might be more likely to lesten to someone from the same group instead of a random person. Though some places may be super corrupt etc. which may negate things like this when individuals make decisions for them self only.

Also: " Regardless, social groups come in a myriad of sizes and varieties. For example, a society can be viewed as a large social group."

After thinking a bit, I have to edit/add that; on a rudimentary level I would say that a sociaty and organization is indistinguishable. In that if we had a social group called “Viki people”, then there would be an identity in every members mind that I belong to this group. But the moment you move on from this these 2 things split. If the Viki people then decided to establish a country “Vikiland”, then the laws, organisations(companies, governments etc) would fall under ‘tools of society’, in other words methods of regulating stuff amongs Viki people. While the society part would be more abstract and consist of the feelings, social norms, values, common interests etc of this society. If 2 random ppl from this where to go for a coffee, they might instantly have something in common, such as interest in kdrama, while if one Viki person met a non-viki person there might be more barriers to get a conversation going, thus affecting Viki society’s perception of others and vice versa, which may have real long-term effects.

There are hierarchies and organizations, but the nature of them is different from place to place.

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I have to say that I didn’t understand everything or the lead from an idea to another, because I don’t understand what definition you give to some terms and I would need a context or a basis from what is said to be sure I understood correctly your idea :smile:

I might need to stop you each time which might not be convenient in a forum to have this sort of communication. Let’s not buy the Porsche!

What do you mean?

They become different things.

Ask away. :slight_smile: In fact I think if something is unclear in what I said, it would be easier for me to give a better answer if I knew what was not understood. :slight_smile: Also, I guess it doesn’t make communications any easier when English is a foreign language :slight_smile:

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It’s fine! That will be taking too much time, I will make you rephrase it differently many times until I get what you mean and sometimes as if you’re talking to a 5-year-old child. The format is not convenient to have that sort of stop and go discussion on this topic.

Aww, if you wish so it’s ok :slight_smile: , I do enjoy discussion and I usually don’t try to not to ‘talk down to people’, though I have IT customer support in my backbone so it might sound that I’m talking in such a way when I don’t mean to :slight_smile:

However, to relate things back to household debt and minimalism, I wonder what effect something like the Indian cast system has on the broader topic? If you are lower in a hierarchy are you more likely to take on debt?

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Thank you for being very understanding!!

Mmm… I don’t really know why the hierarchy and Indian caste were brought up, I thought of going along :rofl:
Maybe it was a new idea Qap wanted to develop? I don’t really know!

I don’t know the conditions for loans in India.
I think general conditions in any country must take into account the revenue, the job, the household, the medical history, the recovery chance…

People would take on debt for buying a house, buying a car or tuition or medical treatments?

In general, I think if the revenue is low, the access to education is difficult, the tax is high and the State functions are limited for all classes of population, it will be difficult for people who have the least revenue to have access to education, to have a decent house or flat, to have enough to buy healthy food every day, to buy treatments if sick… + if they have in charge many children or grandparents that can’t work anymore (no revenue).

So if the expenses are higher than the revenue and they have basic needs that have to be taken care of (hospital treatment for ex) and the treatments are expensive, they have to take on debts if they are eligible.
They can’t let their children or their grandparents die.
It would be difficult to be able to pay for an extra tuition for example.

The case I talk about can’t be reproduced in every country, it depends on the system.
The conditions were “If the tax is high, if the state financial help is reduced to, if infrastructures are…”

Depends on how the state is funded, built, who is leading and also the culture, the step of development the country is in.

After, we don’t know who the people buying PS5 or new Nvidia graphic card on eBay are, the parents’ revenue or maybe they saved up?
People spend the money they gain the way they want. If they want to please their kids… It’s parents’ behaviour.
Resellers goal is to make profit.

It’s the word “essential”. What is essential, according to whom?
If ppl don’t have the same definition of “essential”, it would be difficult to understand their choice.

@qapnguyen_28 also talks about people learning to deal with these things as part of their education. Personally the biggest teacher has been life, when you have to chose to eat or buy the next shiny thing and having to get by with little and thus enjoy the little things in life. Though schools should include a economics as part of their curriculum, here it’s sort of baked into math, with the focus on math rather than economics. Education can’t be the only solution, I remember to have seen research many years back that showed the parents effect on their child’s future economics.
Reckless spending by parents stands a risk to be inherited.

Not only that the society part that we talked about earlier is important, if getting a car is a status symbol, then more people might be more willing to take debt in order to get this. I think that this is actually a big part of the problem in the west, where our parents often own their homes, cars etc. and the children then want to strive to the same. Thus we should have a bigger talk on a society level about ‘is it reasonable’ to live like our parents.

Also, there are often associations between money/success and education, so in many countries where education costs lots of money, people might think of it as a smart investment. Though a high education in these days might not always be worth the ‘investment’

So what is “essential” is subjective and isn’t the same as “need”. For me, I always ask ‘do I need X?’, if I already have a slightly older phone then I won’t buy, until my phone breaks (which is most often the case) or it gets so slow that it is unusable etc. Thus I think we should maybe talk about need rather than essential :slight_smile:

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There are many factors, such as the environment and as you said, parents. Even before we are born, if parents take drugs or alcohol or smoke, our physical and cerebral development are not the same in the womb.

If we live in an environment where we have nutritional deficiencies because the income is not enough to support daily necessities or where growing children are left hungry and can’t concentrate at school, where parents have multiple jobs and can’t take care of children, if parents come from another country and didn’t get the opportunity to pursue their studies and so can’t help their children for a math problem or learning the language, if parents can’t afford to ask for a tutor’s service to help their children or access to books because it is expensive or the library is not near their home, if children live in a neighborhood or attend a school where there is a high rate of delinquency…

We are not born equal in terms of chances or money or opportunities to learn or just in general in front of life. We are confronted to more difficulties from the beginning.
Unlike Monopoly, we don’t begin our life with the same amount of money or the same chance, one can begin with $10 K and afford a tutor, attends the best school with the best teachers and researchers and is allowed to make mistakes of judgement whereas another one would begin with $300 and can’t afford to make a single mistake or attend college.

We don’t pick our parents, we don’t pick where we come from and the chance to overcome them is… thin for most people. It will depend on a lot of things, such as how the education system was built or the medical access or is there a minimum wage, how much, what kind of help is provided to people with the least income, how parents can support their children…
It depends on the country “Monopoly’s rules”.

The property investment is cited.
The study you gave shows that there are more wealth inequalities by age, the younger ones being home owners later than their parents or grand parents or grand grand parents.

We would need to study different factors, such as the housing market evolution, the interest rate evolution, income evolution in which sector, the inflation rate compared to the income, the other services evolution in price… A part of the population might have more income, but next to it, what happened to houses prices or prices of other commodities? In which proportion? Which part of the population?

I think that economy management is possible for one part of the population, if they have the income to manage it.

If their parents don’t have this income and they can’t afford to go to college and at the end of the month, they can’t save up, what can they do?
There are parents who are struggling with multiple works so they can pay the rent, the canteen for their children, for the car insurance, for their back pain from working, for groceries with $10 for 5 meals and wish to gift their one child a PS5 for Christmas. It’s not because they are lazy and don’t work or spend not carefully.

For these people, they can’t even own private pensions, income taxation as small business owner, or anything in that sort, they need the capital first and their children too.

Minimalism is something that someone picked willingfully. It’s not imposed by someone.
It is not possible for a part of the population because it’s not minimalism, it’s what I would call privation of things that they shouldn’t private themselves of, it’s basic necessities. Even if they applied minimalism, they might not be able to get enough income for basic necessities.

That’s why I think minimalism is a concept, but can’t applied in all circunstances and by everyone. It depends on their situation.
People I heard of that picked minimalism, I think they have already known a standard of living and realized something to make them change their way of life.

It depends on the type of player of Monopoly. Education might be the only chance or a good beginning for a good part of the population to maybe not what others would call “success”, but to less worries or to more well being.

How do you define success?

Do you mean basic needs, basic necessities?

These are questions a certain type of population can think of, while on the other hand, a part of the population doesn’t get to have this question and it is sad to say it.

I would better change the system and infrastructures, so if they receive this money management course, they would be able to apply it one day. Like a card to help a type of Monopoly’s players due to their circunstances and this can only come from the state.

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You can choose to either pay for subscription or spend X hours of your life without getting paid for a company that is only interested in making profit…

So many things in life do always have two sides at once.

(If you compare the amount of money a VIKI pass costs and the amount of time the volunteers that keep this page running you’ll see that for most people in countries like the USA, Europe… it’ll be much easier to pay the subscription instead of spending their work craft for free; depending on the work/life/effort/reward/balance aspect).

Many organisations really need volunteers for their work but it is such a big difference if it is for a greater goal like helping people (homeless, poor kids, nature, animals…) or doing it for a company that is focused on making more and more money.


That’s why I like the concept of a welfare state, for right or wrong, children get free meals in a free education school system, because even my country used to be piss poor (until the 1950s-1980 depending on how you count), even though today it might be hard to believe. (without going deeper into that, I think that would break the community rules that ban political topics) :S … Hopefully I’m not in trouble for that…

True, I could have had better once, but I still turned out ok, even though a little odd (man watching kdrama as an example) xD

I remember seeing studies that showed money is essentially worth less today than in the 1950’s 60’s etc. Education etc. are more expensive. Someone in their 50’s today might have been able to work full-time while studying, and pay their way through school woth very little or no student debt, while this is not possible in USA today. Already from this alone, a person with no student debt will have more disposable income after the education and be able to invest that money.

True, even then they might not have the know-how to do it. For example, if someone has lot’s of spare money, and have no idea of how to invest, they can lose that money. Though, I think at the end of the day this is relatively easy if you do your homework regarding the investment options, but not everyone has the possibility.

True. though I prefer the simple life over minimalism life that I mentioned earlier. I think one is allowed some ‘luxury’ within reason. Say, buy a second hand PS4 instead of PS5 if the game you want (say GTA V) is available on the earlier model. I often do this, I look for second hand stuff and buy new only when I can’t find any reasonable second hand alternative.

That’s the thing, the answer varies form country/society to society. Also, the economy, culture and legal system may be such i country A that you can just start a company after watching a bunch of youtube videos on video game programming and then you get going. While in country B the only way to get this work is to find an existing company that might hire you, because starting your own company without a masters degree would be hell. ETC ETC.

People in a country like the US, might think of success as accumulating as much money and wealth as possible, even if it means they work 60H/week, this was what I was thinking of. While I personally define success as being happy with life, shit the same if I am rich/poor, Famous/never heard of person etc. etc. Also I’ve noticed that this can be culture dependent, in Korea there is one notion of success which is different from a tribe living in the Amazon rain forest to America to Finland and so on.

Basic necessities like food, warmth etc. but also things you need to get by in society, such as language. It is true that poverty is a serious limiting factor, having had a poor background, having access to free services from the state has given me hope of a better future, plus saved the money that I had by removing those things as things I would have otherwise had to spend money on or found a way to live without, say like healthcare. In other places of the globe a poor person isn’t so lucky.

Which is why I posted this in another thread; [quote=“mattlock, post:19, topic:31622”]

“None so poor that one couldn’t help, nor none so rich that one wouldn’t need help.” A reflection of a Finnish mindset and a common saying.
Something people have learnt, in a society we need each other and we need the rich to pay more taxes when times are good, but the rich might also need the poor. I dislike the opposite attitudes I sometimes hear where people complain about the rich or the rich complain about the poor and selfishness runs supreme. In order to make things better everyone in a society is needed to get that change :slight_smile:


I’ve read several books on minimalism and living simply. It’s not super easy to follow my ideal minimalist life due to having a husband and 4 kids that feel like they need ALL THE THINGS. Small steps are super important though. Goodbye Things by Fumio Sasaki is actually one of my favorite books. Clutterfree with Kids by Joshua Becker is another good one for people with children. The Minimalists podcast is super good to listen to while working out. I have a daily routine that I really enjoy that keeps me from being drawn into compulsive shopping. Viki really helps eat up that extra time I spend at home now.


How was Finland without going into politics and how is it now?

You can just describe your country or the history.

My dad watch them!
I made one cousin watch with me Splish Splash Love.
There are horrors, thrillers or suspense Kdramas.
Regardless of the country, if we find the content to our taste, totally fine :joy:

As a complement to this study, another study: before, 1 income was necessary in a household to live decently above a threshold, now 2 incomes are necessary in a household (for most people).

It’s not the current trend in general for some parts of the world. But Finland from what I read has good welfare?
Some parents don’t have enough money for breakfast at school but only for lunch, so there are some teachers who pay with their own wages or try to get another job to pay their class’ breakfast or school supplies.

Yeah, I think it’s a choice. There are many things one could live without, but one cannot.

People will complain if their taxes are raised :laughing:

If everyone accepts any condition, some people would like to take advantage. We can’t explain big inequalities otherwise.
When some people live under the poverty threshold in the 21st century in developed cities or countries of the world, they cannot say nothing or have nothing to say. That would be like everything is fine.
That might be perceived as complaining, I don’t know. We would need to see why they speak loudly or complain.

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I’ll try to keep it short :smiley:. Essentially, 1918 there is a bloody class war/civil war, 1939 the Winter War happens. Up until this point the income inequality was massive, most people where peasants living in similar conditions to many poor peasants today in other countries. While Western Europe had industrialized, Finland had very modest industry. Until the Winter War there where bitter divides between income classes and also peasants, industry workers, middle class and the elite. The winter war united everybody, it was either we die or fight united. This spirit was called the spirit of the winter war, this where be key in the 1940-1970 when starting to build the foundations of modern Finland, since former enemies now had a bigger understanding and willingness to enact policies that benefited everyone.

Finland’s economy started to grow after the war, due to the Soviets demanding repatriations in goods, this forced an expansion of the industry and by ~1952 a majority of people had moved to cities to mainly work in the industry. In 1960 the gdp/c was 1175$ (source:
After which different services where gradually built up, with education playing a key role in the growth and lessening income inequality.

Yes this is the thing, it’s why I think welfare is important to this topic of consumerism, debt and minimalism. Here it’s written into the constitution that the government guarantees a minimum living standard for every citizen, this includes a roof over ones head and food on the table. So assuming I mess up my life by overspending and becoming indebted, I will never see the ‘old style’ poverty, so I will have the opportunity to make mistakes in my life and learn from them without it ruining my life totally, sure you still need to figure out how to pay back loans, but at least your not hungry and on the street. Thus a person from this example might next learn to live a minimalist or simple life, maybe even by necessity.

To the question of does Finland have a good welfare state, many Finns might complain, but in comparison I think it’s one of the best. Unemployment, education, healthcare etc is taken care of. I don’t need health insurance. Contrary to popular belief not all these this are completley free, but do cost “pocket change” and for the poorest the government even pays that portion. You can get 700-800€/month as an unemployed person, which may sound a lot, but most people are left with 10-50€ left at the end of the month after living expenses, food, rent, elecricity etc. so you don’t get enough for an new iPhone each month. There are no tuition fees and most people have very little student debt in comparison to the US. etc.

Hehe :smiley: (in Finnish). 83% of Finns think they get their moneys worth from paying taxes. I think we are one of the few places that like paying tax xD

I agree :slight_smile:

I feel like I managed to put my tiny nation into undeserved focus, what about where your from? How easy would it be to adopt a minimalist lifestyle? Are you trying to go for this type of lifestyle?
I myself strive to live simply as stated before, I tend to use stuff until they break. I would simply need to become unemployed if I want to force a minimalist lifestyle on myself :smiley: Though my family would pester me to get a new job :smiley:


Why undeserved? Finland is great, so why not let the world know about it? :slight_smile:

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I feel I tend to be proud of what the country has achieved, I think someone else might think it’s not considerate of other places. Plus there are a lot we still can learn from others as well.

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Who were the former enemies? Who was the winner of Winter War?
Finland was part of USSR? What is the story behind USSR being in Finland?
What happened to royalty in Finland?
Who is the most important Finn in History?

I read the 3 S: sisu, sauna and Sibelius. Are they still popular nowadays?
What are other symbols of Finland?

In Finland, there is no homeless?

All schools are free from elementary school until college?
What about kindergarten?
How is the system of taxation or retirement?

How do you see Finns?

That is incredible!

I am from France. It’s more interesting to discover new things and ppl! Myself is not new.

I have a weird view of minimalism, like monks. What is necessary in this world are not material things. Money is very material.
They meditate a lot, because spirit and making one with oneself are true wealth.

On the other hand, I like to try new things because I am curious so I consume.
If I go to the supermarket and see Japanese soda or candies I haven’t tried, I’d like to try them.
If I see a book I like, I would like to buy it to read it.
I look at the price of course while consuming, but it’s in the prospect to consume and fullfill the curiosity.

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Finland was an autonomous grand duchy of the Russian Empire from 1809-1917. During the Russian Revolution they declared themselves independant.
Before the Russian time they had been part of the Swedish Empire for a few centuries.