Eight Principles to improve your Buying Decisions

An oriental basar is a good place to train your buying skills. (seen in Safranbolu, Black Sea, Turkey)

Found an interesting article on the art of spending money the right way. (link to PDF)

I think it’s good to remember that money can be a great tool on the way to happiness, provided you use it in the right way (which most people don’t).

Here are their findings, principles you should stick to when spending your money:
(All findings are underpinned by experiments and studies,  details see article, my comments in italics)

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A Non-Downshifter’s problems whilst lunching.

Did the guys that lived here think about their “performance”?! (seen in South France)

Another funny story (or is it sad?) from the world of “high-performing” Non-Downshifters:

Today I was at lunch with a very nice and intelligent colleague.
She is a mother of two and quickly we came to childcare, and her biggest current worry:

School will start in 1 year for her older boy.

Well, ok, “one year is far away, so why do you worry already?” was my first thought.

However, she and her partner are both working full-time and are quite career oriented, lot of over-time, business trips and stuff. Also sure a huge pile of income (she is hierarchically above Woodpecker, he is probably way beyond any normal guy’s income).

Well, granted (we should hopefully be beyond materialistic jealousy already).
However, this was how basically our conversation went :

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Poem: The Man in the Glass

Unfortunately, parental leave is over, the grim work-life has Woodpecker back again. My hope was that my boss would need a week or so to notice that I am back, but obviously he’s more organized than I thought. 😉
Thus a lot to do currently, but I fight hard to preserve my daily share of downshifting…

Therefore, today “only” a piece of poetry, but an absolute excellent one and one of my all time favorites.


The Man in the Glass
(by Dale Wimbrow)   Continue reading

Interesting Facts from Happiness Research – Part One: Income, Growth and Work

As there are many U.S. readers around, in addition to German happiness distribution, here the picture for the U.S. (click to enlarge)

Today, some more scientific facts on happiness:

Here  is a very good introduction to this field of research for those of you who want to know more detail:

The World Happiness Report

(all quotes below are from this study)

Let’s start with the most central argument for the downshifter-community:

Money / Materialism

…or more specifically: More money does not necessarily mean more happiness.

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Happiness and age

Happiness in Germany (click to enlarge)- Hamburg and Niedersachsen on top, driven by “healthy attitude towards life”, according to German happiness atlas (including other graphics).

An interesting finding of happiness research is the correlation between average levels of happiness and age.

Spontaneously, when you would have asked me 20 years ago how this correlation would look like, I’d have said that happiness is high when you are young, and decreases drastically when you are getting older.
Because, hey, everybody wants to be young, you are so free and glorious when you are young (shine on you crayz diamond, Pink Floyd; Forever Young, Alphaville; and so on), but when you are getting older you constantly loose your freedom and open minded spirit.

And then, at some point of time, OMG: You are getting old (A fearful thougth when you are 18. But happily sooo far away…):

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Happiness comes unexpected

A simple hike in the mountains might provide a better happiness boost than a new TV. (pic taken close to Füssen, Bavaria)

A very short and maybe unspectacular post, but I had to note down an observation before going to bed…

Spent the afternoon at the local playground with the kids. In the beginning I was not that motivated to go, because, you know, it’s always the same playground, and sometimes you just are too lazy to get your ass out of the door.

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