Minimalimus and the stresses of the job

Let me take a brief look back. I made my first payment into the pension fund when I was 17, 43 years ago. Here's a screenshot:

On the screenshot you can see my first payments into the statutory pension fund 43 years ago. Gross earnings were then 1136,83 DM (581,25€) per month for a full time job. Elsewhere, it says the total adds up to 0.2599 pension points. According to the current status, this would be monthly 8.88 € – after all ..

At that time I had a helper position in a kindergarten, so it was a kind of paid pre-internship, which I needed for the following kindergarten teacher training. I was really lucky. Many professional years later, followed by another two and a half years of social education studies. Otherwise: Work, work, work… The list of years in which I have paid into the statutory pension fund is now 3 A4 pages long. Such ideas as sabbaticals did not exist in the past. My salary was also not so that I could have saved that seriously. I'm sure I'd still come up with more today. I just did not have this idea at the time.

Simply k.o.

The many years of work have always taken their toll on me. Of the 40 or so years I've been working, about half the time I've had to deal with any waves of cuts in the social sector. There was a lot of talk about quality, meant saving money. Something like this eventually wears you out and wears you down, because of course people's problems aren't getting any less. On the contrary. In the spring of this year nothing worked. I had a period of sickness for several months. Allergies and intolerances went "through the roof." Besides some food allergies, everything looks like a histamine intolerance. I've probably been walking around with this all my life, asked doctors umpteen times, never got an answer. I just used to be able to put this away better than I can today.

The pension ideas floating around from certain people…

Whoever talks about retirement at the age of 70 should please also talk about how people who started their careers comparatively early and then stayed with it are supposed to get to this limit over so many decades in any kind of health at all. And don't come to me now with recommendations for back exercises, relaxation courses or fitness tips so that roofer Muller can still juggle heavy roof tiles on roofs at the age of 69, or so that the governess can still sit on children's chairs, crawl across construction carpets and run after the toddler at the age of almost 70. (By the way: Where is the employers' liability insurance association??) Who has no really suitable answers, should simply hold back with such suggestions and finally think more seriously about sensible alternatives.

And dear young high earners: save your money if you can. This makes sense. Be aware, however, that it does not work for everyone and that there is no single solution. And: time is the most valuable resource. If you don't notice the awakening nature in spring, you will eventually have the feeling to spend your whole life like in a cold-wet winter. A very dull perspective on life. Who does not see his children grow up, for example, because he/she always only works and saves money, will notice sometime in life how much he/she has missed out on. The well-filled bank account cannot bring back missed time.

What really helps me..

1. Working time reduced

In the meantime, I work on a 40% part-time position. Unfortunately, still often changing in time and therefore not very uniform. I hope I still manage to improve this further. It is nevertheless very pleasant, because I simply have more regeneration time that I can use for myself.

2. No stress in your free time

What helps me is the minimalist lifestyle. Just no hours of cleaning and tidying orgies, no time pressure, no stress of experiences after work or on weekends.

3. Minimalist financial planning

Working for consumer clunkers: not with me! Any leasing or credit rates I do not have. Streaming subscriptions and all the electronic entertainment monsters don't come into my 1-bedroom co-op apartment. Tablet and smartphone are enough for me. My prepaid annual tariff costs me on the month converted 4,58€, the 20MB Internet line at home monthly 11,99€ (it is an old tariff, now no longer available). I do not use a landline phone. I purchase green power and green gas through a small cooperative that has been in the market for many years. This is significantly cheaper than the cheapest (non-eco) rate from the local provider. Within a radius of just under 1 km I count about 11 car sharing cars, public transport is relatively well developed here in the corner. I walk all distances up to 2 or 3 km anyway. An own car would be nonsense. In my kitchen there are only 4 electrical appliances for eating and drinking: refrigerator, hotplates, hand blender, coffee grinder. The coffee grinder has lasted for quite a few years, so of course I use it. Basically, however, applies to me in the meantime: Where there are no electrics, no electrics will break down.

The broadcasting fee was recently increased, so my fixed costs now average 406.60€ per month – this already includes the cost of this website. Housing is usually one of the most expensive items next to a car. Rents are also rising here in the Ruhr area, but they are still well below the rents of z.B. Cologne, Berlin or Munich. Optimized fixed costs mean I have more money available for variable expenses. For example, it allows me to afford higher-quality food or, if needed, better-quality clothing or household equipment.

4. Live more relaxed

Minimalism means for me to live more consumption-conscious and relaxed. I don't have to sit in an empty, top-designed apartment with white walls and chicly arranged green plants on the floor and count 100 pieces around me to do this. 😉

It is more important for me to feel into myself again and again, in order to grasp more and more exactly what I really need. Real needs instead of chasing trends, fads and opinions. Such a lifestyle relaxes me because it means a lot of freedom. It's fun for me, makes me feel more balanced. I don't have to keep up in this over-excited consumer world and can concentrate on my real needs. Hopefully this will continue to give me new energy for my last years of work.

The data usage of my prepaid plan in not quite 6 months:
63 phone units and 1.1 GB of mobile Internet – at least half of the mobile Internet because I forgot to switch to WLAN at home 😂. Not shown in the screenshot are the 10 text messages I sent. Where it is possible, I prefer to do a video chat from home. I don't have to be online or available by phone all the time and everywhere, but only when it's really important. – So if anyone knows a yearly rate with 200 phone units and 3 GB Internet – keep me informed!