Journeying back to basics

MINIMAL NEEDS


When Paris Hilton embraced the Simple Life, it hit the headlines. And now post recession, the same phenomenon seems to have precipitated on a mass scale. Gone are the days when sporting blinding blings was considered trendy. The winds of recession seem to have changed all that. Now, people are fast swapping a luxurious lifestyle for a simpler or minimalistic one.

Says Nilima Sil, a content developer for an NGO, “This trend is not only more practical but also healthier, for we no longer have to ‘keep up with the Jonses’. We don’t waste our money in unnecessary expenditure and have also found cheaper substitutes for expensive necessities.”

Which means that Swarovski-encrusted cellphones with high functionality, sit pretty on the shop window. “I was planning to buy an Apple i-phone, whose prices have been slashed recently, for my birthday,” says Sai Krishna, a student. “But now-a-days, nobody thinks it’s cool to have expensive high-end gadgets, I’m actually thinking of investment,” he says.

Advait Marur, a software professional, who likes to go on exotic travel packages and organised treks, says, “The recession opened my eyes to new ways of being creative and experimental. Cutting costs, as having money, always makes you choose what’s most convenient and comfortable. For the first six months, I have been saving up for a trip of a lifetime — my friend and I plan to go on a road trip to North-East.”

This trend is also a boon to those who are setting up a new house.

“I don’t have to worry about cluttering my house with ‘stuff’ anymore, I only keep strictly what I need and discard the rest. Buying a plasma TV, even if we have the money, is no longer necessary. While house hunting, even though the property prices have come down, we prefer low cost and low maintenance options,” says Nilima.

But what about self-confessed shopaholics? Like the character of Becky Bloomberg in Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic Series, for whom a time like recession spells emotional, mental, spiritual and nervous breakdown. Says Priya Mani, who loves shopping, “Earlier I used to splurge without thinking twice. Now, although recession has not affected me, it has made me more responsible as I keep meeting people who are going through tough times and have lost jobs. I keep an account of everything I spend, and spend lavishly only once a week. Although I feel deprived at times, I am so busy that I am overall content.” This period has also brought in reformation in personal finances.

Echoes Sai Krishna, “Fortunately my pocket money has not reduced due to recession. It is the same and I am more careful and spend only strictly where I have to. When I do spend once in a while, it feels so much more satisfying.”

In the present scenario, the word ‘economy’ takes on a whole new meaning. So next time you find yourself in position to ‘economise’ remember, you’re not the only one!

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