The animal age we live in requires many people to take action.
We need to be more frugal, reduce consumption and say no more.
Boring and true for many – but actually more difficult to implement than one might think.
– “It takes a day to return to luxury, but it takes a lifetime to return,” said an acquaintance, says Thorgeir Kolshus, social anthropologist at OsloMet.
But now he fully believes that a financial detox is necessary.
– He says we are facing the worst economic crisis in 50 years.
According to Finanstilsynet, the outlook for the Norwegian economy is now very uncertain.
Disruptions in the supply chain weakened growth prospects and contributed to a sharp rise in price inflation globally. A report in June.
Ola Honningdal Grytten, professor of economic history at NHH, points out that both Norway and the West have gone through a period when they spent more money on value creation.
– It creates inflation and debt. So, he says, there are many signs that we are now entering a recession that will be deeper and last longer than usual.
Even in the “richest country in the world”, high household debt and high property prices make the economy very vulnerable. Finanstilsynet believes.
The predictions are dire, and as a result many consumer economists have urged private individuals to take action.
Why is it still so hard to start cleaning up your own finances by taking the predictions seriously?
In a moment
Kolchus believes that it is difficult to take the economic downturn we are facing completely seriously. He justifies this by saying that we can look back on decades of growth and therefore expect that period to be temporary.
– We have grown up with the world always moving forward. There have been some setbacks like financial crisis or pandemic, but our lives have always gradually improved on a material level.
He believes many of us have gotten into the habit of buying what we want, whenever we want, without saving.
– We could travel the world and buy anything we wanted without looking at the prices. “We forget that it’s not a sure thing, and we forget to be grateful for what we have in our search for something better, more convenient, or easier,” says Kolchus.
According to the social anthropologist, we face an autumn and winter with high electricity bills, but also a long-term economic crisis that will last for years.
– There is a high probability that these eternal ascensions are over. This crisis cuts deep. As economists have pointed out, these problems cannot be overcome without prolonging the crisis, Kolshus says.
Norwegians generally have poor purchasing power, which he believes shakes up our entire understanding of how things are connected.
– It’s hard to take two steps back. We have to prioritize much harder than we’re used to, and he believes we’ll end up in a bit of an existential crisis, both as individuals and on a societal level.
In a moment
Maybe you already feel it.
A part of you will come to your senses, cut back on consumption and stay tight. But there’s that other part of you that wants to enjoy the summer, make up for what’s been lost since the pandemic, and fight back.
– We often experience that dilemma. It’s life and learning and what we know is right, but what we really want. Now that feeling is more urgent, says Kolchus.
He believes that adults in particular have the biggest problems with getting fit.
– Young people like it easier, because lifestyles are not as settled – perhaps.
Regardless of whether you realize you need to screw up or live as before, the advice is there.
Predicts structural change
Economist Ola Honningdal Cretan believes that we have spent an enormous amount of money from oil and that cannot continue.
– We have to face the fact that we will not reap the same amount of income from oil and gas. We cannot have a government that always comes with crisis packages. Then we have war, which leads to more uncertainty, he says.
Critton believes the economic downturn will be significant. He justifies this by saying that less production and consumption of fossil fuels would require structural changes in the economy, which could contribute to lower growth.
– If you adjust and continue as before, there will be big problems.
He believes that if society instead adapts to the times we live in, the majority will do better in Norway.
– I wouldn’t switch to canning because I think it’s fine for most people. But we cannot expect to continue to skyrocket for the next ten years as we did, unless we find new gold.
Concerned about mental health problems
Psychologist Maria Abrahamson recommends people take action at good times to avoid financial stress.
– He believes that for many, it is dangerous to maintain the same financial habits despite the increased costs and rising prices in society.
Abrahamson worries that many will realize too late.
– We are having a good time and all our basic needs are met. Making quality-of-life changes and suddenly budgeting for these things can be difficult, she says.
Fortunately, the psychologist believes that humans are adaptable, so it’s important that we start preparing now.
– A tight economy can affect psychological public health, as financial problems coincide with psychological problems, he says.
This is how you start
Abrahamson believes that to begin with a lifestyle change, it is important to first come to terms with yourself.
– Ask yourself: “What will my future look like”?
– Then: “What is important to me, and what can I give up?”
She believes that by prioritizing something in everyday life, adjustment doesn’t have to be difficult.
Abrahamsen believes talking openly with friends and family about your desire to take action can also be beneficial.
– There is pressure to buy in society, many things you do together are expensive. It’s a good idea to talk to people around you about doing things together that don’t cost a lot.
– Great uncertainty
When asked if there are any positive aspects to the fall, social anthropologist Thorgeir Kolshus is relatively tight-lipped.
– For the climate, it will be good. If it teaches us to appreciate closer things more. At the same time, it’s a small consolation when you realize that you have to choose between staying at least 19 degrees in the room and eating dinner.
He believes that the geopolitical situation with war and conflict adds to the uncertainty going forward.
– I find it a little difficult to see the positive aspects of the times we live in because I feel there is so much uncertainty and reason for worry. But I believe I am wrong.
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