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The Origins of Frugality

How did it all start?

Most certainly, Frugality or Simple Living has been part of every society. As opposed to abundance, when one lives life without limitations, Frugality was then necessary because of poor harvests. Therefore, the idea of saving for the future, in case of shortage, has always been a concern. However, more than often, such scarcity was interpreted as a divine punishment.

A Philosophic and Spiritual Answer :

As early as 1500 B.C, Frugality or Simple Living stretches back to the Orient. Leaders such as Zarathustra in Persia, Buddha in India, Laozi and Confucius in China advocate to live simply. Frugality is also heavily stressed in both Greco-Roman culture and Judeo Christian ethicsDiogenes, a major figure in the ancient Greek philosophy of Cynicism, claims that a Simple Life is necessary for virtue. It was said the Diogenes lived in a wine jar.

  • Zarathustra

Since then, for centuries, Christian groups have practiced lifestyles in which some forms of wealth or technology are excluded for religious or philosophical reasons. These Groups include the Shakers, Mennonites, Amish, Hutterites, Amana Colonies, Bruderhof, Old German Baptist Brethren, Harmony Society and some Quakers. Indeed, there is a Quaker belief, called Testimony of Simplicity, which states that a person must live her or his life simply.

A Secular Answer :

Based on the  teachings of the Athens-based philosopher Epicurus, from the 4th Century BC to the 3rd Centry AD, Epicureanism flourished. It advocates living an untroubled life as the paradigm of happiness, by carefully considering each choice.


Specifically, Epicurus points out that troubles entail by maintaining an extravagant lifestyle :  it tends to outweigh the pleasure of partaking in it. According to him, what is necessary for happiness, bodily comfort, and life itself should be maintained at minimal cost. All things beyond what is necessary  should either be tempered by moderation or completely avoided.

Here is an outline of Epicurus itinerary (please click on his name for a popup to appear)

Many Other Answers :

From Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Henry David Thoreau until Gary Snyder, Ted Trainer and Janet Luhrs, Naomi Klein or Pierre Rahbi, and last but not least Friedrich Nietzsche, many explored the need for Frugality in  one’s life.

  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

That is why Frugality  has indeed its entire place in the adventure of FloatYourHomeBerlin. Soon another answer to complete the whole idea of Frugality.


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