More with Less

“Get more done with less.” An intelligent use of resources also aims to maintain balance. Germans try to avoid ‘heading down the wrong path’, especially ‘betting everything on one hand’. Instead, they try to view an individual decision in the broader context of factors and resources. Achieving more with less is a defensive approach.

Decision making latitude. Germans do their best to maintain broad latitude in their decision making, whether it be in companies, families or the government at all levels. They want to make decisions freely, not be forced to make them.

Germans strive to keep as many options open as possible, knowing well that every decision leads to action, which in turn draws on valuable resources: time, budgets, material, manpower. And because revising decisions further depletes resources, Germans try to make the right decision from the start.

Thrifty. The German people are thrifty. The national debt per person is far lower than in Europe’s southern countries and clearly lower than in the U.S.. Private household debt is considered to be a character weakness, of poor planning, an inability to manage a budget. State agencies stand ready at any time to advise German citizens on how to get their personal finances in order.

Exact calculation. Germans are known to calculate ‘with a sharp pencil’. Whether it be the mother of a family, the Chief Financial Officer of a German small-to-medium sized company or a civil servant in the local tax office, the Germans calculate precisely what costs how much, when, with what affect on the overall budget.

Germans speak of the schwäbische Hausfrau, the Swabian mother and head of the household. Swabians are known within German for being especially thrifty. They are the model for financial conservatism, for avoiding non-essentials, for holding on to their money, for saving.