'Frugalisme' - French for The Good Life

More and more French people are quitting the rat race in search of a simpler life

7 September 2018
By Connexion journalist

Living a simpler, slower lifestyle is often cited as a reason many people - Britons especially - move to France. But some people in France have taken the idea a step further.

'Frugalisme' is a growing trend in France among relatively affluent fortysomethings who, having enjoyed successful careers, have decided to give up the rat-race in favour of a less-cluttered, lower-stress life, according to Le Figaro.

The paper spoke to one couple taking up the new lifestyle trend - which has its roots in America. Both took early retirement at the age of 40 to live off their savings and investments made while in well-paid jobs following the birth of their son.

"We had a son, new priorities and different desires," they said.

Anthropologist Fanny Parisse told Le Figaro that 'frugalisme' is essentially a middle-class trend, and symptomatic of the evolution of society in which 'social success' is no longer defined in terms of professional success.

The idea of frugalisme is to cut out 'unnecessary' expenses and lead a modest and healthy lifestyle, cut down on waste and live as self-sufficiently as possible. Advocates live permanently below their means until they reach a point at which they are financially independent and able to stop work in favour of a less-stressful life. Many of those who choose the lifestyle take up volunteer work to keep busy.

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