6 “Necessities” I No Longer Need Since Moving To Europe | Making it Work


Making It Work is brought
to you by Wealthsimple, which gives everyone access to
simple, affordable investing on cruise control. [PAGES SHUFFLE] I’m from a suburban
town in Maryland, and I’ve been living in Europe–
first France, now Spain– for almost 4 years now. I wasn’t raised in a
McMansion but definitely in a green lawn suburb,
where the pantry overflowed with prepackaged foods
and bottled waters. Our central air was
always freezing in summer, and I drove pretty
much everywhere, including to the gym, where I
would sit on a stationary bike. And when I moved
into my apartment in a medium-sized city,
takeout was a frequent reality, as was meeting at bars
instead of people’s houses. I know all these things are
common, if not universal, for most people I
know from America. Or at least those who grew up
middle to upper middle class. And I think we can
all agree that we could stand to cut back
on some of the things that we think we need. I feel like we don’t often
question our way of life, or realize just how often we
deem things necessities when they’re actually luxuries. And, for me, that
mentality really changed when I started
living in Europe and confronting my lifestyles. It’s been amazing for my
finances and overall happiness to let go of things I realized
I don’t need, or treat them like the luxuries
they actually are. Since moving overseas, here
are the seven biggest things that I realized
I no longer need. Number 1, everyday
professional makeup. When I lived in America,
like many women, I wasn’t necessarily on the
Instagram contouring level of flawless makeup, but I
definitely did the full routine every day– foundation, mascara,
bronzer, lipstick, eye shadow, et cetera– and I felt like
I couldn’t be taken seriously or feel beautiful if I didn’t. When I first moved to
Europe, it took me a while to get used to being a more
natural version of myself and pare down my morning routine
to something more manageable. My daily routine is now
just mascara, lipstick, and out the door. And I feel so much more
comfortable in my skin. Instead of just feeling
beautiful when I’m dolled up and ugly when I’m not, I feel
like myself at all times– imperfect but lovely. Number 2, air conditioning. Here in Spain, it
gets hot as hell, yet I get along just
fine without AC. I don’t melt, I don’t
get heat stroke, and I am very much
used to the feeling of being hot in the summer. The thing is, once you accept
that this is just what summer feels like, you come to
embrace it in its own way and don’t mind it
the way you used to. My summers are no longer
a desperate search for AC because I’ve tweaked my
understanding of normal. Number 3, meat with every meal. Like many Americans,
I used to think that meat was the center of
my meal, around which the rest of the dish would turn. But now I’ve shifted to
a more balanced diet, with meals focused on
vegetables, grains, and starches. Meat is a more treasured treat. I’m not vegetarian or vegan,
but I probably eat meat about four times a week now. That means I buy higher-quality
meat in smaller quantities. I love stopping by the
butcher to grab whatever looks good that
day and make myself a special dinner with it. It’s much better for my
waistline and my wallet. Number 4, recipe-based shopping. This is probably cliche
to say but living here has gotten me into cooking in
a way I never was in America. I now think in
terms of ingredients rather than finished foods. I look at my cabinet and see
what I already have components for. And then I go to the grocery
store or market and look for items on sale that I
can get a ton of use out of. In America, on the other hand,
I would look up a recipe first and shop for it specifically,
often throwing out some of the ingredients
after only a week. But my new start from
scratch way of thinking means I treat my
kitchen as something to be emptied before
it’s refilled. Number 5, a car. Now I don’t live in
the center of a city, and my most common
form of transport is a bus, which
could have easily been the case when I lived
back in suburban Maryland. But when I was
there, the solution of car to get everywhere
was just the obvious one, and I thought it would be
weird or sad to actually take the bus or bike everywhere. Now I generally do a
combination of the two depending on the weather. This means I save an enormous
amount of money every month on the expenses of owning a car. And I also have cut out
my gym membership budget because my exercise comes
from biking and walking a ton every day. Not owning a car is a completely
possible choice in many places, but it’s one I didn’t consider
making until I moved here. Number 6, a future house. Probably the biggest
mental shift for me has gone from seeing a house
with a yard in the suburbs as the ultimate goal of
adult property ownership living situation to
a wasteful thing. First of all, lawns are
bad for the environment, and commutes are bad
for mental health. But, beyond that, a
house is more space than I need, and
I’m more than happy living in my current
situation, which is a duplex with a little garden. It’s why I moved to this
outskirt in the first place. But, living here, I’ve
realized that the trade-off of not having all the space
or property I don’t use means that I’m a quick
jaunt from museums, culture, and the vibrancy of the city. Since I moved to Europe, I’ve
realized my goal is ultimately to have just what I need,
and to especially not create a huge commute in my life simply
to have a giant green patch of land I claim as my own. It may be the American
way for everyone I grew up with, but, as with
everything else on this list, it’s not that way
for me any more. Making your money work means
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100 thoughts on “6 “Necessities” I No Longer Need Since Moving To Europe | Making it Work

  1. i hate air condition people try keep it 60 degrees like working in meat locker..think all thaty energy wasted.. i only use lipstick and sunscreen..people swear i'm in full makeup.

  2. When I lived in "Ameerika"…🙈🙈🙈 Cringe…. Please clarify which country in the whole wide world is called **Ameerika**🙈🙈🙈🙏🏽 pluesy!!

  3. This is why I’m staying in America. I absolutely love my car too much to give it up permanently, which is weird to hear from an 18 year old. I revere the car culture and variety of car models.

  4. I live in Madrid, Spain and it gets really hot in here. I use almost at all times A/C in July and August. That's why people tend to go in summer to the coast where it is not as hot and you spend all day in the beach or at the pool and you don't have to use A/C at any time of the day.

  5. You just got used to being poor. Because European standards of living are lower than Americans. I enjoy the European way of life as well having live over seas myself. I wouldn't say it's better it is just different.

  6. This is just a testament that those in the upper-middle-class and above are wasteful as hell, the rest of us from US already do or did those things before moving away.

  7. In Greece (yes we are part of "Europe") in the summer you will melt without an air condition in the house!!! I think the same goes for Spain as its south also. And also we do drive around with our cars.

  8. I loved all the clean transportation in London. Cabbies, buses, tubes, trains and Thames cabin boats. They were safe and could get me anywhere in the city quickly and cheep.

  9. I learned a lot about money in London. People treated money carefully. It wasn’t tone wasted and over tipping was not acceptable.

  10. If every summer in Europe is going to be a "record breaker"every year from now on, you will be amazed how popular air conditioners will become. Even in trains, busses and automobiles (YIKES!).

  11. Do whatever makes you happy, but it sounds like that you were living above your means in the States. I do everything except owing a car and using A/C. You don't have to go to another continent to figure that out lol

  12. This was super helpful and I'm not considering moving ..but it gave me a more rich perspectives of my desired life being toooo much in relation to my life now…thanks…

  13. Seriously? I grew up in the South and except for the car and the house we lived and live exactly this way. Pick our vegetables from the garden, can our tomatoes and fruit when in season. get our eggs next door from the egg man, definitely do not eat meat every day, do not wear foundation on a daily basis, never waste food! Perhaps it is where in America you live. The one absolute thing I see different in my European friends is the amount of material things they have as they definitely understand less is better.

  14. You mean living poor, I’m poor and I already live like this. The reason you see all the American excess is because you grew up well off. So annoyed right now.

  15. I think that this video/essay missed its mark. It should be more aptly called 6 ways I followed cultural norms and found I was foolish when I moved away. All six of these examples are symptoms of the trendiness disease, where one goes through life following the trends of the people around them without ever examining the real personal and social value of their behaviors. IMO the antidotes to to this pervasive disease are the aforementioned living abroad, as well as travel to foreign places and the often maligned (on TFL) minimalism.

    That, and I'm not giving up my lawn lol because I dont irrigate it or use any chemicals on it at all. I just mow it.

  16. Owning a car is a necessity in the states! Public transportation is not as reliable in the USA(depending on where you live though).

  17. Point one is very surprising. Being from Europe and now living in America I was under impression that European women pay much more attention to makeup and American women don't care much. O_o

  18. While living in the USA:
    1. I have NOT worn makeup in over a decade
    2. I have NOT owned a car in over a decade
    3. I have NOT had air-conditioning in over a decade
    4. I eat very little meat
    5. I can get to a farmers market 7-days/week (neighboring towns by bus)
    6. I have NO prospect of homeownership
    One does NOT need to move to Europe, just get divorced!

  19. A/C is a necessity many places. Last summer it topped out at 120-degrees F in Palm Springs. Without A/C my 95-year-old mother would have died!

  20. I swear to god, i have no idea how that make up point is relevant at all to living in Europe. I've lived in Europe as well and people there are much more image conscious than Americans. Just my impression~

  21. I can tell that the videographer is very young and more enlightened than some and less than others by the simple fact of living outside the United States.
    I, myself remember my mother talking about living in the thirties and forties regaling tales of visiting movie theaters due the technology of air conditioning.
    I, myself slept in a stuffy upstairs bedroom with just a window box fan and often woke up to a chilly summer morning.
    Secondly, historically homes, buildings and even clothing were designed to take advantage of the four seasons. In addition food which was grown in the family garden, was eaten and preserved for just such seasons in other words you always ate whatever was able to be put on the table.
    My family for the most part, did not own a vehicle when I was growing up and took a bus or walked to most places. In fact, Anyone who, owned a home, especially in the suburbs, had a telephone, owned a car, a TV with remote control would have been considered rich by our standard of living at that time.
    Finally, due to climate change there has been an overwhelming increase in deaths due to heat in Europe each year compared to historical statistics.

  22. Though I'm an American citizen, I've lived most of my life outside the U.S., in countries with little or no AC. I found it easy to do without when I was young. Whenever I visited family in the U.S., I'd wrap up in a blanket or sweater indoors because I was freezing. Now that I'm older, I find that my heat tolerance has drastically decreased, so that hot summers without AC are extremely hard on me. (At least I'm no longer freezing when I visit my family.) My point is, AC is a necessity for many people. I wish I were still as young and heat tolerant as you, but this year I finally broke down and bought a free-standing unit for my small apartment, because otherwise I was in real danger of heat stroke. Your other points I can totally relate to! Thanks for a great video! 😀

  23. We live out in the country, no AC (even when we go home to central TX in summer), just heat when it gets cold. We use fans if there's no breeze or in winter put on sweaters &/or flannel shirts to stay warm. We have to have a car, but wouldn't move closer to town for anything. Nature, trees & plants, animals, stars on a dark night, the sound of a great horned owl — these are things I'd miss if I lived in town where I'd be listening to traffic, honking horns, screeching tires, sirens, & all the other sounds of city life, etc.

  24. ‘Move to Europe’ yeah you know every country is different and saying ‘moving to europe’ is just as weird as ‘moving to asia’ and then live in China.

  25. So you changed your lifestyle from comfortable middle class to poor. That's called being a minimalist and is common in the USA now. You didn't need to go to Europe to learn that!

  26. Wow i didn't know America was so different. I also didn't know how easy my life is compared to living in America, kinda surprised that Americans think they have so much freedom.

  27. Considering "necessities", I was once told by a visitor from Asia, it's an necessity to be able to visit a different Cafè every day and since that's only possble in like 2 European cities it's impossible to survive here.

  28. Interesting that many of these financial ideas are pretty common sense but women need to be told over and over the smart things to do.

  29. Did most of you not read the title? It said ” what I “ not what “ what everyone” . Yes, obvi countries are hella different in Europe and not everyone will relate. BUT this video is about the one doing the voiceover, not every human in Europe.

  30. Wow??? You had to move to Europe to learn all this!!! Please don't let it appears that all Americans are shallow.

  31. This kinda just sounds like she is maturing into an adult. I don't think you have to move to a whole new country to "realize" what she has realized. She is just figuring out that many times a little bit less is more.

  32. i thought this was an awesome video! ive noticed a lot of negative comments and i really dont see why lol..watching it i didn't even realize anyone could be upset by the content, but ive been proven wrong hahah

  33. I like how Europe is just one "country" ideology. Like there would not be 44 different countries and hundreds of cultures… Southern part of Europe and Nordic countries are quite far from each others.

  34. None of these things have anything to do with Europe except the meat thing. And maybe the A/C, but even then it's a stretch as it varies by location. I lived in southern Illinois for 3 months and I can't recall a single home I entered that had an air conditioner running. My northern ass couldn't function.

  35. Without AC at home and by moving yourself on the way to work or get-togethers, don't you get sweaty and therefore smelly? I'm pretty sure it's taboo to show up sweaty in the US.

  36. Is it just me or do Americans seem to glamourize living in Europe or Asia or Africa, as if you need to move to an entirely different continent for your common sense gene to kick in.
    Ps. Europe, Asia and Africa are not countries. They don't each have 1 universal culture.

  37. You dont have to live in europe to take notice of all these, I live in US and I do most of these things you do in Europe and its amazing because think they need and derserve eveything being so spoil

  38. Eating meat 4 times a week is still a lot and bad for your health according to World Health Organization. Might as well begin smoking too, it's way more common in Europe. Ugh, this video was a waste of my time.

  39. Any Asian immigrant in America could tell these. We don't eat out or buy too much. We cling to every dollar we can, because unlike those born in America- money doesn't come to us easily.

  40. Not sure why her poor life choices have anything to do with her being American. Most if not all Americans I know live with more common sense than her.

  41. The only actual US vs Europe difference you touched on wad how European countrues invest tax dollars in mass transit and bikeways where in the US it's highways, highways, and superhighways.

  42. You could have made all these changes without moving to ‘Europe’. Not everyone has the privilege of moving thousands of miles.

  43. The car thing is really not representative of the most of Europe.
    It's good that you live near a big city in Spain, that gives you some regularly going buses. But you can't always plan your life around public transportation, not even in Europe. It depends on an individual location. Most people, at least most families, must own a car out of necessity if they ever want to get to work on time. What is an inconsistent 40 minute bus commute turns into relatively consistent 20 minutes just by driving there yourself.

  44. I’m European, British-German, married to a Spanish man, we live in Spain. I totally agree with you on a lot on this list. We want a big family so we will need a bigger home, but I don’t want a home too big.
    It also really annoys me how Americans use Air con. Like, seriously. They’re not letting their bodies adapt to their climate and it’s actually so bad for your throat.

  45. Number six isn't just reasonable here. There aren't a lot of apartments available for any less than most house payments and would still have to travel by car a lot of the time.

  46. We have never turned on the A/C living in San Diego b/c of the breezes from the Ocean, but when I lived into the desert of California it could get really hot so we would turn on the A/C a couple minutes b4 getting home and turn it off after 2 hours then again at night if the temperature rose.

  47. wow how much you have to hate yourself to not have an A/C if you can afford it. it's literally self care. idk to me is a life changer(I grew up not having it and as soon as I hit puberty the heat brought me down all summer) now that I had it, it helps me to not hate summer so much and encourages me to study for finals.

  48. Your idea of europe is university student / young graduate living. Many of us in european countries would love to move out of the city and own our own gardens/ small farm. Everything else is accurate 😁

  49. At 1:22 you incorrectly stated this was your 7 necessities you no longer needed, instead of 6. I figure being accurate in your voice over is necessary to actually make your point stick, and not make you look like you are unreliable.

    Also, your #2 is fine, if you don't have breathing problems or other sensitivities to heat, but if you are asthmatic you are screwed in above 80° F/26.6° C. This is not a matter of not being comfortable, but a matter of air quality, and the ability to suck in enough air to function.

    I would strongly recommend double checking your facts, script, and sound before you release a video. Even if it is just your opinion, that opinion could lead people who are gullible to make very poor choices that will lead them to the ER because they followed your opinion instead of actual facts.

  50. Hey, i’m a canadian who lives in france. Here are my personal thoughts on your categories:
    1. Makeup: agree 100%
    2. Heat: disagree. But maybe because im canadian and we live in eternal winter lol the french summers kill me
    3. Meat: disagree. Recent diets norms in western culture are a lot more fruit/veggie based, whereas in france a lot of traditional meals revolve around meat. Also, there are big diet differences just based on region. In northern france they eat a lot of meat and cheese, but in southern france they consume a lot more fresh veggirs. Grouping these diet norms around europe as unanimous is inaccurate.
    4. Recipe-based shopping: disagree. I actually had the opposite occur to me, as i had to learn recipes which i could make with local goods. So while in canada i was great at clearing my fridge, upon moving to france i had to learn new recipes as i discovered there were only regional groceries available.
    5. Car: agree, public transit for the win. But remember that just like in western culture, if you don’t live in the city, public transit anywhere in europe still may not be totally available.
    6. House: i also disagree with this one. Just like in western culture, if you live outside the city, there are large houses on massive lots available to purchase all over france. Houses get bigger as the cost of land goes down. Buying a house with a yard in a quiet town is still the ideal for raising kids for many people.

  51. I would add an SPF to my morning routine. And there’s a difference between hot in Europe and hot in humid areas of the world where you can, in fact, get heat stroke.

  52. This was a nice video. Sorry everyone is Ripping you apart. Everyone is on their own journey and path. We learn at different times. So thank you for sharing your experience. 💕

  53. Yuck meat with every meal. I also rarely eat meat, if I do I buy something small and nice. I like salads and wraps. I do use milk and sometimes cheese.

  54. This just sounds like the narrator has grown up and has become more adult, but, being American, feels the need to turn it into some sort of miraculous, self-help "journey".

  55. 'I wanted to mention that I moved to Europe and instead made a video on why Americans apparently have no common sense'

  56. Europe: Why do you need air conditioning America?
    (gets over 90 degrees in europe, like it does in most parts of the US for 2-4 months of the year)
    Europe: ohhhhhhhhh…. that's why….

    Guy's if it got as hot over there as it does over here… most of you probably wouldn't wan't to get heat stroke either…

  57. I don't think its wasteful to dream of owning a home. Many homes are small and space efficient, a lawn can be ripped out and replaced with a full garden or moss or native grasses and owning property, where possible, is much more financially savvy than paying rent. Furthermore cities are loud and stinky and I'm sorry but I just don't believe humans were meant to pile on top of one another the way we do these days. I don't want to smell my neighbors supper (or ciggarettes) thru the walls and I don't want to hear the neighbors on the other side screaming their way toward a divorce at 3 AM.

  58. You can live like that here as many do unless you care too much to have what the Jones’s have. That’s a personal choice, not an American problem.

  59. Lol this is what people do everywhere else in the world… The American necessity is wanting and wasting stuff that no one needs, and weighing 300 lbs plus calling everyone else poor.

  60. I was genuinely wondering if we're talking about the same Europe here. Also, for the record, again, for anyone who has not heard that yet – Europe is not one country and despite being geographically small the countries differ culturally a lot.

    In recent heatwaves, believe me, most Europeans are in search of AC (to the point where shops in Poland were sold out). Also yes, if I go anywhere south where the temperature reaches 30 degrees I will want AC. Like yes, apart from south of Europe it's not common to see AC in houses but that's mostly because (up till recently) the summers just weren't hot enough to warrant them.

    No idea where the less meat comes from. Most of the countries I've visited in Europe have a heavily meat-based cuisine (or sometimes more fish). I have literally no idea where this even comes from.

    Buses. Like it's nice that you live in a place with nice public transport but this, again, will heavily depend on country and specific city. If you don't live in a large city or close to it, chances are without a car you'll be limited to perhaps 3 buses a day or none at all.

  61. As an European I do often marvel at the importance American women put on makeup. I realize it's just the limited perspective I get from watching YT, but when I hear someone say one of the first things they do each morning is to put makeup on… just to "feel like themselfs" I am more then surprised. You put makeup on even if you don't leave the house??? And things like minimal makeup that always include foundation…. no… that does not feel minimal to me… I don't have perfect skin but I still only wear foundation rarely… like to a wedding. I go to work not wearing makeup 70% of the time. Only when I feel like it. Wearing it just inside the house sounds insane to me…

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