This week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named Person of the Year by Time magazine. We can all learn a few things from Merkel’s money habits and philosophy on life. Here are seven key things to admire about Merkel’s life habits.
1. She’s a hoarder (sort of)
Merkel, who grew up in East Germany, admits that she still hoards food and other household goods two decades after the East and West reunited. In fact, she can’t fight the urge to stockpile at the supermarket—especially a specific brand of liquid detergent as well as cans of solyanka soup made with sausages and pickle juice. These habits stem from her East German family upbringing, she explains and “when times were tough, you had to take what you could get when you could get it.”
2. She avoids dining out
Merkel cooks for herself and her husband—eschewing restaurant food when she can and saving money. Her favourite foods stem from her roots and include letcho, a Hungarian vegetable stew, shashlik, a spicy kebab, as well as potato soup, trout and plum cake.
3. She’s an outfit-repeater
She never wears an outfit just once. In fact, she has been seen wearing a specific multi-coloured silk tunic in several annual appearances over the last 18 years. German papers call it her, “Go-to outfit.”
4. She plays with money
She enjoyed playing Monopoly with family and friends as a child and found it fascinating.
5. She pursued higher learning
She earned a PhD in quantum chemistry, landing her a top-tier salaried professor’s position at a German university for 10 years before becoming head of Germany.
6. She pays rent
Prefers to keep housing costs down by living in Central Berlin in a rent-controlled apartment. She also kept commuting costs down by riding an elevated train to work for several years when she commuted from East Berlin.”
7. She’s risk-averse
Her approach to difficult situations? Simply, if in doubt, stick to the rules. It makes us think she’d be a very successful couch potato investor.