Sunday, June 24, 2012

The blessing of a frugal life

by Lili Mounce


I feel quite blessed to have been given the opportunity to be frugal. That's not a sentiment that you expect to read on a frugal living blog. The outside world sees frugality as something that is thrust upon an individual, because of lack. I see frugality as a gift from God, as it has been the impetus to encourage great personal growth in myself. Allow me to explain.

Frugality grants me compassion towards those with less, breeding a generous spirit within. I personally know the struggle of making ends meet on a small income. Because of this, I find I am more aware of the difficulties that others face. And along with the compassion that frugality has bred in me, it also has provided me with the financial means to give freely.

Frugality has given me the right frame of mind to evaluate my priorities. If I'd been wealthy, I might be spending my time and energy on accumulating expensive belongings, instead of finding what has real value to my life. Wealth creates an artificial busy-ness in a person's mind. Preoccupation with things is mind-consuming. In contrast, frugality leads to a stillness of mind, allowing me to hear the quiet voice that encourages seeking wisdom instead of things.

Frugality has given me the freedom to be creative.  I find that I surround myself with others who creatively find solutions to everyday problems. This has normalized my own sense of creative adventure. I've developed a mind's eye that can visualize the possibilities, whether it's a pair of plain shoes that just need a spark of color, or a beat-up, hand-me-down chest that is really a treasure in hiding. If I always bought everything new and in perfect condition, my creativity would never have a chance to flourish.

I love my frugal life. And I am a better person for having lived this way. Frugality has indeed been a blessing, for which I am quite thankful, most days.

How has frugality been a blessing to you?

9 comments:

  1. This is good food for thought--I may riff on this a bit later this week and link back to you. I know that my motivations aren't particularly spiritual but I can't say I feel deprived--I'm frugal because I'm kind of a hedonist.

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    1. Hi Pamela,
      Okay, so now you have me intrigued. I hope you do write something later this week on this.I'm interested to hear more of your take on the subject.
      Thanks for commenting.

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  2. It's the creative aspect that appeals to me with regard frugality. What joy is there buying everything off the shelf an then dumping the packaging in the bin?

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    1. Absolutely! I think humans are meant to be creative. It's relatively recent in the history of man, that we've had the ability to buy just about everything we need. Up until the early part of the last century, most folks made/created many of the items they used or wore daily. And now, few people experience the joy of creating something themselves. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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  3. Peace. I don't stay awake at night worrying about paying the mortgage or if my heat will be turned off.

    On the other end of that, though, I do notice 2 areas of potential problems for me. Money seems to fall into one of two categories for people--either the opportunity to acquire stuff or as a measure of security against the world. I have to guard against the latter--really, money in the bank (or 401K or whatever) is no security at all and I should be seeking security from God. My other area is that I can find myself guilty of pride--"oh, I'm soooooooo responsible with my money". Hmm. Not a great attitude.

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    1. Hi Kris,
      Definitely! Peace of mind is priceless. But you're right about the other end of the spectrum, becoming almost obsessed with financial security puts a damper on joy. And I know what you mean, we have to remind ourselves who is really in the driver's seat, providing for all our needs. And yeah, I've been guilty of the "I'm doing such a great job with my money" mentality, too.
      Thanks for the comment.

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  4. I am learning to be frugal, so I am not there yet by any means. I have lived such that I get what I want when I want. I have a good job that enables me to fullfill those things. HOWEVER, I want to make changes.

    My kids don't necessariy understand the concept of money, and I am working on that to make them understand that it doesn't grow on tree's. They know that, but a lot of times, they would like to eat out, or do this, go there, and I try to make them see that we can't do that.

    My daughter is great, we don't have the bestest clothes, and her summer attire basically came from goodwill. We love goodwill. She commented on the friends she has do not care where her clothes come from.

    SO living frugally has great rewards and benefits. Our society is far too commercial in regards to monetary items, and that's one of my goals to change within our family.

    Sorry to be rambling!

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    1. Hi Bears Fan,
      You have some very excellent motivations -- your children. The financial education we give to our children will likely be the only financial education they receive. Having taken part in, or witnessed, many of our financial choices, our kids will have a solid understanding of how to be good stewards of their own money someday. You're doing a good job!

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    2. Thanks so much!! Having great blogs and people to help with those goals we set, really help!

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