What is Frugality?

What is Frugality?

Over at The Reductionist, there is this wonderfully insightful post up called What Frugality Means To Me. No, I am not only mentioning it because she called me a favorite frugal blogger or thinks that my family and I can throw together some pretty nifty things from time to time. I am linking to it because it’s full of some great thoughts about what frugality is.

From a Fairy Tale
Creative Commons License photo credit: Arbron

What the post drives home is that it’s all relative and subjective. Simple living, frugal living don’t have specific definitions. There are no rules that you must obey in order to be considered frugal. There are no real guidelines.

Therefore, frugality is what we make it. Simplicity, to me, is a mindset. Frugality is more than the number of dollars spent. I may spend more on something that others may not dream of but then I don’t spend on other things that aren’t important to me.

To me, frugality is about setting up priorities and making meaningful goals. It’s a balancing act and requires being mindful of not only what I consume but what I waste and doing what I can to minimize both. There is nothing more wonderful to me in my life right now than to feel like I am making a simple and beautiful life for my family without spending a lot of money. For me, frugality is just a means to a far off end, but it’s also a beautiful path to be walking along.

I’ve chosen to see a frugal life as a blessing rather than a curse, as full of inspiration and beauty that would’ve otherwise been unknown to me. I don’t always make the most beautiful things with what I have laying around. Many of my projects go awry. Some attempts at repurposing and reusing are laughable. But I enjoy the process. I enjoy creating things that do look nice, do infuse a bit of inspiration into my home and give me a result to be proud of.

The Reductionist says “Frugality is understanding and experiencing first-hand that less is more and feeling liberated by this realization. It is conscious living. It’s a flexibility that comes from a degree of detachment from the stuff that (at least in my case ) so many of us are raised to believe that we need to get by. Frugality is contentment with what one has, and in that sense , it is gratitude in action.” I don’t think it can be said much better than that.

Finding contentment, finding myself, having gratitude, living inspired, embracing simplicity, finding value in life beyond my belongings or bank balances. That is what frugality is to me.

What is frugality to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  1. I was just writing about this myself, so it is on my mind! Because of our moving and this transition, a lot of money is flying out of the window. Trying to sell and house and move isn’t cheap! So, we are working hard at being extremely frugal in the areas that we can cut back. It doesn’t mean our life is any less, it just means we are saving what we have even more.

    Happy night,

  2. I share similar beliefs about frugality. Like others, I agree that it’s not about always doing the cheapest thing. Rather, it’s about consciously deciding the best uses of my resources and looking for ways to reduce waste.

    A huge part of that is figuring out what is really important to me and distributing my resources accordingly. For example, my health is very important to me, so I am willing to spend more to eat a very healthy diet — though I still look for ways to cut costs there, so long as I don’t cut the health benefits. Other things I like are tasty (but healthy) foods, looking nice (though not necessarily trendy or well-branded), and feeding my internet addiction. Things like movies, cable, and video games are low on my list, though. So, my husband and I cut cable, watch video online, play online games, borrow movies from the library, and only rarely go see something in theaters (about 2-3 times a year at most).

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