Monday, November 05, 2007

A Timely editorial on Frugal Living

Jewish World Review Nov. 5, 2007 /24 Mar-Cheshvan 5768
Frugal Living: Know when to step away
By Sara Noel

...A common misconception is that frugality is voluntary poverty, deprivation or selfishness. Frugal folks aren't cheap misers with the world's largest ball of saved rubber bands in their garage or 1,000 rinsed plastic baggies. Frugality is knowing when you have enough. It's accepting that you can live with less, and that there is incredible freedom when you aren't focused on material desires...

...With frugality, not giving in to excessive consumerism is normal. If you continue to overspend, your finances will suffer. With dieting, if your focus is always on the food instead of the overall healthy lifestyle change, you are setting yourself up for failure or unhealthy extremes. With frugality, if your focus is constantly on money and not a lifestyle and priority shift, then you're more apt to overindulge and create a form of financial obesity, or worse: You are so obsessed with money that you end up with financial anorexia. We all know the stereotypical cheapskate extremist that gives frugality a bad name. Think gradual, consistent lifestyle change. Learn to substitute and acknowledge your alternatives...

...Recognizing when you have enough and being aware of the life value of goods (read: how much life/time an item costs you) is a light-bulb moment — and not everyone experiences it...

...It's not a new trend. It's choosing a different set of values or replacing what isn't working for what does. It's knowledge most everyone already has. You don't spend money that you don't have, and there's more to life than money. A quality life involves our time, relationships with others and living a life that is true to our priorities. It's about shedding your embarrassment over living a life of moderation...

...Frugality touches upon areas outside of money, such as simple joys and personal development, and often is a great source of happiness. The process makes you realize the truth in being responsible for your actions and that everything has a consequence. You're accountable, so excuses are stripped away, victim mentality diminishes and forgiveness takes hold. In time, you look back and realize that frugality isn't simply about pinching pennies. It's a value system that can lead you to prioritizing and re-evaluating what truly matters, giving you more time to focus on what you want versus obligatory tasks. Frugality starts with knowing what is most important to you and that life involves trade-offs, but you'll discover many viable alternatives and options to replace your old mind-set.


Words of wisdom, class.

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