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Thoughts on Frugality

October 1st, 2009 at 09:39 am

This last week and a half have been an adventure in hysteria. And I realized a lot of things about myself and my view of being frugal too.

1) Frugality can be a way of self-punishment, a way of saying "I don't deserve anything because I'm a bad person," instead of what frugality is meant to be, which is a form of personal empowerment, and of nuturing oneself. I found myself not eating very much, because I felt like I had screwed up my life. I made stringent plans to not have fun. Then a good friend who knows me smacked me upside the head (er, philosophically only) and reminded me what being frugal was, and what it wasn't.

2) Frugality is not hording. Hording things you don't need and can't take care of, is not being frugal. When I did my audit of my food cupboard, I found cans that were waaaay past expiration date. They were unsafe and taking up space. Now the top of the closet that has a month's worth of toilet paper that I try to buy only on sale - that's frugality and not hording. Having a stock of what I need and use so I don't have to buy it at full price - that's essentially frugal.

3) Frugality doesn't mean you shouldn't do short term things that you love or that benefit you. I took my first real vacation in years, i.e. 2 weeks. I spent $185 on a painting for my living room that brought me to tears with its beauty. That's an investment for my spirit.

Now I'm saying all this not to preach to the choir but to remind myself what it is. Finding out I owe my ex-hubby so much has really thrown me for a loop and frightened me. My emotions have been up and down.

In the next month or so, I'm going to be tightening my belt even more than usual, because I don't know what's going to happen yet with my 401K. I might not have enough funding in it to finance what I owe the ex. I may end up cleaning out my hard-built up savings for emergencies and yearly expenses.

Because of my childhood, I must remind myself, that this doesn't mean I'm a bad person (maybe stupid and trusting for marrying him in the first place - i just don't know) and that I don't deserve any kind of punishment. Being frugal must not be a way of punishing myself or even controlling another person. It must be a discipline and way of life that blesses my life, leading to serenity, not to stress.

There, later on when I'm freaking out again, I shall reread this, and perhaps smile and remind myself of the path I have set for myself.

God bless ya all.

5 Responses to “Thoughts on Frugality ”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    Amen!

    Beautiful post.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Well said, Miz Pat. And please do return to this post when you need to, and come to us. We've all read your story and can reassure you that you haven't done anything wrong and that there's no need for self-punishment. Belt-tightening will be necessary, but you still need to take care of yourself and give yourself the occasional treat. Smile

  3. LuxLiving Says:

    Eloquently said! ...and soooo true!

  4. Jerry Says:

    Amen. Frugality can and should be a pathway to abundance, and lead to living a more carefree lifestyle. It isn't a punishment at all! We don't have health insurance to punish ourselves if we get sick. We don't have car insurance to punish ourselves for driving. By the same token we pay the "premium" of being frugal because it makes sense and we can find the inherent value in living life in that manner. Good luck to you! I know that you can do it...
    Jerry

  5. miz pat Says:

    Oh Gosh Jerry, that is so well-said. I'm going to have read that too.

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