Frugal: Sparing or economical with regard to money or food.
Some don’t choose it, necessity does. When I was in college, I had not spent my money with care at one point and left myself with only $30 to live on for a month. I went to the store, bought a very large bag of brown rice and a very large container of raisins and powdered milk for my meals at home. At the student union, there was hot water for tea, ketchup in a very large pump container and crackers, so I would make myself a cup of tomato soup with pepper every so often. I spent $15 on rent (it was 1970 after all and five of us shared a house) and at the end of the month, I was none the worse for wear having neither gained nor lost weight and felt just fine. I was just ready for some variety!
That isn’t how I recommend anyone live, but it isn’t the worst thing. I proved to myself what I could do with little if the need arose and that is a lesson all young people should learn one way or another. As my wife and I have faced tighter times, we are a good team when it comes to living frugally. For example, it was necessary when I was laid off the very day the mortgage on our house went through. We, as in my college days, haven’t felt – nor are we – deprived, but we look forward to more variety when our personal economy frees back up. We are creative with inexpensive pleasures in tighter times.
Why is it good to be frugal other than to just meet necessity? Because it reminds a person of the difference between want and need, for most of the time we acquire things we want but don’t necessarily need and we can lose focus on those things that are essential and important. Many youth too rich too young fall into grievous traps very difficult to escape. Many rich adults end up trying to buy happiness and forget the beauty of simplicity, as well as losing compassion. Acquisition becomes an end in itself and true happiness wanes. That is part of what the Hippie Revolution, silly and misguided as it sometimes could be, was all about, freeing ourselves from these traps.
I have no objection to the occasional splurge and I’m no longer a Hippie. Our best friends are coming from their home in the mountains to visit this weekend and we will eat all we desire and party over by the ocean. Personally, I think that qualifies as an occasional need! Don’t you?
See what the other members of the LBC (with a clickable listing on the right side of this page), a loose collection of bloggers both interesting and good of heart whose read on a shared Friday topic is always worth it. I know I’ll be making the rounds and rewarding them with comments, which by the way are rewarding to bloggers at very low cost to the reader. Please let them know what you think.