A few days ago there was a discussion on Wise Bread about whether frugal living was a goal or a tactic. The conclusion was, it is both. I primarily see frugality as a facet and fundamental part of a simple, freer lifestyle. As a result, consumerism is no longer the ideal. Frugal living is its own reward. Frugality is very freeing and fulfilling. I feel I have gained everything worthwhile and lost nothing of true value. It helps to create balance, it allows one to learn what is of true value and it lowers ones environmental impact among other things. These are all results which for me contribute to a more authentic, satisfying and spiritual life experience.
However, I still have friends who cannot quite grasp my choosing to live this simple and frugal lifestyle. The other day a friend suggested I could probably get a job as a cook at a nearby restaurant, without a clue to how incongruous her suggestion was. So, like an idiot I smiled and said, “Yes, I probably could” for lack of a better or thought out response.
Yes, I probably could get that job…or another, but at what cost? Let’s say I worked thirty hours a week. After the cost of taxes and gas alone I might bring home $90 a week, likely less because I’m estimating low. Then deduct the physical toll, the imbalance it would create, the loss of time in which I now garden, can and cook from scratch. I would be right back where I started from; too wiped out to care or have the time and energy to do what I do now. Our cost of living would certainly increase due to the above reasons. Been there, done that so I know what my limits are and what my current efforts are worth. I require balance and the ability to accomplish at my own pace. I have yet to work a job that allowed me that and I’ve worked long enough to know.
My friend doesn’t understand that going back into the workforce would destroy the life I have attained. Sure, a few extra dollars would be more than welcome in my pocket, but like I said, at what cost? No thanks, at least not right now. I value the life I have, the peace I have, the creativity of living life as I do. My life is pretty darn perfect for me. I can step outside and sit under the shade tree and feel so very blessed by my surroundings; the garden of good things we’ve worked hard to produce, the ducks waddling by as they search for bugs in the grass, the flowers we’ve planted in their vast array of color and truly, truly know this is the life I desire. I look around and I look within and feel my life is exactly how I wish it to be and know without a doubt I am not willing to sacrifice the peace and contentment I live in.
Being frugal is challenging at times but it allows such creativity. I thoroughly enjoy making something out of nothing…always have. Whether it be gardening, decorating our home, cooking or crafting, creativity is essential to my well being as is balance and freedom. Being frugal is a necessary choice and facet to our lifestyle that allows me to live a life free from the daily grind of employee obligation that depletes me. Yes, frugal living is its own reward.