Frugal meaning: To live a frugal life means, to live on less than you can afford. And that you are using fewer resources, such as energy, or money than are available to you. But how does that affect your happiness in life?
Frugalism means a life reduced to people's physical basic needs
To imagine that is a pain in the ass to most people. They rather want more than they really need. Because they think they really need all of that. The first problem is most people neither know nor make a difference between what they want and what they need. But in fact, living a frugal life can be very liberating.
Here are some pretty good thoughts from Leo Gura about mental frugalism:
Consumer whores are not born as such,
but raised and tutored to become ones!
Why do people think they need more and more?
Advertisements and the permanent presence of status symbols are probably the strongest influencers for the desire to compete with others. So, people want a bigger car, house, a shiny boat at the yacht harbor, expensive perfume, and makeup, pumped-up lips, and boobs, or an extraordinarily loud "knalpot" as to status symbols. (Knalpot is the Dutch word for the exhaust pipe, which is also used in the Indonesian language.)
Frugal meaning: What do people really need?
So, let's go back to the physical basic needs. All you really need, are only the physical things, that would kill you after a short time. Those are the following in this priority:
- Breathing: Without breathing you are only able to survive for minutes until unrepairable damage is done to your brain or it will kill you.
- Drinking: Without drinking, it will be a question of days.
- Disposal: Without peeing and pooing you will probably get around a little longer than without drinking until your body poisons itself.
- Eat: You are able to get around without food for a few months.
Those are the basic physical needs of humans, mammals, animals, and plants. Anything else is for your convenience. There is nothing wrong with convenience. But all of that, what you might think you need is, in fact, only something you want. Why would you want to live a frugal life?
What might be the reason to live a frugal life below your financial possibilities?
Not spending all the money you earn gives you the possibility to save some money. If this saved money covers your basic needs for 3 to 6 months, it is called financial protection.
This saved money can be invested and over time it can create a passive income for you. So the real reason behind it is to be able one day to live just from the dividend of your invested assets. As soon as this lasts for your basic needs, it is called financial security. This is the level, everybody should reach, because it is the basis for spiritual growth. Because, no one ever experienced enlightenment, when he could not afford to satisfy his basic physical needs anymore after he lost his job. Financial protection already reduces the potential stress caused by your survival instinct by more than 90%. Financial security makes this stress obsolete. To reach financial security, you have to move more money from consuming to investing. This is described in the above-mentioned article about financial protection.
But how does this work?
First of all, one needs to give money a higher value than material assets. And one needs to understand the difference between what you need and what you want. Here are some examples:
- Not having a car,
- Staying at basic accommodation,
- Living in a smaller flat than you can afford,
- Drinking tap water, if it is clean enough, instead of expensive lolly drinks. Actually, this will have an additional health benefit, because of the reduced sugar intake.
Does Frugality Violate Happiness?
For me, frugality means that I hate to waste resources, such as time, energy, money, health, and happiness.
Frugal meaning: Stop wasting time
Wasting time is the biggest sin of all for me. For example, a waste of time for me is a day without love. Because time is our most valuable asset. Any second which is gone is gone forever, and it will never come back.
Frugal meaning: Stop wasting energy
Wasting energy is another big one, because:
Everything is energy,
And energy is all there is!
And due to that, there is an infinite abundance of energy available. On the one hand, the energy never gets lost, it only gets changed into a different kind of energy. But on the other hand, effectiveness is a principle of nature. So, due to my respect for nature, I am a big fan to use any kind of energy as effectively as possible. For example not running the air condition or the heater if a window or the door is open. Or by utilizing passive heating or cooling systems instead of electrical ones. This also saves some money on your energy bill.
Frugal meaning: Stop wasting money
That brings me to another kind of energy, which is money. Apart from being a conveniently exchangeable asset, money is also a wonderful communication tool for the value and energy of goods, services, and results. That's why I'm having a hard time more than necessary. Especially something which I don't need. That's why I keep choosing goods and services, that are as basic as possible, and only as fancy as necessary. This leads to a very liberating simplicity. And it gains some extra money to save and invest.
Once I was traveling together with my sister to Cape Town in South Africa, I booked the cheapest accommodation on AirBnB next to the place where I wanted to go to. That was near the starting point of the Two Oceans Marathon.
When my sister saw our basic accommodation she asked me: "How much do you value yourself?" The low price of the accommodation and its location was most essential for me. But she would have loved to have a fancy apartment with a big pool.
On the one hand, I believe that I only can save money, which I don't spend. On the other hand, my sister believes that anything she spends will come back to her a thousand times. Actually, that's a pretty clever method. And curiously, it seems to work sometimes for her! Unfortunately, I have not understood yet, how she does it. If someone can explain how to make that work reliably, I'd be more than happy to learn!
Frugal meaning: Stop wasting resources
Not wasting resources means to me also, to protect the environment. Because it has the side effect that it creates as little trash as possible. I do that by buying the most simple things that are just being able to fulfill their purpose. And to avoid buying expensive branded clothes. Or to walk or to choose the smallest possible and most economic vehicle, that can bring me to my destination.
Frugal meaning: Stop wasting your health
Even eating healthy is not violating my frugalism. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are usually the cheapest food you can buy. Walking instead of driving or jogging instead of going to the gym improves my health and fitness. And at the same time, it saves money for transport and the gym.
How Frugal Money Management Violates Happiness?
And finally, don't save on your fun and pleasure. Most people consider happiness with spending money. I consider this as complete nonsense. Because being happy is a choice. And This choice is completely free of charge!
And whoever believes that a new pair of shoes, jewelry, or a Ferrari make you permanently happy, is wrong. All of those status symbols serve your happiness only for a short time. Being permanently happy comes from continuous growth.
Continuous and never-lasting growth is the best method I have found so far. This means:
- and finally, rest and relax, to embody it!
- And then repeat and challenge yourself for further growth!
Finally, if you think, that would violate your need for security? No, it won't. Because the feeling of security is an emotion, which you can train. For example, by improving your mental strength to increase your comfort zone. And this will rather transform you, than any life insurance or any other products that promise you safety and security. All of those products play with your fears. Which makes you focus on the risks in life, which attracts the feeling of insecurity. But you cannot fall off the planet. Gravitation does a very reliable job!
Your Gratitude Challenge Task For Today:
Share gratitude by distributing this link to the members of your challenge:
Write down five things you are grateful for:
1. I am grateful for ..., because ...
2. Further, I am grateful for ..., because ...
5. Finally, I am grateful for ..., because ...
Please remember that as your self-esteem grows, due to a feeling of gratitude, your feelings of helplessness and your fears disappear.
And here comes your present for the participation in the gratitude challenge:
A Gratitude Meditation from Dr. Deepak Chopra
Vital and happy regards