Frugal meaning: To live a Frugal life means to live on less than you can effort. 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?
A life reduced to people’s physical basic needs
This sounds like a real pain in the ass to most people, because they rather want to have more than they need, because they think they really need it. The first problem is, most people do not know nor make a difference between what they want and what they need. But in fact, living a frugal life can be very liberating.
Consum bitches are not born as such,
but raised and educated to become ones!
How comes, that 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 extraordinary loud “knalpot” as a status symbols. (Knalpot is the Dutch word for the exhaust pipe, which is also used in the Indonesian language.)
Frugal meaning: What 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 if you would not get hold of them. Those are in this priority:
- Breath – without breathing you are only able to survive for minutes until unrepairable damage is done to your brain or you will even pass away
- Drink – without drinking it will be a question of days
- Disposal – without piing and booing you will probably get around a little longer than without drinking until the 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 at one day to live just from the dividend of your invested assets. As soon as this last for your basic needs, it is called financial protection. Which is the level, everybody should reach, because it is the basis for spiritual growth. Because, no one ever got enlightened, when he could not afford to eat anymore after he lost his job. To reach that, you have to move more money from consuming to investing. This is also described in the above-mentioned article about financial protection.
But how does this work?
First of all, one needs to go through the mental process to give money a higher value than material assets.
And one needs to learn the difference between what you need and what you want.
This might be:
- Not having a car,
- Staying at basic accommodation,
- Living in a smaller flat then 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 Frugal Money Management 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 for me. In fact:
Everything is energy,
And energy is all there is!
And due to that, there is an 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. Rather using passive heating or cooling system instead of electrical ones. This also saves some money on the electricity 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 of something. It describes the energy of goods, services, and results. That’s why I’m having a hard time paying for something which I don’t need or to pay more than necessary. So I keep choosing goods and services which are as fancy as necessary, and as basic as possible.
Once I was traveling together with my sister to Cape Town, I booked the cheapest Airbnb place next to the place where I wanted to go to. That was near to 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 the convenient location was essential for me. But she would have loved to have a big pool and a fancy apartment.
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 for her! Unfortunately, I have not understood yet, how she does it. If someone is able to explain it to me, I’d be more than happy to listen and learn!
Frugal meaning: Stop wasting resources
Not wasting resources means to me also, to protect the environment, by creating 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 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 fitness and still 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 makes you happy, is wrong, at least in the long-run. All of those status symbols serve your happiness only for a short time. Being happy comes from continuous growth.
Continuous and never lasting growth is the best method I have found so far. This means:
- finally, to embody it!
- And then repeat and go for the next you want to grow into!
Here are some pretty good thoughts from Cherry Tung about being happy while spending less.
Even if I don’t agree with her, that one should not care about the money one spends on security, apart from financial security. Because security is only an emotion, which you can train, e.i. by training 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.
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