Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Feeling the Pinch

I try to make this blog a place to celebrate the frugal life, because I truly believe that being frugal and responsible with money can lead to a more joyful and fulfilling life. In fact, many of my frugal practices are barely sacrifices to me, since I am so used to living my life a certain way.

However, for me, as I am sure for many of us, there does come a point where I really wish I could spend money on something but can't. That has happened several times lately. In particular, there was something that I really wanted to do for my daughter that I realized that we could not afford. Also, having one car has seemed a bit more of a drag lately, and I have been grumbling at some of the challenges of our one-vehicle lifestyle.

So lest you think I am some saint of frugality, let me tell you, I am very flawed. However, I did come up with two thoughts that help me when I am feeling stressed about the things that we can't afford or don't choose to spend our money on.

The first is gratitude. I mentioned earlier this week how grateful I have been feeling about all the wonderful grocery deals I have gotten lately. We have really such an abundance of food for a lot less money than I used to think was possible. Now, it's not filet mignon, but it's not all beans and rice either. I might not be able to get my daughter everything I could desire or even everything a lot of other people can afford, but I have never in the least worried about her going hungry. There are many, many people in the world who cannot say that.

The second is awareness of our goals. As I hope I have communicated before, I think it is so important to have goals for your frugality. Frugality should not mean just hanging onto your money, but rather not wasting it so that you can put it towards what is really important to you. So when I chafe at having only one car, it helps me to think, "Well, we could have two cars, but we would be living paycheck to paycheck and could be completely ruined by an unexpected bill." Instead, we are slowly but surely building up a decent-sized emergency fund so that we can live with peace of mind. (Read Alyssa's inspiring post about having an emergency fund.) And once we have that saved, we may be able to move on to saving for another car!

In the end, being frugal is all about making good choices with your money. We think we're making the best choices we can for our family right now, and that is comforting, even when the choices are hard.

1 comment:

  1. I still think you are a "saint of frugality" Liz! You are amazing. :)


Thanks for commenting. I love to hear your feedback!