Keep to your frugal ways

7 August 2018
I still get a lot of emails from readers asking for more frugal living and budgeting posts but this is the closest I'll get to it.  I think you either get it or you don't and for those who want to read my thoughts on saving, budgeting etc, it's all here on the blog. I don't change my mind. What worked 10 years ago, still works today and our systems stay the same.  And besides, changing your mindset is the most important part because if you can't do that, or don't want to, I doubt you'll see the forest for the trees.

Maybe my kind of budgeting isn't for you. I don't think everyone will enjoy working towards having and wanting less. You might want to use your credit or debit cards for general use. Dividing up your available cash into envelopes might mean nothing to you. And if that's the case, my thoughts on frugal living won't excite you.  There are many people writing about frugality nowadays. There are many more experts around since I started my non-expert, but carefully considered, advice.  I've never thought of myself as an expert and that is not due to lack of self confidence. It's more about there being no fixed and fast rules for simple life.  The basis of simplicity is the mindset - the absolute commitment to living well on a small amount of money, being a genuine part of a family and community, having enough and knowing it, even when it's much less than your neighbours are happy with and creating a life for yourself that revolves around what you love and the interests you've discovered.  We live and let live, we recycle, mend, make, grow and create and we do that with generous and accepting hearts. Each of us does that in our own way according to our version of the life, our experience and values, our age. The trick is to do it, for it to become your way of life, and even when times are tough, or you have extra money in the bank, you keep to your frugal ways.

Listening to experts might have us thinking we're not doing it right or that we should do what everyone else does.  Wrong! Do what you think is right. Life - the way we live it and what we expect from it - is different for us all. Rules can't cover the differences, experts don't know you, so don't try to conform to someone else's ideas on what is right and valuable. I encourage you to forget about the material life around you, what your friends are doing, what you see on social media and TV. Form your own life plan around what you love, make a list of your life values and create a life around those fundamentals.  There's no "right way" so don't expect it all to fall into place overnight. Start living your version of a simple frugal life, tweak this and that, reorganise, think, adjust, and mine your lifestyle for the happiness and practicality it holds. You'll realise one morning that it all makes sense to you and it works. It probably won't work for your best friend or the family down the road but it works for you. And that, my friend, is all it needs to do.