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The Zen of Frugal Living

Contributor:
Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown

Let’s try a little word association. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear the words “frugal living”?   If words like tight, stingy or penny-pinching spring to mind – then you’re looking in the wrong thesaurus.  If you have feelings of lack, hardship or sacrifice then you are most definitely holding onto the glass that’s half empty.

Along with a healthier bank account, lower debts, or perhaps that dream holiday you’re saving for – living frugally has the potential to reduce your stress levels and give you an overwhelming sense of peace and clarity.  To dare we say it - achieve a certain kind of Zen.

I’m not suggesting you shave your head and wear an orange robe – but just for a moment consider that money is energy, your energy.  You as a human being are pure energy and you use that energy to work, eat, sleep and survive – therefore the money that you earn is merely a physical manifestation of that energy.

Do you want to see that precious energy dissipate into the ether, drained away by the inconsequential - the incidental spur-of-the-moment things in life, leaving you completely sapped and exhausted with nothing?  (I’m going to assume you’ve answered “No” to that one.)  So then, if you are consciously aware of that energy, and you conserve it, using it only for those things that you really need to survive, you will soon have an abundance of it to use on those things that are most precious in your life.

Think of a lightbulb – the energy that it’s expending while it’s on, is actually YOUR energy, YOU are paying for it with YOUR energy.    How many hours will you need to work to replace that?   And if you continue to let the light burn when you’re not in the room, then your energy is being drained right along with it.   It wafts silently away without you even realising it’s gone, while you run around and around on the hamster wheel of life spending more energy on trying to make it up again.

When you become conscious of where you are spending (and in many cases wasting) your energy, decisions will become much easier.  When you can look at a takeaway menu and think about how much energy you will have to spend to replace it, the pressure to buy and consume will fall by the wayside.  You won’t have to “resist” or “sacrifice” things and you will no longer be “missing out”, there is nothing to “decide”, you have your heart and mind fixed on something much greater.

And so, here endeth the lesson for today.  Money = Energy.   Frugal living gives you the opportunity to have an abundance of it!

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