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Striking Balance With Frugality and Simple Living

January 3, 2010

Frugality is maximizing one’s usefulness from purchases or acquisitions.  Balancing the need to hold on to things so that they can be reused can be difficult for those who strive to live simply.  While I often find myself looking at items that haven’t been used in some time, and questioning the need to keep them, I have come to terms with the idea that someone else can probably use it now and it will more than likely be readily available in the future.

In the season ramping up to the holidays this year, I decluttered our home with a vengeance.  Boxes of stuff went out the door, either to charity, recycling, or my least favorite option, the trash.  It is difficult to watch possessions head out the door to others, due to the emotions that are frequently tied to purchases and gifts.  The upside of decluttering is that it makes the homemaker’s job that much easier.  There are fewer items to be put away, lost, or maintained.  Owning fewer possessions is cheaper in the long run both in terms of time and money.  The emotional drain of stuff and release from its’ subsequent exit from the home is exceedingly gratifying.

Another aspect of living simply is that you opt out of the buying cycle of constantly wanting everything and anything, now.  Frugality encourages the tempering of wants and needs such that they become measured purchases.

I prefer to purchase items of quality and enjoy them rather than inferior products that need to be replaced season after season.  A new North Face ski jacket to replace the last one that perished at 15 years of age, and Vasque hiking boots with 15 years of love and plenty of tread are some examples of this mindset.  Neither purchase came with a low price tag, but I certainly value the years of comfort and use that I will have from them.

Being frugal need not exclude living simply the two coexist beautifully.  As I reorganize the house after the holiday influx of gifts, I’ll be certain to post pictures of the progress.

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