Frugality Q2

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 5, Q2

Frugality: “Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; waste nothing.”

Personal notes:

  • Burn our credit cards! (or just don’t use them this week);
  • Our family bleeds money on one off purchases (I’m looking at you Amazon);
  • Rather than spend on self, make a worthwhile donation.

I don’t like spending money unwisely but, sometimes if you look at our bills, you would think unwise spending was our favorite past-time; not baseball, not football, but the Spending Olympics is our game. We excel, like the United States in basketball, Russia in hockey, and Canada in ice luge.

Now some of it is our fault, that’s true as day, but I like to think the rest of the blame lies with Amazon, and that suits me better than having to take the full blame myself; I’m partial to partial blame. Besides, one look at Jeff Bezos and you know he’s got to be blamed for something.

But that’s what we do (besides blame Bezos) we spend and spend, with people trying to get us to spend some more; pop-ups, ad pages, flash sales, Prime, direct mail, overnight delivery, all at the click of a button. It’s quite fabulous if you think about it, but I prefer not to think about it, makes my brain hurt.

What has been working for us is silencing the noise, putting away the phone, making our lives smaller, and using technology to our benefit; automatic withdrawals are great, automatic investments even better. The best so far, though, has to be living smaller. In this case, we are quite literally living smaller by downgrading our apartment and vastly improving our savings rate.

Frugality is a tough one in this day and age. A lot of forces are stacked against us. But ultimately small changes can add up to big gains.