Frugality Q3

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 5, Q3

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

Personal notes:

  • Only purchase necessary items;
  • Be cognizant of cost;
  • Give special attention to groceries.

Frugality often feels like a choice between living and saving. We save for the future, sometimes at the expense of the present. Why? We have the normal goals: house, retirement, emergency savings; and sometimes these goals cut against the reality of living: bills, food, fun.

Sometimes we’re foolish, and the bills are particularly difficult that month, but life can’t be locked away and saved for a later date; it expires. There is a line between prudence and foolishness. Life is not 401k’s and IRA’s and future sunny days. We can’t sit around dreaming of the afternoons when we’re old, retired, laying on the beach, waiting to die.

Always enough time for money, never enough money for time. I hold fast to that idea and believe the future is bright, but we save to stave off uncertainty, and potential for calamity. We’re pretty lucky. Most people save nothing, because they have nothing. When paying (another) dental bill, it hurts – but it is not the hurt of starvation. The unforeseen expenses, the ups and downs, this is life, and if we have to cut into savings one month, life is worth living.

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Next Week

Ben Franklin’s 13 Virtues: Week 6, Q3

Industry: “Lose no time, be always employed in something useful; cutoff unnecessary actions.

Personal notes:

  • Fully engage with what you’re doing; immerse yourself;
  • Shut off distractions;
  • Find fulfillment.

In the beginning, I focused exclusively on income when I thought about Industry; that was wrong. Reading, learning, and living are as just important to Industry as working.