Frugality

Sometimes “being frugal” looks like loading my cart up on the Kohl’s website with flowy, comfy summer tops . . . and then closing the browser window with a shrug instead of clicking “buy.”

But sometimes it feels harder: not ordering the book from a new local author because I’ve got more books than I can actually read for the rest of the year and no room in the budget. Not donating to the ACLU when they’re running a special campaign because I’ve already made a contribution. It’s arguing with myself whether charging a $20 webinar is reasonable because I’m investing in myself or if it’s ridiculous because I already have a balance on that card.

Historically, money and I have not been great friends. You may have already guessed that. I worry about not having enough and so I spend in a panic, afraid it will be my last chance ever in life to buy a clearance cardigan at Target. It’s like when you’re about to go on a diet and you go out for one last splurge, and you eat all the fries as fast as you can even though you’re full and already regret the extra salt. No? Just me?

But I’ve been trying to work simultaneously on cultivating feelings of abundance and on trying to live simply. And I think that’s what frugality is about.

I have all that I need already.

I make enough money to support my life.

I don’t need to buy things that don’t bring joy.

I don’t need to spend money that I don’t have.

I’m trying to remember that my relationship with money is, like many relationships, sometimes complicated and sticky but also just part of the journey. It’s not going to be fixed overnight, whether or not I make the extra donation or sign up for another class. But it will improve with time. And I guess that’s plenty for me to hope for.

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