Enjoy the Freedom of Your Frugality

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Ebenezer Scrooge was a frugal man. He pinched every penny until it screamed — bloody murder. Yet, as anyone who’s seen A Christmas Carol knows, he didn’t enjoy his life. His frugality kept him in bondage.

Certainly there are seasons of life when frugality serves us. In fact, there are seasons of life when frugality is necessary to life. The bills just won’t get paid without it.

But, I think that the boundaries that we set for ourselves should be ones that allow us freedom instead of chains. All too often we can get caught in this spiral of, “I can’t spend any money.”

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Well, at least that is what happens to me. My tight fist gets more tightly clenched. If I’m being frugal, then I’ve got to pay attention and tow the line.

Instead, I want to enjoy the benefits that frugality affords us.

  1. If we watch our spending, we can afford the occasional treat.
  2. If we watch our spending, we can be secure in our convictions even when our employers suggest we veer from them.
  3. If we watch our spending, when the rainy day comes, we’ll have an umbrella.

This look at frugality is freeing to me. It helps me enjoy life more, not less.

Earlier this week we went out to eat. Since I had already planned takeout and allotted a certain amount of money for it, I felt free to let the kids choose whatever they wanted — from the dollar menu at El Pollo Loco. We ended up spending $20 for 8 people to eat lunch. And there was freedom.

Freedom to enjoy whatever they wanted. Freedom not to feel guilty about spending money. Freedom in our frugality.

Are you feeling freedom in your frugality?

Share with us how you’re saving money in the linky or in the comments section — inquiring minds want to know.

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  1. We have not had to try to be super frugal so far in our marriage (my husband and I are naturally frugal in many ways), but because we are savers, my husband’s current unemployment and decision to switch careers has not been traumatic for us. I derive a lot of peace of mind from knowing we have a significant safety net.

  2. This is a great post, and a great reminder. We have really enjoyed Christmas shopping so much more this year because we are spending cash. We feel free to pick out gifts without worrying about the money we are spending because we are sticking to our pre-planned budget!

  3. This is so well put. I have gone from holding that fist ever so tightly to realizing that we can choose what we spend our money on — and that sometimes spending on something fun or that makes your life easier is so well worth it. So glad to find others who share this perspective!

  4. With Christmas coming and the deluge of toys that need batteries, my link is about buying batteries on eBay to save you money.

    1. @Michele, I never would have thought of that! I bought a pack of batteries at Lowes on Black Friday for cheap, but I got what I paid for. We have gone through them like mad because they are junk!

  5. Don’t just glad you are frugal, share it with others. Many of our friends are still keeping up with the Jones’s, but what they don’t know is that the Jones’s are losing their home and their marriage!

    Spread it around and don’t let it happen to those you love!

  6. This is the balance I am trying to find between watching our pennies, yet not getting too caught up in it. My husband keeps me balanced in this area!

  7. I just wanted to let you know how much I am enjoying your blog. It’s been a gift to me this season. You almost seem to know exactly what to say and how to say it in a way that really speaks to me. (How do you do that? 🙂 )

    I am learning so much from you and your contributors(yesterday my family tested out breakfast pizza and liked it. Score!).

    Additionally, I’m learning, like you, about myself. I’ve learned to push myself harder in some areas and let myself recognize when “perfect” is the enemy of the good.

    Thank you


  8. We do find our frugality freeing. We have more peace in our established boundaries than when there was no set limit (that we acknowledged anyway). We’re not too different from children are we?


    RE cwaltz… your comment is awesome. Can I quote you on that sometime? That’s EXACTLY what I need to do…”to push myself harder in some areas and let myself recognize when “perfect” is the enemy of the good.”

  9. My husband and I just started a budget this year, so this Christmas we see things a little more clearly. Its been an experience to save, spend, and make the holiday sparkle.

  10. This was so nice to read this morning…I also have had somewhat of an ephiphany on this as of late…To make sure and reward ourselves for frugality.

    For us? Our daughters, are 17, 21, 25 & 28…So our next treat will be a bag of Mocha Trio coffee at the new Seattles Best booth at our grocery store! We love coffee at our house and normally we don’t buy high dollar coffee so this will be fun! : ) Hubs and I also make sure and take a datenight every week, we’ve been doing that for 30 years. : ) Taco Bell lunches are fun with the girls every now and then too, or perhaps a shake somewhere. They love it! And so do I! Simple fun times.

    A couple of ways I save money are by using cloth for personal use for myself. That saves loads. I buy wrapping & tissue paper at the $ store or after Christmas for a quarter. I use the huge box of powdered Purex laundry detergent from Dollar General that costs a couple of dollars (I about lost my religion trying to make my own laundry soap!) LOL I usually use vinegar for fabric softener. My 21 year old daughter saves quite a bit of money for us with her couponing skills. Our daughters know to go to the manger specials etc. at the grocery, it’s a great life skill to teach our kids. : )

    Blessings! This blog is precious, it provides wonderful encouragement. Many of us are surrounded by Jones and so need encouragement in these areas of life. Thank you!

  11. This is a great reminder. I was raised with a depression-era mentality (no, I’m not that old! But my mom had thoroughly absorbed it from her parents) where even if we could afford something, it was better to suffer a little bit than spend any money, even if it was a good deal and something you needed.

    I’m still teaching myself today, with the help of my husband, that spending money is not inherently bad – just be wise, honest and shop around, and you’ll be okay.

    My link-up is a post on meaningful and frugal gift giving – I wrote it for Hanukkah, but it should be relevant to all the Christmas celebrators here!

  12. One of my goals this year was to pay off our second mortgage loan. It is the only debt we have other than our first mortgage. I squealed happily last night when I told my kids 6, 4 and 2 that I think we are going to meet our goal. They were just as excited as me! Santa is bringing debt free living to our house this year and we couldn’t feel more blessed!

  13. Hi Jess, I love your description of being frugal. A few years ago we had to deal with a downturn and it certainly made my fists clench tightly. I like your viewpoint and I think it can make folks really change their attitudes and not see frugal as POOR. I am sharing a recipe to use up all your left over thanksgiving stuffing! All the best, Alex

  14. Oh how I *needed* to read this today.

    My husband just told me what he wanted to buy our daughter for Christmas and my first thought was – are you kidding me? You know how much time I put in “working” my home to save money?

    Notice how much of my thought was about me! YIKES!

    Thankfully I didn’t actually say what I was feeling. I can learn a lot from him, but sometimes I need to hear it from other frugalites too!