Guest Post by Kari Patterson from KariPatterson.com. This is the second post in a 3-part series.
On Monday, we looked at my humdinger of a frugal failure. Today let’s think big-picture. If you have ever felt frustrated in your pursuit of frugality, you’re not alone. Some of us are swimming in the sea of coupons, discounts, sales, and specials and still not achieving the frugal life we’re striving for.
The deal is not working. We’ve got all the coupons, but the register is beeping and nothing is going through. And we’re frustrated.
We’re saving our pennies but losing our joy. We’re gaining a dollar here and there, but spending so much energy we wonder if it’s worth it. Perhaps there is some frugal fine-print that can save us from spinning in frustration and from overspending. We might even discover some joy in there as well.
So what’s the frugal fine-print? What do we need to squint our eyes and make sure to see if we’re going to make this deal go through, this lifelong deal of making our dollars count?
I love the 4-point tagline at the top of this site. In FrugalLiving 101, we discussed each of these, but I’d like to suggest one more. Perhaps it’s hidden under contentment or tucked into wise spending, but no matter what our frugal goals, simplicity is the critical component of making this work long-term. We’ll never leave a legacy of contentment, wisdom, and generosity if our lives are so complicated we throw in the towel at halftime.
Simplicity gives us staying power.
Remember, for something to last we’ve got to gain more than we drain. We will not persist in that which is complicated because no matter how much we’re “saving” the process is draining more than we’re gaining. It’s exhausting. No one likes complicated relationships; no one likes complicated couponing.
My family recently did a fun Food Stamp Challenge. We wanted to see if it was possible for a family of four to eat fresh, healthy, local and mostly organic food on a food stamp budget. To my amazement, it was. And, it became very apparent that the key to achieving a healthy diet on a frugal budget was simplicity. Simplicity is key. Out of that experiment came a little idea called The Simple Diet, one simple way to achieve health and frugality without the headache. The gist of it all—live simply.
So what does that mean? By definition simple means, “Having few parts. Not complicated, complex, or involved.”
To simplify our diets, budgets, and efforts in frugality, we must distill everything down to a simple process with as few parts as possible. While complicated things take much of our mental space, time, and energy, simple things can quickly become second nature. Effortless. We can easily assimilate a simple diet and money-saving plan, leaving lots of mental space for the things in life that matter most.
So, in the spirit of simplicity join us tomorrow as we look at a few easy ways to cut complexity and increase your simple staying power.
Leave a comment! In your opinion, what is the one secret of lasting frugality? If you could write your “life tagline” what would it be? We’d love to hear!
Kari Patterson is a pastor’s wife, ministry mommy, writer, runner, blogger, reader and frugal living enthusiast. She enjoys green tea, line-dried laundry and Alexander McCall Smith novels. Her musings can be found at KariPatterson.com.
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