I’ve been a bit quiet here. Partly because we’ve been away but also because I’ve had a period of mulling things over again. I seem to go through frequent cycles of contemplation about the whole money/frugality thing which, by writing this blog, I end up thinking about perhaps too much. Sometimes I think it makes me overly focused in a way that is not good and then I have to step back from it a little bit so I can try to remember what I am trying to do.
This particular episode has been brought on my having bought some clothes and then having a slight guilt attack about it. I mean, how can I write about being on a budget etc etc when I’ve bought clothes? I already have clothes – there was no danger of me having to go naked! And yet I bought some and ended up questioning everything again; what should I spend money on? What shouldn’t I spend it on? What are the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ things to spend it on? Should I even spend a single penny? Does the purchase of non-essentials make me extravagant? Why am I even thinking in these terms? While I was having a ponder along these lines I had a look in the dictionary and this is what I found:
Thrifty: showing careful management, esp of money
Frugal: economical in the expenditure of resources
Economical: adj 1. thrifty. 2. efficient; not wasting money, fuel, etc.
And then I realised I am doing just fine. I live within my means and even though I don’t earn a lot I still manage to save. Everything gets paid for. I’m careful not to waste food, fuel and energy. Everyone’s definition of ‘wasting money’ is going to be different. But there is no point in worrying about anyone else’s definition of what is a waste of money. If you start thinking in those terms you are doomed – you wouldn’t have holidays, you wouldn’t go out, you wouldn’t have pets, you wouldn’t even have a framed picture hanging on the wall. I guess I just needed a reminder that my way of going about it is the only way for me!