How do you avoid frugal living turning into habit of sacrifices?
I have observed too much of frugal living habits could lead to poverty type mindset. How do you avoid getting into such mindset which ultimately forms a habit in mind?
What a wonderful observation! I have been guilty of this. The martyr syndrome. In fact, I base this on a romantic notion from my youth; I read a story about a mother who starved herself to death, eating little at meals so that her children would have more. I wanted to be this mother! Seriously. Sick, eh? But that mindset permeated my image of what it meant to truly love your children.
Back at your observation, I think the poverty mindset isn't a bad thing if it is accompanied by the development of an inner life. I have had to cut way back, due to financial constraints. I have used this time to explore my personal issues, to open to a deeper spiritual connection. Not pursuing the accumulation of material goods, I have found joy in little things found in nature. I have had time to listen to my husband and my kids.
Recently, I found myself overwhelmed by my sense of impoverishment; I gave away too much of my power and what remained was a tight chest and a bleak outlook. Letting go of commitments that impacted what I valued more, in other words, taking back my personal power, I felt such amazing release and relief!
My poverty might remain, but I have new energy to attack its roots and clean up its causes!
I believe we can become stuck in issues of particular chakras where we are weak. I think life is full of lessons to help us move through these issues, and that when we recognize patterns of "stuckness", it's best to face our fears and finally admit our issues so that we can help ourselves heal and more forward... to face new issues, with fresh insight.
A very long and perhaps rambling answer to say, changing our perspective on what might or might not be a negative habit is very transforming!
I think that it depends on the reasons for your frugal living.
There are people who live very frugally because they have no choice...they are just trying to survive.
There are people who live frugally because they enjoy the accumulation of money more than the things that money can buy.
There are people who live frugally because they wish to economize on some aspects of their lifestyle in order to have more money for other things.
If you need to ask yourself why you live frugally, you're probably not in the first category. I know many people who live carefully and frugally in order to save for a secure retirement. Others live very frugally because they have set their priorities. They have downsized their lifestyle so that they can enjoy frequent travel. Others live frugally so that they have more to spend on helping others.
When you turn living frugally into a lifetime of self sacrifice without reason, it seems to me that you take the enjoyment out of life. Understanding yourself, your priorities and your motivation is an important part of determining how frugal you should (or need to) be.
I live a frugal lifestyle because I enjoy it and really have no use for money other than the fact that I live in a society based on money. Without a doubt it is easier to save money but this is not the reason I live the way I do. I simply do not grasp the concept of needing new toys to justify my existence.
For instance I have a car that is 23 years old that cost 900.00 dollars, it gets awesome gas milage and takes me where ever I need to go, so what would be the purpose of constantly upgrading my car model and always having a car payment?
It simply makes no sense to me, I don't get it?
Why buy vegetables from a supermarket if you can grow them yourself, the concept is absurd to me, again I don't get it? I don't eat the decaying flesh of animals so what would be the purpose of buying food when you can grow it yourself?
I prefer books to movies, I don't watch TV as it is a tool to condition the masses and to tell people what to think, I prefer to do my own thinking.
Everything in moderation . . . if you choose to make elements of your life obsessive that is your choice. There is no right or wrong way to live, just choice.
I think you can avoid a 'poverty mindset' by mentally disconnecting money from the concept of wealth. For example, I remember watching a TV programme about an old man in a very poor part of Wales, who survived on a few pounds a week pension. The interviewer said 'don't you hate being so poor?' The man was annoyed and said 'I may be poverty stricken, but I'm NOT poor!' He was intelligent enough to realise that the best things in life really are free, or cost very little. Yes, we need money for the basics - food, clothing and shelter - but once these needs are satisfied, money doesn't create much more happiness for us.
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