The Changing Face of Frugality

Where does frugality come from? Is it good or bad? Is it something that is entrenched in the way we are raised and determined by our parents’ outlook on life and their financial standing? Is it lingering from times of war and depression? Why is it so entrenched in Christianity? Is it only about money or does it permeate much deeper than dollars and cents alone?

These are questions that have arisen over recent times as I begin to realise that I have lived my life with no true connection to who I truly am, just a reduced version of the real me that I now know is an avoidance of the responsibility I have to bring my true power to everything I do. This way of living life is the polar opposite of how it can be and as I unpick each layer built up to cover my true essence, I look into the nooks and crannies of what has influenced me throughout my life.

I grew up in very modest post war means, living in Government supported housing. My father had fought in WWII and was employed in a longstanding job, as many did in those days, but as I see it now, well below his capabilities.

Our life was simple – we never owned a car – so I caught the bus to school and we walked everywhere we could, and I still enjoy walking wherever I can. Otherwise it was public transport and groceries were delivered from the store in the city out to us in the suburbs. Growing up, nothing was wasted yet there was no feeling of abundance except at Christmas time, when we would buy a Christmas hamper with all sorts of goodies, including some we didn’t like, and Dad would buy a live chicken from the nearby chicken farm, and slaughter it for us for Christmas Dinner.

I started dressmaking at a young age, and remember being very proud of my outfit for my Year 8 School Fair (age 13), where I met my first boyfriend. From then on I made nearly all of my clothes including swimsuits, business attire and then my wedding gown. I remember that it cost me $33 for the fabric and pattern, when something similar would have cost many hundreds of dollars, if not more.

Frugality had permeated my way of life, and it was partnering up with my then undetected lack of self-worth, to become something different. It was about minimalist living, saving as much as possible and doing as much work as possible, negating what my body may have been telling me. There was no thought of taking a break and most long weekends were for doing bigger projects around the house.

Along came the children: one, two, three! I loved being pregnant. I loved having babies. I loved being a wife and mother. But somewhere along the way I lost loving me and it was about everyone else. The changing face of frugality extended to not even considering there should be some time devoted to my self-nurturing. Every moment was filled with chores and projects; so much so that I recall feeling so accomplished that I could squeeze even more into my day. Frugality became about short changing myself from the abundance that I truly am.

Making the family’s clothes, growing vegetables, baking bread, cakes and biscuits and every meal from scratch, learning how to be the family hairdresser – all this, even when I went back to work. This face of frugality was intertwined with every decision.

So, you may ask, in how many ways can one see frugality differently? Here are but a few I have discovered:

Being frugal with:

My time –

Doing things as fast as possible, and not in the quality that I now know to be me in activities such as:

  • Housekeeping
  • Shopping
  • Cooking
  • Gardening
  • Walking and exercising
  • Doing tasks at work and returning to my desk by cutting corners and bumping into edges.

My tenderness –

  • Not cuddling my babies off to sleep, but letting them settle in their cot so I could get on to the next task (I definitely did not want to ‘spoil’ them, as the belief was in those times)
  • Not pegging and folding washing in a tender way, but as quickly as possible
  • Applying creams, lotions and makeup at lightning speed.

My expression –

  • Not speaking up about how I feel
  • Not sharing with others the many ideas that pop into my awareness
  • Swallowing hurts
  • Not allowing myself space to grieve the sudden death of my mother when I had a new baby, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old to care for.

Fast forward to my introduction to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, who bring everything back to love. I have been re-introduced to true abundance and am still grasping how to live that every day. Why would I not take the time to gently and lovingly apply cleanser, toner and moisturiser to my face, lotion to my body – how much extra time and tenderness does it take? Being frugal is being turned around, yet again, and I am learning to spend time with me in preparation for each day.

From an untrue use of frugality towards true abundance – discovering pockets where this twist of frugality is hiding and calling it out – is an ongoing process and I’m learning from others much younger than me to not short cut my own needs (being frugal) to satisfy another.

Abundance abounds through my devotion to self-nurturing and self-love, which leads to self-worth through appreciation and confirmation of who I am. Abundance abounds, and I am learning to allow myself to feel it with every breath. No more ‘that will do’ when I feel to do something differently. I just made myself an omelette, so I took the time to pick some parsley from the garden, to take some (previously prepared in the true nature of frugality) kale and onion from the freezer, to include some roast vegies from the fridge and some spices too. Frugality and abundance working together!

By NP, an elder with great wisdom to share, and more yet to discover, Australia

Related Reading:
Self-Care is not Selfish
Re-Learning to Self-Worth
Cleaning up my Mess – True Self Care or Keeping up Appearances?

438 thoughts on “The Changing Face of Frugality

  1. It’s great to be reminded about the ideals that can permeate every movement and thought we might have. For me I used to be obsessed by the idea of efficiency. But really this was just a way for me to avoid feeling hurt and to distract me from feeling what is truly going on in and around me.

    1. When we take the time to look and feel a little deeper and bring understanding – there are many things and ways of being (eg. efficiency, frugality and on) that we can use in life to avoid feeling, reading life, being who we truly are in all areas of our life.

  2. One of the many things I’m very grateful for is knowing Serge Benhayon as he supports everyone through workshops and presentations to consider our lives and how we are living them. No one I have met as ever asked me to simply question life. Many of us considered ourselves to be responsible but there is a depth to being responsible in everything we do, in that lack of connection to our true selves is the lack of true responsibility not just to ourselves but the rest of humanity.

    1. And to be offered to question life and ourselves without judgement but with love and understanding is a beautiful thing to be presented with. This Serge Benhayon reflects so beautifully.

  3. Frugality can be totally unrelated to money – if we look at the fact that many women in the world lived in suppression or fear for their bodies and lives, they will learn to love contracted and held back and trying to not stand out, and this is what they pass on to their daughters, to be frugal with your beauty, to not shine to bright and not stand out and not be all of who you are because you might get hurt.

    1. Very true. Frugality can be related to every aspect of life and for every type of person of any age really, especially when we consider all the ways we can be less than who we truly are in life as a way of fitting in.

  4. It’s great to read this as I was brought up in this way of not wasting resources, food or money, it was just a way of being, to appreciate what we had and if there was limited source to share it with others.

  5. There are many areas in which I can see frugality running through my life. It feels like if you are frugal in one area of your life, you might want to review other areas too, as frugality. tends to ripple and weave through so many other things that we might not have clocked until reading this blog!

  6. I can so much relate to what you have shared NP, I had not thought that the way i had lived was frugal but reading what you have shared I feel that I have lived with frugality, there was no time for me, there was too much to be done, and time spent on me had no worth at all, we had the basics which I diligently provided and which we appreciated but there was no sense of abundance, I too am learning now, that time spent with me in loving self care and nurture is so worth it, i am so worth.

  7. Hi my name is Sarah and I am frugal with my appreciation of my gorgeous self. That is what came to me so clearly reading this today. I am frugal with how I love and appreciate myself. Here’s to cultivating this garden more and more.

  8. When we choose to believe in the world of frugal, we are totally short-changing ourselves… life is abundantly rich with love, joy and harmony, and expands exponentially when we live and connect with this.

    1. This is true Paula. Your comment brings to the forefront just how we as a humanity do tend to see the what is not of truth and love and appreciation before we see all that is there in front of us and around us that is. This view seems to stem from how we connect with ourselves and treat ourselves – for we can only see in life that which already are and confirm with ourselves first. Eg. It’s hard to appreciate life or another if we do not first appreciate ourselves and our qualities.

  9. This is an amazing article which exposes how ideals and beliefs about frugality have enabled us to feel guilty about listening to our bodies and honouring what is revealed to us without guilt or judgement. I easily identify with what is expressed about being frugal. I grew up in a family believing that it was a necessity for survival and very wise to be frugal. Appreciation of what we have and taking responsibility to use what we have wisely and not wastefully are fine attributes but only in the energy of true self-love, self-care and self-nurturing first. How insightful to feel how frugal I can be with my expression, my tenderness and my time with people and on activities, if I am rushing or distracted. Being present with me in each moment, loving me in abundance and appreciating my self-worth and who I truly am allow me to offer that same abundance of love and acceptance to others to feel that is equally in them too.

  10. Frugality and abundance in a full and developing relationship with each other; this is an article that touches so many points of wisdom and insight into life, our choices and the impact of these. One to come back to to learn more and more. Thank you.

  11. It’s great to look at all the areas in life where we can be frugal. This can include our communication with others. If we are withholding something or not expressing something we are holding ourselves back and not allowing our natural expression. We are not sharing ourselves. This can hurt deeply, and everyone misses out.

  12. “These are questions that have arisen over recent times as I begin to realise that I have lived my life with no true connection to who I truly am..” – I can say the same, and I can also say that even after years of being , enjoying and wholly appreciating the gift of true connection from Universal Medicine, there is so much more of myself to connect deeper to.

  13. What a beautiful unfolding of self love and appreciation and a new notion of abundance. We have been raised on the idea of accumulating material things and recognition to feel secure in life.

    1. Security is a false drive in life that is material or self fulfilling based whereas love is beholding and expansive. When we make life about love of self and others (people) first then all we do and work with is from that and then being and feeling truly content in life naturally follows.

  14. “That will do” used to be my stock phrase, i’d give something a go but not give it my all. It’ll do, it’ll be fine, it’ll be enough. I was short changing myself and everyone else. And since feeling the abundance of life with a few years keeping my understanding and connection with Universe Medicine, I bring so much more to everything. But I know there is still deeper to go.

    1. Going more deeply within is not at all self centred when it’s done with fiery intent. In fact going more deeply within has the effect of bringing so much more out into the world.

  15. I love this exploration of frugality beyond the confines of how we commonly view it as relating solely to money. And that it can be a wholesome or constricting thing depending on our approach.

  16. God has given us an abundance, but what have we allowed with this? The allow 1% of the population to own 99% of everything and the other 99% of the world population to share the other 1%. Why have we allowed this madness, that then makes frugality the option of choice?

  17. This was quite uncomfortable to read for the level of exposure it brought up in me. I’ve been aware of my frugality when it comes to my finances but hadn’t seen all the ways frugality dominates my life. Thanks for your sharing – super helpful 🙂

  18. It is great how you have pointed out the countless areas that frugality can take the lead in our lives and how that offers a reminder of how important it is to always be aware of the quality we choose to live with.

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