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?

779 thoughts on “The Changing Face of Frugality

  1. “my introduction to Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, who bring everything back to love.” The deepening awareness that Love is boundless and is the essence of us all.

  2. I think it can be very powerful to question how we are in life in such a way that we discover that we are not the true version of ourselves. We are living in a false reality that we have made into a reality. And it is not until we start to pick apart the layers that make up this false reality that we start to catch a glimpse of the real us, the quality of who we truly are. Those nooks and crannies that you speak of can seem very daunting as we bring notice to them but if they are exposed to the full light of day the angst of self worth, anxiousness, pleasing other people, all our hurts etc., just melt away and we are left in the true power of who we truly are. The nearest analogy I have found so far is it’s a bit like being a caterpillar and turning into a chrysalis and then finding your a Butterfly it is the most amazing transformation to go through and worth it to become the Butterfly. The Butterfly has wings to soar back to God the universe.

    1. I love your analogy Mary. To discover that I was already carrying around the butterfly within when I thought I was just a caterpillar was a huge revelation. All I had to do was connect to it.

  3. When we cut ourselves off from our true essence, we are the ones being frugal. This can then reflect itself in the way we do things. I love how NP has shared in this blog about enriching her life with love and tenderness etc as a means to plump up and fullfill life in its true sense.

  4. I keep coming back to this blog because every time I read it I discover something else about it that resonates with me. Because I too and I would say many others are living or have lived their lives disconnected from themselves and this leads to a reduced way of living and I suspect that this is why we have so much mental ill health in our society.

    1. We know that there is so much more to life and the disappointment and hurt as children when we are told it is not what we know and we are forced into a reduced version of it does far, far more damage to our emotional health than we would care to admit.

  5. This is absolute gold. I love hearing about your life and on reflection can feel how important it is for our younger generation to hear these stories as well, especially in a time where everything is on tap or at the click of a button, this should be part of the PSHE curriculum … hearing about lived experience from others. There is much to appreciate here and I am sure you have some more gold to share. In writing this last sentence it is clear to see the wealth we have in our lived experiences, putting a completely different perspective on the meaning of wealth and of course gold.

  6. This is a great blog to reflect on as on reflection I realised I have been very frugal with myself, I have not allowed myself to be truly seen for who I am. I know this stems from childhood when my bubbly personality wasn’t wanted, so I dulled myself down and stayed that way for years. This all changed when I met Serge Benhayon and with his support I’m slowly coming out of my hermit shell and embracing life once again. Thank you deeply Serge, you saw in me that spark that no one else was bothered to see.

  7. What stood out for me was your meeting of Serge Benhayon who as you say brings everything back to love. What is it about this word that bring up so much in human-beings? It is a word that is in constant daily use all over the world and it is something we all hanker after. But when the purity of love is presented we run a million miles from it. Could it be that as a race of human-beings we have been fed such a lie when it comes to love, so much so that we have been totally corrupted so we are living a false truth and because of this we are so lost that when we are presented with true love and how to simply reconnect to it we abuse the messenger rather than look at why we have corrupted the word love and our lack of it.

  8. Being frugal in the way you describe, NP in terms of time, tenderness and expression feels like an energetic pinching… short of space and room. In the past, I can also see how I have been frugal with my time, tenderness, expression and even money which kept me trapped in a box, whereas loosening my grip has allowed life to open up in all sorts of ways.

  9. “Abundance abounds through my devotion to self-nurturing and self-love, which leads to self-worth through appreciation and confirmation of who I am.” So true we can have all the riches in the world and still be poor if we do not have true self love.

  10. Thank you N.P. Frugality was definitely part of my untaught education and I can see how it has coloured my behaviours and my outlook when it is not my natural tendency. Great to ponder on this further.

    1. Well said Elaine, frugality is something that is ingrained in some of us as you have said in the ‘untaught education’ – and as Yoda from Star Wars so wisely said, there are many things we learned that need to be unlearned.

    2. We pick up by reflection far more than we think and far more than anything the education system teaches us. It is our primary mode of learning and if we are not energetically aware then it can seep into our consciousness which we take on, barely registering what we are doing.

  11. Being frugal perpetuates a belief of not being enough, while being responsible and mindful is the foundation for abundance.

  12. Abundance comes not from the numbers and activities, it comes from our capacity to connect and stay connected and feel ourselves and others.

  13. There is nothing wrong with saving money and saving it through recycling and making our own things as opposed to buying them pre-made but we must ask at what expense this comes (pun intended)…for if we suffer unduly from this ‘saving’ then it is no real saving indeed.

  14. There is an abundance to life in bringing ourselves fully to all its moments and not rushing through so as to get onto the next activity and the next.

  15. Everything I do for me at the beginning and end of the day supports the foundation that I am building that holds me during the day – gradually my love and respect for myself becomes evident in all that I do and like- wise if I drop from this it is felt by everyone.

  16. I noticed recently that insecurity such as one would feel in war time is inextricably linked to feelings of frugality, making the most of things, not knowing if there would be more..and so forth, and this is old in my body. And yet the fountain of Love within us all never runs dry, something to remember.

  17. If we do not appreciate out true worth we will take measures to preserve what we perceive to be of worth in place of this.

  18. Abundance isn’t really about money. It’s a feeling and it can come when you have very little in the way of material things. As the article suggests it comes from the way we are with ourselves and how much love and care we offer ourselves.

  19. NP you are indeed a elder with great wisdom to share. This line was a standout for me today – “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”. I realise I do this to and am exposing that more and more in my life where I do it. Fascinating exercise.

  20. I enjoyed reading this NP, thank you. ‘No more ‘that will do’ is a great message to take from your blog. Abundance is not dependent on the outer it comes from a full-embodied loving commitment to oneself in expression.

    1. Great ticket to abundance here – I love that – a full-embodied loving commitment to oneself in expression.

  21. Thank you NP, I really enjoyed reading this. I grew up with relatives telling me about the Depression and how little they had and how they made ends meet. It was a necessity at the time. I suppose the problem is we can carry things through generations that may no longer be needed, nor truly loving or supportive for ourselves. I’m a big fan of valuing and caring for things I have, not perfectly, but that comes from appreciating the value of material items. What I didn’t understand though was how precious I was and how to deeply care for me and my worth in this world. That’s also a common generational belief, to place others before ourselves. What I appreciate about the Ageless Wisdom and the work presented by Universal Medicine is as I return to my soul everything that is not loving comes up to be examined and discarded. It’s truly a beautiful way to live as it allows me to let go of what’s not true and live what is.

  22. There are so many words and concepts which have been twisted over time and thus in their use keep misleading and misdirecting us from the conscious awareness of and living in line with our Soul. It is absurd that we can claim each of us can have our own personal truth and many versions of it can stand side by side, because anything that is not in line with the expression of the Soul, the order of the Universe and the oneness of the All that we belong to, can only ever be just a twisted imposter of what is actually true.

    1. Great point Stefanie, and why would we want to treat ourselves less? The delicateness, fragility, and beauty are still within us, so it makes sense to treat ourselves the way we would treat a new born baby. 

  23. How can we ever not spoil someone with love? True love knows no limits, every belief of needing to reduce or set boundaries with it cannot ever be true then.

  24. Reading this what I felt is how so much has changed over generations over a period of not many years in that your generation were brought up to appreciate what they had, even if it was little, make the most of what they had for example food and making it into meals for the next day, clothes and valuing and committing jobs to jobs working hard. Now however it seems we always want more, before we have finished the next goal, meal etc we want the next one there is far less appreciation for what we have. Things are made more cheaply and not with the same quality and care it is a constant turnover of production and the impact on our earth and society globally is felt. I was recently speaking with a young person and they said ‘why should I travel on public transport and be depressed when I could drive a ferrari and be depressed?’ I asked them would their main focus not be dealing with the depression first? It seems about what we have rather than who we are. What I really love here is that when you speak of abundance you speak of the abundance of loving you. We can learn a lot from what you have shared here.

    1. I love the way you have expanded this topic and pinpointed some of the differences in growing up today as opposed to the post-war years. Generational change is inevitable and is in understanding each other that we can appreciate what each generation can bring to humanity.

    1. It is the purpose of things, that helps to get out of untrue frugality and abundance. The moment we connect with what is needed, like you said Monica, issues and beliefs can´t take so much space as it is not about an ideal, which is narrow and small, but about a much bigger picture and everyone else equally in that moment.

  25. “The Changing Face of Frugality” – in my experience, when there is a deep connection to the body and a love for the body, frugality’s opposite of abundance is apparent and palpable.

  26. As soon as I read the title and opening lines of this article today I realised that we endlessly thwart ourselves with rules, often which oppose or contradict each other (frugality vs. being generous for example), but all that get in the way of having a present, honest, and ever-developing relationship with ourselves, others and our place in the world. If I am adhering to a rule there is laziness, apathy and/or resignation that does not question and explore what actually makes sense and truly supports and serves.

  27. Like so many things that I am doing now a days, I am being supported to go deeper into the real reason that I do them.
    Am I being frugal because it is the right thing to do, or am I denying myself something because deep down I do not think I deserve it? Feeling the difference in these two choices is important.
    If I am doing things because deep down I do not feel I deserve it, that is a totally different energy then doing it from love.

    1. Yes Ken, I totally agree. Isn’t it wonderful that we now are so much more aware of the difference in the energy behind an action? Thanks to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine for opening our eyes to what we have not clearly seen, or likely have shut down, over our lifetime/s, enabling us to go deeper with our every step.

  28. The weird thing is that when we live drifted away from ourselves, like basically with our thoughts in the head and the body just has to come with the head, we are not aware anymore that we are so off. That is to worry about.That is why it is such a blessing that Serge Benhayon came to wake us up with his teachings and reflections of how he lives.

  29. Right and wrong, good and bad – they sit on a completely different denominator from Truth. A belief is a belief and correcting or bettering a ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ belief does not take us to truth.

  30. So often during my life I have witnessed the abundance of nature, and I have often reflected on this as the way I could live my life. However no so, as I was born into a family where we had our basic needs were met, yet there was never an abundance in our lives and to some extent I am still living with this poverty consciousness. Of lately this is beginning to change, as I now shop for myself with more awareness and love, making sure I really love what I am buying for myself and not because it comes with a good price. So things are finally changing in the way that I am with myself in the shopping process.

  31. “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”. I was angry yesterday and saw that I was being this to also be an reduced version of me to avoid taking responsibility and bring my true power. It is quite incredible – when you think about it – to have that awareness of what we do because once you have that awareness, you can then bring about change.

    1. I love your comment Sarah, and I agree awareness is so key to change. I had a lovely conversation with someone today about how important expression is, as we all have different strengths and are aware of different things and when we express our angle in conversation others receive more awareness of the topic. When we come together and express we can accelerate each other’s ability to grow, change and evolve through awareness.

  32. What comes to me is that frugality as such is not something that necessarily reduces us it is more when we start to identify with it and make it the only way to be.

  33. In reality, we dont ‘need’ to have lots of possessions around us in order to sustain a life of purpose. In fact too many possessions simply hinders our true way of being and creates delay.

  34. I’ve never known the word ‘frugality’, and I don’t even know if I’m saying it right in my head when I read this. But I am very aware of what it feels like to hold back and that to me, is no different to poverty. Many are starving for who they truly are and this is something no famine campaign can quench.

  35. It is so true… Everything must come back to love… Otherwise whether it is frugality, or overindulgence, whatever it is, it will be empty without that true and deep connection to who we truly are

  36. This exposes how much frugality can play out in our lives and offers the reader much to ponder on how it plays out for them.

  37. In everyday life it is so important to be observing when we go into autopilot and are thinking ‘that will do’ as that is often when we stop feeling what we truly need to nurture and care for ourselves.

  38. Being frugal with money has often been bastardised with the belief of being a ‘penny pincher’ or making the ‘dollar stretch’ yet underneath this lies the way of living and working with money were there is no fear but a responsibility to work with it where it offers you the support you require and in return you respect how it is used to support ones livingness.

  39. When we are frugal with ourselves it leaves us wanting more and the danger with that is that we can look for what we feel is missing outside of ourselves rather than allowing ourselves to go deeper within.

    1. So True Elizabeth, we seek to quench the thirst within with the outer when all that is within is the only drink we need.

  40. Being frugal is always a balancing act, because there is still much we can do to support ourselves without having to spend money, and there are also some things that improve our quality of life that if you put a value on them are priceless, all we need to do is to discern for ourselves and much can change through a few changes in our choices.

  41. The problem with frugality as partner of life, is that it only allows you to see scarcity. Frugality is the lenses through which you live life and you govern the relationship with yourself and others. It a pattern of movement that cannot allow even to conceive that there might be riches to be found anywhere, even less inside of you.

  42. Being frugal used to be seen as something to be proud of, but we don’t realise that if we are frugal in one part of our life it permeates into all areas including the care and love we offer ourselves and subsequently everyone else.

    1. Frugality can harm us in more ways than we “think” when we hold back from feeling and appreciating the richness that is on offer when we value who we are and what we bring.

    2. So true Alison, very well said. Being frugal comes of a lacking energy and a contraction, whereas connecting to love offers us abundance and expansion.

  43. This is beautiful to read NP, so much love and care expressed and lived. We might not have lived it before but we can always turn the tides and start to live with the love that we all deserve.

    1. That’s the beauty of The Ageless Wisdom. When we ‘wake up’ and realise that we have lived in a way that is not true to ourselves, and that life can be different, we are offered the opportunity to peel back the layers and blossom in a way that we had not ever anticipated. Sometimes the changes we need to make can be quite subtle, but other times we need a complete restructure!

  44. Frugality involves holding back the love that we are in essence, for fear that it will be rejected or crushed. In reality we become paupers in life and our relationships, craving love from others to meet our own emptiness and feelings of lack.

    1. That’s the thing about the Bank of Love, it never runs empty, it’s always full, bursting to the seams in fact, but we hold it (us) back instead of ‘spending’ love freely. We can’t actually lose when we express love, as even though life can hurt at times the love itself is never hurt, nor does love need any protection or meting out conditionally. We are so rich with love, in fact we have a bigger than the universe sized amount of it waiting to be used, yet we live like love misers!

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