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?

722 thoughts on “The Changing Face of Frugality

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

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