Frugality Begins in Contentment

A Frugal Post - Part of a New Series on Frugality

This is part of a new series of blog posts on frugality, which will be a regular feature of my blog.

My husband and I recently celebrated our fifteenth wedding anniversary. To celebrate, we headed out to dinner. One of the things we like to do together that has fallen by the wayside after kids is shopping. We love decorating our home. So we headed to some of my favorite places that sell home items.

We spent a good three hours. Guess what we came home with? A coffee spoon. No, I’m not kidding.

It’s an odd thing, this frugality. We weren’t being stingy, let me add. It wasn’t like I had drawn our purse strings tight. We weren’t walking around saying, “No, no, no…” It was fun truly appreciating some things in the stores; we had fun looking around, but we didn’t want to own everything we appreciated. It was a great feeling to know that if we liked something, we could buy it. We didn’t need to deny ourselves.

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons. – T. S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. 

But there was also something else: a deep strain of satisfaction, of contentedness, if you will, that made grabbing for the next shiny object not that necessary. I believe when it comes to frugality, this is one many miss.

We truly are content where we are.
A Frugal Post
Daughter paints a leaf on our “mortgage tree” – a visual representation of our (only) debt.

This is not to say that we don’t dream. But there are two kinds of dreams – ones that are just fun and others attached to a plan. Our financial dreams get to sink their teeth in plans – we budget meticulously, I’m always on the lookout for inexpensive homeschool supplies, ideas and books, I love libraries, sales, thrift stores and clearance racks of the bigger stores.

This is where perhaps my love of video games and frugality intertwine. By accepting and reminding myself that I am okay whether I buy that next big thing or not, that I am content at any given moment, I can treat our budget as a game.

Gamification (and frugality) begins in contentment.

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Author: Purva Brown

Writer / blogger at – unapologetically blending two seeming opposites.

5 thoughts on “Frugality Begins in Contentment”

    1. I will have more posts about this, of course, but to answer your question… I set up little rewards for myself if I achieve my goals. And I only get them if I hit some numbers. Sometimes the rewards are material and sometimes they’re just the feeling of having “won.” It’s like a video game – you get experience points anyway, but then ever so often, you get a tangible reward and “level up.” 🙂

  1. Of course I read this after I just did some birthday shopping for myself lol. Seriously though I need help budgeting. I homeschool through the charter school that shall not be named in the San Juan school district, so we only pay for Christian curriculum, so that is not really an issue for us. My main issue has been coming up with a realistic grocery budget for 6 (3 adults/ 3 children) and sticking with it.

    1. I should honestly write a post about birthday shopping as well. I saved up for months for my spree… and it was glorious! Haha. I will have some basic budgeting trips! But I feel your pain. Grocery shopping seems to be the hardest.

  2. Every birthday mi kids and husband ask me what do I want as a gift. For many years now, I always say: Let’s go out for lunch somewhere we all like.
    I really can’t think in a thing.
    My favorite things are books y fortunately I can buy them every time I want to.
    I’ve been in a frugality mode for a long time now.
    I always tell my kids that we all should “never come true” dreams.

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