Frugal enlightenment

I’m going to share my happiness factor with the 201 people who follow my blog and the many other of you who read it. You see…….there is a route to enlightenment. There are different stages. Being in debt but doing nothing about it, was when I “didn’t know that I didn’t know”. I lived in ignorance and was oblivious to a different way of life. I ‘serviced’ my debts. I paid them off and then borrowed more money to do up another part of the house, to put a kitchen in or to buy a new car. The cycle of debt went on. Then I woke up. The route to enlightenment was really hard because then I “knew I didn’t know”. I suddenly woke up to the debt that was around me and decided, like a pilgrim to walk the longest and hardest route that I could ever take and to add to the rough ground, I didn’t know the route before I set off.

 These recent years, of true, real frugality have been the happiest times of my forty five years on this earth. I have given up materialism in, what is for me, a fundamental way. I don’t buy amusement, I don’t buy looks, I don’t buy happiness, I can’t buy the latest book, DVD, can’t shop for a snazzy top to ‘cheer me up. If I want to be happy I have to cheer myself up. If I want to look ‘nice’ I have to put a smile on my face. If I’m down in the dumps, I can’t pay a counsellor, I have to kick myself up the arse!

I’m celebrating the little things. I wore new clothes today, brand new, one owner clothes. I haven’t bought new clothes since 2008 and those few garments made me feel special. I can feel like that because new clothes are no longer a regular occurance. Being frugal means, I make what ever I have last until it almost falls to pieces. Being frugal means, that when someone in a long, late night meeting at work, gives you a posh chocolate biscuits, that you eat it slowly, let it melt in your mouth as chocolate has again become a real treat. Being frugal has allowed me to enjoy life in a way I’d forgotten that I could.

It’s the 1st of the month, all our direct debits have been paid, our monthly train passes have been bought, we’ve filled the car up with diesel to last the month and the only money left in our accounts will pay for food this month. There is nothing left to pay for anything else and we’ll need to cut back on food this month as we both need new shoes. We’re selling things on eBay to put towards new winter walking shoes and I’m looking at shoes on the internet in a whole new way. How much sole do they have? How long will they last? Are they leather lined? I don’t look at fashion, or colour, just durability and value. I’m getting excited about buying work shoes. I don’t need Jimmy Choos to excite me, just a pair of sturdy lace ups from Clarks!

You see, enlightenment comes when “you know, you know” and I know that digging myself out of debt requires a bloody great shovel to get out of the hole I’ve made for myself. I’m going without anything I don’t need to survive as I know I am OK with what I’ve got. I know it’s going to be hard for a lot longer yet and I know what I’ve gone through so far hasn’t killed me and what I’ll go through won’t kill me either! I know cooking homemade food, cooking everything from scratch, growing some of my own food and then pickling it or making it into jam has provided my table with food that nourishes our souls as well as our bodies. I know that I am not alone and people read this diary of mine and come with me on this journey. It may be a glimmer, a mountain top moment but I can see the rest of my life laid before me and it IS glorious.

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17 thoughts on “Frugal enlightenment

  1. thanks for the advice on my blog, your post about your wardrobe is just the inspiration I need. Today's post is so inspiring too. I'm beginning to feel that there might be a silver lining to being served with redundancy in that it will be the wake up call I need to really take the bull by the horns and start to lead the more simple life that I have craved for some time. I have long suspected that what I need to make me happy is less not more. xxx

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  2. you are truly inspirational…my enlightenment came when i realized i got more pleasure baking my cakes and watching my family eat them..rather than buying them…i love my life..frugal,simple but sooo full of fun,love and learning new things about myself everyday…
    thank you
    sara

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  3. I check several times a day to see if you have posted. Well worth waiting for. I am not in the situation you are in but I take in all you say. Having bought our property we didnt add to the mortgage, we are doing it up very very slowly as we go without any loans. I save about £50.00 a month towards doing it up. In one year we have only done (not quite) the hall. It does my head in at times but its the only way without getting into debt.. My OH is in debt to about 9k I have a student loan. I had been hoping to pay off some of the debt my OH owes but its been too hard lately. Sorry to go on!

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  4. Brilliant, thought provoking post.

    I have been cutting back on food, clothes, etc. and doing what I can to save as it's an expensive time of the year for me. Both my daughters have birthdays this month, and Christmas is only a few weeks away. I've been doing the bulk of my food shopping in Aldi, with a meal plan to buy for, and have really noticed a difference in spending. I checked my bank account today and pleasantly surprised at how much was still in it. I have a long way to go, but I'm making some changes that matter. Thank you.

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  5. Great post as usual FQ. No matter how hard this journey of yours has been you now appreciate everything you have, don't miss what your don't have and you're happy. I think we should all try living like this even if there are some who don't have the debts the rest of us have. It's just plain and simple living, as they say here down under , “Good on you” 😀 ♥

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  6. Thank you for your blog, it is inspiring and encouraging and I think you are doing a fabulous thing in your life. It is also really lovely to read a UK frugal blog, as while the US ones are great, its good to read from a UK point of view where we can't save money from clipping coupons!

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  7. I have just discovered your blog and it resonates the way I am feeling these days. I find I don't shop for fun anymore , my fun is all around me…in my garden …in my life..in my friends and in my life. I shop to feed my family but attempt to make as much as I can at home. I am so happy!
    Our grocery bills have gone down, due to good planning and good cooking and good gardening. This week I did an organic grocery order online for the things I can't grow and still came out in front at the end of the week.
    The less time you are in the shops , the more you realise what you don't need!
    Great blog, great ideas!
    thegirlwithgreenthumbs.blogspot.com

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  8. I started going frugal when I was pregnant 4 years ago and realised we had nothing due to our “entertaining life style”; movies, restaurants, outings etc etc.
    I love being frugal. I love the challenge and all the rewards it has brought our way.
    We purchased a home and are 15 years ahead in payments already! We bought a cheap secondhand city car. We cook from scratch. I discovered rice cookers and slow cookers! And we are still on our journey of discovery and self education thanks to blogs like yours!
    Frugal Down Under.

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