Frugal Comforts

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One year after, unemployment had fallen in 47 instances, risen in 40 others and was unchanged in the remaining 4. Workers demonstrate in support of a higher minimum wage earlier this month. Progressives can thus claim the wage hike improved employment prospects in 52 percent of cases while conservatives can argue that it made things worse 44 percent of the time. The most reasonable interpretation of the data, however, would seem to indicate that factors other than the minimum wage determine rates of employment. That finding makes sense because, popular economic myths notwithstanding, employers hire workers for one reason only: They need them to generate profit.

Tax cuts will not prompt companies to hire unneeded laborers, and wage hikes will not compel layoffs of the personnel necessary to continue operations. As is the case with any commodity, the price of labor fluctuates over time. When it rises, businesses either absorb the additional costs or pass on all or part of them to consumers.

The business model of the fast-food industry is predicated upon relatively cheap labor. Eliminating their jobs hardly figures to improve the situation. Like welfare and unemployment compensation, the minimum wage is part of a safety net that benefits all income levels by promoting economic stability. Viewed in that light, it is defensible both as a humanitarian measure and for its social utility. FW and I are in an endless state of discovery. Neither of us ever runs out of ideas or projects because our life is engineered to create these opportunities for us.

But I find quite a few instances in my life that take less time and cost less money. One of my favorite examples of this intersection are our at-home DIY haircuts. In all, this would probably take me over two hours.

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  • 19 Reasons Why Frugality Is The Best Thing That’s Ever Happened To Me - Frugalwoods.

Lucky for me, Mr. FW cuts my hair at home and I cut his , which takes a whopping 15 minutes and costs me zero bucks. Take my funky turquoise end table, for example. It exists to serve a function. My life is simple. Not in a boring, backward sort of way, but in an unhurried, un-frantic, uncluttered sort of way. This simplification and streamlining means that I have more time to devote to the activities that I do find fulfilling.

I stopped wearing makeup on a daily basis because it was expensive and, I decided, a waste of my time. Plus, it caused me anguish: Had I selected the correct color of lipstick? Did I just accidentally rub my eye and smear my mascara??? These the traumas I used to endure.

So much easier for me to simply say no. To simply not wear it anymore. To not buy it, to not need it, to not put it on. To simplify and to do without is to create a level of ease and calm. We begin to expect those treats on a regular basis in order to maintain our baseline happiness. Then, over time, we gradually need bigger or more frequent treats. To anticipate that jolt of dopamine and to crave it more and more. Frugality, on the other hand, trains our brain not to require those consumer highs. This is what happens to me when I eat a piece of cake.

But when I eat a piece of cake? I nearly took out a six-year-old at coffee hour after church last Sunday as we both dove for the last piece of coffee cake. I regained composure and let her take it, but I considered grabbing it and handing her a carrot stick instead. Same goes for buying stuff. Going out to dinner is another excellent example. FW and I used to dine out all the time.

Now that we only eat out once a month, we find we enjoy that meal far, far more. Frugal people are creative, not perhaps inherently, but frugality makes us creative not to be confused with crafty because we all know where I stand on crafts… hate them. We innovate, we experiment, and we do it ourselves.

We devise our own food, our own entertainment, our own gifts, our own way to live. Normal is boring not to mention expensive and typically stress-laden. When you can eliminate the stressor of money, you can instead focus on what truly matters.

19 Reasons Why I Choose Frugality

Babywoods had a rather traumatic birth and spent a week in the NICU, which was certainly an unexpected curveball for us. It was just one less thing on our plates. FW and I do just about everything together. A life of frugality is one of insourcing, which means collaborating with your partner on everything from the mundane how many times have we cleaned the kitchen together over the course of our marriage….

This has enabled us to set—and achieve—longterm financial aspirations. But what it does mean is that we consider the needs of our family first. If Babywoods is exhausted or sick, we stay home. We prioritize the rest and recuperation she needs rather than dragging her to a party we want to attend. We structure our lives so that self-care is paramount.

Yes, Comfort Is Bad and Here’s How To Fix It

We go to bed at the same time every night and get hours of sleep no matter what else is going on. The ability to quit jobs that kept us separate is perhaps the best fringe benefit of our frugality. Research has proven that the glut of choices we face in making decisions in our modern economy do not, in fact, make us happier. The more options we grapple with, the more stressed we become and the more likely we are to regret or second-guess whatever we do finally decide to buy.

Frugality allows us to narrow our choices in two ways: The entire purchasing experience—from entering the store to checking out—took us about 5 minutes. We saw the stroller, we tested it out with Babywoods in it, and we bought it. The same scenario plays out every time we shop at a thrift store or a garage sale. It sounds counterintuitive, but research bears it out and I encourage you to try it and see how you feel.

Much of frugality is the art of doing things yourself. Lucky for us, these things are often physical in nature! Hefting a toddler around, weeding a garden , chopping down trees for firewood , clearing brush on our hiking trails, cleaning our house , walking the dog, carrying the laundry downstairs to the washing machine, even cooking involves movement!

By doing everything ourselves, we have ample opportunity to move our bodies throughout the day. I can only sit at my computer and write words for an hour or so at a time before I need to move around. Just think about that one for a minute. By biking and walking everywhere, we were set. Plus, I worked out a system of barter and trade with my yoga studio in exchange for free classes!

Now, I do yoga at home for free using the site doyogawithme. Frugal folks are out doing things. Plus, on the purely recreational side of things, we nurture free hobbies: Would I be eaten up with jealously? How would I go three years without buying clothes very easily, as it turns out?!? Turns out, frugality profoundly shifted the way I think about the world.

Yes, Comfort Is Bad and Here's How To Fix It — The Frugal Gene

Instead of this endless lust for more, I found myself experiencing an abiding sense of gratitude for everything that I have in my life. When I stopped consuming, I started to see how many things we own that we never even use! I used to be insecure. I was forever fretting about what people might think of me, my appearance, and my choices. Would they think I was successful? That I was doing the right things?

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Did everyone love my dress??!!!?? Embracing frugality became about embracing who I really am. I no longer strive to attain the impossible standards our consumer culture establishes. I no longer care about the harsh judgments of others and, interestingly, parallel to this was an evaporation of my judgment of them. When I stopped worrying that everyone was judging me, I also stopped judging them. I let go of comparing myself to other people and started creating my own metrics for achievement. Am I being the writer, the parent, the partner, the friend, the daughter that I want to be?

Am I creating an environment of peace wherever I go? I made a conscious decision to stop trying to demonstrate my worth as a person through the things I own, which allows me to focus much more on the things I do. When I feel bogged down in the day-to-day laundry, deadlines, a whiny toddler , I do the cliche thing of stepping back and pausing.

Frugality encourages a reliance on one another, a sharing of skills, of time, and of stuff. While part of the reason Mr. I saved the very best for last. More than anything else, frugality gives you options. But frugality is also a virtuous lifestyle cycle: I was talking to someone last night and they were telling me ever since they became more frugal that it has completely unlocked their creative mind. He went on to talk about how in college he was constantly looking for ways to recreate things for free. But when he got a job that his creativity went out the window because he was able to buy whatever he wanted.

A friend of mine mentioned that same thing when she was living in Africa. Frugality means responsibility, self-discipline, stability and preparedness to me. There have been many points in life where I felt so lucky I had saved up the money that I did. But I sure can be proactive in preparing for it. All of these are great. These are all obviously quite central to life, but I think knowing your true priorities and having a sense of gratitude are really huge boosts to happiness and are underrated life improvements.

Once those fall into place everything else becomes a whole lot easier. I love that the stuff you write is the stuff you live. I third that — I loved this so much. Letting go of what others think of us and letting go of perfectionism chime extra strong with me. Read most of it out loud to my husband. Thank you so much! I generally love your articles but this one is a keeper. Reading as I was walking down the street in my amazing UK city..

I am going to print this article out and keep it. I can really relate to this. We are doing the homestead ourselves and while there are things we buy, we are doing all the labor. Building raised beds for the garden, planting fruit trees, berry bushes, building the fences and planting the vegetables that will be eaten fresh, canned and making jams.

I fired the salon years ago, my husband cuts my hair and always does a great job, he gives the children their haircuts each month as well. It saves me so much time. As you mentioned, no making an appointment, driving there, waiting and then paying alot for which most of the time I wasnt happy with. For mine, I tell hubby I want mine trimmed, and he does it for me, takes him about 20 minutes, as he does the full sectioning, and trims each layer. For the children, I remind him they are due, please take care of them.

About 10 minutes per child and then they are off to the shower after their haircuts. A really simple routine and it saves us a lot. We also have started keeping bees, there are costs up front, but they are great for pollinating the garden and we will see the rewards of our own home produced honey. Very healthy and you cant get any more local than your own yard. And I have friends asking when are we going to have some for sale, so I see it as becoming a source of extra income as a home business. Just tried out the haircut tip the other week…worked great!

Also included is a photo of my dog, mid-haircut with cute lil curls all around her because I stopped taking her to the hair salon aka groomer also. One contention is the gym. I agree that there are many benefits to frugality. It seems you have your deeper purpose and values worked out, which drives your frugality. I would argue that frugality is a tool, not a purpose or a value by itself.

But I absolutely agree that the tool of frugality can bring these great benefits, and have experienced many of them. FW and I hone our priorities. At the end of the day, the ultimate purpose of frugality is to decide what kind of life you want to lead. But I also find that all of these other benefits come to me specifically through frugality. When I chat with friends who I consider to be very grounded, spiritual, and at peace, I find that my frame of reference for my own worldview is frugality, while theirs might be, say, yoga or a religious vocation and while I both practice yoga and am religious, it comes back to the lessons of frugality for me because I see how it positively impacts every other part of my life.

Does that answer your question? I feel like maybe not, but I hope it helps: Thanks for your answer. Fewer worries about acquiring and maintaining and competing with others. Which gives me more time and mental space for other more important things. The money savings are a nice bonus too. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web.

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