I received this question in my inbox this morning and decided I would try and answer the reader’s question, but also to open it up to all of you.
I’m a big fan of your page and visit it daily. You give me a much needed dose of encouragement to keep on working towards my financial goals, with a little laugh here and there too. I was hoping you could offer some words of advice.
I have two friends who have recently come into a lot of money and I can’t help but feel jealous about it. I hate to admit that I am envious, but it makes me feel a little less satisfied with my frugal lifestyle. Any tips to help me get more excited about pinching pennies?
First of all, thank you so much for the kind words, and I’m happy to hear that you’re finding encouragement in the blog.
Let me try and address your question. It can be hard when you see others experiencing a higher standard of living that allows for luxuries that you’re unable to indulge. This might mean travel, restaurant meals or even consumer goods. (The actual cause of the envy is unimportant.)
But this is really an issue of contentedness. When a person is content with their life, then envy doesn’t seep in as deeply. But in order for someone to feel content with their frugality, it needs to be a choice. An example would be living on less because of a spouse’s unexpected layoff versus living on less due to taking a meaningful but low paying job. On paper they’re the same, but in reality they’re completely different. Take a look at what’s making you discontent with your life, and see if you can make some changes. Perhaps allow for some small treats that fit within your budget.
I would suggest that Teresa make a conscious choice to include some like minded and similar situation people in her life. This could be in real life, or even on the internet. The Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook group has over 12,000 members, and is an amazing space for non-consumer ideas, inspiration and encouragement. It’s not uncommon for group members to remark that the group helps them feel like they’re not alone in an otherwise consumer driven culture.
I can’t think of anyone’s life that fills me with envy because I’m very content with the one I’ve chosen for myself. However, I sometimes get envious of other people’s successful blogs as I’ve been blogging since May of 2008, (a millennium in the blogosphere) yet have yet to see the huge reader numbers that many other frugality blogs enjoy. It’s not something I think about on a daily basis, but it does bum me out now and then. On the other hand, The Non-Consumer Advocate is a lot more successful than the average blog, so I put my focus there. I get regular feedback from readers saying the blog has changed their lives, so this pulls me away from any self pity.
Now your turn. What advice do you have for Teresa? Have you been in a similar situation, and if so what helped? Maybe you’re even in a similar situation right now? Either way, please share your ideas and support in the comments section below.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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