Since I write about frugality, the subject matter can veer towards self-deprivation and austerity. I didn’t get that coffee I wanted, or look at this hair-tie I found on the ground or I have a less than ideal possession, but I’m keeping them going for as long as I can. But I don’t want to give the impression that a frugal life is one without joy and indulgences.
My current budget is extremely tight, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t treat myself.
- I binge watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, not once but twice.
- I drink multiple big hot sweet cups of Red Rose tea throughout my day, and always take it as an opportunity to plop down on the couch and goof around on the internet, thinking to myself “even the scullery maid gets to sit down with her tea at some point.”
- I indulge my odd aesthetic and buy completely impractical scratchy vintage throw pillows.
- I take lengthy hot showers. Even if they are every other day to save money.
- I bake inexpensive treats for no reason whatsoever. And I don’t obsess about my weight.
- I check out library books that I don’t end up reading, simply because the process of choosing is enjoyable.
- I talk on the phone to my NYC sister at least three times per day.
- I perk up dull chores by always having a library audiobook downloaded onto my phone.
- I wear comfortable clothes, always.
- I plan inexpensive trips that fit within my budget. I may never stay in a foreign resort, but I can still step away from my home routine now and then. We’ve even staycationed at my mother’s guest cottages, even though they’re just fifteen minutes from the house.
- I socialize with my friends without spending money.
- I give myself permission to take pleasure in what others would find ordinary.
I don’t pressure myself to keep up the Joneses, which frees me from making life choices based on how I seem to others. Having an extremely limited budget doesn’t mean that life’s little, or even medium pleasures need to go by the wayside.
Today I may be spending the day cleaning one of my mother’s guest cottages, but later I’ll throw together a couple of homemade pizzas and snuggle up in front of the TV with my beautiful and healthy kids.
Which is the ultimate treat.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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