Have you noticed, some perfectly normal words have gotten a “bad” reputation? Words like “comfortable” – honestly, what’s WRONG with being comfortable?! Most of us LIVE to be “comfortable!” And, how about “fine”?! Put it together with almost anything, and it becomes elevated: fine wine, fine features, fine fabrics. But all ALONE, it’s a terse “pre-argument” response, something “nondescript” to say when you don’t want to be honest, a brush-off answer. Then, there’s poor, bedraggled “frugal”… sitting there, being sensible, just tryin’ to be careful and it gets saddled with “cheap, miserly and STINGY!”
When did thriftiness fall by the wayside, as a good character trait… a hallmark of honor??? It’s even in the Scout Promise! Yet, somewhere along the line, these desirable ideals fell from general cultural acceptance. Why settle for “comfortable” when you can aspire to EXTRAVAGANT. Would you be satisfied with a “fine” life, when you could be positively EUPHORIC every day. And, that stick-in-the-mud “frugal” just wants to rain on your parade, never letting you GO WILD! C’mon, who are YOU going to invite for fun – “frugal,” “comfortable,” and “fine” or “OVER-THE-TOP”?!
So, imagine my surprise to discover “International Frugal Fun Day” coming up THIS Saturday! Hmmm… poor “frugal” never gets asked to join the fun. But then I recalled some of my fondest personal memories. Saturday afternoon drives – Daddy seeing where the roads would take us and Mama opening more and more of the map trying to figure out where we were! Impromptu indoor picnics or tent-building with my son, when the weather had us going stir crazy. Sitting on the end of our neighborhood pier, feet dangling above the water and dreaming on the clouds. WOW, who knew… “frugal” CAN be loads of fun!
Memories Don’t HAVE To Cost Money!
See, when we’re younger or less-experienced, anything can be the source of endless fun, while also creating lifelong memories. And, as we gain age and exposure we can either actively cultivate this child-like wonder, or become jaded – filling our lives with more… and more… AND MORE! When, maybe, the answers really lie in recapturing our earlier, simple joy and finding a “greater” purpose for our life.
As I became an adult (at least, on paper!), I had to learn to make choices. Sometimes I made smart, well-considered and beneficial choices. Other times? Not so much! But, most importantly, with each poor choice, I tried to learn something. And I eventually learned I would rather have a real dining room table, rather than drive WELL in-excess of the posted highway speed limits. Along the way, I also figured out actually COOKING food in my kitchen, rather than just using it as a “take-out unloading station,” gave me the funds to take a long-overdue vacation to Italy. Then, one day, while looking at my literal wall of purses and shoes, I knew my money could be MUCH better-served going to people with NO shoes!
“Frugal” UNLOCKS Everything!
Suddenly, I realized being “frugal” could actually unlock the door to endless possibilities… including FUN! Being frugal not only changed my mindset, but allowed me to tap into a wealth of blessings – to share with others. Win-win!
“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, ‘He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.’ Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.” (II Corinthians 9:7-11)
And, as I began to put purpose into my spending, my blessings increased… just as He promised! So, my budget now includes mortgage, utilities and other “adult” obligations, along with “fun” – it’s own line-item – AND charitable giving. Yep, right there alongside my water bill and show tickets, is money designated for those who may NOT be “comfortable” or “fine.” Rather than sheepishly MASK any “frugal” tendencies, let’s proudly RECLAIM all those positive terms associated with it: prudent, careful, hard-working, diligent, simple, wise!
However, remember to put a little fun into YOUR “frugal” – along with purpose. And we’re frugal here at King’s Ransom Foundation, too! So we make sure EVERY PENNY goes directly to help those you choose. You can also share your purpose, along with some ideas for “frugal fun,” in our social media communities – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. So, count me in for the “Frugal Fun”… join me!