Thrift: Why Less is More

Thrift and frugal living

What thoughts or feelings come to your mind when you hear the words “thrift” or “thrifty”?

It might just be me, but it seems like those words often have a negative connotation to them, and are synonymous with doing without, depriving yourself, cutting back, and making do.

For some reason, pork and beans, and other very simple meals,  come to mind when I think of being thrifty!

People often become thrifty or frugal because they lost a job, can’t make ends meet right now, or are trying to eliminate their debt.

Anne Simpkinson wrote recently at Guideposts about how she rediscovered thrift while focusing on paying off debt.

At first, she thought she’d have to deprive herself and give up her life in order to get out of debt.  But what she discovered is that, by gaining a thrifty mindset, she has gained peace, enjoyment and satisfaction in the journey toward being debt free.

The reason why, she learned, is because the word “thrift” is really synonymous with the word “thrive.”

As I read her post, my mind immediately went to people I know who have adopted a thrifty lifestyle. These thrifty people I’m thinking of are very wealthy.  From my perspective, they don’t NEED to be thrifty like others who have much less.  Then again, maybe one reason why they are wealthy is BECAUSE they’ve been so thrifty?

What does thrift mean to you?

We all need to make our own choices of how to spend our money.  And when it comes to thriftiness and frugal living, one size does not fit all.

Some people choose to be thrifty and save big on buying the things they need, so they’ll have money to spend on what they want.

One person may decide to never pay retail for certain things, while others would choose to never buy those items secondhand.

Some enjoy eating out for lunch but never take an expensive vacation.  Others never eat out for lunch during the workweek, but enjoy taking extravagant vacations to exotic locales once a year, and eating out for every meal.

Thrift could be something we think about at certain times of the year (like the holidays, garage sale season, or Lent),  or it could become a daily way of life.

For some, thrift might mean living with less, but it doesn’t have to mean living any less.  In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think thrift really means living with more – more creativity, intentionality, passion and freedom.

What’s your take on thrift?

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