Last week was my birthday. I turned 53 years old. It’s hard to believe how the years have flown by, especially having grown kids. Having older kids makes you wonder where those years went. My husband and I had so many years of scrimping and saving and keeping spending to a minimum, I think frugality has made us into a certain being. It’s changed how we look at everything. Even at times where we can spend money more freely now, it’s hard to do so and I don’t want to. I’ve gotten used to my frugal ways, I guess you could say, and I’m quite content to do with less. Frugality doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on things though. Frugality doesn’t mean that your life is unhappy. I’ve been quite content with our life. There are things that we have not had because we chose to save our money, but for the most part, frugality has ended up making our life more simple and less complicated.
Being in my 50s now has made me really appreciate the life we have lived and provided for our kids. Watching every penny since we married has given us a good, comfortable life. Being frugal doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy yourself. My birthday was celebrated with some Chinese food which I haven’t had in a long time. The restaurant was recommended to us by my husband’s co-worker. For $33.00, we had food for six people with leftovers. Not a bad price for feeding six people. My husband has a habit of talking to other people to find out where they save money, whether it be for food, car maintenance or household expenses. I made my own cake because I love to bake – turned up the music loud while I tried to get creative with my icing. As you can see, it didn’t turn out perfectly but the cake was good! The best part was I had my kids around the table for my birthday, eating together and enjoying time together.
The other day the alternator belt slipped off on one of our cars. My husband and I spent about 30 minutes one Saturday morning fixing it. No cost to us but time spent with each other. We talked about the kids and work as we repaired the car. My husband has taken to fixing the cars as much as he can himself. He is showing our kids and myself how to make some of the repairs on the cars, and it has made me more aware that a car is only moving parts that fit with other moving parts. It’s a lot less scary now when something goes wrong with our car – I’ve come to realize they aren’t some magical thing that can’t be fixed. Plus, if I do need to take a car to the mechanic, I have more of an idea of what needs to be done. The best part is that my husband and I spent the time together.
My sister-in-law walked into our house the other day and said how nice our living room looks and asked “What did you do with it?”. She has seen our living room many times, but I think what she sees is no clutter. We try to keep our furnishings simple. The funny thing is we are using her parents’ chairs which really are “out of the seventies”. They are high backed, a dark wood and clothed with a red-velour material. She has seen these chairs many times in her parents’ home but here in our home she likes them. There are many, including herself, who would never want to use these chairs because they are from another generation, but when you live frugally you use what you have. Even for myself, I thought I would never use these chairs, but I really like having them in my home now. They are certainly different than what you will find in HomeSense, but because they belonged to my in-laws, they have more value to them.
Frugality is probably necessary when you are starting out in your own household but if you really practice it, it is something that becomes part of you. You no longer feel you are sacrificing to keep money in your bank account, it is just something you want to do. Frugality makes you feel you are accomplishing things, like fixing something in your own home without having to call a repairman, or making use of furniture and household items that once belonged to a relative giving a sentimental value to your home. When you live frugally for 27 years, you can’t but help to continue with it. I don’t mind, it gives me a sense of peace and my mind is uncluttered.