Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I read a post called “Frugality in a Consumption Crazed Society” a couple days ago.  The article made me think about my grandmother and how she remains frugal in a consumption crazed society. My grandmother may be the cheapest person in the world and this is why I love her. She washes plastic baggies and will buy pounds and pounds of nonperishable food and freezable food. She gardens and cans food all summer. She sews her cloths and makes her blankets, curtains, and upholsters her chairs. My grandma may not be doing these things because she is conscious of our resources running out, because she wants to be a good steward of the land we are given, or because she wants to follow the new “Go Green” trend, she is doing these things out of habit.

I am not about to say that we should adopt every one of my grandma’s habits, but we can learn from her. There are very practical ways that she saves money, energy, and resources. She turns lights off when she leaves the room and she never spends money that she doesn’t have (she also has a lot).
More importantly I would argue that one of the main problems in our society is that we tend to be the opposite of my grandma. We throw everything away and don’t even think about donating or sharing. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us we don’t have enough, are not good enough and need more to be normal.

One irony is that my grandma’s strategy may also be one of the best ways to get rich. If you seldom spend money that you don’t need to spend it will add up quickly. If you work hard and only spend what you have, or less, you will never be in the debt that many Americans will get themselves in. (If you are in debt, Read Dave Ramsy and listen.)

There are clearly two extremes and I would argue that people can live the happiest life somewhere in the middle. If you can never have enough, you will never be happy. On the other hand it is alright to buy nice things for yourself and others.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that balance is the best way to go. If you venture too far either direction you're likely to make money an idle (apologies for the Christianese). We either end up worshiping money for the prestige and appearance it can give us or for the security it provides. It's interesting how easy it is to get caught in either position.