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What thriftiness means to me

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I read an excellent article on the Politics of Thrift recently and it really resonated with me.

When it comes to money, I’ve always been careful. As a kid, I saved my pocket money, and as soon as I was able to get a (part-time) job, I did. I loved the feeling of control that making and saving my own money gave me and I still do.

Thriftiness, however, is about so much more than sticking to my budget or the act of saving cash. For me, it’s something life-affirming and joyful.

  • I love the challenge of making meals from leftovers; it’s like starring in my own personal episode of Ready, Steady, Cook.
  • I love the ingenuity required to re-use and mend things rather than throwing them away.
  • I love the feeling that I’m valuing the things that I’m lucky to have, that I’m not taking my relative affluence for granted. It’s completely selfish as it helps me to feel a tiny bit less guilty and helpless about the injustice and poverty in the world.
  • I love the connection I feel to past generations (especially my grandmother) whenever I wash out a freezer bag or foil tray to use it again, and hope that I’m passing on the same principles of ‘less waste’ to my children.
  • I love the rush of finding something lovely (and individual) in a charity shop or jumble sale, and the satisfaction of researching the best possible deal when I buy something new.
  • I love using my creativity to make cards and gifts and things to prettify my home.
  • I love feeling smug that I’m not being taken in by advertising, that I’m resisting the manipulation to buy things that I don’t really need or want (yes, I’ve always had a stubborn streak).

I’m not immune to an attack of the ‘wants’, of course… Sometimes, I catch myself wishing I could load up my trolley in the supermarket without a second thought, or buy some new art for my walls, or click ‘buy’ on every single item in my Amazon wish-list. That’s when I need to remind myself that all that buying wouldn’t give me a fraction of the satisfaction I get by not buying stuff.

Clicking ‘buy’ gives a fleeting happiness that is quickly replaced by a new want, but making things, borrowing things, saving up for (and anticipating) things, feeds my soul.

[Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

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3 comments on “What thriftiness means to me

  1. caro unlimited
    May 23, 2013

    I love this. I love not-throwing-things-away-and-doing-something-useful-with-them. I’m not by nature a careful person and I am terrible with money, but I try not to buy things I don’t need, and feel a somehow moral obligation not to just bin things. I am so surprised by how few people *mend* stuff any more. One hole in a sock, off it goes to landfill.

    That said, my holey socks are all sitting in a basket, waiting anxiously for my approach, and they’ve been waiting a LONG time…

  2. BeingZhenya
    May 24, 2013

    I share your views, thriftiness and thrifting is a lifestyle, not a hobby. I love saving the smallest scraps of lace or ribbon to later make cards. It’s the most amazing thing in the world! And I don’t care if anyone thinks I am a hoarder!
    Xo,
    Z
    http://beingzhenya.com

  3. Sarah
    May 24, 2013

    Thank you for your comments, guys – so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way! Caro, I’m totally with you with the sock thing, but my sock-darning skills are not good. I used to get around it by making sock puppets for the kids instead, but they’re getting a bit old for that now.

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This entry was posted on May 23, 2013 by in Bea Creative, Bea Family, Bea Money, Bea Yourself and tagged , , , , .
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