The Art of Frugal Hedonism

To be frugal is to be sparing or economical with regard to money or food. Hedonism is the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.

At first it seems like these two words or concepts are at odds with each other but they actually aren’t. Not at all.

I wrote an article some years about this very subject titled Frugal Luxuries…about how frugality and simple living allow you to enjoy luxuries you may not other wise be able to enjoy. A few frugal and money wise choices here and there allow you to direct money towards other things that you value more…things like self indulgent pleasures, or life’s small luxuries.

I recently read another book about this very subject over the weekend… The Art of Frugal Hedonism: A Guide to Spending Less While Enjoying Everything More. I devoured every thoughtful morsel and thoroughly enjoyed it. The about section really sums it up. You will want to read this book if…

  • You think your current spending habits are not intentional…aka shaping the life you want and believe in.
  • You suspect that consumerism is detracting from your goals and having unpleasant side effects on your wellbeing.
  • You feel as though your spending is often times obligatory or done to make you feel like you are doing what you are supposed to do…what everyone else is doing.
  • You feel like the amount of time you are working doesn’t leave enough time or energy for the things you love/desire.
  • You feel overwhelmed with all the choices and expectations of modern society.
  • You recognize that modern choices and lifestyles can be sabotaging the future of our planet.

The book really makes you analyze your life choices so you can figure out what you value most. Without so much noise and “stuff” you identify the pleasures you want to pursue. Some of these self indulgences are free. Some require you to get creative and direct money intentionally to the areas that will bring you more happiness and satisfaction.

It made me want to make a list of some of my favorite frugal indulgences so that I can be intentional about making them happen more often. It also helped me identify those that may require me to be more thrifty so I afford them.

  • I love wine and savoring a glass outside on my patio
  • I love taking walks in nature
  • I love shopping for cheap treasures at thrift stores and also finding items to “flip”
  • I love yard sales
  • I love listening to nature sounds spa music and lighting a candle when I take a shower
  • I love reading outside
  • I love meditating outside
  • I love sitting outside on the patio when it rains
  • I love eating a really good bar of dark chocolate
  • I love diffusing essential oils in all areas of the home
  • I love decorating my home
  • I love the changing of the seasons
  • I love climbing into bed with luxury hotel quality sheets and comforters
  • I love making my bedroom and master math feel like a luxurious resort retreat
  • I love art and finding ways to display it in my home
  • I love Buddha statues and figurines
  • I love the teals, turquoise, blues, and greys
  • I love prisms and crystals
  • I love movies
  • I love travel
  • I love really, really good food
  • I love eating out

When you identify the things that matter most to you and that enhance your life experience the most you can see that some are free and some are frugal. Other things need to become goals and making frugal choices can help you begin to afford those things. Do you really care if your running car has 100,000 miles and hail damage dents if the lack of car payment means you are putting $300 a month in your bi-annual beach vacation fund? Do you care if you need to make coffee at home in the mornings and pack sack lunches if it means you get to eat out with your family once a week at your favorite restaurant? Likely not.

This is being frugal with a purpose….being intentional with your dollars and making them go where you want them to go. When you do that…you can feel good about all your frugal choices because they are not depriving you, they are instead allowing you to pursue the life pleasures that matter the most.

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