There are so many stigmatism's and generalizations floating around in the world. We hear these words and we associate different meanings to them, yet we often neglect the fact that they mean very different things to different people.
Simple living to me does not mean living without. Frugality does not mean not spending money or never buying things. They both mean being selective about the things we do and bring into our lives. Choosing quality over quantity. To strive to only have things in our lives that are useful or bring us joy. Not to be bogged down by an endless amount of possessions you never use or obligations you cannot fulfill.
We all have our vices, the things that bring us joy. Remember that question if you were trapped on a desert Island what would you bring with you. That is a pretty easy answer for me, well first and foremost would be my son and husband. Followed up by my kindle of course with wifi and endless funds to buy a lifetime supply of books and my coffee pad machine to compliment it. Those are things that bring me joy. Those are the things that I do not question having in my life.
I question the need to have 30 different shirts or hanging on to that jewelry I have not worn in over 5 years just due to the fact that I spent money on it. I far rather have a few items and maybe even spend a bit more then my normal comfort level to get items that I adore.
I want to walk through my home without tripping on things. Without endlessly shuffling around items that have no home.
I do not intent to boycott consumerism, but rather to question it. To ask myself to think long and hard before spending money on items only to later experience buyers remorse and realize what a waste it was. I rather spend that extra money on experiences or perhaps to upgrade and gets items that before seemed too far out of our range. Not to suggest we are going to go about living a lux lifestyle, but when one no longer feels the need to buy the latest and best of everything you can get those items you have really wanted for a very long time. You can spend the money on that museum pass you have long wanted.
When I look back at my life someday I do not want a life filled with possessions and regrets. I rather have lived a simple life one full of amazing experiences.
To me simplicity and frugality go hand and hand. By living a simpler life, we are making frugal decisions. Ones that allow us to really evaluate what is important in life.
What is important to me right now is getting out and experiencing the world. I live in Europe something so many people dream of, yet I never took the time to be thankful or to embrace the opportunities that lay before me. I want to skip that cute little shirt I saw or a set of new shiny unneeded pans and instead buy the regional family museum pass that gives us entry to over 200 museums and castles. I want to experience life and savor it rather then drooling over the latest trends.
This is what simple and frugal living means to me. What does it mean to you?