Living Frugally and Simply

For most people, living frugally and simply is an optional life choice. For a few us, due to a variety of reasons, living frugally and simply is a necessity.

Over the last two years I have developed three life-changing, life-threatening health issues that requires living a more frugal and simple life. While I have been successful in being frugal with money, I have come to realize that frugality applies to more than just finances and that simplicity is a way of thinking and living. Let’s take a look at some simple definitions of frugality and simplicity according to Dictionary.com:

frugality: the quality of being frugal, or prudent in saving; the lack of wastefulness

simplicity: freedom from complexity, intricacy, or division into parts: simplicity

Due to my reduced abilities, I am learning that frugality not only applies to my money, but extends to:

  • Time,
  • Energy (physical and mental)
  • Activities (work, personal and social)

In all reality, I only have four to five “productive” hours a day. This means I must “budget” my time, energy and activities so what needs to get done, actually gets done within this allotted time. Since the demands of my time, energy and required activities could care less about my reduced abilities, I have been required to better prioritize and organize what is important and what isn’t. I am utilizing two working tools I used in business for 32 years:

  • Daily and Weekly Calendars
  • To-Do List
Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

While I have tried using smartphone calendar and to-do-list apps, I prefer paper calendars and to-do-lists for their ease of-use and flexibility. That is probably because of my past work experience and age (63).

When it comes to finances, I utilize automatic (electronic funds transfer) payments as much as possible. I always pay myself first by making contributions to my savings accounts when income is received via online transfers. I pay bills the same day they are received. Both of these practices prevent a bill “falling through the cracks”.

As an interesting note, I live in a developing country with very limited and unreliable mail service. Hence, all bills for utilities, insurance, etc. are delivered via email with a PDF attachment of the actual bill.

I cherish routine in schedules and activities. Not having to take the time to organize events and activities that occur daily or frequently saves time and energy.

There is another practice that my parents drilled into me as a youngster that has served me well … especially now with limited physical and mental abilities”

Everything has its place,
Everything in its place!

All of the things presented above have added frugality and simplicity to my life at a time in my life when it is needed most.

Published by W. M. Brown

I am a retired U.S. expat living in Ecuador. I was a business owner for 32 years before retiring in 2012.

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