When you think about frugal living vs. simple living, what are the differences that come to mind?
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Differences Between Simple Living and Frugal Livingpost #1 of 67/15/12 at 5:46amThread Starterpost #2 of 67/15/12 at 9:28am
A lot of home-craft handicraft activities, while simple are -sadly - no longer frugal. I can pick up very inexpensive clothing for a lot less money than I can make it at home. Some would say "frugal" means spending less which my simplicity lifestyle would mean that don't keep running around to different stores looking for bargains.
I prefer frugal and low-maintenance. While a huge produce garden can be frugal (again, you can end up spending a ton of money for that food if you're not careful) and simple, a produce garden is rarely low-maintenance. You can make one lower maintenance but it takes planning.
Ah, and that is where the difference might be. For me, frugality is all about pre-planning and patience. Simplicity is more about basics, living close to the land, using fewer processes. Simplicity to me, is where you see and experience each step in the production. For instance, if you want to have a slice of toast in the morning, a simple lifestyle would lead to either grow the wheat or know the source. Grind your own wheat or take it to be ground. Bake your own bread - again with other ingredients that you've sourced. Then finally having a slice which you turn into toast. Frugality is saying, "Oh look! My favorite organic bread is on sale. I'll buy two loaves and stick one in the freezer."post #3 of 67/15/12 at 11:04am
I have a different view. The example that came to my mind right away is my cleaning lady. She comes every other week & cleans the house for $75. While that is not necessarily frugal (although I think it's a really good price), it makes my life simpler. I work full time, so my weekends were always spent cleaning. If we were entertaining, I'd have to clean even more, plus the meal prep. Where was the fun part of the weekend? Trying to do some of it on weeknight helped, but by the time I got home, cooked dinner, cleaned up from dinner, and tried to get some exercise in, there was no time to do other cleaning. So, having that non-frugal luxury allows me the time to do other simple things. I now have the time to exercise, to go swimming, to bike ride. I have more time in the summer to work in my garden, or to read on my hammock. Enjoying the simple things in life. I also cook more at home. When overwhelmed with all the cleaning, I would opt to eat out more just to avoid having to mess up the kitchen again. But now that the rest of the place is not such a disaster, it is easier to maintain. So, simpler for me.post #4 of 67/16/12 at 11:12am
Its an interesting question.
It is easier to define frugal living. In that it is doing thing that have little or no cost, Using less to stretch your dollar further. Really looking at what is a want and what is a need and only choosing the Needs.
Simple living for me at least seams to be putting systems in place to make my life easier. Even though that system may be pretty complex. It has more to do with planning and organizing. I meal plan so when I go shopping I can shop from a list instead of wandering the store aimlessly wondering what we are out of. I plan out my schedule so I have certain days of the week that I do certain activities. I guess I am in the process of striving for more organization of things being done on a regular basis so I am not overwhelmed with days that have 5 or 6 loads of laundry. I think it also has a tie in with doing activities that are useful. IE the veggie garden, my knitting project, other crafts and hobbies, cooking and baking things from scratch, going for walks, hikes and bike rides with the kids.
I can agree that hiring people to do stuff would put less on my plate but it isn't really going to reduce the chores that need to get done I would say things like not owning any Silver would be make my life simpler. Having a home without a yard that doesn't need a whole lot of maintaining would make things simpler. Having a house that is easy to clean. In other words declutter it. Not owning a pet would make things simpler. Teaching your kids to pick up after themselves.post #5 of 67/16/12 at 11:24am
I see frugal as not spending more than you have to, getting the best deal. Simple living to me means without all the bells and whistles. Family bike rides, family game nights, going to the beach, renting movies to watch at home, enjoying coffee with friends. Opposite of that would be ipods, ipads, computers, blackberries, sports cars plus your family cars, imax theaters for new releases, boats, summer houses, jet skis, snowmobiles, lots of vacations surrounding amusement parks and big tourist attractions instead of going camping, an abundance of extra curricular activities, social events and commitments. etc. You get the idea. In my mind simple and frugal can overlap. Going out to dinner instead of cooking, hiring nannies or cleaning ladies, etc make me think of easy. Making life easier. However, alot of time if your life were simpler cooking a home cooked meal and raising your own kids wouldn't be so hard. Near impossible to cook, clean and raise kids when you have to work and shuttle jr. to this sport or that class.post #6 of 67/16/12 at 2:23pm
For me, simple living is more about time. A lot of frugal activities can take a lot of time - clipping coupons, researching deals, or even just waiting patiently for a sale rather than running out and buying something. You also have to think and plan ahead.
Like Calimari said, you could simplify life with a cleaning service, though that might not be frugal. There are a dozen other similar examples that come to mind - having the lawn mowed, or the car washed. Any time you pay someone to do something for you, you (theoretically) free up time for yourself and your family. Having MORE time for my family is what simple living means to me.
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