"In the end, thrift is really about self-control: making conscious, thoughtful decisions about how to apportion your energy. Not only will it make you feel powerful to practice it with even the most minor purchases in your life, but you'll actually end up more successful than people who don't. "
The quote above made me pause, reflect, and ask myself the following questions. Can practicing thrift really make me more successful than people who don't practice thrift? And, how am I apportioning my energy?
In general I think most of us apportion our energy according to our habits without giving it much thought. This allows our habits to rule us and to map out the course of our lives. Perhaps that is why Socrates said the life which is unexamined is not worth living. Elbert Hubbard wrote "for time rightly used is the thing which, when it co-operates with love and labor, produces wealth and all the things necessary to life and well-being. "
2015 is turning out for me to be a very different year from last year. This has provided me with the perfect opportunity to make some "thoughtful decisions" about how I am apportioning my energy with regard to home caring routines, writing, study and other activities. My new routine is worked out over a three week period, and each of the three weeks is a little different. If it turns out that this is not the right routine for me I will head back to the drawing board.
The quote mentioned at the outset says that persons exercising thrift will be more successful. So are thrifty people more successful than those who are not? Well how would you know if a thrifty person was successful? Because thrift is the wise management of one's resources, thrifty people are living below their means. This article points out that the millionaires in our suburbs are driving second hand cars and don't live in McMansions. They are not suffering from the 'big hat, no cattle' syndrome, they have not mistaken the difference between consumption and wealth.
Elbert Hubbard said "When you are earning more than you spend, when you produce more than you consume, your life is a success, and you are filled with courage, animation, ambition, good-will." He also wrote "Loving labor and thrift go hand in hand. He who is not thrifty is a slave to circumstance. Fate says, 'Do this or starve,' and if you have no surplus saved up you are the plaything of chance, the pawn of circumstance, the slave of some one's caprice, a leaf in a storm. …..The surplus gives you the power to dictate terms, but most of all it gives you an inward consciousness that you are sufficient unto yourself."
I think this is the point at which I would like to arrive -earning more than I spend, and producing more than I consume. That to me would feel like a success.
What I have done lately to thrive through thrift.
Part of my new routine is to have one day every three weeks as a designated baking day. I remember my grade 3 teacher Mrs O'Halloran saying "Saturday is my baking day." Half her luck to be able to do baking every Saturday, perhaps when my life is simpler, I too can bake weekly. So far on my first baking day I made two batches of chocolate slice and one weet-bix slice. Yes I am staying with the easy baking recipes. Due to the Easter public holidays I decided to do some additional baking. (I can't help it I am a baker's daughter after all.) I made a matrimonial slice, a zucchini slice and a muesli slice.
I have started knitting another scarf. I am hoping to improve my knitting skills as time goes on, so I can actually knit some clothes, but for now I will have to be content with garter stitch scarf's until I can break my habit of sporadic stitch increases. I know the problem is that when starting a row, I have often mistaken the first stitch as two stitches thus accidentally knitting into the first stitch twice. Sounds complicated doesn't it? Well that's me - I can make a simple garter stitch scarf complicated.
Our supermarket junk mail has become quite sporadic, so I have started looking for the catalogue specials on-line. It is a lot more time consuming than going through the junk mail catalogues. It takes me around an hour to compare the supermarket specials on-line. However it has been saving us money and making our grocery budget go further. I am also building a stockpile by buying extra quantities of items that are on sale at half price or cheaper.
I have commenced bringing out cool weather clothes and packing away warm weather clothes. I will do this over a number of weeks as our cooler weather is mostly early and late in the day with the middle of the day lovely and warm but not hot.
Don created two raised garden beds from a blue food grade barrel. He did this by cutting the barrel in half with a cut off disc. Next he drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage and then he reinforced the sides with some aluminium strips.
I am wasting less food. I have made bread crumbs from stale bread using my food processor. I have added grated carrot, semi-sundried tomato and left over sweet chilli cream cheese to my zucchini slice. I had half a tub of guacamole that was not being eaten and some cashews that were nearing their best before date. I put these in the food processor with some Greek yoghurt, olive oil and parmesan cheese to make a pasta sauce. We really enjoyed the pasta sauce, though next time I will add a little more olive oil.
My new routine mentioned earlier, is a new practice and it will take a while to become a habit. If I can get it down pat it will help things run much more smoothly.