11/20/2019

on being frugal

wanna do a simple test to discover something more on yourself and your general attitude towards life? just put together all the items you think you need to fulfill your daily basic needs (with basic needs i mean the very essential things all animals have to do to survive, i.e. eating and sleeping). you can consider this collection of items our everyday survival kit. now comes the real test. can you put all your survival kit in a small-sized backpack, like the one in the picture? if the answer is affirmative, then you already know what living frugally means. if you discover you need a larger backpack, consider removing some items from your kit while still having what you need to survive. this is your first and most important lesson on how to live frugally. then, you just have to train for it.
i've always thought that whatever your lifestyle, it's important to be able to go back to the basics from time to time. living frugally is always a winning strategy. the funny thing is that from time to time life brings you to put to a test the feasibility of your own views. it happened to me just a few days ago. i had to spend a night in an apartment where there wasn't anything i could use to sleep on. no bed, no sofa, not even an armchair available. i knew i was going to sleep on the parquet and was preparing to spend a hell-of-a-night and to wake up with my back hurting. i had no time to organize things better, so all i was able to pick up was a yoga mat and pile blanket. at the moment of sleeping, i took off the jumpsuit i was wearing and put it under my head, making a pillow out of it.
know what? i slept like a king and woke up full of energy and ready to face the new day, like after every other night of sleep of my life spent in my bed. so the question is: do i really need a bed to sleep? no, i can survive without beds. lesson learned. well, in my house i have a bed and obviously i use it, but now i know that i haven't to worry about having a bed when it comes to fulfill the basic needs. considering how much space is needed for a bed, i know also that if one day i will need that same space for something else, i will be able to get rid of the bed, free that space and still sleep well using something else that could be easily removed, folded and kept in a closet during the day.
this is an easy example of the benefits of knowing that we are able to live frugally, but it does not mean that we have to force ourselves to live frugally all our life. the key factor is being able to separate what we really need from what we desire. desiring something, working on it and then being able to obtain it are good things. we can desire a lot of different things, from a canopy bed (as we are on topic of sleeping) or that ultracool carbon-fiber road bike, but we live better if we are aware that we can also sleep on a yoga mat and move around just walking. we may love canopy beds and cool road bikes, but our life does not depend on them.
knowing that we can live with very little proves to be also a good strategy to make our life less stressful and improve our level of self-confidence. just consider one of the biggest fears the XXI century average human has to deal with: financial disaster and the menace of loosing everything. still, if you learn to live frugally and train constantly for it reducing your needs to the very basic ones, you will develop the right mental attitude to deal with the fear of the financial disaster. you may loose everything but you will still be able to survive. and you know it.