I sometimes have to remind myself that frugality is a means to an end, not an end unto itself.
I live frugally because it allows me to support myself through passive income streams and not have to have a job. I live frugally so that I can have time to dedicate to things that I enjoy and people (and cats) that I love. I live frugally because it frees me from the trappings of modern life.
In short, I live frugally because it makes my life better.
But, as with all things designed to make your life better (exercise, healthy diet, cleanliness, etc.) it's very easy to get one's internal wiring crossed and forget the point of it all.
I find that if I'm not careful my internal dialog can quickly switch from: "I'm not spending money because it gives me freedom"
to: "I'm too old, lazy, stupid, incompetent, or fill in this blank with personal failing du jour - therefore I don't deserve to have XYZ item."
Am I the only person out there who occasionally confuses freedom with a prison of my own making?
I'm not quite sure why I do this. Perhaps it was programmed into me during my dysfunctional childhood, or perhaps it's just a convenient way to give myself something to get worked up about so I don't have to deal with other things.
But whatever the cause, it's not healthy. The point isn't to see who can die with the most money in the bank - the point is to enjoy your life.
I guess the universe gave me a little reminder of this recently. The friend I mentioned a few posts back lost her battle with breast cancer last week. And I just can't stop thinking about how, of all the people I know, she was the one who was always focused on retirement planning. Even when the doctors said her chances of surviving were under 10%, she was worried about dipping into her retirement money to pay for treatment. Sigh.
Anyhow, with all that as a backdrop, I decided last week to stop putting off a purchase that I have wanted to make for a very, VERY long time. Sooooooo....
Isn't she beautiful? She's an 18.5 pound carbon fiber road bike with fancy schmancy Shimano Ultegra components, and the most comfortable frame geometry you can imagine. I've already put about 75 miles on her, and CatMan & I even rode the loop yesterday!
I'm absolutely ecstatic - we rode for over 40 miles in just over 3 hours, and while I wouldn't say it was easy, it was WAY easier than it would have been on my old 30 pound Trek!
My main problem at the moment is that all I want to do is ride her, and I don't seem to be getting anything else done! I could have gotten away with a slightly heavier bike with cheaper components, but in the end I decided to look on her as an investment.
Because, you know, this is the point! You don't spend money on stupid things that don't matter so that you have the money to spend on a few luxuries that you really, really want.
I think I am entering strange territory here, because I believe my bike is probably worth more than my car at this point! But since I have ridden more miles than I've driven this year, I suppose that's how it should be.
So how about you? Have you ever had to escape from a prison of your own making?
And what are the luxuries that make your frugal lifestyle worthwhile?