Cheerful frugality. Meredith talks about this quite often. I've lost my knack for it. Being cheerful about being frugal. In some ways, I'm just tired of struggling paycheck to paycheck. (I know, I know, you spend all you make no matter what you make does apply to most people...so working may not be better) I'm tired of barely getting by. I'm tired of being a few paychecks from disaster. I'm tired of always searching for the best deal or bargain. Maybe I could describe this as frugal burnout? Is that real? This is a very big factor in my thinking of going back to work in some capacity. Sigh. Is frugal burnout real? This I would love some comments and input on...Meredith herself posted about "When You Don't Feel Frugal," and linked to a post about seeing perfect mommies at the YMCA and wondering why your hair doesn't look like that.
Anything I can say runs the risk of sounding smug...but it's the farthest thing from my mind. [Wanting to feel smug, I mean--not whether or not we want to be frugal! I can see you could take that either way.] Here are some thoughts, though, for anyone feeling like it would just be more fun to do it the way it seems like everyone else does.
1. Read Janel's post at Frugal Hacks: "When Your Want-To Is Broken." Very good advice there, including getting enough sleep and "keeping the frugal life enjoyable." (All work and no play...)
2. Get hold of Mary Ann Cahill's old book The Heart Has Its Own Reasons, especially if you're questioning your decision to stay home with young children. As I've said elsewhere: good book, bad title. Lots of personal stories reminding you of why you are doing what you're doing--and practical advice as well from families whose situations ranged from middle to low income and even out of work.
3. If you can't find that book, read some literature that makes you appreciate how good we really do have it, even if we're not YMCA mommies. If Little House in the Big Woods is too shopworn for you, you could try Robinson Crusoe. (Too extreme? Maybe The Moffats, or Margot Benary-Isbert's The Ark, or the first book from the Caroline series where Caroline's widowed mother is struggling to take care of her children.) Peter Menzel's photo book Material World is good too. (Borrow it from the library, of course.)
I'm short on time this morning but I'm planning on coming back later to add a few more thoughts. More Here.