Just wanted to moodle something with you that I’ve been thinking of.
I want to acknowledge my numerous privileges when it comes to life and money. I’m a white woman, living in a developed (and stolen) country. I had the privilege of a stable home, parents who could afford food and invest in education. I also have the privilege of appearing cishet, and having disabilities that are invisible. My privileges are bountiful and unearned.
Righto… Now, let’s talk FRUGALITY!
Wanna listen as you read?
I’ve been on an obsessive binge with Frugalwoods – an excellent personal finance blog and book. I think they are brilliant and deeply inspiring. They practice a kind of extreme frugality, and manage to save up to 82% of their income.
Because I’m a competitive motherfucker, I immediately started thinking:
UGH I NEED TO DO MORE! I SHOULD NOT BE SPENDING SO MUCH MONEY! I WONDER IF I SHOULD PRACTICE EXTREME FRUGALITY!
If you’ve taken my Money, Manifesting & Multiple Streams of Income program, you’ll know that we’re conservative spenders. Despite being a multi-millionaire, I still have a budget, and still save probably more than half our income. Probably closer to 75% of it, once I count in all our company dividends.
But still, I thought: maybe I should up it. Maybe I should do MORE.
But after thinking about it for a while… I’ve realised:
I don’t think extreme frugality is the best financial decision for me.
The income of most business owners depends on the energy levels of the owner. The healthier the owner is, the more they are able to make good strategic decisions and create better work. Their income can greatly increase when they are doing awesomely. (Their income can also potentially falter if their health fails too, depending on how they set up their income streams and business systems.)
And the cost of self care & ensuring good health is much smaller than the potential earning power. It’s usually a good return on investment.
Here’s an extreme example:
When I had hyperemesis gravidarum in my second pregnancy, I was horrifically and chronically ill, and required a lot of emergency room visits to survive. I could barely function, and was looking at nine months of this unrelenting shitshow. In the early months, acupuncture helped by giving me a few hours of manageable relief.
So I paid for daily acupuncture – it enabled me to work for a little bit. It was a worthy expense. $50 each day to be able to get about $3000 worth of work done each day. Plus… $50 was worthwhile just to be able to connect with my family for a bit and take a breath of air before I was submerged again.
Another (somewhat) extreme example:
Last year, I dislocated both hips and prolapsed a disc from… walking. Yes. Walking. I’m hypermobile so my limbs dislocate way too easily. Anyways, it took about months to recover from it, and in the meantime I was doing osteopathy every 3 days for a wee while. Again: a good investment, because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to function or work.
And now for some non-extreme examples:
Whatever I can do to keep myself functioning physically, mentally & emotionally is a good investment.
My average rate of income per day is about $5,000. And it can be even more if I’m feeling clear, energised and productive. And it can be less if I’m out of commission (it’s not highly susceptible however – I have good business systems and support in place). So my income potential can increase exponentially if I’m in good nick.
Anything that can fix or prevent injury and pain is a good investment for me. It’s not worth being frugal for.
- any other body work.
Anything that keeps me functioning well and improving my health is also a good investment.
Some good healthy investments:
- buying my favourite $10 smoothie everyday
- stocking up at the health food store
- bulk-ordering my favourite snacks
- therapy & coaching when I need it.
Plus, again: I already save 75% of my income. I’m not a spender, I don’t have any debt, I already have a budget. I used to live paycheck to paycheck with maxed out credit cards, and I changed all my money habits about 15 years ago. It’s still one of the best things I’ve ever done. So I know when I talk about good investments, I know I can actually afford them to begin with.
There’s some things I CAN be more frugal with… without impacting my income
I definitely think there’s things I can cut out however:
- most online shopping (as evidenced by last challenge)
- clothes shopping
- I think (OMG) I can probably stop buying shit tonnes of graphic novels, as my kid is starting to moving onto other novels which are easier to source.
But what should YOU do with your money?
Is extreme frugality the right path for you? How much should you spend on self care?
That’s up to you to answer, my loves. Moodle it around, and see what’s right for you & your specific situation.
P.S. I think I will treat myself to another round of expenses challenge (the first activity in Money, Manifesting & Multiple Streams of Income). We do it every year anyway, and I reckon it will be bonza to go through again.
Maybe I should do it publicly and share the results with you? Waddya reckon?