Luxurious Frugality

For something a little wonderfully different I have a guest post from the lovely Becs of Think Big Live Simply today…I think you will love her.

think big live simply

The title sounds like an oxymoron right?

I thought so too when I first heard it. But when I dived into the explanation, I thought it was actually a pretty accurate description of how I’m now choosing to live my life! I wrote awhile ago about how I don’t believe in feeling like a fraud just because you aren’t living a ‘perfect’ sustainable or simple life. This kind of relates.

See, while I devour blogs, books and articles about simplicity and minimalism and I’ve decluttered like a crazy woman over the last couple of years, I can still spend my fair share of cash on ‘stuff’ – just less stuff, and different stuff, than before.

think big live simply

I make sure my consumer choices are driven by positive feeling – things that will enrich my life, rather than clutter it up. Luxurious Frugality, a phrase I’ve seen floating around a few times on the internet, fits my style because I choose to spend my money on the things that are important to me, while watching what I spend on everything else. It means, essentially, I get to both have my (probably cityhippyfarmgirl inspired) cake, and eat it too.

think big live simply

Before I make a purchase I think about if it will make a positive impact on my life, if it’s in alignment with the things that matter to me. I think about the things I love to do – write on Think Big Live Simply, be in my garden, design, take photos, visit cafes for coffee or breakfast, experiences like e-courses and workshops – and I make sure my choices are based around those things.

I also think about whether the purchase will make me feel how I want to feel – things like books, getting my car detailed yearly (because I hate cleaning my car even more than I hate cleaning the shower), camera lenses and beautiful music all fall into that category. Some of these things are small expenses – others are definitely on the more ‘luxurious’ side of things for my budget. All of them are absolutely worth it for the joy and enrichment they bring into my life.

think big live simply

Luxurious frugality doesn’t mean being a complete tight-arse. Nor does it mean spending frivolously – in fact, I’ve found it waaay easier to stick to a budget when I’m actually fulfilling myself with the purchases I make, rather than throwing money at the latest shiny, pretty thing. Side note – I still get REALLY easily distracted by the newest shiny, pretty thing (I’m blaming online shopping. And Instagram). But I’m much more able to let things remain in the cart without clicking the checkout button now. I think the 147 trips *not literally, although it feels like it* I’ve made to the charity shop in the last 18 months, where I am constantly amazed and appalled at the amount of previously spent value leaving my hands in the form of donated goods, have made me realise that most of The Stuff isn’t actually making me happy.

Since giving myself permission to spend money on the things that really do make me happy, and the mental space to remember exactly what that is, my relationship to stuff and to happiness has definitely changed for the better. My house is clearer, my bank account fuller, my heart a little more content and my mind a little more enriched.

So what do you think? Are there any ways you can implement a little Luxurious Frugality in your life?

think big live simply

Rebecca Shann is a Simple Living advocate, self-confessed Garden Nerd, and lover of all things fun and beautiful. It’s her greatest joy to support others to live simpler, more sustainable lives, while saving the planet one veggie patch at a time. When she’s not doing that, you can find her cooking from scratch in the kitchen, planting seeds in the garden, stretching out on her yoga mat or hanging with her husband and cheeky dog.

     Pop in here- Think Big Live Simply for more green garden goodness and other truly wonderful things.

21 thoughts on “Luxurious Frugality

  1. A great post. I definitely relate to this. I buy organic food, if it’s available, over conventionally produced food because this makes me feel good. I also bought a pattern and material a couple of days ago to make a top for myself. The two of these together cost more than I normally spend on a shirt, but I know if I look after it, the top will last a lot longer than cheaper tops made in China. I will also feel better knowing I made it and it wasn’t made in a factory with terrible working conditions. It is definitely about making priorities and shopping mindfully. Now I’m off to check out this blog. Thank you. xxoo


    • The top will last far longer than if cheaply made in China like you said and the good thing about it is, you can make it again and again now that you have the pattern….now if only I could follow a pattern!


  2. I agree Brydie. I am certainly guilty of wanting and buying ‘things’ but much less now than in previous years. Nowadays I am more patient with my spending…more prepared to wait until we can afford things and much happier to make do, go without, buy second hand or improvise. With food, if I can make it or grow it rather than buy it, I generally choose to make/grow.

    Isn’t it funny how our perspectives change. Perhaps it is getting older, or having children, or living on one income as a result of children or a little bit of everything. Great post!


    • I actually love the build up and the wait for reaalllly wanting something. I know I’ve thought about it for so long before hand, I’m dead sure I want it, and it feels good to save, plan or wait for it to happen. It’s enjoyed 100x more so because of it I’m sure. You’re right, perspective does change.


  3. Beautifully said Becs. I realistically spend as much now as I did before I started being more conscious of my spending. I like to think of it as mindful consumption. I’m still consuming – but am being mindful of the impact of my purchases (on me and the environment) rather than mindlessly buying anything I think I need/want.


  4. What a wonderful way to live. Luxurious frugality definitely describes my simple living (old and run down house) but I will spend a pretty penny on stainless steal water bottles and safe containers, beautiful yarn, organic food…


  5. I love this, and have been ‘consciously decluttering’ for over a year now. I feel that more physical space and an organised house make me feel clearer in my mind too. It’s like having less, actually makes you appreciate what you have, more, and you feel even richer (in all areas). A great mantra to live by 🙂


  6. Quality over quantity – that is my motto. My husband and I would rather spend $100 on a pair of organic cotton, well made jeans from a company with a sustainable mission like Patagonia, than multiple pairs of cheaper jeans that were made in a sweat shop. We would rather save up and have a great meal at a restaurant that uses local and organic ingredients than multiple quick meals out with lower quality food. It does require some self control though!


  7. I do have a shopping problem but it’s much better than it was a few years ago. Ever since moving which was so traumatic, I only buy things that I really need. I do get my spending itch scratched when buying things for people. That way I get to buy it but I don’t have to store it 🙂


  8. Great Post Rebecca and Brydie! I too am trying to live more simply and luxurious frugality seems to sum me up perfectly! I have no problem spending $100 on beautiful yarn while continuing to wear my daggy farm boots because the former just makes me so happy 🙂 I obviously still make purchases but I’m much more mindful because (aside from the fact I have to feed 5 kids) I would also rather any spare money to go towards experiences rather than ‘things’. I follow you on Instagram but I think it’s time I visited your blog! Have a great weekend girls. Mel x


  9. What an amazing post. That’s such a great way to live your life. I’m in the process of simplifying, for the next 6 months I am living out of a backpack and it really makes you realise how little we need. Actually after the necessities of life: shelter, food, a set of clothing, what I’ve discovered I crave the most is community which is what you lose when you chose adventure. All human kindness is precious on the road.


  10. Pingback: A March List... - Think Big Live Simply

  11. Pingback: Luxurious Frugality | The Cactus Garden

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