Mindful-ling My Way To Frugality

Truth is, I’ve never really understood mindfullness, but I think I may be on the way to getting it. On the other hand, I may not and if that’s the case, just humor the crazy lady with the blog.

Since the Grasshoppers hopped on the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) wagon, I have found myself pondering ways to channel more money into my savings. In most cases that includes trimming the fat from our pre-Journey lifestyle (remember the maids?), or finding innovative ways to cut down expenses (goodbye toilet paper). The process has been evolving organically, and it was not until earlier today that I realized it was a form of mindfullness.

Mindfullness – at least according to my personal improvement guru Wikipedia  – is “the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment…..” I guess FIRE is always on my mind…. 🙂

In my case, focusing on the end goal – Financial Independence & Early Retirement – has made me feel like I’ve stepped into the driver’s seat of my financial life. Instead of shying away from the sometimes confusing, and often harsh facts of financial responsibility, I am trying to own it.

It’s no coincidence that the person in the featured image for this post is driving a tuk-tuk. Being in the driver’s seat of my life is definitely more like driving a tuk-tuk than a race car.

Much like literally driving my car down the road, I am more observant and vigilant about my financial surroundings when I’m not just along for the ride. Thus, mindfulness.

And while I do not think about achieving Financial Independence continuously (okay, I think about it a LOT, but not continuously), it must be percolating in the ol’ grey matter all the same. Because yesterday, in the middle of doing something completely unrelated I thought “Huh! Wonder if I could make my own yogurt and stop buying the expensive plain yogurt.” A little YouTubing later, I realized I could.

 

 

I surprised myself again last night when I thought – seemingly out of nowhere – about a list of five little things around the house that I hadn’t used in years that I could sell on eBay. This evening two of those things have already sold.

My point is that with the Journey to Financial Independence front and center in the Grasshoppers’ minds, we are far more likely to think of frugality, or inventive ways to make a little money than we ever did in the past.  We live are lives far more intentionally than we previously did, which has helped stem the normal financial trickle that makes you ask “Where did my money go???” at the end of the month.

Yesterday, Mr. Grasshopper and I chuckled when we encountered a wedding gift hanging out in our basement. Immediately after receiving it, we realized we didn’t have any need for it. The old Grasshoppers simply stashed it in the basement instead of returning it for a refund, or trying to sell it on eBay/at a Facebook yard sale. The sheer incongruity between our old selves, and our new selves (I like to call us the Grasshoppers 2.0) was literally laughable.

For your entertainment Gentle Reader, I should mention that Mr. Grasshopper feels the need to hang out in the basement with me. In my new avatar (the mindful and intentional Mrs. Grasshopper 2.0), I have a tendency to root around the basement for things that I think we ought to sell on eBay. Mr. Grasshopper still retains emotional connections with things – mostly cardboard boxes, but occasionally boy stuff he purchased through the years – and gets a little worried by the new and improved me selling his stuff.

How have you found yourself being more intentional and mindful of your financial life since you set forth on the Journey to Financial Independence?

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