How valuable is comfort to you? Do you risk wet feet on a two-block walk to your son's bus stop in the rain, or do you just get in the car and drive? Are you willing to ride your bike to the Post Office when it's 40 degrees outside, even though your gloved hands might feel a slight chill? Keep your thermostat at 72 degrees, all for the right to go sweaterless in the winter; or 72 in the summer so you won't produce a single bead of sweat? Maybe you idle your car on a cold day while waiting a few minutes for your friend to hop in, or you pull into McDonald's because your stomach growled.

People have all kinds of money- and resource-wasting habits for personal comfort. When the "I'm cold!" thought hits, instead of turning your ignition key, save the idling for when you're stranded on a snow-bound highway. When your stomach growls, instead of thinking, "I need to satiate my hunger right now, wait until you're home, and eat food you already have. It's okay to feel uncomfortable for a while--just acknowledging the thought, then dismissing it works for me: "So what, I'm hungry; so what, I'm cold--it will pass." Lots of things you do just because you can, without even thinking about it.

When you stop demanding personal comfort, you save money--lots of it--to put toward something that will provide even more comfort, such as a paid-off house, being able to reduce work hours, or a nest-egg not in imminent danger of cracking. Or you can donate the savings to alleviate scourges such as human trafficking, malaria, hunger, or lack of clean water. Think about true discomforts other people face daily. Doesn't that make wasting money because it's a tiny bit colder than optimal or because you can't wait an hour or two longer to eat seem wrong? You can accept a little personal discomfort in order to save money for yourself, save money which you can share, or save money to pay off your debts so you can share like crazy in the future. When you look at the World Vision gift catalog and see how little it costs to help, how can you sit there, idling?


  1. I love this post and am willing to forego some personal comforts in order to save more money to put on paying down our mortgage, saving, and giving, but my main difficulty in frugal living is time! I do stay home, but I still have a hard time doing all I want to do (5 kids and homeschooling). There are too many frugal pursuits that interest me!

  2. Lots of frugal things don't take any time, though. While not everyone is going to grow a gigantic garden and can everything, everyone (or almost everyone) can simply turn the ignition key!


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