Pushing Thirty

and shedding pretentions

The New Frugality = The (Really) Old Frugality

Thrifty is Hip. Haven’t you heard? Its no longer cool to live outside your means. Living in a state of blissful ignorance and having no idea where your money is coming from or where it is going is no longer a status symbol. In fact, living in a post-bubble world, we can now call that what its always been called:

Foolishness.

The last part of Proverbs Chapter 27, hits this thing dead on:

Proverbs 27: 23-27
Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds, for riches do not last forever; and does a crown endure to all generations? When the grass is gone and the new growth appears and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered, the lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field. There will be enough goats’ milk for your food, for the food of your household and maintenance for your girls.

I know what you’re thinking: that’s a lot of grass and goats– but just think petty cash and 9to5 job. I can’t count how many articles I’ve read recently about the “new” realization we’re having as Americans that what has been supplying us with our money this whole time is not our stock options, nor our rental properties, nor even our 401Ks. What has been putting food on the table all this time has been the bringing home of the bacon. (How’s that for a mixed metaphor that yet works on so many different levels?)

But King Solomon could have told us that a few millenia ago. Riches don’t last, so keep your attention on the pieces of your life that are generating the real cash flow, he says. Thanks, Sol. But is this just piece of Bible Wisdom just a little too late?

It turns out, no: So many people are convinced– by layoffs, and ravaged savings plans, and penny-poor mutual funds– that things have reached the point of no return. But you know what? This thing goes in cycles. The grass grows again. And when it does, the goats get fed. And when they get fed, there’s resource again for food on the table and shirts on our backs. But that doesn’t mean that we’ll be able to go back to our Latte-guzzling, Panera-frequenting, who-knows-where-the-money-went consumerism. It feels good to be so financially inflated that we’re just carried effortlessly along by a happening economy, happy as a buoy. It feels like we’re living large, like easy money. But that’s not real.

Sweat, determination, and diligence to what matters is still–as it always has been–the way to financial stability.

April 27, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 1 Comment