In his “48 Things Frugality Has Taught Me,” Trent Hamm–predictably–shares 48 lessons he has learned from being frugal. The fun list got me thinking of how being a cheapo has affected my own life. What important lessons do we learn from cutting costs and what invaluable takeaways do we pass on to our children?
The Best of Trent Hamm: Lessons Learned from Frugality
Although Mr. Hamm has many good points, my favorites largely deal with gaining perspective. Being budget-conscious does help us prioritize and recognize what matters most.
True Friends Don’t Need Frills. “When you’re sitting around a table with friends, it really doesn’t matter where you’re at.” How much would we save if we all knew that to be true? We don’t have to waste hard-earned money on friends who care more about the dining itself than the company. Living a frugal life can help us identify real friends and nurture those most important relationships.
Being the Parent You Should Be Means Practicing what You Preach. “The more you talk to children about money and wise money decisions, the more they emulate those decisions with the money they have.” Although children will ultimately choose their behavior for themselves, we should never underestimate the power a parent has when teaching by example. If we really want to arm our children with the tools they need to succeed, we should be sharing the lessons of provident living regularly and frequently.
Happiness is Monetarily Free. “Most of the things that genuinely make me feel good – exercising, playing with my kids, holding my wife – don’t cost anything at all.” Being the Christian that I am–and, more particularly, being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–I know that which Mr. Hamm speaks of is true. Everything good in my life has come from the Gospel of Christ, and entrance into His kingdom has nothing to do with having money.
Bible Lesson on the Difficulties of Being Rich
Discussing what we can learn from being frugal reminds me of the great Bible lesson we learn from the Savior Himself. In the Gospels of Luke, Matthew and Mark, we read a similar account: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25).
Much has been said in terms of dissecting the hyperbole to determine what exactly it means, but I think John A. Tvedtnes summed it up well. After discussing many viewpoints through his expert scope of ancient Near Eastern studies, he concludes: “In any event, the idea is clear-riches can become a serious stumbling block to a person seeking eternal life” (Biblical Background).
Living a frugal life helps us stay on the straight and narrow path that leads us back to Christ. Keeping our material appetites and passions in check aids us in both this life and the life to come. What a blessing it would be to learn the lessons of being frugal that God would have us know.
John A. Tvedtnes, “I Have a Question,” Ensign. LDS.org.
Trent Hamm, “48 Things Frugality Has Taught Me.” TheSimpleDollar.
“The Gospel According to St. Luke — Chapter 18:25.” Scriptures.LDS.org.
“The Gospel According to St. Mark — Chapter 10:25.” Scriptures.LDS.org.
“The Gospel According to St. Matthew — Chapter 19:24.” Scriptures.LDS.org.