I’m not yet prepared to turn this article into a fully fledged assault on frugality so instead I’m going to use it as a mechanism to compile some ideas regarding the topic. As you might be able to tell by the title of this article, if you could even call it an article, I am indeed of the position that frugality is inherently toxic to human beings. Yes, I am calling for the abandonment of frugality.
I am also suggesting that overindulgence is superior to frugality in almost all scenarios. The premise of this idea stems from the understanding of human transience/permanence and living accordingly.
To be financially frugal requires the sacrifice of many luxuries and will often involve excessive saving. Some people will go their entire lives saving every penny and abstaining even from small luxuries such as the occasional purchase of bottled water when feeling dehydrated!
Take, for example, a youthful subject, perhaps twenty-three years of age. This subject is excessively frugal. Society has told them that the more money they accrue in life, the more successful they will be. And that success is only measured on a purely financial basis. This notion of having a high paying job equating to success is deeply embedded within our society but is very obviously flawed.
Regardless, the subject goes through life abstaining from simple present-moment pleasures in order to maximise how much of their weekly paycheck gets through to their savings account. In fact, the only simple pleasure the subject enjoys is reveling in the success of their saving endeavours! This is a woeful example of self-inflicted oppression and is not something humans ought to do.
This person is a fine specimen of the delusion we’ve cultivated in today’s society. Humans have abused their ability to extrapolate and plan for the future by exchanging the present reality for the unobtainable future reality. I’ve done this topic to death.
Our subject trudges through a bitter and resentful existence day after day for hope of one day enjoying “success” as if it were a tangible goody to enjoy later in life. Strangely, we assume we’re guaranteed to live to the ripe old age of eighty-five and therefore plan our lives accordingly. For our subject, while he may not escape the self-inflicted monotony that is his life anytime soon, he predicts to have some degree of financial “success” by the time he’s middle aged. Oh what a tragedy it would be if he didn’t get his due eighty-five years. How devastating would it all be if his life were cut short tomorrow…
Now you might be wondering what any of this has to do with frugality. Those people who can relate to our subject are sadly very populous throughout society. When we choose to save money to the point of suffocating our day-to-day life, our frugality defeats us. I will go out on a limb here by saying the mark of frugality is the mark of a much deeper problem that permeates delusion regarding the transient nature of our being.
Obviously, moderation is key. If you never save any money, you may struggle in life which could lead to suffering. Conversely, if you save too much money, you reduce the comfort of everyday life by stifling any chance of enjoying yourself. However, my main message today isn’t moderation. I believe at present, society leans towards frugality as opposed to indulgence. This gives way to the toxic delusion I spoke about earlier. I suspect we should consciously choose to live beyond our means as opposed to being so conservative.