Sunday, 22 August 2010

Generosity vs Frugality?

by Eilleen, Consumption Rebellion

Hello everyone,

I hope your weekend is going well.

A few days ago, I posted in my personal blog about my children's generosity in donating some of their pocket money to help out Olivia, a little girl with cancer.

I have thought about about this incident a little further and thought I'd share. Just a bit of a background. I give my children pocket money as a way to teach them how to manage money - to learn how to set financial goals, delay instant gratification and impulse buys.

So, when my children first took out some of their pocket money to give to Olivia, I have to admit I felt a bit conflicted. While I was overwhelmingly proud of their generosity a small part of me wondered whether I should be encouraging them to continue to save towards their goals first before "giving their money away". I wondered, how can they learn frugality when they make "impulsive" decisions like this?

On reflection, I'm glad I didn't listen to that little voice. For one thing, I realised that as with most things, there will ALWAYS be financial goals to set and reach. However, being rigid on achieving those goals to the exclusion of generosity to others, is....well...rather sad.

Generosity can go hand-in-hand with frugality. One of the things I've learned from the many people here and those who have commented on my blog - that frugality is NOT about being a scrooge - frugality is about making considered choices. Frugality is about ensuring that one has the means to live in accordance with one's values.

So the way I see it, the path to frugality involves a good understanding of yourself and a commitment to your values.

And generosity is about unconditional release of yourself and the sharing of your values with others.

Generosity is an outcome of true frugality.

And in thinking of it that way, I realise that in showing their generosity, my children are already well on the path of learning frugality.

If you would like to know more about Olivia's story, visit this page: