|Doris Dobkins is the publisher of $mart Money New$. You can subscribe by
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Are you speaking for real or is the
title of this article an oxymoron? How could anyone be happy denying
themselves all of life's pleasures and being frugal?
Take a moment to read the quote
"The three grand essentials of
happiness are: something to do, someone to love, and something to
--Alexander Chalmers, Scottish writer
How does one tie happiness and
frugality together? For me, the key to happiness in a life of
constant frugality is having a goal, a purpose, a hope. My long-term
hope is a debt free life. No credit card bills (check), no car
payment (check) and no mortgage (no check).
Paying off the mortgage is the
toughest one and it takes time. For an impatient person who wants
results now, it can be the most difficult. It is usually the last
goal of most people, as well.
To keep me on track, I establish
short-term hopes that I strive for on a quarterly or semi-annual
basis. Travel is my love and I live cheap to fund my love for
travel. It's a time for my family and I to get away, forget about
the worries and the cares of making a living and enjoy some quality
time relaxing in a tropical paradise of some sort.
Sure I could put that money on my
mortgage, but then I'd start to lose hope and probably give up my
quest for financial freedom.
What do you hope for? What makes you
happy? You can have it. But work for it and don't go into debt for
It may take a lifetime to achieve all
your hopes. So enjoy the journey. You'll only take this trip called