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Monday, May 17, 2010

Willing to Change




"Who will achieve change? He who truly desires it and is willing to do something to make it happen."



Ok, I haven't actually heard of a quote like that; I made up that "proverb". But I've heard plenty regarding desiring a long life, true strength, true wealth, true wisdom, so figured I could and should devise one on actualizing change.

People like to complain. They claim their life is miserable, they have no money, they have no friends, their marriage is lacking much. The list of possible complaints is endless.
Yet, many are the people who complain about an issue, but when you offer them a solution, they have one excuse after another about why those solutions wouldn't work.

I've spoken to many people about saving money; friends have approached me on the street asking me to help them because their money is slipping out of their hands and they need solutions and they know I've got them. Too often I've given suggestions, and not even absurd or extremely frugal ones, just plain old basic moderately frugal strategies, and these idea are all shot down with a "Give me a break!" and rolled eyes.

One person I know is constantly getting handouts from many different charities and friends, and even so is having a hard time making ends meet. Yet all my suggestions to her are for naught. She goes as far as to tell me "I go nuts over electricity; I leave all the lights burning in my house, even when no one is home", and even chastised me for shutting off a closet light after fetching something.
Others tell me just how much of their income goes to pay the grocery bill, but at the slightest suggestion of modifying their diet or mode of food preparations, they balk.

Oh, don't worry, I get where these people are coming from. Change is hard. Wanting change is easy, but being willing to step out of your comfort zone and try something new is quite difficult. Too challenging for many people to wrap their mind around and actualize.
There's also the aspect of having your priorities. Everyone choses something that is invaluable to them, about which they will not compromise. For me, I hold steadfast in my desire to stay home and raise my children myself instead of them being with child minders from morning till night so that I can earn a few extra dollars. For others, their non negotiable is organic food, even if that makes their grocery budget be higher. Other lack the energy to make things from scratch, so they stick to more convenience style foods.

Even when you have things about which you will not compromise, you need to be willing to budge about others if you want to achieve any change. My dad used to say "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". If you plan on living exactly as you have been until this point, barring a miracle, you will be getting the same results you have been until now. If you want to save money, you need to be willing to compromise and actually change things. If you want to just continue everything you've been doing till now, go right ahead, but don't complain if you're not willing to change.

If you've come to the realization that some things truly need to change in your life and have discovered that you're the biggest impediment standing in the way of the required change, perhaps its time to do a bit of soul searching and figure out where your values lie.
Is it ease and comfort in following your routine but dealing with monetary stress? Or would you prefer to have less money stresses but spend more time preparing things yourself, or expanding your pallet, or going out to work?
Are you willing to compromise on anything so you can stick to your guns on the important issues? Even one compromise can make a big difference. Because it is important to me to be raising my kids myself and even though it means a limited earning potential, I am willing to go the extra mile and cut back on almost everything, even the little things.
If organics and food ethics is important to you, perhaps try growing your own organic veggies, or eat more legume based meals instead of animal products, as legumes are exponentially cheaper than animal products, especially when it comes to free range, hormone free, and organic meat, poultry, milk and eggs.
If ease is important to you, start making crock pot meals, one pot meals, pressure cooker meals, and freezer meals (double food when cooking and stick the second half in the freezer for a later date).

Do what you need to make things work, compromising on the little things, yet not yielding when it comes to your values. Or don't, but stop complaining.

Do you think you're open to change, or do you also sometimes complain about monetary difficulties then shoot down suggestions given to you? What compromises have you made for the sake of frugality yet keeping your values intact?

(P.S. Tomorrow I am hosting the Festival of Frugality on my blog, so be sure to check out all the great ideas I'll be sharing. This festival will be throwing my usual schedule off kilter, so I'll be saving my Wednesday post for another week and will be sharing many recipes instead, by request of the readership.)

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