Frugality as a Virtue

For many reasons, I believe being frugal is a virtue. It is not only a wise approach to spending the money you have, but it is good stewardship of the resources God has given you.

In my book, Money: How to Be Rich Without It and How to Stretch It Using Ten Hints from the Past and the Technology of Today, there are many quotations about frugality. Here are two.

One is from an article on CNN. I really love the way Tim Jackson puts it: “Frugality offers us a way to re-enchant the future.”

“Frugality comes from the Latin. It speaks of bearing fruit. Of our ability to flourish, not through relentless material profligacy, but through a due attention to season and cycle and the processes of maturation. Austerity presents us with an arid world, stripped bare of meaning, devoid of hope. Frugality offers us a way to re-enchant the future.”– Tim Jackson, Frugal Living is New Road to Prosperity, Special to CNN, November 21, 2010

 The following is from God Himself. As the Creator of the world and owner of everything, God has no need to be frugal. He demonstrates the value of it, though, in an illustration I gave in the book.

Wastefulness and frugality are both attitudes – opposite attitudes. Frugality demonstrates a desire to honor God’s provision by doing our best with our resources – not wasting what we have.

“Jesus displayed this mindset when He fed the five thousand.  Obviously, He was capable of producing food any time He wanted to, but when all the people had been fed, He made sure what was left over was not wasted. Good stewardship should make us think the same way.”


The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, James Tissot, 1836-1902, public domain

And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost” (John 6:11-12).


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