Thrifty Tip #3: Live Abundantly

Nella Last, 1939
When everyone had gone, I slipped a gay flowered dress on, an old one but I love it for its bright colours.  I put rouge and lipstick on - I needed them for I looked a haggard sight - and picked some roses for the table and got out my best embroidered tea-cloth.  I cannot tell what made me do it, and there were only boiled eggs, strawberry jam and some rather indifferent cake for my 'party table'. My husband came in and we looked at one another silently, and then I said, 'Bad - very bad'.

Nella Last wrote the diary entry above on 17 June 1940.  Two weeks earlier, over 330,000 imperial troops had been evacuated from France after the battle of Dunkirk.  England expected imminent invasion from Germany, and indeed, rumours were spreading that the invasion had already begun.

As I re-read this passage a couple of days ago, I thought about how, at a time of profound uncertainty and hardship, Nella chose to make her small world as beautiful and appealing as she possibly could.   She dressed herself nicely, decorated her table as if for a party, and prepared the best meal she possibly could with the limited food at hand.

It is so easy, isn't it, when we have to tighten our belts or we are faced with other difficulties, to feel angry and deprived, and to resent others who seem to have an easier life than us.

Instead, we can choose to live life abundantly.  We can create beauty around us so that no one need know that our budget is tight.  We can hold our heads high.  After all, we are taking control of our lives and our finances.

Ways to live Abundantly (on a budget)
  • polish your shoes, wash your hair, and dress as nicely as you can
  • pick some flowers or make an arrangement of found items, such as twigs or pine cones
  • make even the simplest meal a celebration by setting the table and turning off the TV
  • put a bowl of fruit on your table, to give a feeling of plenty
  • take care of your health and your home
  • walk with pride and dignity
  • share what you have with others.  If you can't share physical things, share your time.
  • be thankful for all that is good in your life
This post is part of my series, Thirty Days of Thrifty Tips.

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