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Fulfilling Frugality

This article has some timeless ideas on leading a more fulfilling life.  It is worth reading.



In March, a couple of weeks after the stock market had plummeted to what would turn out to be its low point for the past decade, financial advisors David Yeske and Elissa Buie felt they needed to counter the mass hysteria by reaching out to clients. So they sent out an e-mail.

The message, however, didn’t have anything to do with the Dow Jones index or the importance of sticking to modern portfolio theory during difficult times. They didn’t talk about investments. They hardly mentioned money.

What they sent was a list of things clients could do that, in fact, didn’t cost much money at all-a manifesto called “Live Big” that explains how to live on a frugal budget. “Live Big is not about the size of your wallet; it’s about the size of your life,” the advisors said in the e-mail. “In these crazy economic times, it can sometimes be difficult to remember the areas in our life where we can Live Big without spending (much, if any) money.”

What followed was a list of about two dozen fulfilling, yet cheap, things that clients could spend their time doing. Walk a dog-even if you have to borrow one. Write someone an “old-fashioned” letter. Watch a thunderstorm. Donate blood. Hug someone.

It could have been viewed as a somewhat risky e-mail. It’s not typical, after all, for a financial advisor to tell his clients to go walk the dog at a time when their life savings are eroding.

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