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  • Often we're told that we have to suffer now — give up what we want — in order to succeed later, that in order to save we must sacrifice. Give up instant gratification to get delayed gratification.

    But you can do both.

    For years, I was confused about this, as I read books and websites that sent me two different messages:

    Pleasure later. The first message was that in order to be successful, in order to build wealth, you have to delay gratification. You can't have instant gratification and be successful.

    Pleasure now. The second message was usually from other sources on Happiness, but sometimes from the same source: enjoy life now, while you can, because it's short and you never know when your last day will come. Live every day like it's your last. Trouble is, I agree with both messages. And if you read this site often, you’ll see that I send both messages: Live frugally1 and simply! But also enjoy life!

    That's because I've reconciled2 the two philosophies into one: Live life now and enjoy it to the fullest — without destroying your future. The key to doing that? Find ways to enjoy life completely, utterly3, maximally … that don’t cost your future very much.

    Here are some tips for actually living that philosophy:

    Find free or cheap pleasures. Frugality4 does not have to be boring or restrictive … if you use your imagination. Be creative and find ways to have fun — loads of it — without spending much money. Have a picnic at the park, go to the beach, do crafts, board games, fly a kite, make art, bake cookies … I could list a hundred things, and you could come up with a few hundred more. Make a list of simple pleasures, and enjoy them to the maximum. This is the key to the whole idea of enjoying life now without spending tomorrow's dollar. See Savor5 the Little Things .

    Make simplifying fun. I'm a big fan of simplifying my life, from decluttering to creating a simple lifestyle in every way. And to me, this is great fun. I get rid of stuff (and possibly make money selling it) and have a blast6 doing it. That’s good math.

    Rediscover what’s important. Oftentimes we spend tons of money, shopping, going out, watching movies, eating out … without really enjoying life. And when we stop to think about it, we never have time for the things we really want to do. Well, that's probably because your life is filled with things that aren't very important to you. Instead, step back and really think about what’s important to you. Then get rid of the other (expensive) stuff, and focus on what's important. Listen to some stuff on my list: my wife and kids, other friends and family, reading, writing, exercising, volunteering, spending quiet time in contemplation. Guess how many of those things cost a lot of money? Read more here .

    Make people a priority7. This is related to the above point, but I thought I'd give it a little more emphasis. If you give "stuff" a priority — stuff like gadgets8, nice furnishings, nice clothes, shoes, jewelry9, etc. — then you will spend a lot of money. But if you make people a priority — the people you love most, you close friends and family — you don't need to spend a dime10 to enjoy life. Make some time to visit with friends, or your parents … and have a conversation with them that doesn't involve eating out or going to the movies. Just sit, have some iced tea or hot cocoa (depending on the weather), and talk. Tell jokes and laugh your heads off. Talk about books you've read, movies you’ve watched, new things going on in your life, your hopes and dreams. And make time for your kids or your significant other — really spend time with them, doing things that don't cost money. (See Spend Time with Family and Loved Ones , 100 Ways to Have Fun With Your Kids and 50 Ways to Be Romantic on the Cheap .)

    Find time for yourself. Make time every day, and every week, to spend time alone. It really gives more meaning and enjoyment to your life, rather than rushing through life with no time to think, to breathe. For ideas on how to make this time, see these ways to create time for solitude11 .

    Sometimes, splurge. You shouldn't restrict yourself from expensive pleasures all the time — it's not good to develop the feeling of deprivation12. To prevent that, once in awhile, buy yourself something … or better yet, give yourself a decadent13 treat. I love things with dark chocolate or berries. Crepes with ice cream and berries are one of my favorites. Just don't go overboard … and learn to enjoy the splurge to the fullest. If you truly take the time to enjoy a treat, you don't need a lot of it.

    Track your successes. It doesn't really matter how you track your success … you can use gold stars for creating a new simplifying or frugalfying habit, or a spreadsheet chart to track your decreasing debt and increasing savings14 or investments. Tracking is a great way to not only provide motivation, but make the process of changing fun.

    Reward yourself. And in order to make it more fun, celebrate every little success! Set rewards for yourself (hopefully not too expensive!) along your path to success — celebrate one day, two days, three days, a week, two weeks, three, a month … you get the idea.

    Volunteer. One of the most rewarding things for my family has been when we have managed to volunteer. It's actually something we only started doing last year, but since then, we've done it a bunch of times in a number of different ways. And while it doesn't cost a dime, it is tremendously satisfying in ways that money could never buy. Read more .

    Live in the moment. Learn to think not so much about the past or future, but about what you are going through right now. Be present. It may seem trite15, but it's the key to enjoying life to the fullest — without having to spend money. Think about it — you can spend money on eating out, but if you are not really thinking about what you're eating, you may not enjoy it much at all. But if you cook a simple but delicious meal, and really taste every bite, it can be tremendously enjoyable without costing a lot. Read more .

    Slow down. In the same way, you can't really enjoy life to the fullest if it's rushing past you like it's on fast forward. Ever think about how quickly a week, a month, or a year goes by? Perhaps you're in the fast lane too much. Try slowing down, and things will be less stressful and more enjoyable. Drive slower , eat slower , live slower .

    Learn to find cheap, cool stuff. Call me crazy, but I love shopping at thrift16 stores. You can find so many cool things there, and it costs so little. Garage sales are the same way. Or check out Freecycle , or read 20 Ways to Find Free or Cheap Books .

     6级    英语散文 


    1 frugally [frʊ'ɡəlɪ] 0e414060360630ce582525831a3991c7   第8级
    adv. 节约地, 节省地
    • They lived frugally off a diet of porridge and lentils. 他们生活节俭,只吃燕麦粥和小扁豆。
    • The enterprise is in live frugally, common people criterion enclasp pocket. 企业在节衣缩食,老百姓则握紧了口袋。
    2 reconciled ['rekənsaɪld] e50a50bc58d7d3d613cb661863fc90b8   第6级
    adj. 顺从的, 和解的 动词reconcile的过去时和过去分词
    • He evinced a strong desire to be reconciled with his family. 他表现出与家人和好的强烈愿望。
    • He had been reconciled with his family. 他与家人言归于好。
    3 utterly ['ʌtəli:] ZfpzM1   第9级
    • Utterly devoted to the people, he gave his life in saving his patients. 他忠于人民,把毕生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
    • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled. 她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
    4 frugality [frʊ'ɡælətɪ] XhMxn   第11级
    • We must build up our country with industry and frugality. 我们必须勤俭建国。
    • By frugality she managed to get along on her small salary. 凭着节俭,她设法以自己微薄的薪水生活。
    5 savor ['seɪvə] bCizT   第9级
    • The soup has a savor of onion. 这汤有洋葱味。
    • His humorous remarks added a savor to our conversation. 他幽默的话语给谈话增添了风趣。
    6 blast [blɑ:st] tR6yh   第6级
    • A huge bomb blast rocked central London last night. 昨晚一次剧烈的炸弹爆炸震动了伦敦市中心。
    • Not until last week was the project in full blast. 工程直到上星期才全部开工。
    7 priority [praɪˈɒrəti] qQ1xB   第6级
    • The development of the national economy is a top priority. 发展国民经济是应予以最优先考虑的事。
    • Things should be taken up in order of priority. 办事应有个先后次序。
    8 gadgets [gæ,dʒets] 7239f3f3f78d7b7d8bbb906e62f300b4   第8级
    n.小机械,小器具( gadget的名词复数 )
    • Certainly. The idea is not to have a house full of gadgets. 当然。设想是房屋不再充满小配件。 来自超越目标英语 第4册
    • This meant more gadgets and more experiments. 这意味着要设计出更多的装置,做更多的实验。 来自英汉非文学 - 科学史
    9 jewelry ['dʒu:əlrɪ] 0auz1   第8级
    • The burglars walked off with all my jewelry. 夜盗偷走了我的全部珠宝。
    • Jewelry and lace are mostly feminine belongings. 珠宝和花边多数是女性用品。
    10 dime [daɪm] SuQxv   第8级
    • A dime is a tenth of a dollar. 一角银币是十分之一美元。
    • The liberty torch is on the back of the dime. 自由火炬在一角硬币的反面。
    11 solitude [ˈsɒlɪtju:d] xF9yw   第7级
    n. 孤独; 独居,荒僻之地,幽静的地方
    • People need a chance to reflect on spiritual matters in solitude. 人们需要独处的机会来反思精神上的事情。
    • They searched for a place where they could live in solitude. 他们寻找一个可以过隐居生活的地方。
    12 deprivation [ˌdeprɪˈveɪʃn] e9Uy7   第9级
    • Many studies make it clear that sleep deprivation is dangerous. 许多实验都证实了睡眠被剥夺是危险的。
    • Missing the holiday was a great deprivation. 错过假日是极大的损失。
    13 decadent [ˈdekədənt] HaYyZ   第10级
    • Don't let decadent ideas eat into yourselves. 别让颓废的思想侵蚀你们。
    • This song was once banned, because it was regarded as decadent. 这首歌曾经被认定为是靡靡之音而被禁止播放。
    14 savings ['seɪvɪŋz] ZjbzGu   第8级
    • I can't afford the vacation, for it would eat up my savings. 我度不起假,那样会把我的积蓄用光的。
    • By this time he had used up all his savings. 到这时,他的存款已全部用完。
    15 trite [traɪt] Jplyt   第11级
    • The movie is teeming with obvious and trite ideas. 这部电影充斥着平铺直叙的陈腐观点。
    • Yesterday, in the restaurant, Lorraine had seemed trite, blurred, worn away. 昨天在饭店里,洛兰显得庸俗、堕落、衰老了。
    16 thrift [θrɪft] kI6zT   第7级
    • He has the virtues of thrift and hard work. 他具备节俭和勤奋的美德。
    • His thrift and industry speak well for his future. 他的节俭和勤勉预示着他美好的未来。

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