The concept of “enough”

As we often do in the Frugasaurus household, we were sending a couple of house ads back and forth in equal parts amusement and figuring out what we want, and don’t want.

Far over on the joking side of things, Mr. E. sent me an ad for a house where the asking price was 10 million NOK, or well over $1 million. We looked at it, laughed at it, and generally agreed that if we were to spend over $1 million on a home, it would not be for such a luxurious house.

I then sent it to a good friend who has recently bought a home of their own for only a piece of the asking price for this luxury villa.

Se looked at it, as she is wont to do, and then simply replied “that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t give me anything my current house does not already give me.” 

So what is “enough”

And how do we cultivate it?

I find that the concept of having enough starts to rise and manifest in line with a growing gratitude for things in general. In my experience, when we are grateful for the things we have, it is easier to stay content with them as well.

I am very grateful for the couch we got for free. It is comfortable, doubles as a guest bed and accommodates some good snuggle positions. Why would I want to exchange that for shelling out hundreds if not thousands of hard earned dollars for a new couch?

No, thank you. I’d much rather that money stay put to accumulate interest or be there if a truly rainy day was to come to pass.

Function over form

When I sent that ad to my friend, I suppose she could’ve played the comparison game and felt sad that the kitchen was much larger, the porch was tiled and walled in, there was lots of ceiling lights, open spaces and large, luxurious bathrooms.

If we were playing the comparison game, which the majority of society seems to be engaged in, I suppose she should’ve felt sad and unaccomplished for only having quite an ordinary house.

Instead, she looked at the pictures and went “It has a kitchen, I have a kitchen. It has a porch, I have a porch. It has a bathroom, I have a bathroom. All of these are functional and satisfies my needs.”. One of the two might have more of a polished catalogue look, but as long as the kitchen serves you and has no leaky pipes or faulty appliances, why change it?

In short, when you appreciate something for its function rather than how well it matches the rest of your interior (whatever “it” is), you will spend your time better, and cultivate that sense of gratitude and enough at the same time.

Anytime, anywhere

I really started cultivating and appreciating that feeling of enough towards the end of my student life. This baffled and exasperated some of my relatives, being constantly fed with the “starving student” narrative as they were by pretty much any media outlet with fair regularity.

And there I was, daring to say I couldn’t really think of anything I wanted for the holidays??

It can take some time to get used to this notion. Both for yourself, if you’ve not practised it before,  but also for those around you. In many ways, it is a personal little paradigm shift. Where you go from constantly reaching for that next thing, to looking around you and realising that what you have is not so bad, after all.

Balance

Does this attitude ever come back to bite you?

Yes, I suppose I’d have to admit that it might have done so, once or twice. My current refusal to buy new trousers due to weight loss is one, I suppose. Sewing in trousers is quite an ordeal, and I don’t like looking for clothes, even in thrift shops. So I end up just cinching the belt up instead. It’s a good thing I favour loose garments in general.

Or I might get so used to working around and with whatever kitchen equipment we currently have, that I sometimes forget to optimise.

Perhaps it would be worth it to look for a larger pot for all those soups, stews and summer canning? Perhaps it really would be nice with a standing freezer in the pantry, to give us more space.

I find this balance can sometimes be difficult to find, as I just grow content with what I have most of the time. Good thing I have Mr. E. to give me the occasional nudge in the right direction.

Does the feeling of “enough” come naturally to you?

If it does, you are lucky in many ways. But if not, do not despair! Like most things in life, it is a skill that can be practised and which gets stronger with time.

Do you have any good tips and tricks for cultivating that feeling of having enough in your life and growing contentment and gratitude? Please let us know in the comments below!

How to cultivate a feeling of having enough in your life, and growing contentment and gratitude at the same time! #gratitude #financialindependence

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11 Comments on “The concept of “enough”

  1. I don’t enjoy clothes shopping either, so my “enough” bar is pretty low there. As we’ve living in our home for 4.5 years now we are getting ready to tackle a big renovation, and I’ve noticed my plans change significantly. Had we renovated/improved immediately upon moving in, we would have spent a lot more money. And, while we are still planning on building a whole new kitchen, our enough is a much lower bar as we’ve now lived in the space.
    And, while we started with a small garden in the back, every year we double the garden in size, since we love the satisfaction of growing our own food, and the excuse to spend time outside in the spring, fall, fall, and summer.

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    • I think those are excellent examples! We live in free furniture, so our bar is pretty low as well. If someone stains the couch our main concern is not “AMG, stain!”, but rather “Is there sugar in it? Will there be ants?”. I think Norway is in the top per capita when it comes to home renovations, so I can really relate to the kitchen comment!

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  2. I can relate to this! Our home meets the needs of our family just fine- in a nice area and easy walking distance of great schools, enough bedrooms for the kids to have one each (admittedly the smallest is on the tiny side but at least it’s a private space), a small, neat garden, everything we really need (though only 1 shower in the house, no utility room). Occasionally we look on websites to see how much more the next house up would cost and honestly, to gain enough extra rooms to make it seem worth bothering, we would have to spend double the amount of our current home. It just wouldn’t be worth it!

    The more we have, the more we want. I try to be wary of lifestyle inflation and think carefully whether it’s worth missing out of other things or just time to pay for more and better ‘stuff’.

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    • Wow, yeah! Double the cost would be quite the hit to any housing budget! I must admit, I have never lived in a house with more than one shower, even while growing up with several siblings. The last place we lived in before us children started moving out had shower and toilet in separate rooms though, which is really handy!

      Lifestyle inflation is such an insidious creep, we have to be vigilant! 🙂

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  3. We have literally one piece of furniture in our house that was purchased new (my husband’s dresser – but it was actually bought via a gift card). Everything else has been given to us, except for our kitchen table that came from a thrift store. The couches are comfy, the bed is comfy, and the tables are functional. Especially with two large dogs and a toddler, there’s no reason for fancy stuff anyway 😊

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    • Couldn’t agree more, even without the dogs and the toddler! Our couch pulls out to be a double guest bed, which was more important than how it looked when we looked for free couches online. Function over “design” any time! 🙂

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  4. I believe your focus on your relationships with your friends and family, and your love of the outdoors, will be the keys to feeling like you always have enough. It’s cliche, but so true, that you are rich in the things that matter. 🙂

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  5. I wonder sometimes if feeling like you have ‘enough’ can mostly boil down to doing something the makes you feel useful and fulfilled. I know it’s not that simple but generally. Any thoughts?

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    • I think that is a very good place to start. If you’re already feeling fulfilled in your work/life, then at least you’re not trying to buy things in order to try to compensate for a shitty work/life. And when struggling in a job they don’t like, many people find value in hobbies or volunteering, so I do think there’s something to that!

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