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Month of Frugality comes to an end

I make my final report in the publicly visible thread over at the Cabal.

Bottom line: Other than my microwave dying, which threw a very small monkeywrench into the works, the month was both easy and peaceful. As I say in my summation, this exercise in frugality was less about money than about attitude. And the attitude was all about peace and clarity. About creativity and focus. About sufficiency. Never for a minute did I feel I was doing without.

Well, okay. For a minute. Or a few. That microwave is the center of my kitchen.

I didn’t mention in the Cabal thread, but I’ll add here that the month (and the grand sense of sufficiency) was enhanced by amazing donations. Some I already blogged about around mid-month. But since then … well, let’s just say the goodness kept on coming, unasked and unanticipated. Thank you to S. and K. and T., and above all to the awesome D3 for “making me see double.” And to the provisional members who decided to stay on at the Cabal, too. Hope you enjoy!

Now comes April, which will be anything but an exercise in frugality. April will be, among other things, the month when the house-foundation project begins. So out goes the money. But in what a great cause! And thanks to you, I have what I need to raise up the back of the house and roust the beetles and carpenter ants from the beams.


  1. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal March 31, 2017 12:54 pm

    When I read about your microwave, and the comments about Panasonic microwaves dying so soon, I decided I had better not mention my Panasonic microwave’s longevity (32 years, so far). I might jinx it.

  2. Claire
    Claire March 31, 2017 1:46 pm

    Hey, Kent. I’ll trade you! My Panasonic is much newer. Think what you’ll be getting in exchange for the old bird of yours. 🙂

    Nah. Seriously. That’s pretty impressive, but I’m still going to for mine.

  3. trying2b-amused
    trying2b-amused March 31, 2017 11:02 pm

    Kent: Does your microwave have mechanical or electronic (i.e. buttons and digital displays) controls? I ask because the prior two I had (both with electronic controls, bought new, one of which was Panasonic) quit working within a couple years, and the one I have now, a super elcheapo (which I got second hand) with a mechanical timer and no other controls except a knob for “power level” (which does nothing except turn full power on and off at different intervals) has been going strong for 7 or 8 years at least. I suspect the reason that microwave ovens fail so quickly nowdays is that the digital electronics used (to provide absurdly elaborate and almost entirely useless “features”) are too fragile to withstand either the case internal microwave leakage or power surges caused by the microwave tube. When mine failed, in both cases it appeared it was the control circuitry that stopped working, rather the actual microwave generating components.

  4. kentmcmanigal
    kentmcmanigal April 1, 2017 7:52 am

    It’s all electronic.
    Back about 20-something years ago I thought it died during Thanksgiving preps. It stopped and all the lights went out. Turned out it had just overheated and needed to cool down. It will still do that on the rare occasions I run it for 20 minutes or so.

  5. strycat
    strycat April 3, 2017 10:33 am

    For me the microwave is just an overgrown popcorn popper. Even the newfangled one I have so alters the taste of most food that I can’t eat 99% of what comes out of it.

  6. John
    John April 4, 2017 6:15 pm

    Having been fortunate to eliminate debt, and counting what a year of “normal” expense should be, and divide by twelve, I’ve given myself my monthly allowance. The obligations I can pay forward to those I trust, I do a year ahead, and this will drop my monthly due below average.

    New challenge is to not feel free to push spending up in a month, as though I’ve gotten some free money to spend. I could probably do a month, and spend no more than the fixed minimum numbers.

    The idea is stale and boring though. Maybe as for sport or challenge?

    Safe home for reserve assets is iffy to me. I try spread them around and thinly…

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