Wealth School: Lessons in Creative Frugality

06/12/2011 12:34 pm ET | Updated Aug 12, 2011

Why am I not talking about making the big bucks in an article about wealth? After all, surely wealth is about money, isn't it? I am keen to explore the idea that wealth is not just about amassing material riches, such as living a celebrity lifestyle with all of the goodies, but living well with what you have. And when you have more, it's living well with that, too.

Have you heard stories of lottery winners who lose their gains almost as soon as they have won them?

I am not interested in stressing and straining for more, more, more. Being open to receive is different. So how do you create the frame of mind and outlook that makes you an attractive receiver? This is not just about mental and emotional programming, as in the Law of Attraction, but something that comes more from the heart.

Frugal sounds a bit limiting and mean, don't you think? But it need not be. I associate living frugally as living within your means and according to what you really need. Living frugally might mean letting go of stuff that you no longer really need or want to have around you. Being lean and fit with no excess baggage to hold you down, or back, is personally liberating.

To another recent article on the subject, one reader responded:

A number of years ago due to gut wrenching divorce I began to change. Cut my cable. Cut out the newspaper. Some other things.

My life began to fill up with new things I was DOING myself. Ice hockey (pretty good for a 53 yr old gray hair) Public speaking and a career shift. It was not by design but it happened. I filled up as stuff went away just like you said!

Push DOWN on debt and stuff and push UP on personal wealth and money wealth. Its a good formula.

Living frugally can allow you the space to be less distracted and more creative, both with what you have and in bringing forward more that you would like. Frugality can lead to freedom. Fewer distractions can make it easier to live fully in the present moment and be at one, or at peace, with what is true for you.

Creativity invites your imagination to bring into being a new enterprise, a service to benefit the world around you, a way of being that is very different from an old set of habits that has made your life routine or boring -- plugging in to the Internet, switching on the TV when bored, sending another text message.

Simple does not have to be dull. Trust your spirit, and the life force within you, to come up with new ideas, a game to play, ways to connect with others that no one has yet thought about.

There is a great beauty in living fully in the present moment, open to the opportunities that show up, in and around you. How could you treat your day as a creative enterprise? Would you like to create more joy, for example? Would you like to create greater peace of mind? How will you do that?

You have tremendous freedom to create your experience in each day, to develop new habits of well-being and enjoyment. A friend wrote recently about assuming "default happy." I love that! Anytime you get off track with being happy -- depressed, despondent, complaining, irritable, for example -- switch back into default happy.

Default happy is a choice. Then you train yourself into your choice. What does it take? Practice, practice, practice.

Another reader commented:

I think being frugal has helped me get more of what I want. If I put my resources toward the things that are my highest priorities, then I am not wasting them on lesser priority things.

For example, when I suddenly became the sole support of my family, I decided not to spend money on junk food. I did not choose to afford stuff that wasn't going to nourish us well. It might have been cheaper but not in the long run and not in terms of going for what I really wanted.

At the end of a day, having successfully created the quality of life you want, you may like to record a list of all you are grateful for that has taken place. Being grateful costs nothing.

Gratitude is one of the best ways to attract and receive more of what you would like. Gratitude and generosity will enrich your world in amazing ways.

How has being frugal served you? I would love to know. Please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you!

For tips and hints on creating a wealthy life, go to "The Wealth Book: Winning with Spirit." Wishing you health, wealth and happiness -- in all of the many ways it can come to you!