From a budgeting perspective, it’s all too easy to worry about how keeping Shabbat ADDS to the budget. What with all the chicken soup and brisket and dining rooms full of people.
But I’ve found that on a personal (dare I even say spiritual) level, keeping Shabbat actually has the opposite effect: It can make me more frugal and definitely more intentional about our spending.
(Of course this isn’t WHY I keep Shabbat, but it’s definitely a nice “fringe benefit”.)
I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately about the importance of having a “media fast” at least once a week – 24 hours without any screen time. Goodness knows our screen-saturated kids need it!
Now these articles are obviously targeting the non-Shabbat observant, since for those of us that keep Shabbat, we already have that day programmed into our week. (Even my three year old knows, “No Caillou on Shabbat. Caillou likes to rest on Shabbat!)
No media means no commercial interruptions. No consumption-driven images triggering our “I want, I wish, I need”. When I turn off the screen (and for me, that screen is the computer, not the TV), I am suddenly able to shut down the “if only’s”.
If only I had this kind of dining room or that kind of wardrobe… if only I could afford that house or that car (or that tech gadget)… I’d be happier (or prettier or skinnier).
Ever notice how much better you feel about yourself when you DON’T spend hours reading about how great everyone else’s life is on Facebook?
I find myself infinitely more appreciative of what we do have (and our blessings are tremendous) when I’m not comparing myself – consciously or sub-consciously – to anyone else.
The once-a-week, 25-hour media fast imposed by Shabbt goes a long way in ending those comparisons and fostering contentment – which for me, is the foundation of living a more simple, frugal life.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia