Tuesday 23 April 2024

The Frugal Freedom to Observe Nature


Mama Badger

Frugal living can mean many things to many people. Some think of it as being mean and penny-pinching, ohers think thrifty and moneysaving but for many of us, frugal living simply means living well within our own means so we can afford to do things we enjoy without incurring debt, no matter how low our income. Based on certain Government 'ideals', I happily live not just below the poverty line but below actual destitution level, based on my income. I don't claim any form of benefits, I have the prviledge of being able to do what I do simply because I can. Everything else goes into savings and investing in the future, living in hope that the future will be kind to those who follow in my footsteps, be they many or few.


Some people crave travel, different weather, different scenery, different climate, different people and different places in order to try and satisfy a lack of contentment. This leads to the hamster wheel of spinning out income to keep up with the costs of all these things and then, even when working flat out, that income may not cover all of the above without living in debt. Debt is the enemy, no mater what anyone tells me otherwise. Yes, I agree that if you borrow capital to invest in a business venture then that debt is good debt while the business is solvent and adequately profitable. The bigger the business, the bigger the debts and the bigger the risk of getting out of it with absolute financial security. How much is stress costing you in financial terms? If you have 'gone public' then yur business is only worth the paper it's written on if all the shareholders decie they'd rather keep their money elsewhere. Where do we invest?

3 Spot the pine marten

We invest in property and invite new tenants from nature - the wildlife. You don't need hundreds of thousands of acres of land, or forest, moorland or woodland. You can create your own tiny haven or find that haven nearby. If you are fortunate enough to have a garden, dedicate it to nature and wildlife, even if that wildlife is the smallest of creatures. Observing them in nature is worth every penny invested. If you don't have or can't find space nearby, research your local conservation projects and get involved at whatever level you can. Frugaldom now offers a monthly subscription to enable virtual participation for those who can't actually visit but for those who can, we welcome them anytime.


Yes, we even welcome the regular visits by the fox. It's a mini jungle out there and amazing to see some of these animals interacting. The pine maren avoids the fox for good reason but the badgers don't seem to mind the company. Most of these photos are being captured on trail cams that cost less than £25 each so you don't need expensive equipment, just patience and rechargeable batteries.

Right now, as well as the wildlife, we have 8 ponies and a goat living at Frugaldom. These aren't "my" animals, they all belong to the people who care to contribute towards their keep each month, those who come and help look after those who choose to adopt, sponsor or rehome them at their own expense. Frugaldom didn't just become a sanctuary for animals but also for the people who need to stop the merry-go-round of their lives and get off for a break. A change is as good as a rest and it is absolutely amazing to see how animals and people interact when either have endured untold past events. 


Feeding the wildlife, for those involved here, also means feral cats. There are, as far as we are aware, four cats frequenting the place.

We have no idea where these cas came from nor where they go when they leave here - if they do. We have never seen them strolling around, they are only ever spotted on the trail cameras or perhaps a pair of shining eyes caught in the beam of a torch if out walking after dark.


We gave each a name but they will never know that. All they know is there is food for them should they chose to come to be fed here. We don't have close-by neighbours and those we do have further afield all confirm these are not their cats - they are feral. As you can tell by Commander's ear, he has been part of a previous trap, neuter, release scheme - probably the root cause of his absolute fear of humans now.

If anyone anywhere recognises any of the cats, please do get in contact to let us know. The least we can do is confirm he cats are alive and well, fed each night and occasionally seen on camera interacting with one another.

The next step in the frugal living, with the emphasis now on living, was to invest in accommadation for fellow frugalers to share this experience. We chose to build single-room cabins and fit wood burning stoves. They have sparce furnishings and are completely off-grid but they are comfortable and warm. No, we do not rent them out to holiday makers or the general public. These huts are for the benefit of fellow frugal living, wildlife loving, need-a-break-from-society Friends of Frugaldom

Pursue your passion and find contentment in what nature can provide. Share your hopes and dreams with others so they can help make them happen and together, we can forge our way ahead, content in the knowledge that we did our best to look after the land on which we depend entirely and always will. It's the little things that count the most, in my opinion, and those things all tend to be free when you know where to find them.

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