I recently watched the TV adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Cranford’. I appreciate that the author, in describing her character’s small town life and social order, was taking the mickey out of their pretensions in many ways, but I loved the her description of their financial management as ‘elegant economy’. She wrote: “economy was always ‘elegant,’ and money-spending always ‘vulgar and ostentatious’…”.

I have found a definition of the term on this frugal living blog which I think fits my understanding of it perfectly – Elegant Economy is ‘Living a full and beautiful and creative life. Not being miserly or stingy or depriving yourself. Just using what you have in the smartest ways possible.’

Now, when I’m engaging in some attempt at frugal and simple living, I found myself thinking of it as being enjoying a moment of ‘elegant economy’…. and each time I think of it as such, I feel it deepens my appreciation for the richness of my life – the luxury of be able to choose to try and live a sustainable life – a life deliberately geared towards balance, and valuing what we already have.





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