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Simple Pleasures

By on January 27, 2007

photo by revdave
Most frugalites will agree that it’s important to integrate simple pleasures and indulgences into your day to day life. This brings more appreciation for simple joys. You’re worth it. Many indulgences don’t have to cost anything at all;however, there isn’t anything wrong with spending a bit for enjoyment. Whether you call it simple pleasures, guilty pleasures, indulgences, pampering, or splurges, don’t ignore your “happy factor”.

It’s the little joys in life that can re-energize and liberate you. An indulgence can encourage you to slow down and savor the moment. Make the decision to give yourself permission to be selfish. These indulgences can make your hard work in other areas, easier to bear. You’ll also be less likely to overindulge and overspend. Most important you’ll appreciate what you have.

What it’s Not and What it Is

Simple pleasures aren’t impulsive spending sprees based off of a sense of entitlement. A simple indulgence is more about finding the small pleasures you might be taking for granted. Think of it as soul candy or more specifically “me time”. It’s a timeout from a frenetic life. It’s not pigging out with a box of oreos.

Guilty pleasuresare slightly different, but along the same spectrum of carving out time for yourself, enjoying life, and not denying yourself. These pleasures are based on anything you enjoy that is even remotely embarrassing. They add to your personality palette and help you find more balanced living.

Gratitude and Abundance

Making time to care for yourself creates a sense of gratitude and abundance. There’s so much focus on giving, but you should take time to be open to receiving life moment by moment, as well. Taking time for yourself to drink in simple joys will allow you to recognize abundance.

Inevitably, we create our own reality. We attract what we focus on. Enjoying and savoring simple pleasures shifts our mind from thinking “not enough” to “more than enough and then some”. It’s the law of attraction.

Many write about abundance and wealth, but I prefer to relate abundance to acknowledging blessings, identifying your own prosperity, and embracing inner joy. One thought that does run parallel with most views on wealth is that you should want and be satisfied with what you already have. It’s the sense of being touched by grace. Without gratitude and the ability to embrace simple pleasures, even the most affluent will feel emptiness. Ask yourself how much does money cost you?

This isn’t to be confused with accepting mediocrity. It doesn’t mean that you have let go of goals of achievement. It does mean you can let go of negativity and transition to enjoying what you already have. You can’t do this if you don’t make time for yourself.

True gratitude can’t be faked. It’s from your heart and it’s transparent. Everyone can see it because it’s something you truly care about and value. Gratitude gives you permission to plunge forward and not devalue the present because you’re grateful and have “enough”. Abundance isn’t accumulating. It’s an art and quality of living.

Many on my forums participate in daily gratitudes in our simple living section. These discussions are short lists of what a person is grateful for that day. This can be a method to count your blessings, thank others, and even get through difficult times. Most importantly, it’s a few minutes set aside to embrace all that is abundant that very moment, and makes you aware of and affirm your contentment. You can then go back and read your gratitudes and reflect on your contentment instead of focusing on what is lacking.

Remember “like attracts like”.

Share your simple or guilty pleasures.

Additional reading:

Here are some recent indulgences from the forums.

Editor’s Note

My simple pleasure of the moment is a cup of Fauchon coffee. One of my guilty pleasures, I shared on the forums. My splurge of the day is going for floral supplies to create a wall hanging for my bedroom. I’ll blog it soon.

Today I am grateful for:

my pillow (some of you know how I am about pillows)
a fresh start to a new day
new blog readers and kind comments. Thank you!
the power of forgiveness
pushing past the fear of writing the first sentence of every blog entry


  1. Jean-Luc Picard

    1/30/2007 at 3:58 pm

    You’re right; the simplest pleasures are the best.

  2. Scott J

    1/30/2007 at 10:56 pm

    I’ve noticed that it’s the small things in life that create the biggest Happy Factor.:-)

  3. Michelle S.

    2/1/2007 at 1:18 pm

    It’s so true and definitely a very personal thing. What makes me happy may be too simple of a thing to someone else. Every time I hear my daughters laugh or giggle, I smile. Instantly. It’s so simple, yet gives me much happiness.

    I try to take a few minutes every day to appreciate the simple things in my life that make me happy.

    ~fresh, clean sheets and blankets
    ~a hot cup of coffee to start the day
    ~hot shower to get me going

    And the thing that has kept a smile on my face all day:

    ~my girls skipping down the street to the bus, arm in arm (trust me, they’re not always so happy to leave the house LOL)…so happy & carefree…ahh to be young again 🙂

  4. Kathy

    2/5/2007 at 1:54 am

    Oh how I love simple pleasures. I live for them. I have reminders around my house about living simply and being frugal…not cheap. I am so blessed in my life that I have to pinch myself sometimes. But I am thankful everyday for my blessing and I count them one by one..Blessing to you and your..kathy

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  6. AheeK

    2/17/2007 at 11:01 pm

    I agree with you…simple pleasures are very important to your happiness right here, right now. Not two weeks from now when you get that new sofa, not a year from now when you change jobs, and not in five years when you move to a bigger house. It’s very important to be able to look around right now and say “Yes, there are things I’d improve, but right now I’m blessed.”

    Some of my simple pleasures:
    – petting a cat
    – hot showers
    – re-reading a great book

    Aaaaaaaaand some guilty pleasures:
    – “Pop” by N’Sync
    – Pauly Shore movies
    – Harlequin romance novels (I don’t read them often, but sometimes you just crave them)

  7. Amy

    2/17/2007 at 11:18 pm

    My greatest simple pleasure right now is reading. I don’t know if I should call it a “simple” pleasure, because finding time to read with a full-time job and three small children is anything but simple. However, reading is something that always relaxes me and makes me feel…satisfied. Nothing like a great story!

  8. Bumplett

    2/18/2007 at 12:45 am

    very good topic – really makes you think — I suppose my greatest simple pleasure is climbing into a freshly made bed – (I love crisp sheets & the slight scent of bleach)

  9. Marie78

    2/18/2007 at 5:01 am

    I love simple pleasures: time to read, baking, holding my cats, watching tv with my fiance, playing card games at home, hanging out with friends, a warm cup of tea on a cold day, warm fuzzy slippers…my list could be endless. I am grateful for all the simple pleasures in my life.:)

  10. emily_hope

    2/18/2007 at 8:54 pm

    I, too, am greatful for the simple things in life. I am amazed when I look out the window at our pond and see a blue heron or some ducks that have stopped to play. I love to see a smile on my DDs faces. I love to chat with my Dbest friend. Just spending quiet moments with DH is satisfying. So simple, yet so big!

  11. mom23boys

    2/18/2007 at 10:34 pm

    I count my blessings everyday and am glad to share my daily gratitude on the forums. It helps me to remember the pleasures in my life.

  12. Maggi

    2/19/2007 at 11:04 am

    I think some people take life for granted. Some look at me like I’m gooky when I say that it makes me happy and gives me great pleasure to have a home cooked meal for my family or folding my sons laundry when its dry. At the end of the day being able to sit and read or soak in the tub.
    In the summer my husband and I enjoy sitting on the back deck and watching the birds. We have allot of Finches (I don’t think I spelled that right), bluejays and cardinals.
    I feel truly blessed.

  13. Darlene

    2/20/2007 at 11:05 am

    I’m a big lover of finding joy in the simple things. Doesn’t cost a thing, I just look around me. Yesterday one of my smiles came from bird footprints in the snow, oh how they made me smile.That led me to looking the snow for other tracks..who’s been by…our cat, deer, a coyote?…

    Looking at things the way I do carries over to all parts of my life, I’m content and rich beyond measure for it.

  14. The Financista

    2/22/2007 at 5:34 pm

    I couldn’t agree more — nothing beats laughter shared with friends, dusk, sitting on the front porch, or a good run. It’ incredible to think these are all free!

  15. Becky Brien

    9/6/2007 at 9:39 pm

    I love our simple pleasures.
    Having dear husband to talk to
    A cup of coffee, even if I do have to drink decaf !
    The time to paint, having the money for painting supplies is a blessing
    The internet when I do genealogy
    listening to my great granddaughters chatter, drinking imaginary tea with them and getting a ‘make over ‘from them
    sitting in the warm sun on a chilly day
    having a steady free supply of romance books to read, they only take two brain cells so are relaxing
    Having a big stash of fabrics that I inherited, literally, to quilt
    teaching my granddaughter to sew.
    The list goes on

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  17. Jen

    3/9/2008 at 12:25 am

    How true…it is easy to get caught up in the unimportant challenges that face us today. I am grateful for the things that remind me to step back and pay attention to my husband, my home and the smiles on my little boys faces.
    Sara, thank you for the great blog.

  18. Wonder Mom

    3/16/2008 at 1:46 pm

    Yes, Like does attract Like. I happened across this website while trying to find others that do, really, love the simple pleasures in life. I made 1/2 of my normal salary last year and this year promises to be even less. But I’m joyful…does that even make sense? Don’t know how I’ll pay the bills but I know that they will be paid. I asked for JOY and I received it.

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