Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bali Again

Couchsurfing in Bali

As I recounted a few posts back, Dolly and I spent 2 nights with a poor family in the mountains in Bali. We were their guest as a couchsurfers. Couchsurfing gives you an opportunity to share the lives people live in their own home.

I chose the Pat Jero family due to their location, social status and also due to them having a 4 year old daughter for Dolly to befriend. Dolly packed toys and clothing to give knowing the little girl had very little. I highly encourage couchsurfing to have a enriching travel experience.

I explained to Dolly that the family is very poor and are unable to purchase food or go to school sometimes due to this poverty. This is allowed her to reflect and ask thoughtful questions about her new friend and thinking of solutions in how she would like to help her new friend.
One child speaks French and English the other speaks Balinese and Indonesian - No language in common - Yet they had no problems playing and communicating with some of the gifts Dolly had brought from home.
The small home they own has a 2 small rooms, a kitchen and a small communal room where we played and ate on the floor. The outdoor traditonal toilets were a struggle for Dolly but made her see how lucky we are.
The House High In The Mountains - Plastic sheets to cover the glassless windows.
The squat toilets and shower area.
Offerings to the Gods. Shelter, food and drink.
Gateway to the small village. Dolly being carried by the mother of the house to avoid dogs and rabies.
My delicious meal of rice, choko, egg and a mix of garlic, lemongrass, ginger and chili. Fruits on offer from the garden; passionfruit and tamarillo.
I gave 25$ to the mother of the house to purchase a gas cooker as my studies on women in developing countries has taught me that the heavy smoke from the wood fire in the small kitchen is a high risk for lung cancer.

The father of the house saved me time and hassle by picking me up and dropping me off at different Bali locations on different side of the island on 3 occassions. I was thankful for this and left them 50$ as a thank you to cover fuel, time and his kindness. This is a large amount of money for them. To give you an idea the 18 year old son works every morning for 4 hours earning .50 cents per morning.
Sightseeing with our host. Dolly had given some of her dresses, leggings and hair clips to her new friend who wore them with happiness.
We had a great time.


  1. thank you for posting that,and sharing with us,i found that really interesting,what a wonderful thing to be doing,seeing how other's live,makes you appreciate what you have,xx

  2. What a great idea to go couchsurfing and give Dolly such an insight into another culture. And amazing how children can play and learn side by side so naturally without a common language. Lovely pictures! Hope the rest of your trip is safe and smooth:)

  3. Wow! How interesting to see how people live in Bali. I have never thought about that side of Bali and forget how lucky we really have it. Hope you are having a great holiday and the cold isn't too bad in France.

  4. Wow Stephanie! what an eye opener! I really admire you for doing something like that - i dont think i would cope (very well) actually. Too used to all the luxuries we take for granted. Such a fanatastic experience for you and your daughter! Hope youre not to cold in France, all the best for 2011 x

  5. Oh dear. I thought I left a long comment on here last night about how great your pictures and holiday look. Don't know what happened, sorry. Also, how great it is to see kids who don't share a language play together so easily!

  6. I found this a very interesting post! Your photos were excellent. And I loved how you included Dolly in the whole process, teaching her about others less fortunate than her.

  7. How interesting for both families.


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