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, April 11, 2011

Money Coach

Four and a half years ago we had nothing but a great social life and casual unstable jobs. We made changes by eliminating the expensive fun and all the small purchases we made because "we deserved them". We got ourselves an apprenticeship and a scholarship where we were paid a small but liveable wage to learn and skill up. During this year of learning we lived in a super cheap derelict unit (that we painted and cleaned) for 2 months, housesat for 5 months and lived in my mums 1 bedroom unit for about 6 months where we just paid her rates, bills and fees.

In that year we managed to save our tiny combined wages into a home deposit. We searched for a home for 3 months looking for a suitable unit under $220,000 which was hard in our small but expensive city. After 36 properties we found our unit and bargained down the price by $5,000 just because my books taught me to always try.

Within the next 2 years we gained stable permanent employment and paid weekly extra's into our home loan due to reading an inspiring book Your Mortgage And How To Pay It Off in 5 Years. We've been unit owners for 3.5 years. Last week I asked the bank how we were with our loan. I blushed with happiness when told we were paid up until July 2031!!!! We are 20 years ahead! However we also owe the Govt 26% of our unit which they own :-(

In the past 3 years I learnt about simple living and frugality. I stopped buying a new "treat" magazines every week (minimum 362$ per year) and as I became more eco conscience decided to stop purchasing new items as best as I could. Then I discovered Blogs! They taught me many tricks of the trade, kept me on track, challenged me further and I now love being a frugalistic woman. Allowing us to save and place money in nice safe, savings accounts.

Left Over Notes From Our Recent Trip - 6 Countries!
In todays free Money Coaching session I spilled my money woes, aspirations and future dreams. Tony drew pictures, explained concepts and gave me some tips on what I need to do pronto to save and protect some of our hard earned money. He also told me I need to get our money working for us and not sitting lazily in low interest savings accounts. This I knew but the unknown is so scary as we saved hard our small but growing pile of cash.

Here are some of the items he told me I should action now:
  • Put the Govt owned portion of our home into our home loan. (property inflation is more costly then the interest)
  • Get our will written. (Our will kit has been sitting in the cupboard unopened for 3 yrs)
  • Put our savings finances together the Rambling Expat and I. (So that it has more strength)
The Financial Coaching services are EXPENSIVE for a miser like me and very daunting. But we've read countless books and still fear the Big Bad financial world. We will think carefully during the next couple of weeks and see if it's something we want to pay for, to help us along in making informed choices, financial freedom, passive incomes and early retirement.

Meanwhile I will keep to being frugalistic happy and use up all or most of the food I have in my home before buying more food this week. Tonight I made pasta sauce with 3 soft tomatoes, a few wilting basil leaves, a little rock salt and black pepper, a generous spoon of garlic and a dash or water. Placed on 3 types of pasta shapes with a sprinkling of grated cheese.
Home Made Tasty Pasta Sauce
For lunch I ate 2 avocados I had sitting on my desk from last week. Today was a no spend day and as a bonus I sold a book on Fishpond bringing in 13.88$ for our Borneo trip, after postage, book cost and selling fees.

As the coach said; I need to have every 1$ working for me. Well I'm earning and saving those dollars right now to get them working for me real soon.

Please do comment. Your thoughts, feedback and hello's make me very happy indeed. And to all my followers Thank You. You push me to keep writing and analysing my life. It's a good thing.


  1. Congratulations, you have achieved so much. Once my hubbys credit card has gone I want to start making extra payments on our mortgage. I also want to have a seperate pot for a holiday fund as I think its important to have something to strive for and look forward too. At the moment spare cash is going towards the card and I will be putting some things on ebay as well to raise some extra pennies. Keep up the good work

  2. Thanks Miss Piggy Bank. It's been hard at times; but from nothing to something in the short time shows me I have the power within me to make changes. And I don't miss the nightclubs, boozing and silliness. I do miss dancing to loud music - So i'll just need to pop on some music and boogie in the lounge-room :-)

  3. Have just read your post and Frugal Queens post, just goes to show that the challenges are the same the whole world over. Its great to be able to hear how others manage these and to share in the challenge. Will watch with interest your adventures. Thank you for sharing them. xxx Teresa

  4. Have I mentioned that I am loving your blog? Well, I am! We are in the home stretch of owner building our own home and refuse to go into debt over it. So it has been pay as we go. This month we have our electricians bill to pay and then we can purchase a wood fired heater. Until then, jumpers people!!!!

  5. Hi Serendipity,

    It is interesting to know we are all in different countries yet have the same challenges.
    Sometime back a woman from Indonesia emailed me, saying that even thought our cultures were so different we were so alike regarding being careful with money and caring about how we educate our children about the world around us.

    Hi Daffodil,
    While you pull on the jumpers I'm trying to make sure I wear cool cotton on the weekend to eliminate wanting to turn on the aircond.
    If feels good to make headway - and all those small cents we save turn into dollars that turn into goals and dreams achieved.

    Thanks to everyone for the positive feedback - it really helps me to keep on going.

  6. Hi, just wanted to say I was a magazine freak too and thought it would be very hard to give up the 2-3 I bought each week. Turned out it wasn't hard at all! If I want to read gossip there's plenty of that on MSN News! I sometimes buy one if it particularly catches my eye but really I'm happy to have the money in my bank account!
    Love your enthusiasm and vigour

    K xx


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.