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.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Goodbye September, Hello October!

September has been an expensive month for me. I've been loose with cash more then usual. I had a couple of big ticket items to pay for and big bills too. And worst of all I was lazy, which causes wastefulness and stress. 

Loose with Cash:
Ate at a nice restaurant with some girlfriends - $36 (This was a rare catch up with special friends)
Went to the cinema with partner and our daughter - $58. (There will be no next time at that price - If I really want to go, I'll search Australian Groupon or the likes for heavy discounts.)
Art for Dolly - $120. I've wanted to buy it for ages and really want to support artists. If no one had ever supported my partner he would not have been able to continue his passion of photography as a profession.

Big ticket items:
I purchased a mobile telephone plan at $29 a month for 2 years. (It was time I got a mobile and used it properly). 
Purchased a computer hard drive $79 and hard case to store it $10. (My USB stick wasn't enough anymore I needed a bigger storage device to share and transfer files).
4 new car tyres and wheel alignment. Our tyres were worn and dangerous $328.

I didn't formalise my menu plan or stick to budget and have found it stressful many evenings with "what will we eat tonight" thoughts and wanting to get takeaway. I didn't bulk cook. I've become disorganised, wasting precious time.

Paid Council Rates for 1 year for our flat - $ 1,107.00
Paid our 2 month Power and Water Bill - we reduced it by $30 since last time. We are below the national average, paid less then this time last year, but much higher then 2 years ago since the cost increase - $210.89
Paid our 3 month Unit Block - Body corporation fees and levy - $897.00

Welcome October!!! This will be my pick up my game month. Back to the menu planning and counting the pennies and looking at the bigger picture. (We have new windows being installed in November $12,000 - painful, but we have both saved weekly over 1 year for this). This is not a cosmetic or a luxury item to our flat. This is a need, as our present louvers, screens and frames are all loose, old, not to regulation and very dangerous.

Today I started by spending at my local op shop for a couple of sellables. I spent $40 and I hope to make a profit of over $50 after all costs. This is what I picked up: 
  • 3 pairs of True Religion Jeans; 2 still have price tags ($240!) bought for $10 each -Sell $20 to $80 each?
  • A preloved, like new silk top with owls for $6 that retailed for over $100 - sell $15 to $20? 
  • Sweet girls Country Road top for $3 - sell $10 - $15?
  • 2, 2010 vogue magazines for 50 cents each - sell $5 for both? (One of them has Aboriginal model Samantha Harris on the cover) If they don't sell I have someone in mind who will enjoy them.

Op Shop Goodies
After this we had sandwiches for lunch with our left over ham and bread. Then we spent 2 hours at our garden plot weeding, pruning, harvesting, placing a cheap water timer on the sprinkler and moving hay bales around. Here's a shot of my harvest basket. I've placed a fork next to the snake beans and winged beans for you to get an idea of the size.

Fresh Produce from my Garden
Tropical Snake Beans and Winged Beans

Lush Egglants.
I harvested:
  • 7 egg plants, 
  • basil, 
  • lemon grass, 
  • ginger, 
  • snake beans, 
  • winged beans, 
  • brazilian spinach,
  • red leaf spinach. 

We ended the day with our 4 year old Dolly making us a pizza each for dinner. She was so proud. Chapatis used for the base and covered with tomato sauce, cheese, ham, salami, capers, olives, basil and fresh tomato.

Our little Chef
Today was a great day. I loved spending time with my family in a non rushed manner. It was frugalistic and it will reward us in the next few weeks with fresh produce.

As for the decluttering to replace anything new stuff coming in. 

  • hard drive, 
  • phone
  • toy pram (FREE, from the footpath hard rubbish collection). 

  • Going on Monday: 2 large Spanish learning books and CD for a friend, 
  • Gone: 1 plastic toddler bike for a baby in the block of flats next to ours.
(I'm not including my sell stuff I purchased as this will be gone within 2 weeks)

In: Pram, mobile phone and hard drive/case. Out: 2 large books and CD.

Out: Toddlers Bike.
How was your spending in September? Any specific aims for October?


  1. Bodycorp fees is the amount of money each unit has to pay for the maintenance of the building our flats are in and the fees associated with being managed.

    Eg: we are looking at the walls being rendered as they are damaged over the years and we need to protect them from further erosion. This will cost $50,000 plus - so this will need to come out of the bodycorp savings plus a loan.

  2. Great harvest! What an amazing eggplant.

  3. WOW... Your body corp is very expensive compared to mine in Sydney! I just came back from my holiday - it was a pamper trip... but still need to cut back this month too =)

    FYI Follow Oz Bargain, they will post when there is cheap movie tickets and other good bargains: http://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/54075

    Events cinema usually offer cheap Friends and Family discounted tickets at the start of the year for $7.50... will keep an eye out for you!

  4. Fantastic eggplant! Well done - what a green finger you have.

    Hope that frugal October goes well for you.

  5. Wow look at the size of your eggplant! We call them aubergines in the UK.
    You did have a lot of expense to fork out in September. Hope October's better for you.


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