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, November 26, 2011

Do You Crave To Pay?

Hello there global bloggers,

I've been thinking again about how activities that are FREE often don't get a full turnout and yet when people have to pay there is often a waiting list or queue. Is it putting on monetary value on something makes it more desirable?

A couple a weeks ago I took Dolly and myself to a couple of fantastic eco craft classes at the public library. They ran for about 2 hours each, both on the same day. The program was well organised. The teachers skilled and professional. And they were really in line with my aims in life.

This Is Me - My Daughter is My Photographer :-)

The 1st class was a Rip Wrap class where we Ripped old pieces of salvaged fabric and clothes and Wrapped them around old coat hangers and foam to turn them into amazing colourful creatures.

Coat Hangers

Add Foam Bits

Wrap Ripped Fabric and Decorate

The second class we used recycled bits and pieces such a cardboard tube, plastic, broken jewels, recouped beads and butterflies cut from magazines to turn them into exquisite dream catchers. It's amazing what you can do with discarded items and a little know how. And a great way to spend Saturday. (I don't know about the feathers and I should have asked as many craft feathers are obtained in extremely cruel circumstances from our feathered friends).

Dolly Working Hard to Catch Her Dreams

A Couple Of Others Created By Other Older Children

Now my query above about a monetary value is because all these wonderful FREE events I go to, don't have a huge turn out. However any similar payable event with all the bells and whistles always have queues miles long.

Do you find that events that need to be paid for seem more desirable to attend? Is it because the quality is better or are we all so sucked into the buy buy buy ideology, that we think FREE means B-Grade or Charity. Tell me what you think...


  1. Some of the best events we have attended have been free :-)

  2. I know what you mean.I used to help in a after school club.

  3. It could be that the free events are not advertised as widely or with as much enthusiasm. Here, free events are given coverage on the crawl space on cable channels. Schools will encourage children to attend. Maybe the organizers of the events are not savvy in the ways to increase attendance. But, can the events cater to masses of children? Will they anticipate the attendance right whether they do or do not advertise? Do they ask for a preregistration that in no way is obligatory? Can they send emails to the current attendees?

    You know how children want to do what they see. Well, maybe the children don't see these events advertised in a way that appeals to them--you know, loud and blaring. Maybe you are one of the few aware mothers?

    If people equate free with charity or trashy, that is to their great detriment.

    Maybe your answer is in your own statement and description "bells and whistles."

  4. I know what you mean. Fortunately the last free event I attended was free entry to the Georgian Country house we got married in. They had lots of artefacts from the period (Mr Sft loved the weaponry)and dressed up in costumes to perform period dances (just like Jane Austin). We loved it!

    Sadly I am having trouble emailing you: could you send me your email and then I'll email you back my address. I'm at martin_julie935@btinternet.com.


  5. I think its a case of people associate free stuff with cast off's and that just won't do you know :)
    If they don't buy it themselves and be able to say that it cost them a fortune, they can't brag about it and be the envy of their friends.
    As Practical Parsimony said, people equate free or cheap with trash, which as we know is not the case.
    Personally I associate today's manufacturing as trash. Give me good old fashioned, built to last any day. I don't care if it's 2nd, 3rd 4th or 27th hand.
    We can rebuild it. It just takes time and patience.

  6. I went to a free Landcare event recently and a note was sent home with every child at my daughters school and only two families turned up. Luckily other community member attended but there you have it again.

    I believe part of it is the perception that if its free it will be crappy but I think it is also that parents dont want to STAY with their kids during activities, if it was a drop off the kids and pick them up in 2 hours it would definately be full. At least that is how it seem around here, sadly.

  7. I think many people have the "You get what you pay for" attitude. As far as paying for the items in the art exercise I usually question where the funding originated. Would you do this for a bunch of strangers for free? Why is this being provided? What is the catch? Then there is the question of safety. Who is the instructor? Why would I want my child to mix with these people? Will we be exposed to a health risk? A risk of violence? Who else will be there? Do I want to know them? Are the other adults a threat to me or my child? Is there first aid? OH&S? Are the unmanageable or neglected children being left there unsupervised while their carers get high and shoot up? Is the coach or instructor being put in a difficult position? Am I a party to this?

  8. I agree that they probably aren't as well advertised and people don't think they'll be any good. I'm not sure if there just aren't many events in my local area, or if I just don't hear about them!

  9. I NEVER know about these things in darwin until they are over. Or they are always on the one day we have plans....typical :)

  10. Ciehann - I'm starting another blog with just photographs, screen shots and links of FREE or INEXPENSIVE community events.

  11. Sounds like a great blog. I think our free events here are pretty good and we are incredibly lucky to have so many to choose from but some of them just don't get the publicity they deserve. Speaking of which there is a free Christmas party at Marrara in the coming weeks, the 11th I think

  12. such a cute photo, catching her dreams! Interesting question though, do we value what we pay for more? Like to hope not!


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