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.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Talking About Money

I've been saving money and reading the frugal literature and blogs. But with the want of a house in the next 2 years we need to start getting our head around mortgages and the best solutions for us. It's scary when you were brought up with none of this knowledge or financial education. It's a whole different language and an intimidating one at that.

When we purchased our unit in 2007 it was the scariest step to take. Once done it wasn't so scary and I wondered why we had taken so many years to gather the courage to save and buy. Now with 4 years of water under the bridge I have that scary feeling again.

Lucky for me when I went to the op shop to gather party trinkets I was able to take a whole pile of FREE Mortgage and Property magazines from 2008 to 2011.They will help us to understand the language and get our head around the best solution in buying a house with our own yard.

Free Magazines To Read and Release

Tonight we went to FREE bedtime story time at one of the public libraries. While Dolly had milk and biscuits, I borrowed books on bread making, decluttering, self sufficiency, sewing, parenting and a Money magazine.

Learning How To Use My Money To My Best Advantage.

I have been reading the magazine and have learnt so much already in just a couple of hours. I hope to build up my confidence, start looking a real estate, talk money/loans and be a savvy buyer when the time comes.

Are you confident talking real estate and big money deals?


  1. My parents don't own their house so I've never really had it explained to me either, but I've been trying to teach myself as I'd love a little home of my own one day.

    There are lots of different types of mortgages apparently. Some have fixed interest rates and some are variable, some are fixed term ones, some you can pay off early.

    Sooo, yeah, I dunno really!! It would take me a lot of planning before I could consider buying a place in the future. I know my bank gives free mortgage advice (with the hope that you'll get the loan from them, of course), but it might be worth asking them about it anyway. Or something like citizen's advice?

  2. I think it gets scarier the more responsibilities you have and the more money you want to borrow. I signed for my first mortgage when I was 18 without a second thought, but once I had children and moved house again it was a whole different ball game.

  3. I am confident talking about mortgages and buying a house. But, we bought the first one when I was barely 21 and the fourth one when I was thirty. Each time, I had to ask what was "escrow." I understood it fully but went back to babies, bottle and diapers, and the rest of my life. It seemed this one detail was sooo adept at escaping my head. So, if it seems you understand and then don't understand, don't think you are dense...lol.

  4. Not at all. Moving is scary.

    In the Uk the best advice I'd give is to get a solicitor to help Not anyone else to do legal stuff.

  5. Talk to a mortgage broker about what you want from a mortgage. Look at ongoing monthy service fees, redraw functions should you need to replace a hot water service quickly or want to green your house up. Does the laon allow you to immediately overpay your payments, is there a ceiling limit on which you can overpay? Is there a penalty for paying out quickly and are there costs associated with breaking the mortgage early? A slightly higher interest rate is not a bad thing should there be reduced ongoing penalties with it.
    Good luck!!

  6. Daffodil has some good points - I'd also say though that you need to understand your own attitude to money. My first mortgage I spent time looking at which bank (I ended up with a building society), what type of interest rate (fixed or variable - if fixed, for how long, do you want to pay minimum off or will you want to pay off extra as you can?). The redraw option was also something I spent time thinking about. I decided that I didn't trust myself with a redraw option. I knew with a credit card that i had difficulty seeing it as being the bank's money rather than mine, so believed I would do the same with my mortgage, spending the money I had put into it on wants rather than needs.

    All the advice in the world is fine, but you need to know yourself to figure out what works too.

  7. Bryallen, I wished I had invested in property earlier as I was a party girl who spent it all on drugs and rock N roll (mainly alcohol, cigarettes and nightclubs). Out of the 20+ years out of home, 10 of those I spent on rent - I now think wasted money paying some one else's mortgage.

    Scarlet, well done at 18. I was too busy dancing and kissing all the boys :-) Since my daughters birth I worry a lot!!!

    Hi Practical, there's hope for me then :-) I guess we understand when we need to and then let our brains fill up with other stuff.

    SFT, For our unit we did most of it on our own. But we had a great conveyor who had just opened her business as she wanted to give quality instead of quantity advice to people. I was heavily pregnant and then had Dolly, and she was a mum to a young child. So we were lucky as we had a sympathetic connection.

    Daffodil thanks for the advice. You sound confident and a buyer.

    Hi kate, Our current loan has a redraw which is fee free. We redrew $10,000 once for a few days and then put it back in. We're pretty good. Our credit cards always paid off within a couple of days of using them. I can't resist chocolate and junk food but I'm good with the cards. However it's great advice to reflect on as I had never thought it could be an issue for anyone. Some people must get caught out and get themselves in serious debt.

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