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.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

We Splurged On A Mini Break.

Hi Everyone,

We took a mini break over the long weekend to reconnect. Dolly, The Rambling Expat and myself headed out to Tumbling Waters Holiday Park for 2 nights of "soft camping". We pitch a tent, swam in the pool, went fishing in the Billabong and hang out.

The camping spot cost us $22 a night. I know we could have gone in the wilderness and it would have cost nothing. But I wasn't up to it this time. I wanted a feeling of safety, a crocodile free swimming pool and the luxury of toilets with Dolly. So we splurged. There was a free outdoor cinema, a visiting python and a pool just a skip from our tent. Luxury!

Don't worry, The Rambling Expat is just hiding out of the pic - he's there just beside her.

The biggest unplanned splurge was the restaurant. We weren't expecting to eat out and had packed tinned food. However the camp ground had an amazing open air restaurant with some of the best food we have eaten in some time. The fish and chips were melt in your mouth fresh and the herbed chicken burger was glorious. Who would have thought in the middle of the bush would be delicious food. The service was genuinely friendly which made it even more pleasurable and inviting. And so, the glutton foodie I am..... I succumbed.

We had budgeted $80 for the whole 3 day weekend but went over by spending a whopping $168. But even though I had a slight twinge of guilt as I noted down my spendings in my diary, I have no strong regrets - I relaxed, felt reconnected to my family and feel much more chilled out. No dishes, no cooking and no shop bought clutter brought home. I feel my hard earned dollars were not spent as wisely as they could have been but each mouthful and splash was worth it. Frugality took a step back this time. I'll just try to sell more of my clutter to top up my bank account for early retirement ;-)

Have you had any unplanned splurges that made you feel guilty or satisfied?

Hope you have a great week. I'm off to do some remote work again. I'll be on a 3 seater plane latter today and feeling very nervous. Think of me with my pounding heart and teary eyes :-(

Stephanie at Frugal Down Under.


  1. You may find, Stephanie, that your 'Camping in the wilderness' is regarded as trespassing by the landowners. All the land is owned or leased by someone, even National Parks and Reserves. And just camping in National Parks is another No-No, unless it is in designated camping areas. We must always consider the health and wellbeing of our beautiful bushland and the wildlife who live there.

  2. Stephanie It sounds like you all had a wonderful break. Photo looks amazing. So you went over budget, it's not every day you have a break and sometimes you just need to get away and recharge your battries so you have the energy to carry on.

  3. We don´t go on holidays too often, however when we do, we don´t go as frugal as we could. We love good food, good company and lovely scenery. Thank goodness South East Asia provides most of that!

    We last travelled overseas in October last year. We four starred it and it still worked out cheaper than travelling to Europe and one starring it.

    I don´t feel guilt over spending money, but I prefer not spending it. I have another horse coming under saddle this year which means purchasing another saddle. Expensive but necessary as I refuse to buy rubbish saddles. A special came up and I snaffled it. It saves me about $700 so I am not going to complain.

    If I didn´t have horses I would be a richer, but I love them so I am poorer, but happy.

    Glad to read you enjoyed your getaway, and had a little splurge on food. In my books it was worth it. Great food and less cleaning up (and tinned stuff).

  4. I hope you dont feel too guilty that break sounds like a real treat and im sure you all deserved it :)

    Last week i splashed out on new glasses, my favourite ones broke about 2 months ago and ive been wearing my back up ones, they're fine, just boring and dont really suit my face/personality so even tho I didnt NEED to i got new funky ones that i really love, slight guilt but not really lol - i pick them up tomorrow :)

  5. I must admit that I am not big on camping, it is not that I don't love the great outdoors. But I have to sleep in a bed a real one with proper pillows and a comfortable mattress before I can get a real nights sleep. I am like the Princess and the pea about my bed, still your campsite sounds wonderful and well worth the money....

  6. That is a great foto, place looks great x

  7. Last week I had a few days off from work. My mum and I were meant to be going camping but she had to cancel as she had to cover some compassionate leave at work. I decided I could either waste my days off, or go on an adventure! I went to visit some friends in Kent, London and Essex (SE of England), which cost a fair whack in train fares and eating out, but it was worth it because, like you, I had a great time!

    Your camping trip looks amazing! Jealous! Camping in the UK = rain and mud! :)

  8. I have never heard of "soft camping," but it sounds wonderful! I have been trying to talk my bf into a camping trip, to no avail. I think if he had a bathroom and a pool though, he might change his mind!

    Sounds like you had a great time!

  9. Hi Louise, I'm a firm believer in caring for my land. However I'm also against Public (23% of Aust) and Crown land not being available for fair free use to the general population. As for Private owners, not all are nature carers and certainly not the Government that allows devastating destruction in the name of economic growth. So I would still partake in wilderness camping either on Government land, National Parks (that offer wild camping at a cheaper rate) and private land owned by friends. Luckily in our region there are also a few private owners who own land and allow camping to strangers in some areas of their land, freely if your respect and care for it.

    Hey Carol, I did feel recharged. Ready to tackle on more of life's hurdles.

    Daffodil, Your horse riding must feel like a liberating holiday in itself. I imagine a good quality saddle probably last a lifetime with good care so a smarter choice in the long run. I love South East Asia. Affordable for me too, lovely people, gorgeous scenery and fantastic food.

    Astra, I splashed out on glasses last year. I got my crazy ones as I felt to uptight in my "normal" ones. I like to poke fun at myself a bit. Their a great conversation starter and make me feel more confident. Hope you enjoy yours and that they make you stand up prouder :-)

    Hi Maureen, I thought I might not sleep well too - but with my family beside me I slept like a log. However in the room I was in last night - comfortable, cool and dark, I hardly slept a wink as I was away from my girl and partner :-( Very tired now...

    Thanks Ms Piggy Bank. The place was stunning.

    Bryallen, Sounds like it was fun. Remember (nagging) you are only young once and need to have fun with your peers before you get tied up to work hours, bedtimes and other routines. Your friends will also be more tied up as they get to mid-age and meeting up will be harder to organise. So go on have some crazy fun times and splash some cash.

    Lil Desiqua, "Soft Camping" was my little invented saying. Meaning it's easier with all the luxuries to enjoy. Treat your BF to some soft camping. He might be persuaded to some "real" camping as time goes by. Good luck :-)


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