Where to start, Steph and I (Sarne) are a married couple living in Sydney, Australia.
We have been together for 10+ years now building our wonderful life together.
We met on the night of Sydney Mardi Gras 2010, sparks flew, we got married in 2017 and the rest is history.
Growing up in lower middle class families neither of us has ever been giving a ‘silver spoon’ so to say and have always had to be resourceful through our young lives going into adulthood.
For me, frugal living has always been a subtle part of life.
My mum has always been frugal. Restoring old furniture, purchasing second hand everything from clothes for us kids right down to the kitchen plates we ate off. Of course we always wanted the brand name shoes and clothes that everyone else had as kids though, that’s where dad came in.
My Dad never wanted second hand anything. Instead would always justify his purchasing based on the price and brand name. I never complained when he would buy us clothes of course because I knew I was getting those new Nike’s I wanted. It wasn’t until I became an adult and more attuned to the value of a dollar that I realised how to stretch it and how to get the most out of what I have, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially.
Having parents from either end of the frugal spectrum gave me what I think is a good sense of judgement when I comes to life from a financial standpoint. Although I don’t consider myself a financial expert by any means. I do know the value of a dollar.
As for myself (Steph), I am one of 5 siblings and both my parents (mainly Dad) taught us frugal living at a young age. From “turning off all the damn lights”, to teaching us how to cook at a young age with the basics in the pantry (pasta, flour, salt, sugar, tinned foods), reusing and recycling, exploring the bush, spending all day outdoors, riding bikes, lighting a fire, and even recognising fruits, veggies in the bush or on the streets just in case we ever got hungry when we were out.
Money became tight when my Mum gave birth to my youngest brother and we were now a family of 7 living on one income. We knew we were lucky to have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our bellies, however it didn’t stop those childish wants of demanding the shiniest bike or the prettiest outfit that you saw your friend wearing at school. We made do with what we had, making activity books for the school holidays, cutting each other’s hair, entertaining ourselves by dressing up in our brothers clothes, performing items for the family, wrestling with my brothers and spending hours on end exploring the outdoors around us.
When I look back on my childhood today, I am so grateful for all the lessons and life skills my parents gave us. I realise now my childhood has made me into the resourceful, appreciative, outgoing adult I am today.
Once the day came for us to spread our young adult wings and move out of our parent’s home into our own, shit got real. You don’t realise how much bills cost until your actually paying them as a fully grown adult.
This is where we became ‘frugal’
In my opinion, being frugal isn’t just about how much money you save. I think it is about how much value you can get from both your time and money. Saving money is obviously a key part of it. But what’s the point if you’re not having fun along the way. Aren’t you just wasting time then?
Frugal living is a lifestyle choice. It’s not the vegan with dreadlocks and harem pants dumpster diving that everyone pictures when they think of it. Although, I do own a few pairs of harem pants and did have dreadlocks when I was younger. Frugal living for us is about making the most of everything. Re-using, recycling, repurposing, refurbishing. Getting the most out of a day. The most out of a dollar. Squeezing the most out that last zooper doper! Basically, frugal living = Creating more value in all aspects of our life.
If you’ve read this far then I’ve already created that value by writing this, both for myself and you. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us here on our little slice of the internet. We’re hoping to make this space a genuine account of our frugal journey. As well as a flourishing frugal resource for all those that are interested.
The Frugal beans, Steph and Sarne.
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