Frugal Kiwi Mum: Why I live frugally

By Caraline Abbott

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If I had $1 for every time somebody asked "Why do you go to such efforts to save small amounts of money?" I wouldn't need to live frugally because my wallet would be full!

Statistics New Zealand revealed that the average weekly income from all sources in the June 2012 quarter was $721 - far more than I bring in! In order to give my family what I consider to be a decent upbringing, I simply MUST live a frugal existence.

Don't get me wrong, we still have luxury items: My Husband is an avid Poker fan and enjoys a weekly game of Poker with a beer or 10 with his friends; I enjoy dinner out with my girlfriends every so often - but these things would not be feasible if we didn't cut costs in other areas of our budget.

Out went the pointless trips into town which added to out fuel bill and out went take out dinners and trips to the movies.

We had garage sales to clear the clutter and bring in extra income and we both took as many hours as possible without affecting our young family.

Grocery shopping was no longer a flippant affair - much thought now goes into meal plans, coupons, special discounts and sticking to lists.

There's no fancy iPhones in out family - Mark's phone cost $29 and I prefer to hunt out clothes in second hand stores than pay prices advertised in stores.

So why do I advocate a frugal existence? Firstly, because it allows you to spend less than you earn, and use the difference to pay off debt, save and invest. Secondly, because the less you spend, the less you need to earn.

And that means you can choose to work less, or work more but retire early.


- Rotorua Daily Post

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