Friday, 9 January 2015

How we got to where we are now

My hubby Pete and I got married in 2003.In the middle of 2005, we bought our 1st home. We had to wait for the house that fitted our price range. So when a little 3 bedroom house in town (when I say town, I mean the centre of Nowra!) came up at the right price and we jumped on it straight away. It had a lot of work to do but it was totally liveable and most of all it was ours. Over the next 8 years, we gradually renovated it, extending our mortgage to do the majority of it. This was fine at the time as we had the finances to back it up. During this time, we also had 2 gorgeous little people, Katie & Jack.

Towards the end of 2013, an unexpected tragedy happened which would result in me making a massive financial decision for our family. At this time I was working 4 long days a week in a job that I no longer enjoyed and found incredibly stressful. On top of that, I was travelling between 1.5-2 hours per day for work. At the time hubby was working 5 days a week & studying fulltime. We had a fairly decent income at the time but needless to say our family life was not fantastic. When our tragedy happened, I made the decision immediately (literally) that I would not be returning to work. Taking my wage out of the equation was a very big deal for us, especially given that only half hubby’s income was permanent, the rest was casual. Financially our life become harder, but in every other way, it become so much better. We had planned to finish our house, as we wanted to sell it and buy a bigger one in a suburb 5 minutes away. So we used everything we had and we completed the last few things on the house. At the start of 2014 it up for sale. It took 5 months for someone to make an offer and we accepted it that day. We bought the house that we had had our eye on in the suburb that we wanted. We got it for a steal because it had been rented to terrible tenants and let’s just say it wasn't very appealing to walk thru, so it had been on the market for over 6 months(at an already good price).  In August 2014, we moved into our new home. We sold our 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, no garage home and bought a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, double garage home. After paying out the $25K in fees (so much money straight down the loo), we still came out $20K less in debt. How awesome is that?!!! Bigger house in the area that we wanted and less debt! 

Due to studying and different work arrangements, there had never been a time that we had been on 2 full time incomes, so we had to often been on a small budget. Last year was definitely our hardest year and we would not have gotten thru in the way that we did, had it not been for the help of our beautiful family and friends. 
When things are tough, there is normally light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of last year, Pete graduated from University as a teacher. We also welcomed our precious little rainbow baby Mia to our family. She is seriously Beautiful (Just like her older brother & sister)!!!

For now, we are still on a fairly small budget. However over the last year, i have come to realise how much you can do on a small budget. I’ve been forced to become more money savvy than I have ever been and I actually now enjoy trying to do things on a budget.  I love a good bargain, DIY reno’s & projects and trying to keep my grocery bill to $100 a week.  I had wanted to start blogging but hadn’t quite found my niche, but now here it is, the birthing of “A Happy Frugal life”(Thanks to my big sis for coming up with the name), doing life on a budget. Seeing as I’m really keen on making my house homely, there will probably be alot on the blog revolving around renovations and DIY house projects, but there will still be other things too. If you want to follow along with me, hit like on the Facebook page and subscribe at the bottom of the blog page.

Promise the next blog won’t be an essay (I know one friend who will be really happy about that!)

Kylie xx


  1. So excited to read your first blog Kylie!
    We sound very similar in terms of DIY& needing to be money savvy. Who would have thought I'd ever get a kick out of budgeting!
    I'd love to hear how you keep your groceries to $100. That's always been my aim too but it always seems to get up to $150 for the fortnight unless we just eat sausages and mince!

  2. Thanks Kell:)
    So there's a few things i do. The first is that i shop fortnightly. It's weird that this works for me but i think it makes me buy less junk. $100 a week doesn't seem like much but for some reason having $200 to spend does. The 2nd thing is that i shop mostly at Aldi. That place is amazing. Now there are some things that i don't like at Aldi but that are getting better all the time. In Nowra all the supermarkets are in walking distance from the Aldi carpark so it's easy to run across and get a few extra things from the other supermarkets if i need to. I also now have a 2nd fridge/freezer so i can stockpile on meat. Last week i got 500G packets of chicken breast on sale for $3.50 each, so i bought the 5 packets that were left. i'm not too concerned if 1 fortnight i go over budget getting extra meat, as it means the following fortnights will be cheaper. The 3rd thing is that we have an amazing fruit market 5 minutes down the road. You can go in and ask for a fruit/veggie box and tell them how much you want to spend. Then they walk around with you, while you choose whatever you want and tell you if your getting close to your budget. For some reason if you buy individual items from the store, they are outrageously priced but these boxes are great value and it gets lots of customers in the door. For me its mostly cheaper than aldi and so fresh. Sometimes i do that shop weekly & just get a $15 box so that it stays fresh for the week. And the 4th thing is, when i'm planning my meals, i try to use recipes that are cheaper and use some similar foods in them so that i'm not wasting anything. For example, I make something called an impossible pie(which is really easy!). I use capsicum, mushrooms & onion in it. The next night ill make homemade pizza's using the same veggies and then the next night i might make a stirfry using the leftover of the veggies. All completely different recipes, but in the past i would often waste half a capsicum or some of the mushrooms. Hope all this makes sense. Sorry it's soooo long, but all this is what helps me. This week i was planning on posting some recipies on the blog, so i might start with these:)
    Kylie xx