Are You the Real Deal or Just Show?

We had been invited to lunch. This was a normal experience for us to be invited out for lunch in China. It was a really nice restaurant and the dishes were good without being memorable. Then a dish came out with some mystery looking meat and there were bits covering parts of it. As it got closer I could see that those bits were scorpions. There must have been like 20 or so scorpions on that dish. I had never […]

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Frugality vs Cheapality

A lot of people would call us frugal. That would be true. Sometimes it was embarrassingly true. I won’t go into all the details here. Suffice to say that we try to save money wherever we can. That sometimes might make people feel a bit uncomfortable (I can’t think of any specific examples). We don’t follow the norm when it comes to spending at all. That does not mean we are cheap. We go out of our way to save […]

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Christmas Savings

It’s coming up to that time of the year again. The silly season or the time when you can’t find a carpark at the mall. The shops all have their decorations up, the Christmas music is playing (please no more Snoopy’s Christmas) and the sales discounts are pathetic. It’s that time when people spend way too much money and live the rest of the year paying for it. How can you survive the Christmas season without blowing your budget or […]

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DIY Savings: Big Beautiful Doors

I was in New Zealand a week or so ago sorting out the electrical wiring issue at our rental place. I saw these beautiful doors that I had installed (ahem, yes that was me. Picture above) and it reminded me why I like doors, especially big ones. That sounds strange. Let me explain. In our second house, we had a large lounge and bedroom on the lower level that was accessed by a really strange u-turn hallway through a concrete […]

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My Trip to New Zealand to Help Sort Out Rewiring of a House

I just got back from New Zealand on Friday night. Our rental property had to be rewired as some lights and power points had stopped working. The electrician said that the wires were dangerous and could cause a fire. The wires were encased in rubber and over the years had become brittle and failed. We got two quotes which both said that it could take 10 days+ and cost 15K+ to rewire (not including the purchase of any new light fittings, which […]

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Storage of All Our Worldy Possessions Under the House

When we were planning to convert our house into two units we had to leave access to the wiring and plumbing under the house. The existing access was through “the little red door” which led to a great workshop (man space). Most of the space was going to be transformed into a bathroom for the downstairs unit, but we were able to leave a shelved corridor with access to the rest of the under house. It was a shame to […]

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If You Have Debt You are a Doofus

If you have personal debt you are a doofus. Ouch! That was a bit harsh, let me rephrase that. Debt have you, a doofus you make. Offended? Good. That was my plan. I remember accidentally taking some money out of an ATM on my credit card. I thought I had taken it out of the debit part of the card. I was shocked to see that I had to pay interest on that money. I couldn’t pay that credit card off […]

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How We Visited a Country For Free

For three months, in 2010, we lived in the Chinese city of Zhuhai. We had our two eldest children with us and we (royal we) were pregnant with the third. We would often climb this mountain there which had an amazing lookout at the top of it. It was really magical. We could see the bright lights of Macau from there and thought we had to make a day trip there at some stage. We left earlyish in the morning […]

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Bargain Hunters Anonymous

For as long as I can remember I have always been a good saver. I would hoard my Christmas chocolate stash for weeks and savour every mouthful. Whereas my brother would get his chocolate and it would be gone by the end of the day. I didn’t understand that because there were so many nice things to eat that day. But if there was one thing that I inherited from my dad (I’m glad I didn’t inherit his balding) it was […]

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Living in a Warehouse

We enjoy living in a house, but we haven’t always had that luxury. A few years ago we used to live in a warehouse (That is the one in the picture above. The flash part). At the time, we were living in a nice (nice as in nice and big) 6 bedroom house that we owned. My old man used to sell 4x4s at a car yard he rented. It was a bit of a cruddy place, but it did […]

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