How would you like to earn $112,000 just by being a little more frugal?

01 Mar

How would you like to earn $112,000 just by being a little more frugal? 

Would you say no to a free $112k without having to lift a finger, put on a tie, strap on a tool belt and brave the commute? This $112k is tax free and is available to absolutely anyone and it is super easy. If you are interested in a free $112k tax free then read on…..

Wow, what a busy couple of months, apologies for not posting sooner than this. We are 60 days down and only 2940 days to go on our 3000 day journey to financial independence. Our last post explained the reason WHY you should choose to live more frugally, and how your spending impacts your most important asset…your time!! This post will focus on HOW Mrs 3000 and I try and live frugally or at least how we live within our means and how we save money.

So hopefully by now you have worked out how much money you are trading your life energy (time) for. This will give you a great start and put you in the mind-frame to take action on some of these frugal tips below:


Unfortunately Mrs 3000 and I both require a car as we live large distances away from where we work, however in saying that we have tried to be smart about our choice of car. Mrs 3000 and I both drive cars that cost very little to run. They both have great fuel economy of under 6 litres per 100 kms, minor servicing costs and lower registration costs due them both being light cars. Did you know that in NSW the motor vehicle tax portion of your registration costs is based on the weight of your car? For example one of our hatchback 4cyl cars cost about $245.00 per year, however if we owned a Toyota Landcruiser, this cost would be $663.00 per year.

In regards to fuel, I drive about 600 kms per week to and from work. This is unfortunately unavoidable at this stage, due to the fact that if I took a job closer to home my salary would be cut in HALF. Obviously not something I am prepared to do while we are trying to save our butts off. My fuel bill is around $45-$50 per week. A train ticket for the same journey would be $70+, so once you factor in additional wear and tear on the car and servicing etc. It probably works out about even. But with the car, I have more flexibility, more comfort and its quicker most days….saving me that all important time!

Health Insurance:

Health insurance has become a very large expense for most individuals and families in Australia. Whether or not to get health insurance can be impacted by a number of factors such as income levels (medicare levy surcharge), overall health, risk tolerance and if you have kids (or thinking of them). For Mrs 3000 and I (and our son), we chose to have health insurance however we chose a basic hospital only option, no extras, this is with BUPA. I highly recommend you do your sums on the extras component of health insurance, for us the cost was way too much to justify the cost of extras. It would cost us over $600 per year to have extras and for us, that is just not worth it, we would not get the benefit out of having this. Our thoughts are that we want health insurance just in case we experience a major health event – severe illness, an urgent operation or some sort of major health issue. We want to be covered for events that may significantly impact us financially in a negative way. I am not really concerned about covering us for the $120 it costs to see the dentist for a check-up. This is all our opinion, so all I ask is you do the sums!

Car/Home Insurances:

My main rule is – never automatically pay your renewal notice. Always review the market and get a few online quotes. It takes you 20 mins but could save you hundreds. Strangely, most insurers value new customers over existing. What we were finding is that we would get a renewal notice from say GIO for $600 and we would check GIO’s website, match our policy exactly and get an online quote for $520…yes the same company and the same policy!! This is just an example, but this was occurring in most cases, so don’t be complacent.

We use NRMA for our cars, as they offer great discounts for multiple policies, they do have a loyalty discount and they give you a discount for buying upfront rather than monthly. We use Woolworth for our home insurance…it is very cost-effective. But in saying that I still review the market every year, and I wouldn’t hesitate to change providers in a heartbeat.    

Mobile Phones:

I will be blunt….anyone that buys a $1900 mobile is insane…..yep insane! That is just crazy, all to keep up with fashions and the joneses. There are numerous unlocked smart phones on the market for under $200.00. Personally I went with a Samsung Galaxy J3.  It does everything I could ask for and has been reliable so far. Invest the extra $1700 in an asset rather than a liability.

In terms of plans, I steer clear of the Telstra & Optus plans for $60+ per month. Instead go with a fringe provider, they use the same network and I have never had any issues with coverage. My plan is with Boost Mobile at $20 per month prepaid, however I will be switching to OVO soon….which has an incredibly low plan for $9.95 per month, that can’t be beaten. I must admit I have WIFI at work and at home, so I do not need much data. With a little bit of planning you should be able to work around this also.


Mrs 3000 and I used to eat out quite a bit. However since we are committed to being financial independent in 8 years, this has become less regular. We do go out once a weekend for lunch at Grill’d Burgers as a little treat, and its only $30 so it doesn’t break the bank. It is all about what you value and for us, eating out was less value than wasting our money and life energy. We mainly cook at home, have picnics and we take our lunches to work. We tend to cook in bulk on the weekend and this saves us time during the week and allows us to plan our groceries. We order grass fed meat from a wholesaler and we shop for our fruit and vegetables at a local farmers market….it feels nice to shop local.

Buy Used:

This may not come natural to some, it didn’t to me initially however I can confirm it gets addictive. We mostly look to the second hand market before making a purchase – it could me bikes, sporting equipment, cars, tools…basically anything…try eBay and Gumtree. In regards to clothes, we purchase from markets, car boot stalls, charity shops and eBay. With Kids clothes, we are often offered “hand-me-downs” and we graciously accept, and once our boy has outgrown the clothes we share the love and pass these on to another parent with a younger child. Buying used is not only cheaper, it extends the life of something that would otherwise be landfill. Make a conscious decision to look for used items first, if none are available then only then buy new.

Pay TV:

Foxtel vs an online streaming service is a no brainer. Why pay $40+ per month for Foxtel when you can get Stan or Netflix for $10 per month. This is a pure luxury purchase, however we do have Stan at home.



This is big topic and we have definitely pushed the envelope of the “norm” here and have some great tips. We will leave this to another post.  

Above are some easy wins that require very little effort. You may be asking, where is my free $112k tax free? Well below is a summary of what you will save by being a little bit smarter with your money. As we are on an 8 year journey, I have calculated these savings as per year and after 8 years. After 8 years we can save over $112k tax free, just by being that little bit smarter.

Category Our Costs  Potential Costs  Savings per year  Savings after 8 years Notes
Car Rego         245.00               663.00               418.00           3,344.00Small car vs Large Car
Petrol      2,520.00           5,040.00           2,520.00         20,160.0030,000kms per year. 6L/100kms vs 12L/100kms. $1.40/ltr
Health Insurance      2,080.00           2,680.00               600.00           4,800.00Estimated savings $600 per year
Other Insurances      1,500.00           2,200.00               700.00           5,600.00Estimated savings $700 per year
Mobiles (purchase)         179.00           1,900.00           1,721.00         13,768.00Assumes a new phone each every 2 years  
Mobiles (plans)         480.00           1,440.00               960.00           7,680.00$20 x 2 per month instead of $60 x 2 per month
Food   13,000.00         18,200.00           5,200.00         41,600.00Additional $100 per week added for eating out
Buy Used      1,040.00           2,600.00           1,560.00         12,480.00Assumes a $20 per week spend instead of $50 per week.
Pay TV         120.00               480.00               360.00           2,880.00
Totals   21,164.00         35,203.00         14,039.00       112,312.00

I want to be clear that even though we try to be frugal, the above changes do not feel like we are depriving ourselves in any way. We live a very comfortable life and we are blessed in having everything we need. By making just a few changes we are able to boost our savings rate considerably. So what is stopping you from implementing some the above changes in your life? It is easy and over time it will pay big dividends!        

Cheers, Mr 3000

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