I have always been frugal. My ex Mother-in-Law told me I have frugal ears (she understands a bit about Chinese face reading). My Dad tells me I come from a long line of frugal ancestors.
But while it is a necessity for me at the moment, I love being frugal. You see, I believe in the Buddhist concept of non-attachment. I abhor blatant commercialism that tries to show that happiness is through things. I am truly grateful for the abundance in my life. I like to live simply, to show my children values that aren’t associated with stuff (still working on that one), and to tread more lightly on this earth. I also hope that through my frugality I can one day become fabulously wealthy. I want to be a billionaire.
Not too long ago I was a career woman on a high-flying posting to Taiwan. I was still frugal in some ways, such as shopping at my local morning wet market rather than the expensive department stores. But overall I lived the good life in a luxurious apartment that once housed the former President (before he was jailed for corruption). Behind closed doors things were less glamorous. I was in an abusive relationship. Six months after I returned to Australia, I went to court and obtained a Domestic Violence Order.
So I am now I am a full-time single mother of two gorgeous boys. As I transition to being the main carer and financial provider for my boys, while paying all the crazy costs associated with separation and divorce, I have delved into my inner frugality.
Rather than complaining about the problems life has dealt me, I like to rejoice instead in my new-found freedom and make my frugal lifestyle into a fun and empowering lifestyle choice. I love to cook low-cost meals, and I participated in a challenge of living for less than $2/day. I also won an award from YWCA and The Canberra Times for the best $5 pot luck meal. I have also written about frugality for The Canberra Times.
Last year I was privileged to be chosen as a tourism ambassador for Canberra — one of the 101 Local Humans as part of the 2014 humanbrochure campaign. This was a life changing event for me in more ways than one. I loved the opportunity it gave me to explore Canberra, which I believe is one of the most beautiful and underrated places on this earth. I love being part of my local community.
I have spent over twenty years learning about China and Chinese culture. I see myself as a bridge for spanning the two cultures. So sometimes I write about cross-cultural parenting and related stuff as well such as my Australian/Asian identity. I also write about my time in Taiwan (including doing Chinese Postpartum Confinement) on my Taiwanxifu blog.
I post a $5 Friday meal on Ms Frugal every Friday, and also post philosophical blog pieces every other week or so. I welcome submissions for blog posts including for the $5 Friday series.
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