Water filter update: Berkey’s Home at Last

It turns out Berkeys are, in fact, all they’re cracked up to be.

A few months ago I wrote a post discussing a few of the many at-home water filter systems on the market. After further research and deliberation, we decided to go with a Berkey system. I even splashed out and got their stainless steel water container instead of heading down the DIY path. We have a small child in the house, and I’m not always a picture of grace and serenity when doing things in the kitchen, so a sturdy, hard to break container sounded sensible.

After several marathon Google sessions, the most cost effective place I could find to order from was Durand Pottery. Shipping was fast and included in the cost of the filter. I ordered over a weekend and had the package on my doorstep Monday morning – it’s hard to argue with that sort of efficiency! Continue reading “Water filter update: Berkey’s Home at Last”

Crazy Frugal Madness: DIY Bean Bag Beans

Every now and then, an idea comes along that’s so frugal, it’s insane. I’m not talking your standard “take your lunch to work and buy a coffee thermos” frugal. I’m not even talking “wash out your ziploc bags and reuse them to save $12 a year” frugal. I’m talking “I keep getting heaps of plastic bags from the fruit shop and I have no idea what to do with them. I think I’ll make bean bag beans” frugal.

A little back-story is possibly required. Continue reading “Crazy Frugal Madness: DIY Bean Bag Beans”

Automatic Budgeting the Squirrel Way

Following from my last post, today I’m going to enlighten ya’ll about our budgeting techniques in the Squirrel household. It’s nothing fancy, it’s quite simple in fact, but most important is that it works for us. I first set up our budget this way about four years ago, and it’s been chugging along with only minor tweaks ever since.

To budget this way, you need to know the following:

  • How much you earn every pay period
  • How many bills you have, how often they need paying, and how much they are
  • A few hours to do some basic mathematics and then set up the necessary bank transfers

First thing to do is sit down with paper and pencil (or a spreadsheet if you’re like me), all your bills, and a large coffee. Write down all your regular expenses – how often they have to be paid, and how much the bill normally comes to. I also include how I normally pay for things (eg BPAY, cash, on the credit card). Continue reading “Automatic Budgeting the Squirrel Way”

How to Become Wealthy, One Step at a Time


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I feel slightly silly writing something on how to become wealthy. I’m anything but. My partner and I are currently living on government benefits, me as a stay-at-home parent to the Chipmunk, the Raccoon as a college student. A quick glance at us from the outside says we’re probably not the best people to be taking financial advice from.


Unlike many people in my income bracket (or many above it, for that matter!), I do have the following accomplishments to my name: