Welcome to Frugal and Thriving

Good living doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, as the saying goes, the good things in life are free!

Frugal and Thriving is all about living the good life for less. Foster a healthy and happy home in any financial situation.

What you will find at Frugal and Thriving

  • tips and resources for saving money
  • frugal recipes
  • household tips and tricks
  • urban homesteading
  • small space living
  • ideas and resources for green, sustainable living
  • ideas on how to find happiness outside of economic circumstances
  • how to thrive on less

frugality: wise stewardship of resources, not about being cheap

Frugality is about saving money, but it’s also about conserving and using wisely all our resources – physical, natural, mental and emotional – and reducing the waste of resources.

The focus is not on pinching every penny but creating and perusing a value driven life where your finances support your goals, your values and your happiness rather than you being a slave to your finances and the consumption driven, work-to-spend model of modern living.

Sometimes being frugal means spending more money to save money in the long run. Investing in value – good workmanship, quality, longevity and health promoting products – as keeping in mind ethical and sustainable consumption is just as important as saving money.

Frugality gives you back your independence because it encourages skill building – the more you DIY, the more you learn and the more independent you are.

Most of us rely 100% on others to meet our needs. Learning and practicing new skills not only ensures we are less dependent, it is a source of pride, increased self-esteem and happiness..

Why Thriving?

What does thriving mean to you?

Happiness? Good health? Stress-free living? Contentment?

We all want to live a good life, frugality is the means of attaining it.

Happiness doesn’t lie in the acquisition of things. Some of the happiest people in the world have very little. In fact, happiness peaks when we have enough money to meet our basic needs plus a little extra for fun. More money does not make us more happy.

Enjoying the things that are free: friendship, family, community involvement, nature – is the path to a thriving life.

“He that is of the opinion that money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.” Benjamin Franklin


Melissa Goodwin - Frugal and ThrivingHi, my name is Melissa – that’s me in the photo, sporting a couple of necklaces my son made me at Kindy.

Life has taken me on a few twists and turns, but right now I’m a full-time, at-home mum by day, and blogger by night.

I’m frugal by habit and many times so far, out of necessity.

My parents were frugal and a lot of the habits I have today I learned from them (thanks dad for the hoarding habit…I’m sure I can use it for something).

As a teenager, I cut my own hair and crocheted my own bead spread. At uni I darned my own socks.

I’ve never been cool once in my life.

I’m ok with that.

The dollar stretching habits I learned from my parents have allowed us to live comfortably on an average single income (thanks Frugal Hubby), so that I can stay at home with our two year old daughter and four year old son.

Before I was a mum and blogger, I worked as an assistant accountant in an accounting firm that specialised in doing the books for farmers – they do do it tough!

Before that I worked in accounts in a plumbing company, worked in the Toy Department at Myer where I met my husband (true love across the selling floor) and before that I studied to be an English/ History high school teacher (now there’s a profession you need to be dedicated to do!).

We moved from Sydney to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Queensland in 2006. It was a decision that allowed us to buy a townhouse (Sydney prices – gasp!) and enjoy the beautiful coastal lifestyle.

When I’m not blogging or trying to pick playdough out of the carpet, break up sibling fights, wash dishes, hang washing, push swings or sneak off for a quiet cuppa, I like to read (just about anything), sew (ok, lately it’s more like pin sewing patterns on Pinterest) and sometimes I even still enjoy cooking…but I’m so ready to save up for a dishwasher!

Frugal and Thriving – how it began

In 2008, one month before the GFC, I found myself unemployed and pregnant with twins (I later had a miscarriage and then fell pregnant again with our son). Suddenly we had to tighten the budget and live off one income.

I remember sitting down and looking over our budget and thinking: ‘our budget’s already so tight, there’s no way I could reduce it anymore!’

That’s funny now, because two kids later our budget is even tighter – there’s so many thing we wasted money on!

I decided to take the opportunity to have a break after 16 years of work (I started my first job at 14 – I’m now nearly 35!) and do something I always wanted to do: write. Thanks to my husband for bringing in an income so that I could pursue that dream.

I chose to write about something that was relevant to us (and many others) at the time: how to live well on less, hence the birth of Frugal and Thriving, way back in March 2009.

This blog, as well as my kids, have kept me busy in the years since!


You can contact me at any time at melissa@frugalandthriving.com.au. I love receiving emails but I’m sure you’ll understand that as a mum, I’m not always at my computer so I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Melissa Goodwin