Yesterday I exchanged unwanted goods with my sister. It seems to me such a great example of frugal living: I had window boxes I needed to get rid of, she wanted window boxes to plant flowers outside a bedroom. She had yarn she was never going to use from a short-lived foray into knitting, I use yarn up fairly quickly because I crochet baby rugs for my friends and family. My new pile of yarn is going to make some excellent presents :-)
This is the kind of everyday exchange that characterises my relationship with my big sister, and I'm grateful. We're both still learning how to live within our means and it's easier when there's somebody in your life who understands exactly what you're doing and why.
The only downside is that spending time with my big sister is making me miss my middle sister, who recently moved across the country to Melbourne.
Anyway. On a less personal note, it's been an interesting long weekend for financial news and opinion:
I am absolutely horrified to see that withholding financial support is now classed as domestic abuse. Don't get me wrong: I think there are definitely situations in which withholding money could be abuse. But as a blanket definition? No, no, no. Choosing to have someone in your life should not automatically mean that they are legally entitled to your money and can shout "abuse!" if you don't bankroll them. It's up to each couple to figure out how to handle money in their relationship.
The generations column at News.Com evaluated renting and buying. There are no surprises in this article, but it's a good summary of both options and it's worth reading if you're in two minds about it.
Childcare costs are up an average of 11 per cent. Jeez. Thinking of having children and working? Make sure you include these costs in your calculations - I really doubt that minimum wage earners could come out ahead if they're paying for childcare, housing, school etc.
I love this article about the definition of productivity and whether working longer and harder always means you're more productive. It's rare to see an opinion piece that implies Australians could be working too much, even though my anecdotal experience is that most of us do feel we're working too hard, for too many hours, and not enjoying life enough.