submit feed

Sharon de Bruyn

For Sale / For Rent

Purchase Or Rent 1 Comment »

What’s your house really worth?  If you choose to listen to the news lately, it is full of doom and gloom.  The world is in a state isn’t it!  Well, we have been through bad times before and we will again, so maybe now is a good time for all of us to do a spring clean on how we think financially to see where we can improve.



That is the question…..and only you can answer it for yourself.

Think for a moment, if we are in the process of owning our home, what will we eventually pay for it after all the repayments &  interest, council rates, maintenance and improvements etc?  At what age will we be free from the Bank?  Usually, unless a person is careful, they will spend a good part of their lives paying off their home.

Now if we were to rent and put the same money aside as if we were making repayments etc into a high interest account over the same period of time, a large sum would be available.  I am not suggesting you leave it all in the one bank account but just for an example.  There is an article well worth reading that goes into great detail about renting versus home ownership.  Click on the following title to read the article.

What’s your house really worth?

Now renting does not suit everyone:

– the rent may increase regularly

– the owners may sell the property and you might have to find somewhere else

– it may need improvements that can take forever to get done

There can be many variables but this goes hand in hand with renting.

If you choose to own your own home you may find it an endless pit of bills with rates, maintenance, renovating etc.

Many people buy investment homes, rent them out and then live in a rental themselves as this gives them more tax benefits.  In the end renting may prove a cheaper alternative but it is not for everyone.

We all make our own choice where and how we live.

Here is a picture of where my father lived as a boy.


His parents were poor.  They lived in a tent in the show grounds for some time before my grandfather built a house in the bush which he made out of kerosene tins and whatever else he could salvage.  My Nanna used flour and sugar bags as curtains, tea towels, pillow cases etc.  They were also used to make tough mats for the dirt floor. For a time they washed in the nearby creek.


Although my Dad’s family knew hardships, they were happy there.  They lived as they could afford to.  Later on, as they prospered they were able to move into town.

In today’s climate, people are getting upset and terribly worried about what is happening in the world around them.  Maybe it is time to check to see if we are living above our means.  Are our houses homes or are symbols of status?  Are we living beyond our means?

Think about what you really want in life.  Without planning, setting goals and putting them into action, you will find your progress slow.  Sometimes, you need to make tough decisions to get ahead in life.

So whether  you choose to live in your own home or rent is up to you  Life is full of choices, don’t just plod through life and see it as a hard slog.  We only get one life, so plan, set goals and work towards living the life of your dreams.

Best wishes,

Copyright© 2009


My father gave me this updated information, so I thought I would share it with you:

This is an old Kerosene & tar drums house Snows dad Leslie built out in the bush, about 2 miles out of Atherton On the left side was a big bedroom, all slept in the 1 room dived off at one end.
On the right was the kitchen. It had dirt floors, a wooden table & stools. Used newspaper on the table for a tablecloth. A recess for the wooden stove. Had a hanging safe & put wet bags over it to keep it cool. A big round tin tub in the kitchen to bath in and all shared the same water. Mainly kept clean by swimming, took a cake of soap with us.
Had bags on the windows to keep out the sun an rain. A carbide light sat on the kitchen table and kerosene lanterns we carried around.
A copper to boil the clothes in. Had a good walk down to the creek to fill the kerosene tins with water for washing, cooking, drinking.
We use to catch chooks in the trees and bring them home and catch some wild ones and put them in the chook run. Had them for eating and eggs.
We had a tree climbing kangaroo as a pet, we would let him out of a morning and he would come back at night and we would lock him up.
Our toilet was a Dunny which was a shed with a bag door.  A big hole in the ground with a square box over it to sit on. A big nail on the wall that held the newspaper squares, that was used as toilet paper.   It was quite a walk to the dunny.

Living on $20 a week, it was possible

Budget Living 1 Comment »

While I was reminiscing about when my children were small, the current world financial crisis was in the back of my mind.

I am not sure if some of you will be old enough to remember when the Pyramid Society crashed back in the 90’s.  Those my age and older certainly will.  We had two young children and a mortgage at the time.  The interest rates were going up, up and up.  We were paying 17. something %, say 18% interest on our loan, leaving only $20 left in the pay packet to live on.


Those were worrying times, a bit like today.  My husband and I managed to get through by living as cheaply as we could.  We only had one wage coming in so I could stay home with the children.

Some of the ways we managed to save a bit was as follows:

We bought powdered milk (yuk but it did the job).  Ate very little red meat, if we did it was a small amount of mince mixed with sausage mince  With this I made small meat balls with lots of sauce, savoury mince dishes, spaghetti bolognaise etc.  To extend the mince, I bought packets of TVP (dried soy grits), soaked it and added it to the mince.  It wasn’t really noticeable.  I soaked beans and added them to most hot meals.

We bought the cheapest bread we could and used every bit of it.  Any left overs, were put in with the meat, or put in the bottom of a baking dish, topped with whatever I could find, sprinkled with cheese and beaten eggs poured over the top.  (Salt, spices, herbs added for flavour)  Always very filling.  Rice was a good filler and added to most things.

Breakfast was good old fashioned oats or rice if that was all I had.

I made chicken soup out of chicken carcasses as I couldn’t afford to buy the whole thing.  This was boiled up for the flavour and the soup filled with whatever goodies could be found.  This was served over a bowl full of rice with Maggi on top.

We were blessed to have friends and family who would arrive at times with a bagful of groceries for us.  The goodness in others touched us deeply.  Neighbors would bring over veges from their gardens.  Ron and I would go along the bush roads and collect the wild green apples.  These we would peel and cook into apple sauce which was a delight on cereals, rice, custards etc.

I made our own washing machine liquid by boiling down cakes of pure soap.  We used the car only when needed, walking was the norm.  I brushed my teeth with salt to save the paste for the kids.  Their clothes were homemade and the bed quilts were patchworked from scraps.  No fancy materials back then.

We managed and remained healthy.  When hard times come, you just cope, you have to. We knew it wouldn’t last, things always get better.  Even bad situations look good if you see it in the right light.  We learnt heaps from our experience and are thankful for it.

So with the media making the world sound so grim lately, remember the world has been through very tough times before and in those times, there were people who through desire and need, saw opportunities around them and acted on them while others sank in despair.

Look around you, opportunity is always there.

See you next time.

Copyright © 2008