Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.


Look to the side of this blog.

On the last day of winter, I finished the 6th audiobook in the ‘Woody Creek’ series by Joy Dettman and knew that my challenge was done. I’d read/listened to more than $1,800 worth of books from my local library and (in effect) clawed back the value of my rates from my local council.

Even if your mortgage is fully paid off and you have that ‘Now no one can kick me out’ feeling warming the cockles of your heart, it’s not entirely true. If you don’t pay your rates, the council can take your house off you and sell it to get their money. Admittedly, this can take years to happen, but still. Paying rates is one of those things that can’t be avoided, like death and taxes.

I was nearing the end of my challenge when my rates bill for next year came in. They’ve raised the rates by $300. That’s like 7 audiobooks or 17 older paperbacks. Yikes!!

But Frogdancer Jones is made of sterner stuff than they might think…

Ok, Kingston City Council. Challenge accepted! I’m continuing the challenge into next year!

Just for shits and giggles, I’m also adding the cost of the dog registrations. In for a penny; in for a pound, as they (used to) say. I’ll wring back every dollar from that council!

Though once I finish the last of the ‘Woody Creek’ series, I’ll slow down the challenge for a while. I have a huge pile of books sitting beside my bed that I need to read. Some of them are gifts and some I’ve bought for myself. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into them.

Such a lovely, sunny day. Just the sort of day to go out into the garden with an audiobook.



  1. Lisa Kelly

    I got such a giggle out of this. Good for you!!!

  2. Jamie

    I’ve gotten in to a terrible (?) habit of checking my library each month for the new books added to the library catalogue in the past 30 (or so) days. I can’t manage to keep up! And the books here at home have piled up, even with my favourite book stores (Vinnies/Salvos/Tip Shop $1 books) all closed for lockdown.

    I think that 2022 will have to be a year of “reading down the house”, just like Dar from the An Exacting Life blog.

  3. Carmel

    Love this challenge – well done and happy reading 🙂

  4. Nic@fireforlife

    I love this challenge! Congratulations.
    When I first read it, I thought ‘great idea, I’m doing it’. I already go to the library regularly. My rates are $2800!!!..I got a little distracted by reading books I already had so am only up to $267.17 🙁 …I’ve got some reading to do!!
    (Btw, I got the biggest thrill when you mentioned me in your newsletter about the ‘taters. Teehee:)…their green leaves have just started popping up).

    • FrogdancerJones

      My potatoes are way behind yours. I stuck them in a couple of grow bags and they’re still totally under the potting mix so far.

  5. sandyg61

    Well done!! My knitting group is held in a room at the local library and I must get into borrowing again. I have so many books here though so I won’t be as fast as you. I managed to read 9 novels on our 6 week holiday but haven’t picked up a book since coming home and catching up on life.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I tend to go through waves where I’ll do a lot of reading and then it tapers off for a while.
      It always comes back though!

  6. Cath

    This is my favourite personal finance idea ever! Read more library books as an expression of personal commitment to FIRE? Yes please!!!

    • FrogdancerJones

      Haha! No point in giving yourself a challenge if you don’t like the activity. 🙂

  7. The Ship's Ledger

    Hahaha, Brilliant. Somethings in life you can’t escape from. My council offers free mulch, for as much as you can scoop. Boy do I get my monies (free) worth….

  8. Girt

    I just finished the Thursday Murder Club – which I loved! And also recently read Where the Crawdads sing. They were both just fantastic and thanks for bringing me such joy FDJ.

    I needed to reserve both at the library so it felt like a lovely surprise when they were available for me. So this has opened a new type of frugal pleasure for me. I used to just browse at the library and borrow a stack of random things. This is a much more deliberate and anticipated pleasure. Veddy nice!

    Thanks again!

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