Budgeting Migrated Other

Budget Talk – Where I save

riding is expensive, even budgeting
Written by Andrea Parker

One of the (many) struggles of life as an Adult Amateur is figuring out how to live the equestrian lifestyle with champagne tastes on a beer budget. 

Despite my parents best efforts managing money has never been my best skill. Although to be fair I’ve never had a debt, so silver linings. My recent move down to Brisbane has seen a change in my expenses. While I’ll no longer be spending 5 hours driving to competitions and consequently spending countless dollars on fuel, my agistment and shoeing costs have gone up. And then there are the extra lessons that I am now having that need to be factored into the budget.

These changes mean that I need to be more savvy if the goal of owning our own acreage is to be one day achieved.

I do plenty of the obvious things to make budget cuts, like not picking up a drink when I fuel up the carn and packing my lunch bag the night before also really helps – that way I can justify grabbing a real coffee during the day! 

But importantly, I’ve come to realise that there are some places in life where I am happy to choose the cheaper option. For instance, the blonde locks will likely need to be replaced for a lower maintenance and cheaper option. Then are other areas (ahem I’m looking at you Samshield) where I am not going to be making sacrifices. 


I love makeup, but why spend $30 or more on foundation when you could spend $12 and get a great product? I recently discovered Designer Brands Cosmetics which you can purchase in the chemist and is certified cruelty free (something I will not sacrifice). I chose the 24hr wear foundation and illuminator pallet. So far I have been super impressed. The only negative is that the foundation doesn’t have a SPF, but that is easily fixed by applying sunscreen underneath.

Skin Care

Skincare is something I have not always been great with. Honestly with my acne prone skin it didn’t seem to make any difference. But over the last year or so my normally oily skin has become significantly drier.

Sukin is an AUstralian skin care company that produces a natural cruelty free range. Best of all they are available in the supermarket as well as the pharmacy and again is just a fraction of the price of other brands. I’ve been using the Purely Ageless hydrating elixir under the night cream. My skin is certainly feeling the difference.

Hair Care

I’ve more recently made the switch from Kevin Murphy to Kristen Ess shampoo and conditioner. I first heard about Kristen Ess on Lauren Conrad’s new podcast ‘Asking for a Friend’ and when I found out that it was for sale in Australia and was cruelty free I was interested. My hair feels great and it is less than half the price! Plus how pretty is the packaging?


On the equestrian front my closet is pretty well stocked up, which is lucky because I won’t be able to just drop some money on the latest Asmar Equestrian top (good job they last well). One of the benefits of living in the city is access to op shops and consignment shops that have high quality clothes at a fraction of the price. Over the weekend I picked up a $250 dress with its original tags still on for just $50. And best of all I should be able to sell a few of my old work dresses that have become a bit snug around the waist!


After moving south I had to pretty quickly get hay for Nonie. As I walked up to the counter I noticed a 1kg bag of biotin for $15. I did a double take the last biotin based supplement I had purchased cost almost $90 for 2kg! Now that’s a no brainer. 

I thought I’d ask if they had any electrolytes and again was pleasantly surprised to find that 1kg would set me back just $6. To get this kind of value from  other electrolyte replacements you really need to be purchasing large amounts (15-20kg!).

It turns out this produce store buys iO Biotin and Electrolytes in bulk and then sell them in 1kg lots!

How do you trim costs to ensure that you can balance your budget?

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About the author


Andrea is an Adult Amateur dressage rider who competes at medium level on her 13-year-old mare Mon Ami. Andrea shares her journey through the equestrian world on her blog The Sand Arena Ballerina and is working on an equestrian podcast called Equestrian Pulse.