This Frugal Friday, we encourage you to spend nothing. Yup, in our fast-paced, hectic lifestyle, we encourage you to leave your wallet and just… have a day. More than one, if you can. It is surprisingly easy, once you get the habit of it. There are simply so many other things to do which do not require shelling out hard-earned cash.
Then again, I grew up in Norway. Most shops are still closed on Sundays here. If you absolutely cannot wait until Monday, you could stop by a gas station, but those are ridiculously expensive. So most people grow up with a “no spend” day almost automatically. Read More
’bout the books, ’bout the books! (Sorry. I couldn’t help it. It’s a really catchy song…but let’s not get into the politics of it, ’cause that’s an entirely different blog post).
Kristine has already mentioned a few of the tricks we played earlier this year when we were biting our nails waiting for my student loan/scholarship to show up. The #1 expense for students at my university, (apart from food and rent) are course books we have to buy each term. Often, these books will cost a few thousand NOK (which is a few hundred $/£). The most expensive book on my reading list is nothing compared to the horror stories Kristine tells me about certain chemistry books that would cost around 1K NOK for one book. Compared to that, my most expensive book this year costs around 550 NOK (approx $70) when you buy it new. Normally, I would look for the books on my reading list on sites that offer these books used, where you can get these books for half the price that the retailers sell them for. Read More
Today, we talk about the mighty oat. Avena sativa, a cultivated grass of many uses and traditionally used as horse feed. Today, oats are experiencing a Renaissance as more and more people are discovering the benefits of this humble seed, such as low cost and an excellent source of energy for hardworking people.
I used to have a more ambivalent relationship with oats. While I loved the oat flarns we made each Christmas, I would rebel any time my mother tried to serve me cold oats with milk and sugar for breakfast. Unboiled and unswelled, they would grow in my mouth to a point where I just could not finish. Read More
It’s definitely getting to that time of year here in the North where night temperatures are dipping below freezing and it is high time to put the shorts away for the season. Tea is being brewed by the bucket and in our home, blankets, slippers and sweaters are being deployed with great enthusiasm.
But why, you decry, wouldn’t you just turn up the thermostat?
That, my dear fictional blog reader is an excellent question. I’ll even let you in on a small secret of ours: our flat has heating included in the rent. We live in a beautiful, panorama-windowed basement apartment with our landlords above us, and since their central heating system covers the entire house, there is no easy or cheap way for them to split the two. Hence we pay for our electricity, but not for our heating. Great for predictable bills year ’round.
I don’t know if this is just me, but a lot of the time when I am reading about people who “brownbag” their lunch in order to save money, I often get the impression that this often stems from a scarcity mindset. They’re missing out on nice lunches out with coworkers, or they just can’t get over how much less exciting their own lunch is compared to what they’re used to paying a lot of money for every day.
When we moved to London for two years, this was such a surprise to me to see firsthand. Almost everybody, even if they’re just earning a minimum wage, still shell out anything from £3-10+ on a daily midday meal. Which means that, if you’re earning £7 an hour, you have to work almost an hour, or more, just to eat during work! And that’s not even taking into the account the cost of commuting, which often drains another hour daily out of the paycheck. To make examples simple, some people spend around two hours of their eight hour workday, simply paying for the privilege of going to work! It boggles the mind! Read More
At least in these parts of the world, we are coming up to the time where autumn is firmly leaving its mark on the land. Some trees still cling to their leaves, but many are starting to shed them like old coats. It is the time where we move inside more, and don’t even have the decency to feel bad about it. A time for tea, cocoa, blankets, thick sweaters and… mending!
While I usually have some craft or another to occupy my time, autumn and winter is the time where I really get to it. It is perfect snuggle-up-in-the-couch weather, either with friends and tea (and crafts) or a movie/audiobook/radio/podcast. In the hectic warm months of summer, mending has a tendency to fall by the wayside, which is why there are always a pile of things waiting for my attention once the wind starts picking up. Read More