Sidehustle log 02: Christmas market

This is the second instalment of my sidehustle log series, wherein I document my fledgling attempts at setting up a small business. You can find the rest of the series here:

Wow, I can’t believe it’s the first week of December already! I know it’s a trope, but time really has just flied past me these last couple of months. It feels as if it was summer just a short while ago!

Anyway, surprise surprise, we have got a sidehustle log update already! Honestly, I hadn’t planned on doing much except to let my soap finish curing before 2018. But what can you do when opportunity suddenly knocks on your door? You throw yourself around and try to make it work, of course.  Read More

NaNoWriMo and Financial Independence

Finding creativity in a world obsessed with time and money

Throughout the month of November, Kristine and I, along with people around the world, have forced ourselves to sit down in front of our computers and hammered down seemingly random words into a document. These words have in turn become a wonky first draft of a novel – or, in Kristine’s case, those words have in part been a novel draft and a lot of blog posts for you to devour.

NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month, which takes place in November. But, you might ask, ‘how is this related to financial independence?’. Or, you might not ask about it, I’m certainly not going to tell you what you’re asking or not. However, I will lay out some of my thoughts on how I think those to correlate. Read More

Frugal Friday: Cutting hair at home

Here at Frugasaurus HQ, we encourage you to live dangerously. Playing with lye, preserving your own food, and here, without apologies; cutting your own hair. There are plenty of tutorials online to help you get started. Youtube is, as always, an excellent place to check out first.

No, really. We don’t think there is much reason to go to the hairdresser several times a year, one year after the next. Sure, once in a while it might be nice to get pampered for a special occasion, or perhaps your friend is a hairdresser and you want to help her business thrive. Be aware that the latter is an altruistic choice, and doesn’t need to have anything to do with hair.  Read More

Be careful whose advice you buy

But be patient with those who supply it

I’m sure many of you have heard it before. It was sent to me as a young teenager by an older friend of my brother, and I have revisited it with fair regularity ever since. There is always something in it that strikes me as true. As you might have guessed, today it was the advice part of it quoted above, and how it affects us.  Read More

Don’t wait until the 1st to start that thing

All right, confession time. This post is equal parts a reminder to myself as it is advice for anyone else who might find it useful.

You know how, if you’re active on pages like instagram or something like that, you might run into inspirational quotes? One of them being something akin to “That blog, just start it. That book, just write it.”. I saw one recently and it made me think of just how many times I’ve let “not the perfect time” be an excuse for me not to do something. That is why I would like to encourage everyone, right here, right now, to be their complete, imperfect, authentic selves. Read More

Frugal Friday: Christmas Edition

‘t is the season to be cosy.

At least if you look outside the window. A thin layer of snow has settled and the thermometer is showing below freezing degrees. It is a great time to be snuggled up in the couch with a blanket, a warm cup of tea and either watch magpies figure out how to get the food I hung on treacherously thin branches, or light candles in the evening when all is dark and waiting for spring.

It is also, I suppose, the season when so many people run around with lists as long as their arm, trying to get everything for everyone, preferably while still having some money left over for a bit of food. Unless, of course, they put themselves into debt for several years to come by using a credit card.

To that, as with so many other things in our consumerist society, I say a resounding “no, thank you.”. I do not think my family will think that I love them more if I impoverish myself by buying them expensive, materialistic goods. That is why, this year, I will not be visiting a single mall to buy holiday presents.  Read More

A Scandinavian perspective: Education privilege

This post has not been the easiest of posts to write. Privilege is never a simple thing to talk about, but I think it is an important one. The topic of this post has been on my mind for some time. Unlike some financial independence and debt-averse people, we are not aggressively tackling our student loans. The reason is simple, we are both citizens of Norway, and have the privilege of a government controlled student loan institution where everyone gets the same amount at favourable interest.

There is also no tuition in Norway, so unless you study abroad part or the entirety of your degree, your final debt will largely be a sum of how many years of living expenses you received a loan for. Finally, the interest is the lowest in the country, lower even than mortgages (my student loan is currently at 2 %), it will vanish if you die, there are tax benefits to being in debt, and 40 % of it is transformed into a scholarship when you pass your exams.   Read More

Index Funds and the Environment

“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” – Anna Lappe

Many years before I heard about the concept of financial independence, I was an ardent environmentalist. To the best of my ability anyway. I’m not very good at being an angry activist, so I typically try to do what I can by changing things in my own life, having conversations with friends and family, leading by example and donating money to environmental organisations when I can.

That was why, when I discovered the financial independence (FI) community and some of the great personal finance blogs out there, the ones that appealed the most to me were always the ones that intermingled environmental concern with their frugality and money badassity. There was never a doubt in my heart, that our journey to FI would be intermingled with planet-conscious choices to the best of our ability. That is why I wish to discuss some of the issues and conundrums we are facing on our journey.  Read More

Frugal Friday: Make your own soap

I bet you knew this was coming, right? After last weeks post about trying to start a small, handmade soap business, it should come as no surprise that I would like to share how easy and fun it can be to make your own soap.

But wait! This is not only about saving money. This is also about keeping things local, learning skills and not littering the world in plastic. Just think about it, all those bottles of liquid soap need a container to be shipped in, and most of the time, that is plastic. A bar of soap is also more compact, taking up less shipping space for the same amount of washing value, and can easily be wrapped in sustainable and reusable paper or fabric. They are not riddled with germs as many people seem to believe, and even if they were, the action of washing our hands (with soap!) would still kill or rinse off the majority of them. Even if it is just as your hand soap of choice in the bathroom, I encourage you to give bar soap a chance. In the Frugasaurus household, all our personal hygiene needs are covered with my handmade soap, hands, hair and body. We haven’t yet tried to wash our dishes with it, but I know of other people who do, so maybe we’ll try that when our current bottle of dish-washing liquid runs out.

Yes, I know that you can probably get a really cheap soap for less than it costs to make your own. I will admit that freely. But making your own gives you a nice bar of soap that does not drain your skin of moisture and leaves your hands dry. You can also choose to omit rainforest-killing palm oil from your own soap. And, let’s admit it, at least to me, there is less value to living a long, prosperous life in financial independence if it is contributing to a planet that is less diverse and less awesome.  Read More

Staying Childfree – Why we’re not having children

At least not biological ones.

At first glance, this might not be something that belongs in a personal finance blog. But since this is our personal finance blog, I get to add a dash of philosophy on top of our frugal lifestyle and saving hacks.

As the title says, at the present moment, neither Mr. Frugasaurus nor me are interested changing our childfree status. We have discussed this several times, and usually we reach a conclusion akin to “Well, if we really want to raise children, there are plenty of children already on the planet who needs some love.”. Right now though? We are happy being a small, childless household.

Sure, this can be explained by the cost of having and rearing a child. But to be completely honest, that is not the main reason we have reached this decision.  Read More