Mr. E’s sleep experiment

Good morning!

It is round 4.30 am here in Norway while I am writing this. Yup, you read that right. Other people might get up at five to go for a run or do other exercises before work.

The two of us on the other hand? Quick splash of water to the face, brew some tea, perhaps a small bite to eat and then hunker down in front of the computer until 6 am to work on our sidehustles.

Why on earth would we do that? Why not just do it when we come home from work/lectures in the afternoon? It’s not as if we have children to mind or pets to walk. So why?  Read More


Is full time employment right for you?

Part-time FIRE, barista FIRE, leisurly FIRE, time for other projects or unable to work full time for health reasons. Whatever you want to call it, I want to call attention to it.

The trend I see from a lot of other bloggers in the personal finance world, is that in order to reach FIRE (financial independence, retire early), you should get a second job, maybe even a third job. Hell, sidehustle a bit on the side while you’re at it to really kick it as soon as possible!

Whew. As an introvert with ample need for quiet downtime and holes in my schedule to just wind down, I can tell you straight away that I would not be able to do that. A great, big kudos to those who can, but my heart rate increases just thinking about it.  Read More

Are early retirees selfish?

Again, I have a good friend who, while they absolutely understand the maths behind financial independence, simply do not wish to pursue it.

Their argument is simple: If everyone pursued and achieved financial independence, society would collapse.

Unlike this post by Mr. MM, my friend was not thinking about the horrors of a less consumerist lifestyle. They were thinking in more practical terms of “we need nurses, government officials, shop clerks and plumbers to make our society go ’round.”

I actually rather like these thought experiments. My friend is a very clever engineer who likes to work and contribute to society. They are always respectful, but as it so happens, I’m really bad at thinking up counter-points on the spot, so I ponder the issue in a blog post at some later point in time instead.

Read More

Frugal Friday: Meadowsweet juice

It has been a while since we did one of these frugal Friday posts. Originally, I had planned on posting the recipe for meadowsweet juice a little closer to summer, but seeing as I had already posted spruce shoot syrup way ahead of time and I got a request in for it (thanks!), why not put it out there early for people to prepare?

Now, meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is a perennial herb in the rose family. It is native to Europe and Asia, but has been naturalised some places in the US. It is an aromatic herb and contains the same active ingredients used to make aspirin, among other things.

In Norway, meadowsweet is called “mjødurt”, which directly translates into “mead herb”. As the name implies, it has been used for millennia to flavour mead. It is also weakly antibacterial, and could be used to clean throughs and tools before use.  It likes sunny spots, and in our area they are easiest to find in places where humans tread often or have changed things, such as adding wide paths for hiking and thus providing more sun to the forest floor, or alongside fields and acres. Where there’s one, there’s usually many.  Read More

Basic Income – or what to do if money is no object

What would you do if money was no object?

I think, at its core, that is the question being asked in a lot of financial independence spheres. If you could do anything in the world or if it was impossible to fail, what would you do?

As the world becomes more automated and machines are able to do more and more jobs, what will humans do? I, for one, hope that we will eventually see a rise of universal basic income. I hope, but I dare not hope at the same time. Politicians at large are not exactly known to be a very progressive breed.  Read More

The concept of “enough”

As we often do in the Frugasaurus household, we were sending a couple of house ads back and forth in equal parts amusement and figuring out what we want, and don’t want.

Far over on the joking side of things, Mr. E. sent me an ad for a house where the asking price was 10 million NOK, or well over $1 million. We looked at it, laughed at it, and generally agreed that if we were to spend over $1 million on a home, it would not be for such a luxurious house.

I then sent it to a good friend who has recently bought a home of their own for only a piece of the asking price for this luxury villa.

Se looked at it, as she is wont to do, and then simply replied “that’s all well and good, but it doesn’t give me anything my current house does not already give me.”  Read More

An open letter to M

Or ponderings on priorities and quality of life.

I have been going back and forth on this post. After all, this has all to do with quality of life, not just when you reach a large goal such as financial independence, but also to enjoy the journey while you are on your way there.

The Mad Fientist has mentioned on his podcast several times about the time he got so hyperfocused on reaching financial independence that he forgot everything else. He over-optimised, refused to spend money on going out with friends, and generally made himself and those around him miserable.

That is not what I want Mr. E. and myself to go through while we are trying to free ourselves from employer dependency. We are more interested in the joyful frugality so happily touted by the Frugalwoods, but how exactly do we find that balance?  Read More

The one reason to act on climate change – no matter your beliefs

Ho boy. I have been thinking about this post for weeks now. Making figures, thinking about argument structure. Trying to ensure I’m avoiding any logical fallacies.

It’s not that I am never concerned about that at all in any of the other posts, but having environmental science as my field of study does often put me in the thick of it. Suffice to say that I have had a lot of time to think about these things in general for the past 5 years and more.

Before we dive right in, let’s do a little terminology update. At least in my neck of the woods, there is a lot less talk about global warming these days. That is because there has been a consensus among a lot of scientists to make a switch to the words climate change. It covers a larger range of effects, and is not as prone to ridicule with pointless statements such as “But it snowed in New York this winter!”.

That little detail aside, let’s dig right in.  Read More

Truffels and delayed gratification

Delayed gratification is a very important skill to nurture if we want to achieve anything worth doing in the long term. If you’ve ever had to save up for something you really wanted, instead of blowing hard earned cents or a small allowance as a child, you’ll know what I mean.

As adults, it is the thing that makes us save up for a downpayment on a house, instead of borrowing on credit at atrocious rates. It is difficult if you’ve never had to cultivate the skill, but anyone can get better at it through practice and patience.

At the same time, we live in a world of quite the opposite. Instant gratification abounds on nearly every street corner. And it has never been easier to get what you want, when you want (never mind the fine print).
Read More

Reach FI faster with this one, simple trick!

Sorry for the clickbaity title guys. You know there’s no free lunch, right?

None the less, I think there is a lot of value to be had in practising appreciation and gratitude. It can teach us humility and compassion, all good skills when it comes to dealing with other people.

It has been shown several times how seemingly simple gratitude can increase our happiness multiple times, even if nothing else changes in our life. So here’s to practising it.  Read More