Putting obstacles in the way of digital addiction

Do you spend more time than you would like online or with a specific kind of physical or digital addiction?

Stop placing so much blame on yourself for not having the self-control to keep yourself from engaging in the activity. Self-control is a limited resource, and we shouldn’t waste it on actively resisting temptation day in and day out.

Instead, I find it much more efficient to work on building obstacles that leaves me unable to engage in the unhealthy addiction I would like to curb, and gives my self-control a bit of peace and quiet. It is not bullet-proof, but it does a good job 90% of the time.

Just like we try to clear the path and make the road towards our goals easier, we should barricade our path against the things that no longer serve us. I will talk mostly about digital addition because that is what I am most familiar about, but I would love to hear how someone might have implemented similar tools against physical addictions like smoking or alcohol.

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Earning money online, the great equalizer?

Do you ever stop to think about what a marvel the internet is? How many possibilities it has unlocked? What kind of stories it can tell? How much time anything took before its inception? Or how much more rock solid your social class was?

My little Etsy shop is still far from rolling in money, but every time I get an email that someone bought a thing I feel such a jolt of joy it is difficult to compare it to anything. With my background, this earning money online venture feels like free money. How can it possibly be real money when I didn’t go to an office/factory/hospital to grind away for 8 hours, 5 days a week or more?

The invention and distribution of internet has led to some massive changes most could not predict. People in remote locations can talk to each other, sell stuff they don’t use, or work from anywhere in the world. And people build so many things, write blogs and share their ideas. Of course, not all of those ideas are kind, but that doesn’t change the fact that the internet has made an unprecedented change to how we live, work and interact. For good and bad.

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The opportunity cost of not knowing what you want to be when you grow up

Most of us have met one, and I know I have certainly been one myself. An insecure teenager, too interested in too many things, and not sure what I want to do or be when I grow up. The pressure of deciding the right thing is crippling. What if we do it wrong? How do we know what is the right choice when we don’t have that much experience out in the real world? But the opportunity cost of choosing wrong just to chose something can be even greater.

I was one of those teenagers who had no idea of what I wanted to be. Everything was an option, and so nothing stood out.

I wanted to be a gardener, an artist, a baker, a chef, a pet technician, a potter, a glass blower or a weaver. I had no clear concept of which of them I preferred, so I ended up deciding by not deciding.

Instead of a vocational high school, I went to a study prep one. I had always done well in STEM related classes, so naturally the advisers all suggested I pursue that.

“But I want to do all these other things!” I would try to argue.

“Which one?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then pursue STEM – it’s safer, and you can always do those other things on the side.

Sound familiar?

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Don’t let Others Berate You For Your Kindness

It is a strange world we live in. Both inside the personal finance blogosphere and outside. A world where it is sometimes seem as more important to not get “scammed” even once, so we would rather not show kindness 9 times out of 10.

If you don’t know what I mean, I will explain in a moment. With a story, because stories are illustrative and nice.

A roadtrip to the top of the world

It was the autumn several years ago. I was starting university about as far away from home as it was possible to get in Norway. From the very south to the far north. Past the Arctic circle. I was still more a child than an adult at that time. And as such, I was entitled enough to let my parents drive me the 24 hour drive up, combining it with a summer roadtrip.

After several days, we had arrived at the last resting point before the city that would become my home for the next three years. It was a basic pit stop. Consisting of nothing but two park tables, a toilet and some trash bins. We got out, stretched our legs and ate some food.

While we were sitting there, a young woman on a well-packed bike turned into the resting area as well. We were about the same age, so we got talking. She was from Finland, on her way to Tromsø for a solo-trip before taking the bus back home and starting her music studies. Her English was not the best, but we did the best we could to communicate (while I can understand Swedish and Danish, Finnish is a completely different language family).

As so often is with these kinds of meetings, we assumed we would never meet each other again. So we said our goodbyes and got back on the road.

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Ethical Investing 01: Introducing Swedish Trine

This post is not sponsored or affiliated in any way. I just want to share companies I find who may help us make more sustainable, ethical investing choices that benefit everyone, including our planet.

It can be very difficult for small, budding investors to find ethical ways to make their money grow. Index funds mostly take a big chunk out of a country (or the world’s) industry after all, and if they don’t exclude companies that deal in petroleum, guns or treating their employers poorly – well, you might be out of luck if that bothers you.

I am in no position to look down on others. I am investing in index funds myself. But I do try to look for ethical alternatives wherever I can find them. For me, that means about 1/3 of my tiny portfolio is currently in actively managed environmental funds. But there are some who would ask just how environmentally friendly those funds are.

Small, conscientious investors have power

Still. We do what we can. And I imagine buying environmental funds, even actively managed ones, will send a signal to those who manage funds that there are a market for them, and more and better ones will come if we show them it is a priority. Consumer power is a thing.

In this post, which I hope will eventually turn into a series, I hope to present ethical and environmental alternatives to investing for those of us who don’t have a million dollar portfolio to throw around (but if you do, feel free to be inspired…). Businesses I’ve found that, while they probably should not be your entire portfolio, could still be a part of a diverse investment strategy focusing on the triple bottom line (societal responsibility, environmental impact and economic value).

It feel redundant to say this but: I am a random blogger on the internet, not an investment adviser. As such, please do not blindly trust everything I say. As with any investment, you could loose all your money.

With that, let me present to you; Trine.

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Why We Will Not Retire Early – Language Matters

When you hear the term “financial independence” it is very often teamed up with “retire early” into the increasingly famous “FIRE” acronym. At least in this narrow part of the internet and personal finance blogosphere.

The retire early part of the deal was never a focus on this blog. We feel too energetic, too young, too full of potential of what we can give back to the world. To me, financial independence has become a symbol of when I can truly live life to the fullest on my own accord. That’s when I can begin living, unapologetically and without abandon.

I know the journey is a big part of the process. That it is important to live while on the way to financial independence. But to me, financial independence is the very idealized symbol of freedom. Why would I retire when I am finally free?

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10 Awesome Sustainable Frugal Bloggers To Follow

Are you looking for some inspiration on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but without sacrificing your frugal priorities? Look no further! Here are 10 fantastic blogs who bring you the best of both worlds.

Sustainability and frugality are a match made in heaven. If you consume less – you also have less of a carbon footprint! It’s a win-win all around. And don’t forget 12 sustainable swaps that can save you serious frugal bucks.

Below are 10 kick-ass blogs with a focus on living more kindly with our earth. In no particular order – be sure to give them some love!

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Why We Would Not Mind Paying A 70% Marginal Tax Rate

Why we don't mind a 70% marginal tax rate - and you shouldn't either

… If any suggestion of marginal tax rate applied to us. Presently, we’re not anywhere close to being high enough earners. But what if we were?

Let’s first explore what a marginal tax rate and tax rates in general. Norway and the rest of Scandinavia is commonly cited as a country with high taxes and high social welfare. Without going into details, taxes in the US have actually been higher than in Norway historically, for instance in the 50s, when Norway was incredibly busy rebuilding after WWII.

But let’s first explore what marginal tax rates are, and are not.

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4 Frugal Habits We Can Learn From People with Autism

It has been almost one year since I wrote about the advantages of autism on personal finance. That post turned out to be immensely popular, so I thought I would write another one, also focusing on the positive aspects of an autistic-inclined mind, rather than the negative ones.

I was diagnosed with autism as an adult. My more energetic older brother and my largely female-manifesting autism (watches people, emulates behaviour and speech patterns of others) meant that rather quiet and introverted me was able to pass in most instances during childhood. Even though I was considered eccentric, introverted and a book worm at best (and a snow queen in junior high, but that is another story).

If you are curious of some of the ways autism may manifest different in females, here are some resources:

With that aside, here are some awesome tips we can take from autistic people which can increase your own frugality.

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Fighting Burnout Without Going Broke

Hi, my name is Kristine and I burnout like a candle if I don’t get ample downtime on a regular basis. Preferably alone or with the few people I trust to relax properly around.

These are interesting times. Automation is taking over more and more tasks in the workforce. But instead of giving us more free time, people are working more, feeling the need to be available after working hours, on the weekend and even on holidays. It is something those still in the early stages of their career are especially prone to. We need to prove ourselves, and many bosses come to expect it. Or maybe you need to work two jobs to make ends meet, never really giving you the chance to destress and unwind.

And especially millennials are experiencing burnout like so many candles, at a rate we have never seen before.

It is such a toxic scene, we have even given birth to the wellness and self-care industry. An industry trying to tell us that we’ll feel better if we shell out hundreds of dollars to do yoga in this fancy studio, or that we absolutely need to get scented candles and fizzy bath bombs to enjoy that “spa feeling” in our own home.

Well baloney to that. I’m here to tell you how you can catch a breath in an otherwise hectic life, without going broke doing it.

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