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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Why Getting A PhD Is A Terrible Idea If You Are On The Path To Financial Independence

Hello from impostor syndrome land!

I do not mention it a lot on this blog, but the 4 year contract I keep mentioning as my current job is actually as a PhD student within natural science. In Norway, you are considered an employee as a PhD student, and you get a very real paycheck. Mine represents almost $50 000 annually before taxes, which is a whole lot of money to someone from a working class background who is used to making ends meet with a lot less.

It could’ve been a great tool on the path to financial independence. After all I have a four year contract of promised paychecks and flexibility unheard of in many other jobs. But don’t be fooled.

While full and tenured professors might make a decent side-income from publishing books and, in some fields, patenting, those jobs are few and far between – and they take decades to get to. For those of us aiming to be pursuing nothing but our own projects and passions after 10-20 years in the workforce, you wouldn’t even get close.

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How Upsizing Increased Our Income

We have only been living two months in our new house, and we have so far only paid one mortgage payment.

We know the math says that owning your home, especially in the short term, is not the cheapest option, nor is it the best place to put your investing capital. In January, it cost us about $300 more to own our home compared to the old place we were renting, and that was including the $400 we’re paying in extra interest because the first payment waits a extra month to kick in.

This is not a “owning your house is cheaper!” post. We know we are going to incur significant electrician and plumber bills in the coming months to do some necessary upgrades.

Then again, it isn’t really about owning your home either, since the changes we speak about can happen whether you own or rent your home. The real thing is, what is your comfort zone in terms of  square meters/square footage of living area?

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Calculating Lean FI Numbers As An Entrepreneur

Traditional financial independence (FI) through saving and investing? Or the more work intensive but potentially quicker route of side hustling and building passive income streams?

Why not both!

Using myself as an example, I’ll show you how I think when I calculate how much we need to keep a roof over our head and food on our table. So-called lean FI.

Why lean FI? Because as someone who has always been starting projects of varying success, there is no way I will not create more income after I reach financial independence. Why overshoot by going all the way to traditional or fat FI? I will create more income, I just want to reach my first goal of not being dependent on an employer for my financial survival first.

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Why Do We Expect Everyone To Manage Working Full Time?

In the ideal world most people agree that it would be awesome if teachers had the time and resources to follow up every single student individually from a young age. To figure out how that particular child learns, and help them utilize it.

We accept that students fall on the high or low end of grades in certain classes, because they are not all going to get the same job, and we need all sorts, right?

And yet, after they graduate from school, however long that may be, we still expect most everyone to go on to get a “normal” 40 hour per week full time job. That is considered the normal thing to do. And if you’re part time, most people expect you to be looking for a full time position, or have other obligations such as children limit your time.

Why is that?

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Consistency Is Key – Once Is Not Enough

You would think it didn’t need to be stated. You cannot do something once and expect instant success. It becomes especially evident over New Year as people resolve to fix what they are unhappy with in their lives, or vow to publish that book they have been sitting on for years.

But here is the kicker. Publishing that one book probably will not change your life. There are a select few for whom this is the case. But for the majority of us mere mortals, we’ll have to write another, and another, and another as we consistently improve.

Anything else is akin to the lottery mentality. Your life will not magically improve if you just win the lottery. In fact, there is strong evidence that many people get worse off after winning. Not to mention that lottery tickets generally increase their sales during a financial downturn, efficiently taxing the poor and desperate.

So you do not want to be stuck in a lottery mentality. A condition I must admit I suffered myself as a young adult to a degree. But what do you focus on instead?

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Join Us For Our January Pantry Challenge!

It’s barely a few days into 2019 and what a time to start afresh and create a new beginning. Here in the Frugasaurus household, we celebrate new beginnings by diving head first into a January pantry challenge. It is a great way to clean out those cupboards and greet spring with money saved and less clutter. What more could you ask?

A pantry challenge is also a great thing to combine with other challenges like, say Veganuary. Why? Because beans and lentils store incredibly well, and it’s easy to accumulate a few different kinds. Plant food also keeps well, on average. I’d trust my oat milk much farther than a regular carton of milk. But back to the pantry challenge.

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Sidehustle Log 07: 2018 First Year Etsy Shop Review

Are you walking around with an entrepreneur in your belly? Want to start on your own but can’t quite figure out how or where you would find the time? I give you an honest, no holds barred, review of my first year of earning money online. It is not mindblowing, it is not in the thousands of dollars range, but it does sow seeds of hope that this might one day grow into a substantial income stream.

To start 2019 off clean I am doing a review on how my little Etsy sidehustle business has been going. I know I only started my shop back in March 2018, but I prefer to stick to yearly reports. It makes it so much easier down the line.

I would also point out that Etsy changed their payments and billing system back in October 2018, so detailed numbers from March to October are lacking. But I can still provide an impression of the growth.

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2019 Intention – Creation Before Consumption

It’s that time of year again. When a lot of people set New Years resolutions for themselves and aim way too high to avoid crashing and burning by February/March.

I was never big on New Years Resolutions. As I have written about in a previous post, trying to wait until the start of a new month or the start of a new year has been a recipe for failure for me. The slate is too clean, the failure too big when you stumble.

So instead I advocate starting in the middle of the week, the middle of the month and in the middle of the year. Whenever you get the idea to start that thing, do it. And don’t worry about whether or not it is perfect. Just start, and accept it when life will inevitably get in the way. That is all right. All we can do is do the best we can to get back on track.

That is why I don’t particularly like New Years resolutions, but instead suggesting trying to set an intention for the year to come. Is there a new habit you would like to focus on this year? Have you wanted to get better at reaching out to friends and familiy for socializing? Or do you simply want to carve more time to yourself this year?

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That Elusive Christmas Spirit

We are currently on the other side of the country celebrating the holidays with family. It has been difficult to find the head space and time to write a blog post. We’ve been fed and stuffed and enjoying candy. Dinners have been everywhere else and always with dessert. Socializing has been abundant and everything in plenty.

Having some down-time seemed only prudent.

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