Do you live for the weekend? Is the main purpose of the workweek to count down to those two days of freedom? Do you find you often end up picking up chores that got neglected throughout the week, like laundry, vacuuming or cleaning the kitchen?
I actually like my job, but if you’re anything like us, the above paragraph might be a bit too familiar.
Now, I might sound like a very privileged millennial saying this, but I do not enjoy the classical 9-5 (or 8-4 in Norway) workweek, nor do I feel like I have the ambition or stamina required sometimes. Truth be told, I enjoy shift work even less, so between the two I would always go for a predictable, daytime Moday-Friday job.
Never the less, what I really wanted while studying, before finding the FI community, was a reliable part-time job 3-4 days a week, doing meaningful work. I knew I had low spending habits and no real desire to inflate that much beyond poor-student mode, so I saw this as no problem at all. Read More
Happy Friday 13th! What better month to celebrate in than October, the month of Halloween, Samhain, ghosts and pumpkins. In the Frugasaurus household, October marks the time where leaves are coming off in droves and the weather is taking a turn for the wilder and wetter.
Not unsurprisingly, it is also a time of great savings. Autumn is a great time to get local vegetables in season, and for us, that means cabbages, potatoes and root vegetables. As I already mentioned in a previous post, I am really happy to live in a place where we have room to buy cabbage when they are ridiculously cheap, only to store them throughout the year in our pantry. Read More
Adopting a frugal mindset does something to your mind. I’m not just talking about looking for offers or making your money stretch as far as possible, I’m talking about simple desires.
A few weeks back, Mr. E. and I went down to the city centre. It was quite the event. We hadn’t done so in a couple of months, at least. But we had a small handful of things that we wanted to buy in different shops, and the would-be added costs of shipping made the bus ticket worth it. Also, Mr. E. was buying a used book, and needed someplace central to meet the seller. Still, not being financially independent yet, we made the trip on a Saturday, yikes. Read More
As a young child, I distinctly remember playing around in my parents’ garden and dreaming about building a cabin in the woods and living off the land. I did not tell anyone. With a child’s intuition, I felt certain that it would be considered naive and silly. So instead of exposing it to the world, I tucked it away in a secret corner of my heart.
Later, as I entered my early teens, the dream faded into the background. I had always done reasonably well in school, and as so many others who did reasonably well in school, I was expected to get one of those ubiquitous educations. Influenced by those around me, I allowed myself to go with the flow, further and further away from my childhood dream.
It still cropped up in my life through hobbies and interests, such as working as a landscape gardener in summer, learning to sew and weave through a Viking reenactment group, and my ever-present interest in cooking, particularly electricity-independent preservation techniques, such as canning and fermenting. But it was always on a hobby basis. I assumed that I would do what everyone else was modelling. Which was getting a job, finding a partner, buying a house, having children, and pay off a mortgage. Not necessarily in that order. Because this was modelled all around me, it was a truth I never questioned. And like a leaf on the wind, I let life carry me along wherever it seemed to go.
It was as much irresponsible as it was entirely normal. Which is why this post is all about having goals and working towards them. Read More
For me, preserving some of the bounty nature provides throughout the growing season is a big goal in our quest towards greater frugality and financial independence. While I might not have spent as much time as I could have in our garden growing up, I did spend more than a few hours in the kitchen.
When we moved back to Norway in May, it was with the attitude that this time we were going to stay, and thus, it would be worth investing in certain kit and skills we had never yet considered. Glass jars and canning skills were two of the major ones for me, and we started early by boiling spruce-shoot syrup in May while I still lived with my good friend. Read More
I cannot claim to hide the fact that the environment means a great deal to me. I am currently spending my working life trying to research some of the impacts humans have had on the environment. But I have also come to realise, that what we really need is not necessarily more research, but more people taking charge or their own life and blazing a trail by living boldly by example.
I can not claim to live very boldly, nor to have ever “blazed” a trail. In fact, I have been scared away from more active participation in several environmental organisations, simply because their outgoing extrovertism (totally a word), confrontational attitude and often somewhat superficial insight into big issues. I find it difficult to be angry, I find it difficult to stop people on the street and hand them flyers. I have, more than once, marched in protests, but again, I seem to lack some of the anger many people are fuelled by.
So, how can a timid, introverted, analytical environmentalist still try to save the world?
A lot of people, myself included, find it difficult to stop drinking soda. I started replacing my soda habits with carbonated water, which worked for a while. But the cost of buying carbonated water was something I wanted to remove from the budget because essentially, it’s not something I need. I’m not saying that anyone should stop drinking soda cold turkey. If you enjoy soda, and you are able to drink it on occasion, that is not a problem. For me, the problem was that I wanted the carbonated stuff all the time.
As a part of our new and exciting beginnings on this new blog, I wanted to talk a little bit about a recent experience. While we were already fairly set on saving as much of my new stable (at least for the next couple of years) salary as possible, we were still in the very early phases or our financial independence quest. Life, on the other hand, had decided that were were going to start being frugal yesterday.
It all began when we moved back to Norway from overseas. We knew that a large portion of my salary would go towards general moving expenses. Such as advance payments on rent, getting furniture (we were super-lucky to have friends who let us borrow their car for driving around to pick up free furniture, but obviously we paid for the gas) and certain things we could not find used or free. We are still waiting until we find a cheap/free used vacuum cleaner, making do with a mop and dustpan for now.
I don’t think we did a half-bad job ourselves. Having furnished almost the entire flat with nary a penny spent except on gas for our friend’s car and two cute (still used) nightstands for 250 NOK (about $25). All our big furniture like shelves, tables, chairs, mattress and a pull-out sofa bed were all picked up over the course of a few months while I lived with a friend and then promptly deposited in the flat on moving-in day. Mr. E. arrived shortly thereafter and we felt certain that our plans of intense savings for future and happiness would soon commence.