It’s been almost a week since we got the keys for our very own half of a house. The boxes are still piled high and we are sleeping on the floor until we finish painting the bedroom. We have drastically inflated our life by almost doubling our living area and obviously it has been an expensive affair.
Gas for moving (we got to borrow a big car and trailer from friends), spoiling our friends with food, snacks and pizza-on-the-door who were so amazing as to offer their help carrying heavy furniture (we could not have done it without you!), and not least having electricians and plumbers in to assess some of the things that need fixing to make the house safe and sanitary to live in.
I’m risk averse and terrified of being tied down, but do you know what makes it worth is so far?
Neighbours who actually say hello, introduce themselves and want to get to know you. Reducing the distance to my best friend by 2/3 (still having the same distance to work), having a cool basement for all my food storage needs and a garden larger than anticipated.
PS: You know what also makes it worth it? Our downstairs neighbour grew up here as a child and carries fond memories of the strawberry fields and vegetable patches that used to be where there is nothing but grass now – but she has been hip operated twice and cannot do it by herself. She was beyond herself with excitement when we relayed our modest wishes to perhaps grow a few food-bearing crops.
But do you know what bonus we are now shamelessly enjoying which we didn’t have before, and hadn’t expected to have such a large impact on our lives?
You’d think it was nothing special. Despite our general attitude to frugal furnishings (free, online, used), I actually took M on a road trip to pick up and pay for a large, solid oak dining table with 8 chairs and two additional plates to extend the table as needed. I paid 1000 NOK/$125 for this glorious, heavy, used piece of furniture, which can be sanded down time and time again, should it be necessary.
It’s a nice table, but how it looks is not as important as how it changes our habits.
Back in the apartment, we had a couch and a table. Breakfast and dinner were taken there because there were not many other places suitable for it. We took our meals facing the same way, and with our little TV in the same direction, it was all too easy to turn to youtube or another, similar entertainment source.
But with a dining table set up far from such distractions, we are favoring it for our meals. We face each other and engage in conversation, the only distraction being if we put some music or radio on the speakers. We are both loving it so much that we have taken not just dinner together, but proper sit down breakfast as well, even on workdays.
Of course, there is no guarantee that this will continue, but we are enjoying it right now. It is one of the things which really makes this new place feel more like a home than the previous apartment.
Mr. Frugasaurus is settling right into our new home, and I must say I am enjoying it. But after reading That Frugal Pharmacists’ epic blog post about prepperFI, I must say I am still dreaming of the life she is living. In many ways I feel torn in two. Wanting the homestead and enjoying the now, which undeniably is one of the biggest lifestyle inflation we have ever taken on. Even bigger than the electric bike we got earlier this year.
So for now, I will try to satiate my prepper tendencies by planning for some small garden projects next year. I’m being sent to Svalbard for work next spring too, right when I really want to be planting and digging in the dirt. So we’ll see how much actually gets done. We’re filling the pantry either way, and there will be black currant bushes.
I’m not going to turn in my frugal card just yet, even though we have inflated our lifestyle a great deal the last six months. But rest assured, frugal friends – we have already paid off 0.0004% of the principal!
Maybe I should make a counter?
Edit: Done! Check out the cute plugin I found on the right hand side!
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