Zero Impact

Bildresultat för bilder zero impact Familjen Ohlsson Fleetwood

I am afraid this clip is for  those who can speak Swedish – sorry !! the Swedish tv channel “UR” have a very good series called “Zero Impact” where families from all walks of life evaluate and re-evaluate their lifestyles in order to come down to the recommended koldioxid levels from the United Nations. In this episode the Ohlsson Fleetwood were given 30 days to reduce their waste.  They travel to Ghana where a lot our electronic waste is illegally dumped and is  destroying lives and the environment.  Some of their experiences I can relate to including buying unnecessary electronic “stuff” that is very “in” but ends up in a cupboard.  The other is flying and transport – this family flew 8 times in one year which brought their koldioxid levels to extreme levels.




BBCs Insight


There is a lot of discussion on the TV about how our lifestyle needs to change if we are going to live a sustainable life on this planet. I think this clip is very thought provoking and gives us some hope.  There are many countries who have succeeded where we have failed.  I am trying in my own small way to reduce and re-use and thinking outside the box.   It’s not only good for the environment it’s also good for our wallet !





Zero Waste Challenge


January and February have been  hectic  with school start, work and all-go on the home front however I had to have a go at this tip from Bea Johnssons blog (

One of Beas golden rules is to ROT, (the others being Refuse, Recycle and Reduce).  The idea is simple by keeping all food scraps and other composable matter from landfill you will also be  providing your family with compost for our garden –  win-win.

So how did it go in reality ! –

I bought this £6 pot so we could put all our food scraps in .  After one week this little pot was already full and beginning to smell !!    As it is still winter in Sweden and as I  haven´t bought a larger garden compost barrel yet there were only two options, one of which wasn´t feasible ie store waste in the freezer the other being throw it away with the rest of our rubbish.  Unfortunately as our freezer was packed full (as usual) my pot of food scraps ended up in the rubbish bin.  However I did learn some important lessons.  I haven´t given up.  I am going to get a food recycling bin from our local council as a short turn soluation before buying our own compost bin.  I think that it is a little compromise however at least the food waste gets to rot and become bio-gas to fuel our buses instead of ending up in the ground.  I will keep you posted on my progress…


The Buy Nothing year – 2017 !!

The Buy Nothing Year: How Two Roommates Saved More Than $55,000

Buy Nothing Year roommates Julie Phillips and Geoffrey Szuszkiewicz (Kevin Jesuino)

Remember  Geoffrey Szuszkiewicz, a 31-year-old accountant in Calgary who decided to spend a year with no money ?
A little over a year ago, Geoffrey Szuszkiewicz, a 31-year-old accountant in Calgary, began analyzing his monthly spending. What he saw, he says, was eye-opening: “I was spending so much every month, no matter how much I made it never seemed like I was getting ahead. It was typical lifestyle creep.”

Around the same time, his good friend Julie Phillips, 29, a communications advisor at the University of Calgary, was about to move into a new apartment when it fell through. “Geoff said, ‘You can move in with me, but I only have a bedroom for you to rent,’” she says. “The rest was packed with his stuff. So I got rid of over 80% of my stuff within three days.” (She was thinking she might move in a year and if so, she’d have to get rid of many of her belongings then.) But then she had a meltdown. “I was like, ‘Oh my god. What did I do?’ And then I was like, ‘Why do I need things anyway?’”

Over their first bottle of wine as roommates, they questioned their need for the objects that had drained their bank accounts, and, on a whim, decided to spend a year not buying anything. The domain name and Twitter handle for the obvious designation, Buy Nothing Year, were available. Julie recalls, “I said to this guy, ‘I can’t believe the name was available,’ and he said, ‘I can! You guys are crazy! Who would do that?’”

Within a week, they became a national news sensation. They suddenly realized that with the country watching, they had to follow through.

Buy Nothing Year roommates Julie Phillips and Geoffrey Szuszkiewicz in front of their aquaponics system (Kevin Jesuino)
They spent the first three months (August through October) phasing out all consumer items, such as household objects, electronics and clothes. Then, they cut out all services, including dining out, salon haircuts, and gas and instead began hosting lots of dinner parties — and biking or walking everywhere, even during Calgary’s long, cold winter. (For his 35-minute walk to work, Geoff would don long johns, winter boots, scarf, mittens and a hat. Though he was already fit when the year began, he lost an additional 10 pounds. When he had to go especially far, he took the bus.) They made their own laundry detergent and surface cleaners, but made a concession for store-bought dish soap, since the homemade version left a gross film on their dishes.
During the last phase, meant to start this July, they intended to stop buying food and grow their own with their aquaponics system and garden, but couldn’t produce enough to feed themselves. (Harvesting season begins in August, and their project ended August 3.) By then, Geoffrey says, “Buy Nothing Year had already accomplished a lot of what we wanted to accomplish, which was to live this downshifted lifestyle.”

They had also saved a lot of money: Geoffrey amassed $42,300 (46,000 CAD) and Julie set aside $13,800 (15,000 CAD). (Julie’s explanation as to why Geoffrey squirreled away so much more: “As much as Geoff saved, I don’t make per year.”) Here’s how they achieved their feat, how the project changed their lives and what habits they’ll retain. Plus, the slide show contains their top tips on having a Buy Nothing Year of your own.


Pipedream or Reality Retiring at 30

His name is Pete. He lives in Longmont, Colorado. And, eight years ago, he and his wife retired at age 30.

He now blogs about finance and lifestyle at Mr. Money Mustache for 400,000 unique visitors a month. Because he’s anonymous, he says that his blog is now popular enough — garnering 37 million page views since its founding in April 2011 — that people mention it in conversation with him without knowing he’s the author.

A few gems of his financial philosophy: Having debt is like being in “a rickety train speeding along the rails towards a broken bridge over the Grand Canyon. Buying anything beyond groceries and rent in this condition is like sitting in that train ordering yourself a fourth cup of tea on credit.”

He calls bikes the money-printing fountain of youth. He calls nature free entertainment. He says happiness does not come from indulging in luxury products, but from challenging yourself and growing personally. In fact, right now, he is in the process of downsizing his already frugal life to live in a house that is 1,000 square ft. smaller than his current one.

I asked him how he accomplished his early-retirement goal — one key was saving more than half of his salary – and how others can retire early too.

Out of all the many things you did to be able to retire early, what was the key to getting there?

The maintechnique to amassing lots of money is: Buy less stuff. As a specific tactic, the biggest single trick was probably choosing to live within biking distance of work, and drive less in general. Unnecessary driving burns up way more of most people’s incomes than they realize.

It helps to think of recurring expenses not on an individual basis, but over a 10-year period, taking into account how much they would earn if invested instead of spent. So a couple who each have a 20-mile commute is not spending “a few bucks on gas,” but rather about $150,000 in car-related costs every ten years, compared to living close to work and biking or walking instead of driving. And that is before taking into account the value of the time wasted in the car. With that in mind, a commute like that really burns at least $300,000 per decade. Car commuting alone really can make the difference between “broke” and “millionaire” within a single working career.

Similarly, a $100 per week restaurant habit is $75,000 every ten years with compounding, bringing your lunch to work alone is at least $30,000, and even the lowly old Starbucks latte habit adds up to more than the price of a luxury car every decade. For a quick shortcut to this: Multiply any weekly expense by 752 to get the cost to you every decade. You can calculate this stuff yourself by entering the series of expenses into a future value calculator.

How and why did retiring early become your goal? And was age 30 the target, or was an amount of money the target?

As my wife and I began to think about starting a family in our mid-20s, we realized that our careers were going to conflict with our desire to be good parents. We decided it would be ideal if we could quit our jobs before we had the first child. This kicked off a savings frenzy. We were already in the habit of not buying new cars, biking to work occasionally, and cooking food at home. But once we realized the power of these measures, we started doing them more. And we stopped the “Oh, that would look really nice in the living room” type of impulse shopping.

At the time that you were working toward retiring early, did you feel that you were scrimping or that sticking to your budget was hard? If so, did you give in to temptation or overcome it? If the latter, how did you stay so disciplined?

We’ve always felt like we live with embarrassing decadence, and still do. This country is one of the fanciest, most luxurious places on Earth, so even living slightly below what everyone else is spending is still a pretty fine place to be. The key is to remind yourself of how good you have it, rather than imagining that you are missing out on something because your car only has four cylinders instead of eight.

What were the things you were still able to do or buy with this budget that might surprise readers?

In the early years, we still lived in a great house, had two cars and a fancy motorcycle, and traveled plenty. Now we have even nicer material stuff including a 2,600-square-foot house, and we spend three months of the year traveling. We eat luxurious organic food of all types and buy whatever we want. We just happen to want a bit less so the family’s annual spending ends up around $25,000 each year these days.

How did you manage the social awkwardness of not wanting to do things that your friends would do because you didn’t want to spend the money? Did they consider you cheap? If so, did it create any tiffs?

We generally did the same things as our friends — hosting parties, camping and mountain bike rides, snowboarding, and working a lot. The difference was mainly in hidden wastes — I would keep my older car instead of upgrading to a new one bought on credit. Maybe light up the fireplace at home on Friday night and pour some wine rather than going downtown for expensive drinks. Cut my own lawn instead of hiring a service company. Things like that can easily chop your spending in half.

You talk about how your initial savings of $4,000 a month became $7,000 a month in a few years. How does that math work?

As a young person gets the hang of living an efficient lifestyle, things improve each year: Your income goes up, but your spending drops as you become better attuned to less materialistic living. On top of that, your investments grow. So if you save $50,000 in the first year and earn 5% annual returns on that, the next year that chunk is adding $2,500 to your annual income, and so on.

How did the great recession five years ago affect your plan? By then, you had already been retired for three years. Were you worried that you would have to go back to work?

A recession doesn’t affect a retiree living on a portfolio of index funds nearly as much as the newspaper headlines would have you believe. In 2008, the dividend yield of the S&P500 dropped much less than the ticker price, which kept some of the cashflow intact. On top of that, most retirees have a portion of their savings in bonds which also provide steady income and serve as a counterweight to fluctuating stocks. In my case, I also had a couple of rental houses at the time, and the rent payments remained uninterrupted.

And recessions are short: If you keep your spending in check for that year or two of lower stock prices and reinvest any spare money, you will often come out wealthier than when you went in.

Why did you decide to downsize your home?

As a challenge to become a bit less materialistic and consume a slightly smaller piece of the Earth. And as a great project for myself, because of the aforementioned love for building things. My goal is to make the new house far more pleasant to live in than the current one, even though it has about 1,000 square feet less floor space.

 What’s your philosophy on living in a big city?

It’s something people should evaluate and not just assume has to be done. Unless you work in a specialized field and earn a six-figure salary, you probably don’t need to be in a high-cost-of-living city to accomplish it. The majority of people living in big cities don’t have to live there to do the kind of work they’re doing. They’re doing support work for the primary industries.

In contrast, during a recent trip I met with a few blog readers in Omaha. Some of them were earning New-York-style salaries, like $200,000 a year, and yet living in an area where you can get a 3-bedroom house for under $100,000 and a beer downtown for $2. This is the perfect example of questioning the old idea of expensive-city living being a necessity.

Only enough to cover the next round of automatic bill payments. I keep everything else invested. You can always sell your investments if you need cash for emergencies.

But the traditional personal finance advice of the “emergency fund” is still reasonable advice for people just starting out, who don’t yet have a base of investments. You need to be able to cover unexpected expenses without going into debt.

How does your philosophy of happiness tie in with your financial advice and way of life?

The idea that material luxury, beyond having your basic needs met, has almost nothing to do with happiness is life-changing. It allows you to live equally happily on almost any level of spending, which obviously does wonders for your savings rate. But it also does wonders for your happiness, because as soon as you let go of the handles of the consumer treadmill, you are free to move on to activities that actually make your life better.

People would be much better off if they started getting excited about how much they can accomplish with the money they already earn, rather than fretting about how difficult things are in modern life. The key lies in optimizing spending — it is only after you do that, that additional income can be efficiently put to use.

Since you’ve started your blog, what are some of your favorite tips from readers?

Readers have introduced me to:

  • low-carb eating through Mark’s Daily Apple and Tim Ferriss-style exercise, which made me healthier
  • much lower cost mobile phone plans, such as the Republic Wireless $19 unlimited-everything smartphone plan and menu-based ones like Ting
  • more efficient investing (William Bernstein’s The Four Pillars of Investing) and more about stock fundamentals and dividends
  • philosophy (Stoicism, Buddhism, and being happy in general). Books included Guide to the Good Life, The Art of Stoic Joy, and the Art of Happiness with the Dalai Lama

Is there anything else I didn’t ask you that you’d like to say?

The one thing that nobody has asked me is why the blog exists and how I think it might accomplish the mission.

It’s really a way of re-teaching some of the greatest past wisdom of human civilization — stuff that has been lost in the consumer rush of the latest decades. Sure, it’s lots of fun to become wealthy and quit your job and be free to do whatever you like. But if we can re-learn these lessons about what happiness really means, we will all be a lot richer and healthier for it.

However, this mission involves changing the culture of the whole rich world. So we need a financial superhero to function as the leader of the movement, and an unstoppable cult-like and ever-growing body of devotees to share it. So far, so good.


Easy on the pocket – Christmas Pudding


I haven´t tried this recipe though I am thinking about it. My grandmother always made her own Christmas  pudding and I have fond memories of her busy in the kitchen, singing away !

Making food and desserts from scratch seems to by dying out ! A bit of a shame. I hope that your Christmas preparations are going well and that you  like this clip.

%d bloggers like this: