We started a vegetable garden

Posted on Categories DIY, Frugality, Spending2 Comments on We started a vegetable garden

When I was young, I was gardening with my father in our house. And before that, my grandfather was often taking me to his big garden. I always enjoyed it. However, since I moved into my current apartment, I never took the time to start a vegetable garden. Now that my girlfriend moved in with me, we decided it was time to start a garden again.ย  The idea was to grow some of our own vegetables.

With our apartment, we have a large lawn, filled with grass and a few trees. We asked the owner if we could remove the grass to start a garden. Since she accepted, we started our garden.

I’m going to present all we did with our garden in this post. Neither of us are any gardening expert. We maybe did some mistakes, but we are having fun ๐Ÿ™‚ And I wanted to share this project. Also my English gardening vocabulary may not be great. So, gardening experts, don’t get offended ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d be glad to hear all your tips!

Continue reading “We started a vegetable garden”

Why (and how) I went paperless

Posted on Categories FIRE, Frugality, Goals, Tips2 Comments on Why (and how) I went paperless

Last year, I decided to go paperless with my administrative documents. It was a long work, but now I’m done. All my documents are available as electronic documents now. I’ve been able to throw away five big document binders.

I’ve used my phone as scanner and uploaded all my documents to the cloud. Find out how I became paperlessย for free in this post.

Continue reading “Why (and how) I went paperless”

April 2018 – Birthday and new savings record

Posted on Categories ETF, Frugality, Investment, Monthly, Spending11 Comments on April 2018 – Birthday and new savings record

After a record-breaking March 2018, April 2018 is even better ๐Ÿ™‚

Although I had some significant expenses this month, the savings were great. This is partly thanks to the gifts I received this month for my 30 years birthday! I also managed to keep my expenses quite low. And my net worth made a very nice jump. Overall, a great month ๐Ÿ™‚

Continue reading “April 2018 – Birthday and new savings record”

7 tips to find cheaper Kindle ebooks

Posted on Categories Budget, Frugality, Spending, Tips5 Comments on 7 tips to find cheaper Kindle ebooks

I bought my Amazon Kindle more than 6 years ago. First I bought the original Kindle. A few years later, I bought the Kindle Paperwhite. I’ve been very happy with both. It’s such a fantastic thing to travel with all my ebooks in my pocket and not have five, or more, heavy books in my luggage.

Over the years, I bought and read over 120 books on my Kindle. At the time, I was thinking it was very cheap. And indeed, I was saving money compared to print books. I realize now that this may not have been the case.

For frugal people, there is one big issue with Kindle books: You can’t buy used books. In the last two years, I almost haven’t bought any Kindle ebook. Instead, I bought many used books. There is a second-hand shop, near my current job. I probably bought over 40 books in this time. I bought them for less than 2 CHF on average. And I only bought books in very good state. The problem is the room they take! My bookshelf is full and books are piling up! I’m going to build a new one. But after some time, the new one will be full too. The other problem is traveling. If I need several books, it’s a pain to carry them.

I’ve been looking for ways to find cheap Kindle books. Here are 7 tricks to find really cheap ebooks for Kindle.

Continue reading “7 tips to find cheaper Kindle ebooks”

January 2018 Update – Ph.D. and good savings

Posted on Categories Budget, Frugality, Goals, Monthly1 Comment on January 2018 Update – Ph.D. and good savings

Edit: I changed the way I’m accounting for my life insurance, this gives me a savings rate of 33.7% now.

It is time for another monthly update! After a good December 2017, the new year is up to great start in January with year another very good month ๐Ÿ™‚

Continue reading “January 2018 Update – Ph.D. and good savings”

How I saved 10 CHF by changing my mobile plan

Posted on Categories Frugality, Spending, Tips2 Comments on How I saved 10 CHF by changing my mobile plan

After saving on my car insurance and reducing my rent, I decided to see if I could save money on my phone plan. Before I already had a very cheap mobile plan for my mobile phone. I was using M-Budget Maxi One with 2GB of data per month for 29 CHF per month. This is pretty cheap as Switzerland goes. However, I’m very rarely using mobile data on my phone. I’ve got WiFi at work, WiFi at home and WiFi at the gym. Some restaurants are also starting to have WiFi. But this is not a lot in Switzerland, compared to countries like China and the United States.

So I decided to switch to the M-Budget Mini One plan with 600 MB of data per month for 19 CHF per month. This will save me 10 CHF per month (120 CHF per year). It’s not a big saving but it’s a correct one and an easy one. I’ll have to be a bit careful about using my phone when going out, but it should be fine. Since there are no delays, I can also switch back to Maxi One if I cannot keep below the limit. But this should be fine. This month, I’ve use less than 60 MB on my phone.

So, if you pay a lot for your phone plan, be sure to check if there are no alternatives that could be more frugal and try to save some money! Even if your mobile plan is a small part of your budget, you should still pay only for what you need!

What about you ? How are you saving money ? Do you have a better option for mobile plan ?

Save 53CHF per month by asking for a reduction of rent!

Posted on Categories Budget, Frugality, Spending, Tips3 Comments on Save 53CHF per month by asking for a reduction of rent!

I just got confirmation from my building manager that they accepted the reduction of rent that I asked for. They answered more than two months after my request… My base rent goes from 1175 to 1122. This will only start at the next term of my lease, on April 1st. But this means that next year, I’ll save 53 CHF * 9 = 477 CHF.

In Switzerland, rent prices are indexed on a reference interest rate. When the interest rate goes down, you can ask for a reduction of your rent. Unfortunately, this is not an automatic process. You have to ask yourself to your house owner or building managers. On the other hand, you can be sure that if the interest rate rises, it will be an “automatic” process… Switzerland is very good to the rich. It makes it easier for them to stay richer ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t forget to check if the interest rate decreased since you signed your lease. If you haven’t asked for a reduction in many years, this could be a large reduction! There are lots of models online for this, such as the calculator from ASLOCA or the one from Comparis.ch. You should really not hesitate doing this, it’s in your rights. They cannot refuse to reduce the rent, it’s in the law. The only reason they would have to refuse would be if they had made improvements to your apartment that would raise its value.

You can find the most recent reference interest rate on the admin.ch website (in French/German/Italian).

Overall, I’m still quite happy, this is more than 50 CHF per month saved next year! The rent is often the biggest item in a budget. At least, it is the case in my budget. Therefore, it can be very interesting to reduce it. But, it’s not always possible. If the reference index rate decreases, it is a nice opportunity to cut this large expense!

What about you ? Do you have any saving tip ? Did you find a way to save on your rent ?