tips on saving money before christmas

it is getting close to christmas, and you probably plan to spend tons of money on gifts for all your friends and family. but when you realize how little you actually have to spend, you need to come up with a great plan to fix this. here are some tips for saving money:

do you have spotify or another streaming program? well, end your subscription. the library has tons of CDs, all for you to borrow. i do this myself, i go to the library every day and borrow a certain amount of CDs which i save in my music library. this also is great for putting on your ipod. this is also a great way of going to the library and actually staying to read a bit, cause if i am at a library, i do feel that i have to study, at least for a while. and why stream music? streaming tends to never work on trains anyway.

do you collect anything? well, if it is valuable you could trim off your collection. everyone has duplicates of something, and they never use them, so go a head. SELL SELL SELL. i certainly know a few things i could sell out of my collections. luckily those things are at my parents.

do you shop at stores? sign up for their reward program. (a good idea is to create a separate e-mail address for this, because you’ll receive tons of spam.)

do you like making things? this is like the oldest trick in the book. people do enjoy homemade gifts, often more than new things. so start cooking, painting, drawing or whatever you’re the best at.

do you have a lot of stuff? this trick seems kind of rude, but i personally am a huge fan of it. do you have a book you’ve read or a movie you’ve seen that you don’t need anymore, give that away as a gift. people like to get things they know their friends/family likes.

do you like books? well, join this site, where you can swap books for free.

after you’ve done all of that, you’ll feel like this:
Skjermbilde 2014-11-26 kl. 22.11.01

i could give you more tips, like: make a shopping list and stick to it, repair your clothes instead of buying new ones and cut up your credit cards, but we all know that those things and they often don’t work.

how do you save money?

/fredrikke

travelogue: qpr vs nottingham forest

after a four day just-being-at-work break, i had to wake up early this saturday for my train to london. this first game started at 12.22 and my train left from stoke-on-trent at about 9 in the morning. when i arrived at stoke train station i’ve never seen so many people wanting to board a train, in my entire life (or in stoke at least), so i became quite pessimistic about getting a seat on this train, but i managed and my good mood for the day was saved! i was actually going to see:

Skjermbilde 2014-04-28 kl. 00.10.19 vsSkjermbilde 2014-04-28 kl. 00.10.33

getting to loftus road was harder then i expected though, these three weeks i’ve been groundhopping i’ve experienced that london as a city are very bad on doing road signs to where stadiums are placed. or maybe i should just start planning how to get places from the train station? i travelled from shepards market, which i read online was supposed to be the easiest way of getting there, i think not!

i was excited for this game because:
1. i’ve heard that nottingham forest is the only team that have one the champions cup twice, and are not playing in their top division, so they should be good!
2. i find qpr to be a bit weird, since they’ve had four different home shirt colours, before they decided to stick to the blue.
3. also, i’ve heard very different things about loftus road, people either hate it or love it. so i was excited to see it with my own eyes.

when i finally arrived at the stadium i felt that it was a bit small and tight, but the atmosphere was okay and i definitely had a good time. i would think that anywhere you sit in this stadium you would feel close to the pitch, which is always a good thing!

a photo that shows my view at loftus road:

Skjermbilde 2014-04-28 kl. 00.14.14

at half time it was time for reviewing some of the facilities:
1. food was mostly pies, but the hot dogs looked really, really nice.
2. toilets were okay, but i thought they were a bit tiny.
3. admission prices were actually quite expensive, this ticket was 30 pounds, which i think is a lot!
4. alcohol was quite expensive, but easy to get.
5. i sadly didn’t get a programme. i don’t know what happened here, but i think i just forgot, cause i knew i had one more game to go to this day.

yossi benayoun was the man of the match against nottingham forest, and here you see why:

the game was exciting, there were three goals in the last six minutes (!) and you can read the match report here. it ended 5-2, but i had to move on, cause i was going to see another game and had to run to another stadium.

/fredrikke

travelogue: everton vs arsenal

i had to wake up early on sunday. maybe too early after all the traveling from the day before. i had to book a taxi to the train station, cause i slept a bit too long (ops!), but i luckily i got to stoke train station in time to make my way to goodison park. this is a stadium with a lot of history. the game i was about to see was a crucial game, cause everton getting points would lead them closer to a forth place.

Image vs Skjermbilde 2014-04-12 kl. 00.52.37

when i came to the ground, it was filled with people dressed in blue, i was definitely in the right place. but i needed to find my friend, who had got my ticket. so i needed to get to the away end. after about a twenty minute wait, he showed up and i was relieved. there is no such thing as mobile coverage on a match day! so the best thing is to be prepared some days before.

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i walked around the stadium once more, before heading in for the game, so i could really get the feel of goodison park. it is a really great ground! i also do fancy a good scouse accent, so just walking around, listening to all the people talking about football on a match day, is not exactly the worst thing you can do on a sunday.

three facts about goodison park, which i find interesting are:
– it was the first major football stadium to be built in england.
– this is the place where wayne rooney grew to be the player he is now.
– they have a church (!) at the stadium, called st. lukes.

suddenly on my walk around the stadium, i discovered, amongst the brilliant the picture history wall, my friend, wayne rooney. of course, i had to stop and take a photo, and there is also an interesting fact at the bottom:

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i got in the stadium. found my place and stood amongst the arsenal fans, which was an experience of it’s own. they’re really dedicated after what has happened this past season.

at halftime i checked out the facilities:
1. food looked really good, they had some pies which i always find to look good, but the queue was too long.
2. bathrooms were okay, but it could have been a bit warmer.
3. admission prices were a bit expensive, but i would have excepted them to be at this game.
4. alcohol is almost impossible to get at half time almost anywhere, but the prices here were a bit stiff at about 4 pounds for 600 ml.
5. programmes are a bit too full of advertisement, but they have good information about players.

i probably do not need to tell you what happened it this game, but the match ended 3-0. if you want to read a proper match report, you’re welcome to, right here. after talking to some of the people in the seats next to me, it turned out we had friends in common and i joined them to the only place they felt right about going after the game, the pub (and hostel) king harry. it became a late afternoon of frustration and discussions about wenger.

the view from my seat:

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good luck in the FA cup today arsenal!

/fredrikke

travelogue: blackburn rovers vs ipswich town

after running to the train station from wigan, cause this game was on the same saturday. i was ready for another game at ewood park. this time i would have shorter time to make it to the stadium, but i went to the station mill hill, instead of blackburn, which is a tip, cause then it is shorter to walk. the stadium was placed in what i find to be a weird place, in between a mc donalds and tons of houses!?! but after finding the ticket office, and getting my ticket i was ready for:

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what i can say, is that i do not know a lot about ipswich town. but what i do know, is that blackburn rovers have had quite a lot of norwegians playing for them over the years, to mention some:
– henning berg.
– stig inge bjørnebye (heia start!)
– martin andresen.
and last but not least, morten gamst pedersen, who some might say is the one who has made the biggest career outside of football, by doing this commercial (sorry, no subtitles, but it is still enjoyable):

when half time came i checked out the facilities. the ground itself is quite nice, the supporter shop is impressive (i went there after the match to buy a programme). admission price was reasonable, i would expect a greater atmosphere for £20, but that depends on the match you go to, i guess. the food (or should i say hot dogs?) was not that great, but i guess if you like pies, this is the stadium for you to travel to.

a lonely ipswich player:

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if you want a match report, you will find one here. the atmosphere wasn’t as great as i’d expected it to be. i was even surprised as to how few ipswich supporters had shown up. there should have been more. where i was sitting i didn’t have the best view, cause of some poles, which also made the match less good.

you can see the view that i had over ewood park in this really short clip:
(which might help you to understand my frustration over the poles)

to prove the atmosphere isn’t the greatest here, half of the people at this match even left 15 minutes before the game ended, even though the home team was winning.

the match ended 2-0.

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have you ever been to ewood park?

/fredrikke

travelogue: wigan athletic vs leeds.

so i woke up pretty early on saturday, i had to prepare for my first trip this day, which was going to wigan and DW stadium. the match started at 12.15. i was really excited for this game, cause wigan is doing quite good, they’re in the FA cup semi-final and i’ve heard leeds supporters are known to be quite good.

i walked down to stoke train station to take the train to wigan. this took about one and a half hour. when i arrived, i didn’t know what to expect, cause what i heard is that wigan is the only team who’ve re-written a song specially for the FA cup SEMI FINAL. just sit down, relax, and enjoy:

but when i walked out of my train, wigan was actually nicer than i expected it to be. and walking to the stadium, was really, really easy. about 20 minutes from the train station, i just followed the excited leeds supporters.

and this is how the stadium looked in the horizon:

Skjermbilde 2014-04-10 kl. 23.37.07

the match was really exciting. if you want a match report, go here. i was excited to see jack butland (as he is on a loan to leeds from stoke city). and the leeds supporters were not quiet for a minute. they even brought flares, which were thrown on the pitch during the game. here is a short clip of the leeds fans, can you spot the flares?

at half-time i checked out the facilities. they have really good hot dogs here! so if you’re a fan of hot dogs, eat one and you would want to come back, just for them. i also had a lot of fun reading the programme. especially the children’s section who say the best thing about the latics is that they’re FA CUP champions.

this was the view from my seat:

Skjermbilde 2014-04-10 kl. 23.37.32

the match ended 1-0.

so good luck wigan against arsenal this saturday! you’ll (probably) need it. i am excited to see the result. who do you think will win the FA cup?

/fredrikke

Project: Groundhopping

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So, I’ve just come home from my 1st out of 25 matches in 5 weeks. I’m a bit tired, but it was definitely a good experience. (I’ll write a travelogue tomorrow when I come home from the two other games I’ve planned).

I want to tell you a bit about my project:

I’ve always been fascinated by football, and when I moved to Stoke-on-Trent the possibility for doing a project like this arose. So, I am planning to visit 25 different stadiums in the shortest possible amount of time, without it affecting my work. I am following the rules sent out by The Norwegian Supporters Union, you can read them here. I am planning to document it all, so if you’re planning to travel to a game in England (Midlands) soon, I would love to get in touch! My mail is: fredrikke.wongraven@gmail.com

My first game was Leicester v Sheffield Wednesday at King Power Stadium today which ended 2-1. You’ll hear more about it later if you follow me! And I’ve put up some pictures on Instagram already, so….

If you want to follow me “live”, you can follow me on my new Instagram-account here.

/Fredrikke

Photo: Screenshot, Google.

about: wayne rooney

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well, you can say i have a weird relationship with football. my favourite team is definitely stoke city. but then there is also one of my favourite players, wayne rooney. it is a bit like swearing in church having him as one of my favourite players. i’ve been so lucky to see him once this year and then stoke city even beat them (!). i’ve been wanting a rooney action figure since it came out in 2005, but haven’t had the courage to buy one yet. the picture above is enough (for now). he is england’s youngest ever goalscorer and even wenger once thought that he was the biggest talent in england.

why i love wayne rooney:
– his goals.
– his long shots.
– his ability to play almost anywhere on the field.
– his beautiful face.
– his reputation for being a bad boy.
– his profile on spotify.
– that in 2005 he was voted the second most famous person in the world after god in a survey of 2,500 under-ten-year-olds.

rooney just has something about him, even though he is known for being angry, he is the most booked player on england, with two red cards. he would definitely have a place on my dream team (i would like to see him as a goalie, but i will choose him as a striker). and that goal against west ham on saturday, that was something that did help me like him even more. if that is even possible!

who is your favourite player?

/fredrikke