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Opening up a new world of possibilities by living lean. Why I created

By Brad Beckstrom

You hear the word “lean” in business a lot. Writers talk about the lean startup. Optimal, minimal, hyper efficient strategies for getting a business to run like a well oiled machine. Big companies are in this game as well. Workers are asked to do more with less. In many cases, a lot more with a lot less. Fewer resources, fewer coworkers, “re-defined” compensation and benefit plans.

We tend to jump right in, even with a few of our own ideas to make things run just a little leaner.  If we save enough money for the company, this could impact bonuses at the end of the year. We later realize that bonuses being impacted when lofty goals are missed is not always a good thing. I remember a recent car commercial, where an enlightened Mazda driver was now so confident in his epicness that he had no problem leaving his office at 5:15 PM. His co-workers stared in shock as he’s confidently strolled out the door, flipping his jacket over his shoulder. Coworkers wonder, what’s his secret? Apparently his new Mazda has made him confident enough to leave work on time. Actually, he may be headed to a second job to pay for it all.  Maybe he just wants to get a jump on his one-hour commute. In the ad we’re not privy to that part of the story.

The Living Lean Philosophy

Let’s put a positive spin on this. Maybe this guy knows about living lean. Possibly he had come across studies that show the peak of productivity comes in at just under 40 hours a week.   Maybe he just convinced his boss that he should ditch the commute altogether, save the company some money and get more done working from home, especially once you add in the time he’ll save not commuting.  With this extra time, an entire new world of possibilities will open up to him.

If he’s smart, he will spend that newfound freedom, that extra time, exploring a living lean philosophy versus just putting in some extra work.

What is living lean? Read more…

The Frug Manifesto

My name is Brad and I write about Living Lean, Working Lean and Traveling Lean. I recently shared  “finding your why by creating a personal manifesto”. In the process I created this manifesto for I guess you could think of it as a giant tag cloud that includes many of the things I write about. If this looks good to you please join my email list for a lean serving of about 1 post a week.


the frug manifesto

Declaration of War on Stuff



Origin of the Frug


Origin of The Frug
by Brad Beckstrom

I was given the nickname “The Frug” by my beautiful wife Kelly. She has a blog, from here on out “SuperK” as that’s how lazy of a typist I am. She writes about celebrities, makeup, and fashion. Sometimes she uses her blog to complain about me and my frugal ways! (when I am merely trying to dissuade her from spending our kids’ college education funds at Target, Nordstrom,and Sephora!)

I think she’s got at least 100 blog posts that mention “The Frug.” Anyway, I thought, “why do I deserve this nickname?” By all appearances, we are certainly not that frugal. In fact, I believe we spend more than most families on what I call “family T&E” or as SuperK calls it “Family Fun Time.” (I think she is being sarcastic, but what do I know?) It’s our biggest budget item. This blog is mostly about our journey from spending on “stuff” to spending on adventures.

Regardless, the name stuck so I decided to really start living it. A few years ago, I registered the domain name “” but never got around to starting the blog as I was too busy dealing with, you guessed it, “stuff.” I think when most people hear the word frugal they think of a penny-pinching coupon clipping recluse. I’d like to redefine the term.

Let’s start with the Wikipedia definition of frugality:

Frugality is the quality of being frugal, sparing, thrifty, prudent or economical in the use of consumable resources such as food, time or money, and avoiding waste, lavishness or extravagance.

I like to think of it this way Frugality = Less and Less = More. So this blog is really about enjoying life more by consuming less. Especially less stuff.

The formula is pretty simple, by consuming less we free up time and money to spend on life’s experiences, instead of stuff. And if we can develop lean spending habits for travel, for work, and for life in general, everyone benefits. I’ve been working on this for years and I want to encourage people to join me in the War on Stuff . I also want to share everything I’ve learned in my long journey towards a lean lifestyle.

So, what am I going to be talking about? Mostly, this blog will be about improving your personal economy and enjoyment of life through living lean, working lean and traveling lean. Many personal finance blogs spend a lot of time focused on the economy, the stock market and the general insanity of the day-to-day world of finance. That’s not for us. We know we have no control over that and most of the advice is contradictory or flat out wrong.

My goal is to guide you towards financial independence so you can be free from worrying about the news, the market and your 401K balance.

Let’s get started.