Frugalwoods

90

How We Bought Inexpensive, Awesome Glasses Online

Mr. Frugalwoods needed glasses. After years of competing over who could discern distant signs on roadtrips first, age finally caught up with my mountain/computer man. Both of his vocations–software engineering and forestry management/homesteading–require the ability to see clearly. As does, you know, life in general. Last year he started getting headaches and complained of blurry vision and so, the time had come. I sent him to the eye doctor. Verdict: his vision isn’t terrible, but it’s...

80

Why Be Frugal? One Word: Options.

Frugality gives you options. I’ve long thought this and I’ve seen it come to fruition in my own life many times. I figured I couldn’t be the only one so I polled our amazing Frugalwoods Facebook group to find out exactly what options frugality has facilitated for all of you fine frugal people. Turns out? Quite a few of you had stories to share and we’ll get to them in a moment. But first, I feel the need...

115

Why We Buy Used Cars And You Should Too

Buying a brand new car has to be one of the worst financial decisions a person can make. I’ve said this before and I continue to harp, even though I know it sounds a tad… oh what’s the word… hardline? Crazy? Like a frugal evangelist? Nevertheless, I persist because it’s one of those purchasing decisions with the power to impact your longterm financial health in a profoundly negative way. My past harping on this topic is enshrined in...

174

Reader Case Study: Can We Buy Our Dream Home?

Welcome to this month’s Reader Case Study in which we’ll address Jack and Elizabeth’s question of whether or not to buy their dream home. Case studies are financial dilemmas that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in. Then, Frugalwoods nation (that’d be you), reads through their situation and provides advice, encouragement, insight, and feedback in the comments section. For an example, check out last month’s case study. P.S. Another way to get support on your financial...

34

This Month On The Homestead: Town Meeting, Apple Tree Pruning, and a Pancake Supper

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments). Check out last month’s installment here. March in Vermont started off with a tease of spring. From the bay window in our living...

76

Vegetable Garden Seeds And Other March 2017 Expenditures

While snow storms raged outside all March, inside we planted the seeds for this summer’s vegetable garden. In a cold climate like Vermont (we’re in plant hardiness zone 4 for all you gardening aficionados), it’s necessary to start growing vegetables from seeds indoors. The reason for this is that it won’t be warm enough for a long enough period of time for the veggies to ripen if they’re planted outside. It’ll be too cold too late in the...

121

Moving? Wait Before You Renovate

Moving into a new house is surrounded by as much consumer fanfare as a new baby. There’s a temptation–and a goading by the likes of HGTV–to buy all new furniture, renovate immediately, and deck every wall in a trendy palette. But this urgent wish for everything to be precisely perfect is detrimental to both budgets and longterm planning. Hard as it might be, the frugal route is to bide your time. Impose A Waiting Period Before we...

170

Reader Case Study: The Grad School Dilemma

Welcome to this month’s Reader Case Study in which we’ll address Emily’s question of where to attend graduate school. Case studies are financial dilemmas that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in. Then, Frugalwoods nation (that’d be you), reads through their situation and provides advice, encouragement, insight, and feedback in the comments section. For an example, check out a previous Case Study. P.S. Another way to support each other on our financial journeys is by participating in...

84

How Barter and Trade Enhances Frugality and Community

Barter and trade is not dead! I’ve long touted this unconventional system as a fabulous way to circumvent paying for services, but I’ve sensed hesitancy to dive in from many of you. And so, today I bring you tales of other people (not just weirdo me!) utilizing the ethos of barter and trade for everything from free dance classes to haircuts to childcare. I posed the question to our Frugalwoods Facebook group–something I do periodically (last month’s query...

62

Tractor Filters And Other February 2017 Expenditures

February was a rather inexpensive month, by which I mean you can tell we spent most of the month either sick or clearing snow, or both at the same time. It was a simple month–comprised mostly of flu followed by croup followed by bronchitis followed by a double ear infection–but as I shared last week, it wasn’t without its sweet moments. And in between coughing fits, I was interviewed on this podcast, which was a...