Monthly Archive: January 2016

129

Before We Were Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods

Exactly nine years ago, I was on foodstamps and my husband-to-be was unemployed. I was living in Brooklyn, New York with two roommates in Crown Heights–a neighborhood that no one would describe as “safe” in 2006. Mr. Frugalwoods had just finished up a contract job in Kansas and was furiously applying for every position on the East Coast that he was even remotely qualified for (and a lot that he wasn’t qualified for at all). I was...

140

The Danger Of Comparison

We all have to live our own lives. It seems patently obvious to say this, but I find that I often measure my own successes/failures in relation to other people. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing unless I let it escalate to comparing in a way that makes me feel inadequate. Avoiding this comparison trap isn’t merely about feeling internally content with my decisions, it’s also about the environments in which I surround myself. Us vs. Them I think that,...

62

Why We Ignore The Stock Market And You Should Too: Demystifying Personal Finance Part 4

Apparently the stock market is doing terrible things right now. But I don’t care. Monitoring the market like Frugal Hound stalks squirrels is a patently useless waste of time, energy, and brain capacity (same for FH as she’s tethered to a leash and, uh, the squirrels are decidedly not). There’s simply nothing to gain by it. So while the rest of the world frets over the machinations of the market, I’m taking a different tack....

185

The Unexpected Circumstances of Babywoods’ Birth

Babywoods’ birth turned out to be rather surprising and unexpected–and not just because it was my first time having a baby. Remember that one time when I overshared about our challenges with getting pregnant? Well, get ready for another overshare of a similar variety. There are a number of topics that people shy away from discussing: money, infertility, greyhounds who fart, difficult births… you know, the usual slate of taboo subjects. Since I already write about...

44

You Can’t Frugalize What You Don’t Earn

I’ve always regarded my frugality as a means to afford the things I truly value. Being mindful of spending that doesn’t serve my priorities has been a critical part of enabling my life of passionate pursuit – specifically, my career as a professional actor. But what if what you value in and of itself isn’t very frugal? While Mr. Frugalwoods and I enjoy/attempt to survive our first few months as parents to our daughter, Babywoods,...

72

A Parking Ticket (And Other December 2015 Expenditures)

Our first month of parenthood–aka the last month of 2015–turned out to be abnormally, nay astonishingly, inexpensive. In fact, it was our cheapest month on record by far. But fear not we haven’t unlocked a new frugality potion, rather, this was due to several extenuating circumstances that all converged in December. How We Only Spent $453.70 In December That’s right, I said $453.70. Firstly, we did a fair amount of stocking up in the food and...

97

The Ultimate Guide To Frugal Diapering

While expecting my first child, I made a big mistake. I typed “cloth diapers” into a search engine, and thus unwittingly entered an emotionally charged feud between Cloth and Disposables. Apparently how I chose to separate my baby’s bum from his onesie was supposed to reveal my adequacy as a parent. So much seemed at stake: would my infant be poisoned by hidden toxins lurking in disposables? Would this simultaneously and permanently lower his immunity...

81

How NOT To Pursue Financial Independence

You wouldn’t think there’s a right or wrong way to pursue financial independence (FI), but I definitely did it wrong. Hopefully you can learn from my story and not make the same mistakes I did. While Mr. Frugalwoods and I enjoy/attempt to survive our first few months as parents to our daughter, Babywoods, I have a delightful slate of guest posts from my friends lined up for your reading pleasure. Today, please welcome the fabulous Mad...

96

How To Be Frugal: One Month At A Time

Thinking of making money-related New Year’s resolutions for 2016? Well, I’ll save you the hassle: don’t do it. I’m delighted to poke my head up from parental leave to issue a challenge for the new year, written with a Babywoods snuggled to my chest in her sling (which seems to be her preferred mode for writing blog posts). If your internet is anything like my internet, there are approximately 595,890 articles out right now about how to successfully save money...