Featured – Frugalwoods http://www.frugalwoods.com Financial independence and simple living Wed, 21 Mar 2018 10:00:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 City vs. Country: Which Is Cheaper? The Ultimate Cost Of Living Showdown http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/29/city-vs-country-which-is-cheaper-the-ultimate-cost-of-living-showdown/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/29/city-vs-country-which-is-cheaper-the-ultimate-cost-of-living-showdown/#comments Mon, 29 Jan 2018 11:00:43 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15969 City vs. Country: Which Is Cheaper? The Ultimate Cost Of Living Showdown

“It must be so much cheaper for you to live in the country!” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this in the year and a half since Mr. Frugalwoods, Babywoods, and I made the move from ultra-urban Cambridge, MA to ultra-rural central Vermont. The thing is, it’s not true. Or at least, it’s not entirely true and it’s not true yet.

Why Did We Move To The Woods?

We didn’t make this move in order to save money and we didn’t make this move in pursuit of a lower cost of living. We moved out here to our 66-acre homestead because we wanted to. Because we wanted a slower pace of life, a life surrounded by nature, and the time and the space to pursue our hobbies and interests.

It’s our supposition that–in the long run–living rurally will be less expensive than living smack in the middle of a city, but there’s a long, slow slog of start-up costs before any savings can be realized.

Continue reading City vs. Country: Which Is Cheaper? The Ultimate Cost Of Living Showdown at Frugalwoods.

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How Decluttering Saves Me Money, Time, And Stress http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/17/how-decluttering-saves-me-money-time-and-stress/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/01/17/how-decluttering-saves-me-money-time-and-stress/#comments Wed, 17 Jan 2018 11:00:16 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16403 How Decluttering Saves Me Money, Time, And Stress

I reorganized our house. And by “reorganized,” I mean I went through every single closet, drawer, cabinet, and shelf, and every single t-shirt, shampoo bottle, and Christmas decoration that we own. And by “house,” I mean all of it: from the front hall to the basement to the new baby’s room, I systematically deconstructed every single inch of our living space. Even the guest bathroom, which, as it turned out, was harboring a most random panoply of unused toiletries, a humidifier, and a hairdryer I’d forgotten I owned.

This entire process took me an embarrassingly long stretch of time–I didn’t keep close track, but I’d say four or five months. Of course my work wasn’t constant, but rather, as all my work is, sporadic and crammed into naptime and preschool time and the ten minutes I can grab at any given moment during my hectically joyful days of parenting a two-year-old, being pregnant, managing a homestead, launching my book, and writing Frugalwoods.

Continue reading How Decluttering Saves Me Money, Time, And Stress at Frugalwoods.

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How We Donate To Charities Like Billionaires http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/12/20/how-we-donate-to-charities-like-billionaires/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/12/20/how-we-donate-to-charities-like-billionaires/#comments Wed, 20 Dec 2017 11:00:04 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16152 How We Donate To Charities Like Billionaires

Think strategic philanthropy is just for billionaires? Heck no! It’s for everyone who gives away money. We’re all some strategic bosses with our spending, savings, and investments–charitable giving is absolutely no different. Today we’re going to discuss opportunities to maximize your philanthropic impact, support charities you believe in, and ultimately, make wise financial decisions that’ll benefit others–in other words, how to donate like a billionaire! What could be better? Cookies maybe, although I did eat a lot of cookies while writing this, so maybe that brings it full circle?

Philanthropic giving is something Mr. Frugalwoods and I consider central to our philosophy on money and one reason why we feel called to manage our finances so prudently. Plus, before becoming a full-time writer, I worked for ten years as a fundraiser for a number of different nonprofit organizations in Cambridge, MA, New York, NY, and Washington, DC.

Suffice it to say, between raising money for charities and now writing about money for a living, I think about charitable giving a lot!

Continue reading How We Donate To Charities Like Billionaires at Frugalwoods.

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How I Figured Out What I Want To Do With My Life (And How You Can Too!) http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/11/03/how-i-figured-out-what-i-want-to-do-with-my-life-and-how-you-can-too/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/11/03/how-i-figured-out-what-i-want-to-do-with-my-life-and-how-you-can-too/#comments Fri, 03 Nov 2017 10:00:22 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15588 How I Figured Out What I Want To Do With My Life (And How You Can Too!)

I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life for a long time. A very long time, in fact. I worked for a decade in a career that I thought was my calling, only to realize after about eight of those ten years that I’d made the wrong choice. Whoops. I didn’t dislike the work I did as a communications and fundraising manager at nonprofit organizations, but I very much disliked the schedule and routine of working in a cubicle for pre-ordained hours every week.

Plus, I learned I’m happier working on my own for myself and on my own projects. But I didn’t start out knowing this. I went through a winding journey of spending money, changing jobs, and moving no less than five times in ten years to finally figure out what I wanted to do with my life.

One of the pivotal aspects of successful extreme frugality—which is what I practice and preach—is knowing what you want out of life and committing to that vision with ferocity.

Continue reading How I Figured Out What I Want To Do With My Life (And How You Can Too!) at Frugalwoods.

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Announcing My Book, “Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living” http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/10/16/announcing-my-book-meet-the-frugalwoods-achieving-financial-independence-through-simple-living/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/10/16/announcing-my-book-meet-the-frugalwoods-achieving-financial-independence-through-simple-living/#comments Mon, 16 Oct 2017 10:00:50 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15226 Announcing My Book, “Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living”

I wrote a book! In keeping with my theme lately of not burying the lead, I figured I’d just go ahead and get it out there. I’m thrilled to finally share this news because my book has been a long time coming. I started this journey when I was pregnant with Babywoods 1 and the book will publish after Babywoods 2 is born! And what a wonderful journey it has been.

Writing is my passion, it’s one of the things that brings profound happiness into my life, and I feel unendingly grateful that I get to do it for a living. I’ve always–truly, always–wanted to write a book and the fact that it finally happened is the realization of a major life goal and a childhood dream. Doesn’t hurt that it’s on my very favorite topic: frugality and financial independence! The book is called Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living and it’ll be published by HarperCollins on March 6, 2018.

Continue reading Announcing My Book, “Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living” at Frugalwoods.

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How To Be Frugal With Your Time, Not Just Your Money http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/29/how-to-be-frugal-with-your-time-not-just-your-money/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/29/how-to-be-frugal-with-your-time-not-just-your-money/#comments Fri, 29 Sep 2017 10:00:59 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15210 How To Be Frugal With Your Time, Not Just Your Money

What do you do with your time? The most common topic of conversation here on Frugalwoods is “what do you do with your money?” but I posit that how you use your time is directly correlated with how you use your money. In my opinion and experience, time and money are our two greatest resources and the resources with the power to impact every single facet of our lives. I’ve heard folks say that their health, their family, their children, or their pets are their greatest resources, but I think that all of those wonderful elements of life aren’t resources; rather, they’re the products of how we use our resources–namely, our time and our money.

The number one reason why Mr. Frugalwoods and I wanted to achieve financial independence and move out here to our homestead was to control how we use our time.

Continue reading How To Be Frugal With Your Time, Not Just Your Money at Frugalwoods.

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Why I (Mostly) Disagree With Buy It For Life http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/25/why-i-mostly-disagree-with-buy-it-for-life/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/25/why-i-mostly-disagree-with-buy-it-for-life/#comments Mon, 25 Sep 2017 10:00:41 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15156 Why I (Mostly) Disagree With Buy It For Life

There’s an expensive, pseudo-frugal trend floating around out there referred to as “Buy It For Life” (BIFL). The idea behind this proclamation is that you should buy expensive, high quality products for everything you need–from hair dryers to frying pans to bookshelves–and then never buy that item again. Ever. For the rest of your life. As a devoted non-shopper, I like this concept in theory, but I also have a sneaking suspicion that I’m catching the oh-so-elusive scent of a falsely frugal rat. Methinks BIFL might be good in some instances but not all.

Don’t Start With Buy It for Life

My first objection to Buy It For Life: it encourages you to overspend on high-end products when you can get ‘good enough’ products at vastly cheaper prices.

What I propose is a slight modification to this catchy phrase. Instead of the quippy “Buy It For Life,” I propose the equivocation, “Maybe Buy It For Life, But Not Immediately.” Good, huh?

Continue reading Why I (Mostly) Disagree With Buy It For Life at Frugalwoods.

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How I Remain Frugal While Pregnant (!!!) http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/18/how-i-remain-frugal-while-pregnant/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/09/18/how-i-remain-frugal-while-pregnant/#comments Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:00:04 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=15102 How I Remain Frugal While Pregnant (!!!)

We’re expecting baby #2! I decided to buck my customary tendency and, for once in my life, not bury the lead. Due in mid-February, baby #2 will make Babywoods a big sister and poor Frugal Hound a big sister times two. In fine frugal fashion, Mr. Frugalwoods and I are both thrilled that we’re having another girl because we already have all the clothes! Hooray for hand-me-down-down-down-downs… oh yes, many of our baby clothes are on their fifth baby (at least) and still going strong.

Quick administrative note: as longtime readers know, our first daughter has always been called Babywoods. She will now be Babywoods 1 and her little sister will be known as Babywoods 2. Look, I never said I was a genius at naming conventions…

As I’m quickly discovering is the case when you’re pregnant and also have an exuberant 22-month-old, a thriving online business, a striving homestead, and an elderly greyhound, things do not always get done quite on time.

Continue reading How I Remain Frugal While Pregnant (!!!) at Frugalwoods.

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There’s No Perfect Time To Start Being Frugal http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/07/31/theres-no-perfect-time-to-start-being-frugal/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/07/31/theres-no-perfect-time-to-start-being-frugal/#comments Mon, 31 Jul 2017 10:00:41 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=14744 There’s No Perfect Time To Start Being Frugal

There’s no perfect time to start being frugal. Come to think of it, there’s no perfect time to start doing anything! Life, by its very definition and practice, is messy, imperfect, laden with surprises both quotidian and profound, and undeniably averse to our best laid plans. And that, my friends, is perfectly fine.

Frugality doesn’t magically descend upon your life in a crystal moment of divine, idyllic proportion where everything on your to-do list is complete, all of your children (and pets and partners and roommates) are behaving graciously with excellent manners, and you look like a super model chiseled from stone.

No, I’m sorry to say, that’s not how it works. Rather, frugality infuses into your imperfect, normal life at the precise moment that you decide to allow it to happen. You could spend years–YEARS, I tell you–waiting for an ephemeral, non-existent moment of perfection to commence your frugality journey.

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Frugal Minimalism: Do Less, Buy Less, Worry Less, Live More http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/07/27/frugal-minimalism-do-less-buy-less-worry-less-live-more/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/07/27/frugal-minimalism-do-less-buy-less-worry-less-live-more/#comments Thu, 27 Jul 2017 10:00:44 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=12073 Frugal Minimalism: Do Less, Buy Less, Worry Less, Live More

I’m currently engaged in what can only be described as a battle with our basement. When we moved to our homestead last May, we established a mentality and practice of minimalism in our home. Mr. Frugalwoods and I eliminated just about every object that we don’t actively use on a daily basis. As we unpacked, we only removed things from boxes that we find ourselves in need of regularly. And I wish–fervently, in fact–that I could take my own advice and establish a practice of minimalism throughout my entire house (ahem, including the basement… ), but that has yet to come to fruition.

Having Only What We Need

What didn’t we unpack? Here’s an example: throw pillows. Back in Cambridge, I had this elaborate array of throw pillows on our bed that I had to take off every night and reapply every morning after waking. What a waste of time!

Continue reading Frugal Minimalism: Do Less, Buy Less, Worry Less, Live More at Frugalwoods.

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