Featured – Frugalwoods http://www.frugalwoods.com Financial independence and simple living Tue, 18 Dec 2018 15:26:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.9 Why We Went Solar: The Economics, The Environment, and The Energy Produced http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/11/01/why-we-went-solar-the-economics-the-environment-and-the-energy-produced/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/11/01/why-we-went-solar-the-economics-the-environment-and-the-energy-produced/#comments Thu, 01 Nov 2018 10:00:40 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=18551 Why We Went Solar: The Economics, The Environment, and The Energy Produced

This is the post you’ve all been waiting for. This is the answer to your prayers and the deliverer of miracles. That’s right, I’m finally writing about our solar panels. I know you’re thrilled. Actually, I think ten of you are, in fact, thrilled and the rest of you will read along just to see hot panel pics. I know I would.

As everyone in the world knows (or at least, everyone who follows along with Frugalwoods on Instagram), we decided to have solar panels installed on our barn roof last November. I admit this date to you and I admit it took me a year to write this post. I’m an embarrassment to my profession. I mean seriously… I could list my excuses, but I won’t. Ok actually I will: I had a baby, I have a toddler, we run a homestead (“run” is too intense a word, “limp along” might be more appropriate), and I published my first book!

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How A Diagnosis Of Postpartum Depression Changed My Life http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/09/07/how-a-diagnosis-of-postpartum-depression-changed-my-life/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/09/07/how-a-diagnosis-of-postpartum-depression-changed-my-life/#comments Fri, 07 Sep 2018 10:00:24 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=18553 How A Diagnosis Of Postpartum Depression Changed My Life

I didn’t plan on being diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. It wasn’t part of my birth prep list or on my radar in a significant way. It was something that happened to other people, not something that I should worry about. And yet.

Littlewoods’ Birth

Our second daughter (dubbed Littlewoods) was born in February 2018 and the birth itself was amazing. Perfection. Ideal. Longtime readers know that our first daughter (Babywoods, who is now almost three!!!!) was born via emergency c-section following a terrifying discovery of cord prolapse during labor. I was whisked into the operating room and Babywoods was out in under seven minutes. Thanks to the fast response of our nurses and doctors, our daughter was born perfectly healthy and, after a week-long stay in the NICU, came home with us and a clean bill of health. After this first birth experience, and the incredible pain and difficulty I experienced in recovering from the c-section, I had high hopes for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) for baby #2.

Continue reading How A Diagnosis Of Postpartum Depression Changed My Life at Frugalwoods.

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Musings On Hot Mess Motherhood http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/07/27/musings-on-hot-mess-motherhood/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/07/27/musings-on-hot-mess-motherhood/#comments Fri, 27 Jul 2018 10:00:56 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=18120 Musings On Hot Mess Motherhood

People think I have it all together. The only reason I know this is because a lot of people email me saying, “wow, you really have it all together.” I close those emails immediately and never respond because: 1) my email inbox is a horror show of un-replied-to messages; and 2) I don’t know how to explain to these well-meaning strangers that I in no way have it all together. Mostly I am a mess and I spend my days trying to get through them with sporadic bursts of creativity in the form of writing or, as it happens right now, making gigantic sandwiches from excavated refrigerator remnants.

When you write about your life, as I do, there’s a tremendous temptation to make oneself look good. Most of us, after all, would prefer not to look like disorganized morons–speaking for myself here (although I did show you guys that before photo of my atrocious basement… ).

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I Look Like Somebody’s Mom. Probably Because I Am. And I’m OK With That. http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/04/30/i-look-like-somebodys-mom-probably-because-i-am-and-im-ok-with-that/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/04/30/i-look-like-somebodys-mom-probably-because-i-am-and-im-ok-with-that/#comments Mon, 30 Apr 2018 10:00:32 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=17419 I Look Like Somebody’s Mom. Probably Because I Am. And I’m OK With That.

Parenting often feels like walking through water with all of my clothes on. Everything is damp, I’m moving more slowly than I ever thought possible, I’m more exhausted than I ever have been, and I just can’t seem to get anywhere, let alone to my destination. Come to think of it, I’ve completely forgotten what my destination even was to begin with. I’ve gone hours before having the chance to go to the bathroom. Days without a drink of water (ok, probably like 30 minutes, but I get dehydrated quickly) and I recently went nine months without wine.

It’s not easy to parent small people and it’s even harder to parent two small people. I think many of us have a tendency, or a desire perhaps, to paper over the challenges of raising kids. To focus only on the highs, of which there are many. But acknowledging the challenges doesn’t diminish the wonders.

Continue reading I Look Like Somebody’s Mom. Probably Because I Am. And I’m OK With That. at Frugalwoods.

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Leveraging The Power Of Time Constraint To Get More Done http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/03/21/leveraging-the-power-of-time-constraint-to-get-more-done/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2018/03/21/leveraging-the-power-of-time-constraint-to-get-more-done/#comments Wed, 21 Mar 2018 10:00:19 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=16863 Leveraging The Power Of Time Constraint To Get More Done

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of less lately. Living on less money was the origin point of this reflection and it’s where I began my journey. I learned how to live on less money and how to thrive as a result. It’s sheer liberation to live on less money (a concept I riff on all the time around here), and it leads you to financial stability, independence, and ultimately total freedom from worrying about money.

After coming to this realization a few years ago, I began to apply these same principles–of wanting less, of needing less, of being truly content with less–to other areas of my life. I recently wrote about my latest foray into the minimalism of my stuff when I did a whole-house de-cluttering project, which resulted in me getting rid of a bunch of unneeded stuff and, as a result, reducing my stress level.

Continue reading Leveraging The Power Of Time Constraint To Get More Done at Frugalwoods.

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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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