Featured – Frugalwoods http://www.frugalwoods.com Financial independence and simple living Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:03:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.4 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.

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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!

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How Making Luxuries Rare Increases Our Happiness http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/07/14/how-making-luxuries-rare-increases-our-happiness/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/07/14/how-making-luxuries-rare-increases-our-happiness/#comments Fri, 14 Jul 2017 10:00:11 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=14615 How Making Luxuries Rare Increases Our Happiness

Going to Portland, Maine for three days to celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary last month was transcendentally idyllic. Mr. Frugalwoods and I strolled the streets hand in hand, popped into funky shops, and hopped from one culinary delight to the next (you know, beer, coffee, beer, coffee… ). My in-laws watched Babywoods and Frugal Hound for us, which meant we were completely removed from our typical daily responsibilities.

Usually while on vacation, I unpack our suitcase and hang everything up in the hotel closet (always requesting more than the two hangers they provide… ), fold socks in a drawer, and arrange our toiletries by size like so many toy soldiers on the bathroom counter. But this time? I did none of that. We lived like unrepentant bohemians, pulling clothes at random from a disheveled suitcase, munching on cheddar popcorn and Reese’s Pieces peanut butter cups I made us buy before getting to the hotel.

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The Best And Worst Moments Of Our First Year On The Homestead http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/06/28/the-best-and-worst-moments-of-our-first-year-on-the-homestead/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/06/28/the-best-and-worst-moments-of-our-first-year-on-the-homestead/#comments Wed, 28 Jun 2017 10:00:51 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=14397 The Best And Worst Moments Of Our First Year On The Homestead

We celebrated our first full year of life on our homestead in May! We left urban Cambridge, MA to chart a wholly different life out here on 66 acres in rural Vermont and the change this represents for us is nothing short of transformational, radical, and miraculous. Neither Mr. Frugalwoods nor I grew up–or ever lived–in a rural setting before moving here and so this year was one of constant learning and exploration (not to mention mistakes), a combination that suits us perfectly.

Why We’re Out Here

Mr. FW and I both crave adventure and diversity to our days and the opportunity to explore our land and uncover all the things we don’t know about homesteading invigorates us. One of the reasons we wanted to move out here is that after living in cities for ten years–NYC, Washington, DC, and Cambridge, MA twice–we felt tapped out. We were done with city life.

Continue reading The Best And Worst Moments Of Our First Year On The Homestead at Frugalwoods.

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How We’ve Enjoyed Nine Years Of Marriage With Frugality As The Backbone http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/06/21/how-weve-enjoyed-nine-years-of-marriage-with-frugality-as-the-backbone/ http://www.frugalwoods.com/2017/06/21/how-weve-enjoyed-nine-years-of-marriage-with-frugality-as-the-backbone/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:00:24 +0000 http://www.frugalwoods.com/?p=14261 How We’ve Enjoyed Nine Years Of Marriage With Frugality As The Backbone

Mr. Frugalwoods and I celebrate nine years of marriage this month. We got married young–at 24–and reflecting back on the people we were when we met at age 19 during our second semester of our freshman year of college, I realize we’re quite different now. The languid unfurling of maturation that awaited us at 19 was a mystery as are the years yet to come. The key for us, and the reason we’ve stayed married and deepened our relationship, is that we’ve changed together.

We’ve aged, matured (hopefully), and charted new iterations of ourselves as a team. One of the aspects of our shared life that’s brought us closest, and enhanced our connection most profoundly, is our frugality. And I’m not just saying that because this is a place where I write about frugality. This is a place where I write about my life, and frugality is a central, pivotal aspect of my worldview.

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