Frugalwoods

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This Month On The Homestead: Carrots, Sunflowers, Tomatoes, and Sugar Wood

August 2020 This month on the homestead, last month on the homestead, any month before that… it’s all running together in a stream of continuous, monochromatic green. Nevertheless, I’m thankful to be here, grateful for this space for my children to roam, not to mention I can go outside and scream into the void anytime I want. For example. August is abundance month, the final burst of life before we turn inward for a fall...

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Educational Posters And Other August 2020 Expenditures

I dub August “leaning into the pandemic.” No longer in denial, no longer hoping for a swift conclusion, no longer deluding myself that school and daycare will resume anytime soon, I am leaning in baby. Leaning In Actually Looks Really Boring. Sorry About That. Me leaning in primarily manifests as really, really boring expenses, but since you’re already reading this, I’ll do my best: 1) Educational Posters. In acknowledgment of our new role as “homeschoolers,”...

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Reader Case Study: Making It Work on a Small Salary in a High Cost of Living City

Zaria lives in Seattle, WA where she advises students and leads a graduate program at a local university. She’s done tremendous work over the years to pay off her debt, build up her savings and retirement investments, and create a frugal, sustainable, outdoorsy lifestyle. Now, at 52, she’s looking to the future and would like our help crafting long-term plans as well as assistance navigating our increasingly tech-dependent world (computer nerds, your help is needed...

83

This Month On The Homestead: In The Garden, Picking Berries, Preserving Beans

July 2020 July is the month we settle into our summer routine. July is when we think the warmth and abundance will stretch into an infinite calendar. We forget about things like cars stuck in snowdrifts. July is intoxicating with its allure of an endless supply of cucumbers. So intoxicating that I almost give away our winter coats. This July especially, as we remain isolated and socially distanced, we are on our land, in our...

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Reader Case Study: Operation Financial and Location Independence!

Tara and Squash live on the West Coast and are about five years away from reaching financial independence. They would like our help crafting a contingency plan in case one (or both) of them loses their job in light of the pandemic and recession. What’s a Reader Case Study? Case Studies address financial and life dilemmas that readers of Frugalwoods send to me requesting advice. Then, we (that’d be me and YOU, dear reader) read...

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Washable Markers And Other July 2020 Expenditures

Buying Household Supplies In The Time Of A Pandemic We’ve started ordering all of our household supplies online to limit our exposure to stores. Unfortunately, this seems to be more expensive due to the lack of generic options online. In non-pandemic times, we buy the generic Walmart brand of almost all household supplies, but the generics aren’t always (or ever) available online, so we’ve had to buy name brand laundry detergent, baby wash, floss, hand...

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This Month On The Homestead: Who Wore It Best? Plus a Fire Pit and Some Radishes

June 2020 The first of the first comes ripe in June and oh how we feast. Or rather, oh how the kids feast. If anything actually makes it inside, it’s a summer miracle. Here’s what the girls ate straight from the garden in June: Snap peas!!! Ya’ll, I am on fire with this garden. I mean, on water? To be clear, fire is not ideal for a garden. I’ve been babying our pea pods for...

70

Binoculars And Other June 2020 Expenditures

I can feel the pandemic vibes coming through in last month’s spending. Notable is the line item “Beer, marshmallows, graham crackers, and Cheetos.” I regret nothing. The Truck This month’s “more expensive than our mortgage” award goes to our 2010 Toyota Tundra truck. A dubious honor, to be sure. The truck needed a lot of mechanic-related intervention, including: new rotors, calipers, a state inspection, an oil change and an ABS diagnosis. Cool. The upside is...

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Reader Case Study: Canadian Family Plans For The Future (and yes, hockey is involved)

Beth and Brad live north of Toronto, Ontario with their young daughter and old cat. With retirement 15 years away for Brad, the family wants to better prepare and get a handle on their approach to money. Brad and Beth were a money mismatch from the start, but after 14 years of marriage, they’ve been able to find a path forward together. Unrelated Update: I’m doing a Facebook Live thing tomorrow with Brad from ChooseFI....

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This Month On The Homestead: The Full Garden Rundown Including Building Raised Beds

May = Plants-In-The-Ground The vegetables we started from seed back in February were booted from the warmth of the kitchen into the wilds of the garden. For weeks, we took our plant starts outside for field trips to feel the breeze and learn about the sun. Finally, in mid-May, we nestled each nascent veggie into hand-dug reservoirs of fine dirt (except for the ones the kids planted, which were jammed into the soil with negligent...