Frugalwoods

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Littlewoods’ 3rd Birthday and Other February 2021 Expenses

Evidently February is a short and boring month. We didn’t buy anything interesting or story-worthy or unusual. So instead of talking about what we DID buy, I’ll talk about what we didn’t buy. Littlewoods’ Birthday Littlewoods, so named as the littlest Frugalwood, turned three in February! And what you won’t find on my expense report are birthday presents and decorations and a cake. Before you decry that we forgot to fete our poor little niblet,...

37

Reader Suggestions for a Wallet and COVID-safe Valentine’s Day

I am not usually a Valentine’s Day type of person. It’s a commercialized, chintzy, kinda made-up holiday. I even once wrote a screed on why it’s dumb: A Frugal Weirdo’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Manifesto. But let me tell you, this year, I am ON BOARD. Sign me up for ALL the tacky holidays. Frugalwoods reader Barbara summed it up perfectly: Mostly, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. But with the pandemic, I feel the need to celebrate...

62

This Month On The Homestead: Pancakes, Snow and Tractor Stuff

December 2020 Christmas at home and online, daily hikes, snowshoeing, baking cookies, fires burning in the wood stove and wrestling children into snowsuits. These are a few of our December things. And Bernie’s visit to the Glamour Shed. Pandemic “Homeschool” Continues My ‘give them real jobs’ approach to “homeschooling” continues with countertop wiping, laundry folding, egg scrambling, dishwasher loading, vacuuming, sweeping and… scribbling on any important paperwork they happen to find. All day long Littlewoods...

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Reader Case Study: Young Professionals Plan for a Wedding, Gender Confirmation Surgery and Financial Independence

June and Daniel are young professionals living the DINK (dual income; no kids) life in Chicago. While they’re grateful for the higher salaries the city offers, they’re not loving the urban hustle. They have a number of near-terms goals, including celebrating their wedding, gender confirmation surgery for Daniel, buying their own home and eventually, achieving financial independence. But given the pandemic and their uncertainty about staying in Chicago, they’re not sure when any of these...

79

Dryer Parts And Other December 2020 Expenses

The FINAL month of 2020 was one of gift-buying, food-buying, and tractor repair parts-buying. Also dryer parts. Plus liquor. And some beer. According to our expenses, we were either: a) giving gifts; b) eating and drinking; and/or c) repairing stuff. Sounds about right. A Festive At-Home Christmas We celebrated a quiet, lovely little Christmas at home with just us four. It was sweet, inexpensive and un-stressful. We might do this every year. Our church held...

19

The Uber Frugal Month Starts Today (and you can still sign-up!)

It’s 2021, baby!!! 2020–that miscreant of a year–is gone. Today we begin the brave new adventure of a wholly transformed life. JK. Life looks exactly the same. BUT, you can start the year off right with the Uber Frugal Month Group Challenge. If you sign-up today (by 11:59pm EST on Friday, January 1, 2021), you’ll be part of the infamous UFM Group Challenge. What makes it a group? Because I SAY it’s a group. Actually,...

40

Merry Pandemic Holidays! How We’re Celebrating, How Readers are Celebrating

Merry Pandemic Holidays!!!! We’re ready to celebrate how much we love our families by…. not seeing them!!! This holiday season will be different, but no less merry and jolly. Primarily I will achieve this by making as many desserts as I’d make if we were hosting 15 people. Since there are four of us x 1 pandemic x no childcare for 9 months, I feel the math is going to work out well. Also, going to...

22

The Uber Frugal Month is BACK!

You might’ve thought I forgot about the Uber Frugal Month and that would be totally justified because I DID forget about it in July. But NEVER AGAIN. You frugal mavens aren’t going to ring in 2021 alone–you’re going to do it WITH MEEEEEEE and thousands of other Uberly Frugal folks. The Uber Frugal Month is a thing I made up back in 2016 that has since become world-famous. Ok, slow down there, Mrs. Frugalwoods, let’s...

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Reader Case Study: Mustang-Driving Journalist Looks to the Future

Nici lives on the West Coast with her cat and works as a journalist. She loves her job–and her 20-year-old Mustang–but doesn’t make a lot of money. She prefers renting an apartment over owning a house, but is concerned about future rent increases and what they might do to her retirement plans. She’d like our help today assessing her financial position as well as our advice on whether or not it’s time to put her...

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Christmas Lights, Lightbulbs, a Headlamp and other November 2020 Expenses

Let there be LIGHT!!!! I’ve surrendered all restraint and decorum with regard to Christmas decorations. This year, we are lit. It’s dark, it’s cold, there’s nowhere to go and so I transformed the interior of our house into a beacon of light/some might call it tacky. Up to this point, we’ve used hand-me-down and garage-sale-purchased strands of Christmas lights which, while cheap at the outset, were not cheap from an energy use perspective. This year,...