Frugalwoods

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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...

70

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...

17

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,...

111

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...

43

These Two Months On The Homestead: Halloween, Thanksgiving and of course, Wood Stacking

October AND November 2020 Oh yes, you get a double dose of homesteading because I neglected/forgot to write this up last month. But who even noticed?! It’s a pandemic! We had an election! This Month On The Homestead‘s timeliness does not rate. Fall in Vermont blows in with intention. No balmy leaf-crunchers here, fall is a rapid descent to winter. In a year that’s felt like a decade, November alone spanned several years. Wood Stacking:...

87

Reader Case Study: Furloughed Behavioral Therapists Wait Out The Pandemic

Anne and her husband Michael live in rural Colorado where, until the pandemic, they worked as behavioral therapists for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Now, they’re on voluntary unpaid furlough and requesting our help deciding what to do next. They recently sold their behavioral therapy practice, have a five-acre homestead with dogs and farm animals and are wondering if now’s the time to transition to full-time homesteading. What’s a Reader Case Study? Case Studies...

96

Oatmeal And Other October 2020 Expenses

The pandemic, the election, rising Covid cases and deaths, intonations of entering a dark winter… shall we talk about that today? Nah. In a world that’s (potentially) spiraling out of control, let’s focus on the things we can control. I can’t control politics, I can’t control the coronavirus, I can’t control what other people do or don’t do. All I can control is myself (and my success rate there is only about 60%). I’ve known...

49

This Month On The Homestead: Pumpkins! Need I Say More?

September 2020 Our pumpkin crop is in! We (by which I mean I) harvested, rinsed, dried, and carried all the pumpkins from the patch to the house in mid-September. Started from seed in our kitchen last March, our pumpkins thrived and were–somehow–not eaten by a varmint. I now have pumpkins on every windowsill, each table, in all rooms (bathrooms included) and I am NOT SORRY. I love me a good pumpkin and the fact that...

123

Reader Case Study: Facing A Potential Lay-Off At Age 68

Lily and her husband Robert are in their late 60s, have been married for 40 years, and planned to retire to a life of travel in 2022. Lily and Robert paid off nearly half a million dollars of debt in their late 50s and since then, have put themselves in a fabulous financial position. However, the pandemic has them questioning their readiness for this move. They’d like our help today determining what to do if Lily...

103

A Dishwasher And Other September 2020 Expenditures

I’m convinced that large appliances are in league against humans. This month we had to replace our dishwasher and our TV and this is not the first time we’ve had a confluence of such events. Revenge of the Appliances hit back in 2016 when our oven, refrigerator and closet door all broke in the same month. Are these coincidences? Or are they evidence of the tenuous hold we have on our modern world? Whatever the...