Frugalwoods

12

These Two Months On The Homestead: October Apple Cider and November Snow

October and November 2021 These are the tipping point months. The months that descend into true, deep, orange fall and coast through a rough outline of winter. Leaves are loud in October–they change, they fall, they take up all the space, they are glorious. November brings a more reserved beauty, forcing us to notice the contours of denuded trees, to hear the tingle of ice-encased branches tapping their nearest neighbors, squeaking out the soundtrack of...

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Reader Case Study: Experienced Teacher Feeling the Effects of the Covid Classroom

Erin and her husband Logan live in her hometown, a major metropolitan area of Nebraska, along with their six-year-old son and eight-year-old cat. Erin is a classroom teacher with 17 years of experience and Logan works as a media specialist at their local community college. While Erin loves teaching, and truly sees it as her calling, the stressors of the pandemic–and in-person pandemic teaching–are wearing her down. She’d need to work another 16 years in...

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Remedial Ski Lessons And Other October 2021 Expenses

October 2021 I dub thee “The Month of Winter Preparations,” for reasons made obvious below. The Ski Odyssey We’ve decided to do the world’s most expensive winter sport. Barring purchasing our own personal hockey rink, I cannot imagine anything being as expensive as skiing. Even the word looks pricey, what with its double i’s. When we moved to Vermont five years ago people asked us three questions, all related to winter: What kind of tires...

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Reader Case Study: Buddhist in England Desires a Simple, Secure Financial Future

Lotus lives in the beautiful rural South of England with her partner, Rowan, and their 12-year-old son. She currently works as a communications manager for a nonprofit that supports vulnerable women and she’s had a varied and exciting path through life. With a PhD in music, a yoga teacher training certification and as a practicing Buddhist, Lotus enjoys a life filled with meaning, community, music, connection and love. What she lacks is financial security. She...

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These Two Months On The Homestead: August Apples and September Sugar Wood

August and September 2021 The harvest frenzy starts in August and doesn’t let up until October. These months represent the bounty of what we grow, what we harvest and what we preserve for winter. As I write this in mid-October, I’m ready to put the gardens to bed. Ready for the welcome blanket of snow that signifies my outdoor labor is done until spring. Welcome to my series documenting life on our 66-acre Vermont homestead, which...

41

Wooden Eggs And Other September 2021 Expenses

September 2021 Our chickens graced us with their first egg, which made us realize that if we don’t want to go on a daily Easter egg hunt, we needed a way to kindly suggest where they might like to deposit. Enter these wooden eggs (affiliate link). Much like real eggs, they are oval and brown and nestled into the nesting box of our chicken coop, in the hopes of encouraging their factual counterparts to join...

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Reader Case Study: Former Commercial Fisherman, Future Travel Nurse, Adventurer Always

Amy is a former commercial fisherman and wildland firefighter turned nurse. After working on the frontlines of the pandemic in North Central Washington, this month she began her first travel nursing assignment. As she embarks on this new career path, she’s examining her finances–including her recent purchase of her first home–with the goal of making sustainable, long-term decisions about her future. Amy is a wilderness lover and adventurer and does just about every outdoor sport...

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Reader Case Study: A PhD in English Lit Enters an Uncertain Job Market

Sara is a PhD student in English Literature at a university in the midwest. She’ll graduate with her doctorate this May and would like our help determining what to do next. Sara notes, “In addition to the poor job market, I’m skeptical of academic work culture, and uncertain if I want to commit myself to a life of 80 hour work weeks and unending pressure to publish and produce. I love teaching, my intellectual community,...

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Backpacks And Other August 2021 Expenses

August transitioned us to fall, to school, to a more sedate pace. The guests all went home, the kids are back to their regular and rightful bedtime and I pulled out my tacky fall decor. Don’t Forget about Property Taxes! Last week I shared the details of our mortgage pay-off and this week brings our annual property tax expense. For truly, the gifts of home ownership never end ;). Property tax is one of those...

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Reader Case Study: Living in Lakewood, Longing for More Space and Time

Eve and her husband Gordon live in Lakewood, Colorado–a suburb of Denver–along with their two young sons and one guppy fish. Eve works part-time as a marketer and Gordon works full-time as an engineer. Four years ago they began working towards financial independence and an early semi-retirement. They’d like to have more time to spend with their sons and in the outdoors! Eve and Gordon are now debating selling their home and buying something cheaper...