Frugalwoods

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10 Ways to Spot a Frugal Friend. #4 Involves Dryer Lint.

You: walking around town wearing hand-me-downs, sipping coffee from a thermos you brought from home, running a debt-free hand through your home haircut, wondering if there are others like you in this world of seemingly endless consumption. Me: other frugal person, catching your eye, noting your home-sourced thermos, digging your not-off-the-rack outfit, wondering if you’re a kindred spirit. The dilemma: how to spot a fellow frugal in the wild without being horrifically awkward? How to...

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Reader Suggestions: What’s The Weirdest Thing You’ve Done To Save Money?

I’ve been called a frugal weirdo. I’ve been called an extreme saver. But let me tell you what, the readers of Frugalwoods make me look like the tamest frugalista that ever walked around in a coat she found in a trash heap. I mean, I do have an entire section of Frugalwoods devoted to the amazing stuff I’ve picked out of the trash… But I must say, per usual, I am humbled by the intense...

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This Month On The Homestead: Breathe Deeply, Expect Nothing, Add Carrots

January 2020 January delivers a stark reminder that the holiday festivities are finished and that snow is in residence until May. January meets us with a grim reminder that we ought gird ourselves for consistency of weather and of activity. It’s a month of monochromatic sameness. But January is also the time for decluttering and new recipes and woodstove worship. It’s an exercise in locating beauty in the mundane. In finding stillness among the snow-soaked...

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Reader Case Study: Debtors Anonymous Helped This Wildlife Biologist Recover From Compulsive Spending

Veronica is a wildlife biologist for the state of North Carolina, where she lives on a farm with her two dogs, Porter and Stout. Veronica’s mother recently passed away and she is set to receive an inheritance from her mother’s estate. Veronica would like our help discerning how she should manage this inheritance, particularly in light of the fact that she’s participating in the twelve-step Debtors Anonymous program as well as receiving treatment for PTSD....

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A Snow Plow And Other January 2020 Expenditures

Due to our excessive snow situation here in Vermont, we are a family in need of multiple methods of clearing snow. Due to our quarter-mile long dirt driveway, we need both a snowblower and a snow plow. Due to the excessive expense of a new plow, we’ve been plow-less since moving here. But we are plow-less no more, thanks to a saved Craigslist search. Advertiser Disclosure: Frugalwoods partners with CardRatings for coverage of credit card products. Frugalwoods...

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Reader Suggestions: How To Make Frugality Luxurious and Longterm

Frugality is not deprivation. At least, not in my opinion. Frugality should be liberating, not restrictive. Frugality should give you options and breathing room and remove the yoke of debt or the stress of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Frugality isn’t meant to punish or induce guilt when you spend money. It’s meant to free you from constant worry about money. Frugality is a mindset that encourages us to evaluate our money based on the following: Am I...

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How We Use 529 Plans To Save For College

December, with all its merry festivity, is naturally the month we contribute to our daughters’ college funds. Ah yes, just what every four-year-old and 22-month-old want for Christmas: well-funded 529 savings plans. Don’t worry, in addition to putting $5k into each of their 529s, we did give them actual Christmas gifts (most of which were either hand-me-downs or purchased at garage sales last summer… ).   Save On What Doesn’t Matter: Spend On What Does...

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This Month On The Homestead: Hiking and The Great Indoors

December 2019 December is a dormant month. By December, we’ve completed our fall wrap-up tasks: all food from the garden is preserved, the apple cider is pressed, the tractor is switched over to the snow blower and chains, the snow tires are on the cars, the firewood is stacked on the porch, and snow obviates all homesteading labor save its removal from our driveway and walking paths. In December we turn inward and embrace the...

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Reader Case Study: Community College Teachers Dream Of Real Estate and Rural Living (oh and they’re having another baby soon!)

Ann and Leo are both tenured community college English teachers in Seattle, WA. They have a three-year-old daughter, a baby due in March, and an adorable Corgi keeping them busy. While Ann and Leo appreciate the life they’ve created, they feel they’re at a turning point and want our help determining what’s possible, and prudent, given their financial situation. Case Studies address financial and life dilemmas that readers of Frugalwoods send to me requesting advice....

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Mini Mittens And Other December 2019 Expenditures

Mini Mittens One clothing item I’ve failed to find used, or receive as a hand-me-down, are winter hand coverings for my children. These are also known as mittens. There seems to be one–and only one–brand of mittens that’s truly warm enough and truly stays on enough for toddlers: SnowStoppers. We bought a pair for Kidwoods a few years ago and she’s still rocking them (I got her the size medium). Here’s a boring (but important) explanation...