Frugalwoods is my manifesto. I’ve never felt so passionately about a project nor poured so much energy into any single venture. As 2014 comes to a close, I want to share how grateful I am to all of you for reading along as Mr. FW and I navigate our journey to financial independence. Thank you for being here with us!
What Frugalwoods Means to Me
I published my first post here on April 9th and felt a rush of excitement, relief, and abject fear. I was terrified that I might’ve left out some crucial frugal detail, but also relieved because finally, I could say what I really think about consumer culture and the danger of spending above one’s means.
Frugalwoods is an incredible outlet for my
bizarre ramblings musings on life and frugality. And since the blog began at the same time as the crystallization of our decision to move to a homestead in the woods, it has become my journal. I’d say this is a step up in the world considering my last journal was a Lisa Frank unicorns-n-hearts diary with a butterfly lock (’90s girls, you know what I’m talking about because you probably had one too, right next to your Delia’s catalogue and glitter lip gloss).
What You Will Find on Frugalwoods in 2015
People sometimes ask if I have trouble coming up with ideas to write about or if I’ll ever run out of topics to cover and, perhaps it’s my naivete, but my answer is always no. How can I be so cavalierly confident? Because Frugalwoods is simply an honest reflection of the lives that Mr. FW and I lead. I don’t make stuff up. Everything you read is a genuine iteration of who we are as people, what we eat for breakfast, what our dreams are, and why frugality isn’t a struggle, but rather a freedom, for us. I don’t share every intimate detail with you people (consider yourselves fortunate on that front, no one needs to know how many times Frugal Hound has barfed in the middle of the night and woken us both up…), but I give you the true low down on our lives.
I want you to know what it’s like to live uber frugally, and to love doing it. It is possible to save 65%+ of your income and still dress well, smell good, and enjoy your life. I am on a lifelong crusade against the notion that one needs to continually spend more and more money in order to be happy. It just ain’t so. I’m also on a lifelong crusade to figure out why I can’t eat just one cookie. But that is neither here nor there and is mostly just an issue I’m having as I write this post…
In 2015, expect lots of frugal philosophy and tips, home improvement how to’s, copious amounts of Frugal Hound, recipes, advice on boosting your savings and, oh yeah, we’ll talk about the whole homestead-hunting process too.
What You Won’t Find on Frugalwoods in 2015
Folks have asked why I don’t cover certain topics on Frugalwoods. Well, I don’t address anything that we haven’t experienced. For example, since Mr. FW and I haven’t ever had any debt other than our current mortgage, I can’t write a thoughtful, helpful post on debt repayment. I can offer tips on how we keep our living expenses super low, but I’m not going to preach a debt repayment philosophy because I don’t know what it feels like to be in debt.
Mr. Frugalwoods and I are lucky, lucky people and we know it. We’ve been fortunate to have good jobs, to save our money together, and to not have any traumatic or expensive emergencies in our lives. Neither of us is from a wealthy family and, had we taken a few false steps in how we obtained our educations, how we bought our house, or any number of other seemingly insignificant (yet life-altering) decisions, we could be deeply in debt right now and struggling.
I won’t presume to know how I’d handle debt, because honestly, I don’t know. Until I’m actually in a situation, I don’t know how I’ll deal with it. Similarly, I don’t write about frugal kid-rearing because we don’t have kids yet. I have no clue how to raise children and no idea how our lives will change once we do have mini-Frugalwoods (based on my research: A LOT). But here again, I’m not going to spout advice on something I know nothing about. I am thankful to Shannon from Financially Blonde, who is a parent, for writing a fantastic guest post earlier this year on raising frugal kids.
Looking Back on 2014
I’ve written 117 posts since that fated first publication in early April. To be more precise, Mr. Frugalwoods wrote 14 of these and Frugal Hound would like to clarify, for the record, that she is personally responsible for a whopping 13 posts (let’s just say there’s been a lot of sniffing going on).
In reflecting on what Frugalwoods is all about, I realized that a number of our rather foundational posts were published back in the day when only our parents were reading the blog (hi, mom, dad).
In case you’d like to read what they did, you might enjoy this little trip down our (rather short) memory lane:
Uber Frugal Month: Challenge Yourself. This is that very first post and, aptly, it’s all about how to structure a supremely frugal existence. If you’ve been looking for a 2015 challenge or just want to ramp up your frugality, check it out. It’s not for the faint of heart and you’ll see that our reputation for extreme frugality is well deserved.
Frugality Is Not Mainstream. My usage of the moniker frugal weirdo originates in this post. If you haven’t read it yet, you don’t know Frugalwoods. This post essentially sums up my views on frugality and why I prefer this life to the predominant consumer carousel.
Do You Really Need That? Don’t Be Owned By Your Stuff! Fairly self-explanatory, this is a tour through how we make purchasing decisions and why you should buy less than you think.
Hidden Perks of Frugality. Other than, you know, saving a lot a money and never worrying about debt, frugality has quite a few side benefits.
Behind the Scenes of a Happy Frugal Marriage. All about how Mr. Frugalwoods and I love our frugal life and each other.
And we’ve had more recent posts that I think really speak to who we are, which you might’ve missed:
Why I’m Not Buying Any Clothes in 2014. About so much more than just the expense of clothes–issues of weight, body image, and self-control are all wrapped up in my writing on this one. And hey, I adhered to my challenge and didn’t buy a scrap of clothing (other than the one $0.50 garage sale belt I already fessed up to).
10 Shockingly Expensive Things We Own. Prepare to be shocked.
The Frugal Homestead Series Part 1: Why The Woods? Considering I didn’t write this post until two weeks ago, I’d say it was a tad overdue. After I wrote it Mr. FW and I thought, huh, that probably would’ve made sense as our very first post. But, then nobody would’ve read it. At any rate, this is a thorough encapsulation of the reason for our frugality and, the first in a series on the topic.
I hope that Frugalwoods might help a few folks realize that they too can transform the way they spend money, and the way they view their lives. Money is life, whether we like it or not, and you can use it wisely or you can use it foolishly. Unsurprisingly, how you use money will dictate how you live your life. Set your priorities first and your money will follow. What will you do in 2015?