Frugalwoods turns one year old tomorrow! A year ago, Mr. Frugalwoods and I sat in a coffee shop and simultaneously launched our plan to retire at 33 to a homestead in the woods and the concept of Frugalwoods. Mr. FW was after me to start a blog and I’d dismissed the idea for months (years actually).
My arguments against it were plenty: I didn’t know enough about any one topic to write a blog, I didn’t have the time, where would I get photos?, also how do you even set-up a blog? is it like a regular website?, plus I didn’t have a name! But my crafty husband–who often knows me better than I know myself–had already solved these quandaries. Unbeknownst to me, he’d purchased Frugalwoods and set up the back-end. And, he knew what I should write about: frugal weirdos at their finest.
I couldn’t deny that I knew a lot about imperfect frugality, weird hacks to save money, and have the ability to go inordinately long stretches without buying stuff. But, “Frugalwoods”? I’ll be honest with you–I thought that was the dumbest name I’d ever heard. I countered to Mr. FW that no one would know what it means, that it isn’t a real word, and that it sounds like some sort of cheapskate lumberjack convention (which he said he’d probably enjoy attending).
He persisted and showed me the spreadsheet he’d created of different name options (of course he had a spreadsheet; I wasn’t even surprised). Then, he made the point that always wins me over: the website was cheap at a mere $6. In other words, no one else wanted it. Immediately, my heart went out to poor, unloved frugalwoods.com and I knew it would become my manifesto. It took me a few months to truly embrace the name, but now I can’t imagine it any other way.
I started publishing posts to a readership of 3 (me, Mr. Frugalwoods, and my mom). But I was undeterred. I was having so much fun writing about extreme frugality that I didn’t care. I was so exuberant in fact, that I published 2 posts on the first day. Clearly, I was a bit overenthusiastic. Soon, our readership grew to 6–my parents, Mr. FW’s parents and ourselves!
I’m grateful to Mr. FW for pushing me into this. He knew I’d love it and he was willing to go out on a limb to motivate me to start. He’d already spent the $6 after all and he knew I wouldn’t want it to go to waste!
It has been incredibly humbling to watch our readership soar over this past year. I’m honestly kinda stunned at how many people want to read about this journey to simplified, frugal, meaningful living that we’re on. Plus hounds! Can’t forget the hounds!
The way in which Mr. FW and I structure our lives is unusual, but remarkably rewarding. Finding a purpose deeper than simply spending money and consuming pop culture has made us happier, more peace-filled people and has strengthened our marriage in unexpected ways. Sharing these experiences with all of you is one of my favorite things and I deeply appreciate all of your comments, emails, and feedback.
To everyone reading this who is the most frugal person they know, who plans to retire early, who plans to live an intentional life without debt or overconsumption, and who plans to find your true purpose outside of making money–you are not alone! Here, you are among your people.
In reflecting on this past year, Mr. Frugalwoods and I want to share some of our favorite frugal moments.
Our Favorite Frugalwoods Quotes:
Spending is like a gas–it’ll expand to fill whatever space you give it. (11 Ways To Be A Frugal Weirdo And Love It)
When you’re working towards a defined goal, frugality ceases to be about what you’re giving up and becomes about what you’re going to gain. (Music Mondays – Mushaboom)
Every frugal tip in the world isn’t going to save as much money as simply not buying anything. (Why I’m Not Buying Any Clothes in 2014)
In the end, the only person who truly cares how you lived your life is you. (How I Let Go Of Caring What People Think)
Things We’ve Learned:
1) Flat tires really can become stuck to the wheel rim and require professional intervention.
2) It is possible not to eat out for an entire year. Excluding vacations, we’ve only eaten out once in the past year (it was for Mr. FW’s birthday and it was actually take-out).
3) Greyhounds look hilarious with empty avocado bags on their heads:
4) Life is better when you don’t care what other people think. Embracing an attitude of living our lives for ourselves has been liberating.
7 Times Frugal Hound Wished She Had A Different Family:
Posts We Like A Lot:
Uber Frugal Month: Challenge Yourself. This is the absolute first post I wrote and it’s all about how to structure your life in the most ridiculously frugal (and awesome) way possible.
The Privilege Of Pursuing Financial Independence. One of the most difficult posts I’ve written–this delves into the idea that there’s privilege inherent in our quest for financial independence and that the world is not an even economic playing field.
What A Year Without Clothes Did For Me. A reflection on my ongoing challenge not to buy any clothing. I don’t mean not buying certain types of clothing–I literally mean every type of clothing (socks, underwear, work clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc). I’m 16 months in and still going strong.
How Insourcing Strengthened Our Marriage. Mr. Frugalwoods and I are partners in every sense and we approach life collaboratively and share responsibilities equally. In addition to saving us money, insourcing teaches us new skills and increases our self-reliance. It’s this attitude of self-sufficiency that’ll serve us well on the homestead.
The Frugal Homestead Series Part 1: Why The Woods? Above all, Frugalwoods is about what we want our frugality to accomplish–the “woods” part of our equation if you will. This post outlines the how and why of our homesteading dream.
I’m looking forward to another year of learning and sharing with all of you and I hope you’ll join me, Mr. Frugalwoods, and Frugal Hound for the adventure.