Mr. Frugalwoods and I got married seven years ago. Yesterday was our anniversary and we’ve had a pretty awesome and frugal ride thus far. Meeting our freshman year of college, when we were 18 and 19, meant that we essentially grew up together and honed our approach to life as a team.

Now that we’re at least passably mature adults, I’ve realized our trajectory is equal parts amazing and terrifying. It’s amazing because we were able to navigate the early challenges of adulthood side by side, but terrifying because we were so young and immature when we met that I’m somewhat shocked we held it together and made it this long! I think the key to our longevity as a couple is our adaptability, our willingness to change together, and our lack of fear for the unknown (coupled with some foolhardy gusto)–all of which, incidentally, are attributes of the frugal weirdo.

Allowing and Encouraging Change

My homemade manicure--as seen holding hands on our flight
Holding hands on our flight to North Carolina the other day.

Mr. FW and I today are almost completely different people than when we first met in the lecture hall seats of our journalism 101 class, yet we’re more in love than ever.

We’ve found ways to stay on the same page financially, about our relationship, and about what we want out of life, while evolving into the people we are now. I think it’s unrealistic to expect someone to forever be the same person and I’m thankful we’ve learned to respect each other’s growing pains and desires for innovation over the years.

This inherent flexibility and creativity is central to how we live. We’re not rigid in most aspects of our lives, which has enabled us to imagine a future (retiring to a homestead at 33) that’s bizarrely divergent from the relatively conventional path we started on. Our adaptability has allowed us to move often for our jobs, explore new avocations, and perhaps most importantly, live frugally.

Frugality (And Marriage) Necessitates Flexibility

If I insisted on buying new clothes every season or wanted everything I bought to be in perfect condition (goodbye, used market) or didn’t see the beauty and simplicity in not buying the things that everyone else does, we’d be frugally screwed. But by keeping an open mind and being fine with, say, some baby boy clothes that we’ve received as hand-me-downs for Babywoods (who is a girl, by the way), we live a thrifty and happy life. Frugality necessitates approaching life with a sense of adventure and a level of individuality that’s uncommon in our image-focused consumer culture.

In this same vein, I keep an open mind about Mr. Frugalwoods and our relationship. We both have a passion for a diversity of experiences and learning new things. By allowing one another to pursue our interests, I think we live a richer life. I’ve heard of couples in which one partner doesn’t “allow” the other to indulge their hobby of home beer brewing, for example, which seems odd to me.

I don’t dictate what Mr. FW can and can’t do (aside from, you know, basic principles of not breaking laws or our marriage vows) and he likewise doesn’t direct what I do. We don’t tell each other not to spend money, rather, we decide jointly that we choose not to spend. By not restricting each other’s growth, we’ve been able to bring more creativity into our lives.

I’ll Try Your Hobbies

Mr. FW and I also find it refreshing to dabble in what the other is involved with. Through this approach, we’ve built a close relationship with many avenues for connection with each other.

We’re actually quite different from one another in many ways and so its been important for us to find common ground. Mr. FW is an engineer while I’m a writer. Mr. FW can take apart a machine, fix it, and put it back together with aplomb. I, on the other hand, can barely even use machines properly (I swear our household appliances hate me). But I bet I could write an impressive machine instruction manual.

We have no desire to share every last predilection, but we do try to learn about what the other is a fan of. Mr. FW went to yoga with me for quite some time because he knows it means a lot to me and I wanted to share it with him. It’s not really his thing for a daily or weekly workout, but he’ll downward dog from time to time.

On the Franconia Ridge summit
On the Franconia Ridge summit

I took an interest in Mr. FW’s devotion to the outdoors and hiking and ended up turning into just as much a fanatic as him. When he first suggested we go hiking, I was less than enthused. But I went and I fell in love with it. Now, we’re basing our future around this love of the woods, which is not a trajectory I would’ve have predicted for myself 10 years ago.

Sometimes I find myself frustrated by Mr. FW’s endless list of hobbies (everything from bread baking to welding) because it overwhelms and even intimidates me.

And I worry I won’t be able to keep up with everything he does. But, I’ve come to realize it’s just his nature to be endlessly curious and constantly learning. I, in turn, have become more flexible in my approach to the unknown.

Mr. FW has wanted to live on a homestead in the woods ever since his boy scout days of tromping through the woods every weekend. I, on the other hand, remained skeptical until late 2013. But my willingness to explore this pursuit of his led to a fervor all my own. I’m grateful that we’re both open to new endeavors and to trying out the other’s hobbies. It has expanded my life in ways that astound me. Even writing Frugalwoods began entirely at the urging of Mr. FW.

When I Decided To Marry Mr. Frugalwoods

It’s actually this willingness to branch out that really sealed the deal for my decision to marry Mr. FW. I’m not sure if he knows this or not (well, he does now), but, I decided our senior year of college that I’d be marrying him. He didn’t propose for another two years, but, I knew then.

Mr. and Mrs. FW
Mr. and Mrs. FW

I was interested in feminist political theory (still am) and was jazzed to be taking an advanced seminar on the topic the first semester of our senior year. We were dating at the time and I’d been chattering about it–I guess a lot–because when I walked into class on the first day, Mr. FW was sitting there beaming.

He’d signed up for the class, unbeknownst to me, just so that he could experience and understand what I was so excited about. He was the only guy in the class, but he wasn’t reticent. He expressed his views, did the readings, and was a full and active participant in the course.

I was profoundly touched that he cared enough about me to go outside of his comfort zone and rearrange his senior year schedule in order to connect with me in a deeper way. This simple act showed me that he cares deeply about me and listens to me, is willing to try new things, doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him, and wants to chart his own path through life. That’s really all I needed to know.

How To Not Fear The Unknown

Another tenet of our relationship is that we make it a practice not to fear change or the unknown. Sure, we’re cautious, circumspect people and we don’t make any decisions without extensive research and planning (for one tiny example, see our extremely in-depth consideration of the purchase of a storm door…). But, we don’t fear. People have asked what we’ll do if we don’t enjoy homesteading to which I reply, well, we’ll figure out our next adventure. The prospect of working towards another dream in the future is honestly not that big of a deal to us.

Seeing the world through the same lens
Seeing the world through the same lens

Part of this absence of fear stems from the fact that we’ve never been in debt or in a position of living paycheck to paycheck. Frugality gives us ample options. If we both lost our jobs tomorrow, we’d shrug and figure out our next move. It would be annoying, but it wouldn’t be a disaster or a cause for serious alarm. Why? Because we spend so far below our means that we could live off our savings for many years without making another dime or earning another cent of interest (and that’s accounting for inflation).

Having this type of monetary security as people who don’t earn investment banker salaries and who are only 31 is pretty unusual. But, it’s not impossible by any means and, it’s honestly not that complicated. All we’ve done is adhere to the ethos of extreme frugality and altered our mindset with regard to consumer culture.

Just as our spending is entirely geared towards that which we value most, our marriage too is grounded in our shared life goals.

Do you find that the attributes of frugality also serve to make you a better partner?

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  1. Aw – congrats! Mr SSC and I are approaching our 7 year anniversary this fall. I am impressed by the mature view you have on each other’s hobbies. It took Mr SSC and I years to realize we don’t have to like all the same things…. granted it makes things easier, but it isn’t necessary. I even tried to learn to play the banjo and like bluegrass music – but it just isn’t for me.

    1. Happy anniversary (in advance) to you :)! It has definitely been a good thing for us to realize we can respect each other’s hobbies without necessarily being involved in them. Lets us both feel like we can explore more.
      P.S. You don’t like bluegrass ;)??? I love bluegrass!! That’s ok though, we’ll allow it 😉

      1. I like some bluegrass, but I have a limit… After a while it all starts to sound the same :). In other news, we cleared all the adoption hurdles and hopefully be bringing home a greyhound this weekend! Yippee!!

  2. I also met my husband our freshman year of college and it’s been great building our lives together. I appreciate that you mention supporting your spouse as he or she changes. Tim Keller has an interesting book, “The Meaning of Marriage”, with a chapter called “Loving the Stranger.” There is no way you can predict what life will bring, how that may affect your spouse, or how he or she may simply change over time. I thought that was a great point that isn’t talked about much.

    1. So true! I think the fact that we all change over the course of our lives isn’t really highlighted in the context of marriage all that often. Yet, we’re almost guaranteed not to be the same person forever. That’s awesome you met your husband so early too–I think it makes for a really fun and interesting ride :).

  3. Congratulations! We have fairly frugal hobbies too, though it’s taken us slightly longer to get to the point you are at 🙂 we have changed and evolved as people along the way, but that’s not a bad thing!

    1. Definitely not a bad thing to grow and change over the years! In fact, I think it’s rather a great thing :).

  4. Happy Anniversary!! We just celebrated 4 years of marriage last month 🙂 Also, gotta say that is SO sweet of Mr. FW to sign up for that class and surprise you!! We also enjoy frugal hobbies together and will both be getting our real estate licenses next month to pursue a side job together. Like you guys, we are on the same page financially and both just don’t buy much. We never “ask” permission to buy something, but we always inform the other person beforehand just to be polite and continue an open line of communication regarding finances.

    Loved this post and hope you enjoy your anniversary!!

    1. Happy anniversary to you too! That’s so cool you’ll be doing real estate together–enjoy!

  5. Happy Anniversary Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods!!!! I am not sure about the parallels of frugality and marriage, but I do know that having a strong common goal, like frugality, certainly parallels with marriage. It’s easy for your marriage to have challenges and for you to grow apart as a couple when you have separate goals; however, when you are working towards something together, that goal inherently brings you closer to your spouse, at least it has for me and my hubby and we just celebrated 13 years since our first date.

    1. So true about shared goals–we’ve certainly found that to be the case for us over the years. Many congrats to you on 13 years :)!!

  6. Happy Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. FW!! We just celebrated our 14th last month. 🙂 I love your point about being willing and active to share and become involved in the hobbies of the other. Sure, there are some that I’ve not been too excited about but it shows love, amongst other things, to join in on them and it usually ends up in finding something that can be enjoyed together. As to frugality and marriage, my frugality was forced by debt and Mrs. FR wasn’t necessarily frugal, but we’ve grown in it together and it’s wonderfully freeing to share that as well.

    1. Happy 14th to you :)!!! I’ve been thankful that Mr. FW and I have kept an open mind about each other’s hobbies–like you said, often we’ll find something that we do enjoy doing together. That’s great that you two have come to frugality as a team and that it’s now just a natural part of your lives.

  7. This was an inspiring read. Hubs and I have had some ups and downs the last few years and I blame a lot of that on having kids and being in an area with no support system. We are, frankly, no longer a team – though we do want to be one and are absolutely committed to one another. It’s good to have a reminder that we an pull together over a uniting aspect (for you, frugality. For us, our religion and spirituality) and work toward some unity in other areas.

    I will say, I do take issue with hubs and his hobbies – none of which are particularly cheap or easy on me, as a mother.

    1. I think it’s only natural to go through phases where you’re not necessarily a team–Mr. FW and I have certainly had those times as well. But, the fact that you’re committed to each other and to the goal of working together is a wonderful thing. For us, open and respectful communication has gotten us through our rougher patches–it has always helped us to find the root of whatever challenge we find ourselves grappling with.

      Its been interesting for us to realize that there’s often an underlying issue to our problems that isn’t immediately apparent on the surface. I wish you all the very best in charting your path to teamwork! I have no doubt you’ll be there soon.

  8. Happy Anniversary!

    And than you for changing my life! You both have made a difference in so many lives!

  9. Happy Anniversary to you & Mr. FW! I think it is absolutely wonderful how Mr. FW signed up for the advanced feminist political theory course you were excited to take during senior year. I would definitely believe that attributes of frugality serve to make you a better partner/create a better partnership. It takes a sense of transparency to talk about money (which a lot of relationships tend to struggle with), courage to transcend beyond “normal” societal spending habits, and strength to maintain such ways together. That building of transparency, courage & strength also allow for a partnership to withstand the happenings of life.

    1. That’s a great point about transparency–it certainly does serve us well both in terms of our finances and other aspects of our relationship. Many thanks for the congrats 🙂

  10. Happy anniversary! I think dressing girl baby woods in some boy clothes is awesome. Break that gender binary! Your story is so inspiring. I hope I have one like it someday!

    1. You’re so sweet–thank you so much! And, I totally agree with you on breaking gender norms–she will certainly have plenty of cars and trucks to play with too ;).

  11. My husband and I also met and fell in love at age 18! We married at age 22 and it will be 14 years of marriage this July. I decided I was going to marry him when we went on a camping trip and he got very sick and threw up on my head in the middle of the night. I figured we had to either get married or never see each other after that.
    Many people warned us that getting married so young was foolish because we weren’t even done growing up yet. But we wanted to finish growing up together, and we did. I completely agree about the importance of being flexible. He is not the same man I married 14 years ago. I am not the same woman. Thank goodness, right? Can you imagine how insufferable it would be to be married to a perpetual 22 year old?

    1. Huge congrats on 14 years–that’s awesome! Very true about the value of maturity. I’m glad we’re not the same people! It’s refreshing and inspiring to see the changes that have come over the years. And, I agree with you, there’s something very special about “growing up” together.
      P.S. Your camping story is hilarious. That’ll be a good one for your grandkids!

  12. Reminds me of us a bit. We are approaching our 7th in two months. Marge and I arranged some of our early college core classes so we could take them together. Intro to Religion, a beginner’s piano class (neither of us kept it up), and Life On Earth, that last one being one of my favorite classes of all time since it had a great teacher and was all about evolution. But by senior year, all our classes were limited to students in the major. If I walked into Advanced Accounting and saw her there, I would’ve just said, “You’ve made a huge mistake. Get out while you still can.”

    1. Haha, that’d be me if I walked into Advanced Accounting–abandon all hope! That’s sweet you two took classes together :). And, huge congrats on your upcoming anniversary!

  13. Aw happy 7th anniversary, what an accomplishment! 🙂

    My husband and I started dating when I was 17 and he was 18 (so about 9 years ago) and it sometimes does amaze me that we were able to stay together through all the growing up and changing that has taken place in those years. I was about to be a senior in high school when we started dating, so we’ve definitely been through a lot of milestones together. It’s pretty cool to say you’ve essentially grown up with your spouse though, isn’t it?

    Cheer to many more years you two!

    1. It really is a neat thing to go through all those life experiences together–gives me a great appreciation for having met so young. Congrats to you on 9 years together :)!!

  14. Yes, ditto on the congratulations to both of you. It appears that you both married the right person the first time around, which is as unusual these days as is one’s ability to be FI at such a young age. I so admire both of you. And so happy for you for Babygirlwoods.

    1. Thank you so much, Bev! I think our marriage does indeed have a big impact on our ability to reach FI and I’m really thankful that I found Mr. FW. We seem to be the same type of weird together :).

  15. Happy anniversary! We have #14 coming up next month–we met when we were 17 and 18 and got married at 20.

    For me, the biggest overlap between marriage and frugality is the acceptance that life doesn’t have to be perfect to be great. I don’t go out and spend all kinds of money trying to execute a vision of perfection in my clothes or house or children, and I take Mr. FP as I fnd him (well, I try to 🙂 ).

    1. Many congrats on #14–that’s fabulous! The acceptance of imperfection is huge. It has taken me time to get used to that idea, but wow does it make life easier, happier, less stressful, and cheaper!

  16. Congratulations to you both and your little one. You inspire my husband and I to keep pushing and cultivating the frugal life we envision for ourselves and not be ashamed of being frugal and debt free!!

    1. Many thanks! Makes me so happy to hear that you two are enjoying the frugal life–it’s definitely nothing to be ashamed of :)!

    1. Thank you so much :). We try to cultivate respect for each other’s interests, which helps bring us closer.

  17. Congrats on 7 years. Marriage is definitely a continue learning process between the 2 partners. If the two partners can’t grow together, chances the marriage will not last.

  18. This was a great article. Happy anniversary! I love that Mr. Frugalwood signed up for a class so he could experience what you were excited about. What a great guy! I also met my husband when I was a very young 20 year old in college and I was able to see his awesome work ethic while we waited tables together. I love that you mentioned that your marriage stays strong because you share your goals and values. It’s so important and there are a lot of couples that don’t really define those together.

    1. That’s great that you and your husband were able to work together–I imagine that does shed a lot of light on someone’s character! Shared goals and values have definitely helped us to grow closer to each other.

  19. That’s pretty awesome, guys. 🙂 Congrats on many years of happiness together. Mrs. RoG and I met freshman year of college too, so we have experienced a lot of the same stuff as we were entering adulthood.

    You guys working together to build a solid financial future and crafting a lifestyle suited to your own tastes is a wonderful anniversary present to yourselves. 🙂

    1. Good point about that being an anniversary gift to each other! I should’ve mentioned that we (of course) don’t buy presents for anniversaries :).

  20. It is not surprising to see two people who are so adaptable making things work in the long run. The inability to adapt to change is part of the reason for so many divorces these days. We’re all ships adrift in stormy seas and if we focus our energy on helping one another rather than forcing one another to follow a given path, then clearer skies are sure to follow. We’re tied together, but there ought to be some slack in the rope. Congrats!

    1. Well said. Adapting and changing is such a key part of our lives. And, I’ve found that rigidity rarely stands the test of time (or makes you happy).

  21. Wow – 7 years of marriage at age 31 is impressive! Congrats!

    My boyfriend and I have bonded quite a bit by sharing our interests. He’s been to yoga with me. I’ve sang along while he’s played guitar. And (somewhat ironically, given the example in your post) early on in our relationship we started home brewing together! I’ve stepped back a bit and am now more of an assistant, but it was a really fun way to strengthen our relationship and has turned out to be my boyfriends absolute favorite hobby.

    1. Haha, thanks! We really did get married pretty young :). That’s awesome that you and your boyfriend enjoy hobbies together. I think that’s such a wonderful aspect of a relationship to cultivate. Cheer to you two for many more happy years :)!

  22. Congrats on the anniversary! You both are lucky to have found this connection early in life. My husband and I both had previous marriages that just weren’t compatible. We were both married to spenders. My ex wanted a new car every year and multiple cars for fun, in addition to planes, boats, etc… His ex wanted expensive jewelry and zip codes. Since him and I have been together for almost 8 years now, we are both on a much quicker path to early retirement thanks to simple living. And we are both happier, not deprived. 🙂

    1. That’s so wonderful that you found each other! And, very interesting that you were both mis-matched with spenders before. It must be such a relief and a joy for you two to be on the same page financially and in enjoying the simple life :).

  23. happy anniversary! here’s to growing up together. I have tried to convince my husband to come to yoga with me and he just refuses refuses refuses, which I need to respect too, ya know? (like my dislike of overly violent movies, that’s just not going to change). How are those power yoga classes coming now that you’re a few months pregnant? I’m very curious!

    1. Many thanks! I can understand the reticence to try yoga–it’s not for everyone. And, I’m with you on violent movies–not my cup of tea at all!

      I’m still practicing yoga several times a week and it’s going really well thus far. I’m doing some modifications and will need to do more soon as my belly is really growing right now (I swear it’s bigger than yesterday)! But, its been wonderful to keep up my practice and I have no plans of stopping.

  24. The story about Mr. FW signing up for your feminism class is pretty much the best thing ever. 🙂 Just picturing your future kids and grandkids hearing that story… Thanks for sharing the history of your relationship. You obviously know this, but you two really are pretty unique for being frugal from the start, and not deciding to change your ways (though you’ve said you’ve gotten more frugal over time). And how wonderful that you feel like different people, but you have grown together instead of apart.

    1. Many thanks! We’ve definitely grown more frugal together, but we were both naturally frugal before we even met, which I think really helped us form a solid basis for our approach to life. And, the changing together aspect has been key and facilitated largely by compromise and communication :).

  25. Some great marital and financial advice. My wife and I just celebrated our 5 year anniversary. Like you, we were together very young (high school sweethearts in fact). That allows you to grow and learn together. Being together for so long while still being “young adults” has allowed us the opportunity to figure out our financial goals together.

    1. Happy anniversary to you! There’s definitely something special about being together from a young age. It’s a neat experience to navigate adulthood as a team. All my best to you two :)!

  26. Happy anniversary!

    In recent years, I’ve become aware that I feel most connected and part of a team with my husband when we make “adult” decisions together. Generally they have to do with finances, but not exclusively.

    1. So true! Making big decisions together engenders closeness and trust, which is awesome. I think we have the most fun when we’re planning out some scheme together. It’s fun to feel like a cooperative, collaborative team.

  27. I love hearing stories about you two and your relationship past/present. You’re just so darned cute! Congrats on another year down and may you have many more, you frugal lovebirds you… 😉

  28. Happy anniversary. Lucky 7! A baby this year : ) You’ve captured the DNA of a good marriage. I wish you both very well in continuing to grow upon the marvelous foundation you’ve established. Frugality and relationships are definitely linked. Often, people spend money to distract themselves from the tough parts of a relationship – the disagreements, the faults, the weaknesses. Frugality makes escape less easy, and it forces a confrontation of these issues – as well as a resolution.

    1. That’s a great point! Spending can absolutely serve as a form of escape. But with frugality, you’ve got to face the music everyday! I’ve thought about the lucky #7 and Babywoods connection too–and I like it!

  29. Happy anniversary Darlings, from your Mama and Papa who, two days earlier , celebrated our 48 th anniversary. Wow, are we old! It’s not where you go or what you do that makes you happy, it’s who you do it with, isn’t it , Honey.

  30. Encouraging but not requiring change is one of the key foundations in our relationship. My husband and I make it clear that we love each other just as we are (even though we are very messed up people), but we also encourage each other to grow in our strengths, our weaknesses, and generally allow each other to change as our life stage changes.

    Congratulations on 7 years!

    1. “Encouraging but not requiring change”–I love it! That’s a perfect way to put it. You’ve got to be open to changes in your partner, but not expect them to change in order to fit your ideal. Sounds like you two have it figured out!

  31. What a heart warming post that I completely agree with! I definitely find parallels in how my husband and I manage our money, our relationships, and our approach to life. Congrats on 7 years!

    1. Thank you so much! I think that money permeates every aspect of our lives (whether we think about it or not) and so being on the same page about it just makes a relationships run that much more smoothly. All my best to you two :)!

  32. Happy anniversary, you frugal weirdos! Actually you’re the same age now that I was when I married Mr. Mandalay (late bloomer, ha ha). We’ll celebrate 17 years in August. We’ve had some ups and downs but overall it’s been a fun ride. We joke that each of us is the only person that can deal with the other.

    1. Happy 17th!! That’s fabulous! Mr. FW and I have definitely made that comment as well…. we know we’re weird, but we can handle each other ;).

  33. Congratulations on celebrating your 7 year anniversary! Having a spouse who shares in and pursues your ambitions definitely makes life easier and all-around more enjoyable.

    I truly enjoy reading your posts. You and Mr. FW have some of the same ambitions as me and my husband. We too would like to start a homestead in the next few years.

    1. That’s so exciting you’re planning on homesteading too! Awesome!

      And, I agree, sharing in life goals with your partner is such a critical aspect of a happy relationship. It just helps to focus everything towards a common dream.

  34. You two are really building a wonderful life TOGETHER. It’s refreshing to see two people approaching marriage that way, as opposed to so many celebrity couples in the news these days that seem hell-bent on ensuring they stay as independent and separate as possible. Marriage is supposed to be a partnership, building something together, not proving to the world that you’re still your own person.

    1. Many thanks! I think there’s a balance in there between fierce independence and co-dependent partnership that we try to strike. We’re still each our own person, but we definitely see ourselves as working jointly towards the same life goals. It certainly makes for a happier marriage for us :)!

  35. Beautiful post…and congrats on your anniversary! I have to admit that staying connected throughout changes isn’t always an easy thing to do (as I learned in my first marriage), but I’m happy to say that it’s been working in my second marriage for almost 9 years now.

    1. Congrats to you on 9 years :)! Communicating through change is always our biggest challenge–it can be tough to stay on the same page when we feel distant from each other. But, it’s certainly possible and we’re thankful that we’ve made it this long :)!

  36. Congratulations on 7 years! We were married 31 years in April. Commitment, communication, and rolling with the changes are all key. May you, Mr. FW, and BabyWoods (and Frugal Hound, of course) be blessed with many, many more years of cheap thrills (LOL) and happiness!

    1. Thank you so much, Kate! And, many congratulations to you on 31 years! How wonderful! Gotta love the cheap thrills 😉

  37. Congrats on a successful relationship. My husband of nearly 19 years and I met at age 19 and 20. We are very different people, with similar values. A number of years ago I had the opportunity to work in Tokyo for 3 months. Everyone was surprised that “my husband let me” go. That bugged me. He was the most supportive person about it.

    I am working on becoming a more frugal/mindful spender. We have SO much and really need much more. However, my husband grew up in a very impoverished family (they didn’t always have enough to eat and some years didn’t have Christmas). Having lived this childhood has made him more driven for nice things. Possession have a different meaning for him (however, I wouldn’t call him a huge shopper – when he needs things, he buys nice/good things that tend to last). When I talk about the minimalist (which I will never truly be), frugal lifestyle things I have read, he tends to roll his eyes. So we work on compromising. Our overall financial goals are very similar, it is just the daily spending that differs. We do our best. We discuss it and have found a system that works for us. We will be set to retire at age 55, which is what we wanted. We live in our dream house. We take the trips we want (that is my real passion) and it all works out.

    1. Many congrats to you on your loving marriage too :)! And, as you said, I think finding a compromise that works best for both people is key as it ensures that everyone’s needs and goals are met.

  38. I sheepishly admit I just found out about Babywoods. Congratulations you two! I wish you all the best in the coming years. If anything, few could argue you aren’t already off to a great start. Babywoods is a lucky little one.

  39. This is a very late comment, as I just found this via your Nov. 14, 2016 post. Many congratulations are in order, especially in light of all that’s happened in your lives since this was written.

    I did not find my One and Only until I was 54! Ancient, I know. I had pretty much resigned myself to living a happy, frugal, single, childless* life when a thunderbolt struck. If you’re reading this because you’re on a frugal path, but have not found a life partner, please don’t despair. You can do it alone, and you never know what life has in store. Never, never give up!

    *I don’t have children of my own, but DH does ( he’s a widower) and after a mere four years of marriage, we’ve just become grandparents. Bliss, I tell you, sheer bliss!

    And Hannah, “Encouraging, but not requiring change” is a much appreciated aspect of our relationship, but we’ve never used such apt words to describe it. Thanks for this.

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