Our Christmas card/birth announcement photo. This was the only shot where Babywoods wasn't crying and Frugal Hound was facing forward.
Our Christmas card/birth announcement photo. This was the only shot where Babywoods wasn’t crying and Frugal Hound was facing forward…

Our first month of parenthood–aka the last month of 2015–turned out to be abnormally, nay astonishingly, inexpensive. In fact, it was our cheapest month on record by far. But fear not we haven’t unlocked a new frugality potion, rather, this was due to several extenuating circumstances that all converged in December.

How We Only Spent $453.70 In December

That’s right, I said $453.70. Firstly, we did a fair amount of stocking up in the food and household goods departments in October and November in preparation for Babywoods’ arrival. We’ve been enjoying the fruits of Mr. Frugalwoods’ past cooking labors as we dine on the meals he prepared and froze for us in advance. Hence, we didn’t make our traditional monthly sojourn to Costco. We also pre-paid the co-payment on Babywoods’ birth in October (which yielded a discount on the total cost).

Secondly, we spent the first week of December in the hospital following Babywoods‘ birth, which meant we dined on free hospital food for that week (pretty sure we were the most excited people on the maternity ward about the free food… ).

Thirdly, both Mr. FW’s parents and my parents came to visit and, as a baby gift, purchased groceries for us all to eat while they were here. This was an absolutely fantastic gift and we’re deeply grateful to them. Several friends also brought us meals, which was simply wonderful. If anyone is ever wondering what to get new parents, the answer is always–and I mean always–FOOD. Thank you friends, parents, and parents-in-law!

And finally, we didn’t take advantage of our otherwise lowered expenses to buy unnecessary stuff. To the contrary, we view extra thrifty months as opportunities to off-set costlier months. By racking up the savings in the months where we can, we’re able to realize a super high savings rate overall each year.

Wondering how we handle Christmas gifts? Check out my Holiday Gifts For Frugal Weirdos To Give And Receive!

$30 Of Which Was A Parking Ticket…

We didn’t drive much this month due to our hibernating new parent status–we primarily hung out at home, tried to sleep (mostly failed), and took walks with Babywoods and Frugal Hound in tow. But then the one time we did drive… we managed to get ourselves a parking ticket. We took Babywoods to Mr. FW’s office to meet his colleagues and forgot to run out and add more money to the parking meter, which netted us a $30 fine. Epic frugal (and life) fail!

The Hound And The Baby (who are both vastly more interesting/popular than me)

Just two gals chillin on a dog bed
Just two gals chillin’ on a dog bed

Frugal Hound and Babywoods both had a frugal month as well–neither of them requires much in the way of expensive stuff. Babywoods just wants to breastfeed (which I feel like I do almost all day long… in fact, she’s eating as I type this… very meta). And Frugal Hound is content to play with her toys and ignore Babywoods, which seems to be her modus operandi for all things baby.

Never has a dog been so ambivalent about the presence of a wee one in the home. I’m pretty sure she thinks Babywoods is merely a little extension of me and not actually a distinct person. It’s pretty hilarious how uninterested she is in the baby and all things baby-related. Due to this, Frugal Hound continues in her vein of being the dumbest/sweetest/easiest dog in the entire world. I mean seriously.

Thanks, You Guys!

I also want to take a moment here to thank you all for your good wishes and encouraging notes, emails, and messages this past month as Mr. FW and I took parental leave. Furthermore, thank you for your thoughtful responses to all of our wonderful guest posts. I’m deeply grateful to this wonderful frugal community and I’m delighted to be almost back full-time to writing and sharing frugal thoughts with you all. I really felt the love this month and it means a lot to me that you folks are an immensely kind and caring bunch. Awwww!

Personal Capital: It’s How We Organize Our Expen$e$

Me and Babywoods playing some Christmas Canasta with my parents
Me and Babywoods playing Christmas Canasta with my parents

Mr. Frugalwoods and I use Personal Capital to aggregate and consolidate our transactions from across all of our accounts. We then drop them into a spreadsheet to provide our below analysis for you fine people.

Tracking expenses is, in my opinion, the best way to get a handle on your finances. You absolutely, positively cannot make informed decisions about your money if you don’t know how you’re spending it. Sounds harsh, but without a holistic picture of how much you spend every month, there’s no way to set savings, debt repayment, or investment goals. It’s a frugal must, folks. No excuses.

Personal Capital (which is free to use) is a great way for us to systematize our financial overviews since it links all of our accounts together and provides a comprehensive picture of our net worth. If you’re not tracking your expenses in an organized fashion, give Personal Capital a try. Here’s a more detailed explanation of how I use Personal Capital for my expense tracking.

Where’s Your Money?

One of the easiest ways to optimize your money is to use a high-interest savings account. A high-interest savings account gives you money for nothing. With these accounts, interest works in YOUR favor (as opposed to the interest rates on debt, which work against you). Having money in a no (or low) interest savings account is a waste of resources–your money is just sitting there doing nothing. Don’t let your money be lazy! Make it work for you! And now, enjoy some explanatory math:

Let’s say you have $5,000 in a savings account that earns 0% interest. In a year’s time, your $5,000 will still be… $5,000.

Let’s say you instead put that $5,000 into an American Express Personal Savings account that–as of this writing–earns 1.70% in interest. In one year, your $5,000 will have increased to $5,085.67. That means you earned $85.67 just by having your money in a high-interest account.

And you didn’t have to do anything! I’m a big fan of earning money while doing nothing. I mean, is anybody not a fan of that? Apparently so, because anyone who uses a low (or no) interest savings account is NOT making money while doing nothing. Don’t be that person. Be the person who earns money while you sleep. Rack up the interest and prosper. More about high-interest savings accounts, as well as the ones I recommend, is here: The Best High Interest Rate Online Savings Accounts.

How To Read A Frugalwoods Expense Report

The below is an itemization of every single dollar we spent over the course of the month. I do this because it’s the most transparent articulation of how we allocate our resources and managed to save 71% of our take-home pay in 2014 (not counting maxing out our 401Ks).

Babywoods at 1 month old!
Babywoods at 1 month old!

Want to know how we manage the rest of our monies? Look no further than Why We Don’t Micromanage Our Money. Why do we save so much and spend so little? It’s all in service of our goal to reach financial independence by age 33 and move to a homestead in the woods.

Interested in how we keep costs so low? Check out How We Save 65% Annually. If you’re up for some hardcore frugal adventuring, take my Uber Frugal Month Challenge, and, see how we did one year later in How A Year Of Extreme Frugality Changed Us.

We don’t budget and instead live on frugal autopilot. This technique saves us the time and hassle of building a budget (we’re some lazy frugal weirdos). The caveat here is that many people find budgeting incredibly helpful and I in no way malign the budgeting process. If you operate more successfully with a budget, then budget away my friends.

But Mrs. Frugalwoods, Don’t You Pay For X, Y, Or Even Z????

Wondering about common expenses that you don’t see listed below? Our August 2015 expense report has the answers you seek!

Alright you frugal money voyeurs, feast your eyes on every dollar we spent during the month of December:

Item/Vendor Amount Frugalwoods Musings
Mortgage & Escrow for Taxes & Insurance $2,238.50 Yep, it’s high. But, we live in a very high COL city (Cambridge, MA) and this house will be our cash-flowin’ rental after we decamp to our rural homestead.
Utilities: Gas bill $59.67 It’s getting colder and so the heat is on (but don’t worry, it’s not turned up very high). Read about how we keep our heating bill low here.
Internet $56.95 A most necessary expense for us.
Prescription medications and co-pay $54.24 A medley of prescription medications for Mommywoods following Babywoods’ birth along with one doctor’s visit co-pay.
Household goods $49.39 Random assortment of household ephemera.
Utilities: Electric bill $46.07 A standard electric bill.
Groceries $45.73 Abnormally low due to the aforementioned extenuating circumstances of December.
Stamps $33.25 100 postcard stamps for our Christmas card/birth announcement.
Gasoline for Frugalwoods-mobile $30.93 Didn’t drive much this month due to, you know, having a baby.
Parking Ticket $30.00 But the one time we did drive… managed to get ourselves a parking ticket when we took Babywoods over to Mr. FW’s office to meet his colleagues. Totally our fault for not remembering to dash out and add more money to the meter.
Christmas cards $29.47 100 copies of our Christmas card/birth announcement from VistaPrint.
EZ Pass toll tag $11.00 An addition of funds to our EZ Pass (toll tag for the interstate).
Hospital parking $7.00 The cost of parking in the hospital parking garage for Babywoods’ birth.
TOTAL SPENT: $2,692.20  

How was your December?

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  1. In my life I have had 2 parking tickets (both times because the signs weren’t clear). At the time I was annoyed, but I figure for all the times I forgot to go add money or did something else silly, not bad for 24 years of driving. I am sure sharing Babywoods was worth $30 once!
    She is so cute!

  2. I think you’re probably right that you’re unique in appreciating the “free” hospital food! =)

    Have you guys shared your plans for daycare or childcare yet? After hearing horror stories about how expensive that is for my friend who just had her little one in DC, I’m curious what your frugal plans are there, since I know they must exist!

    1. Oh yeah, we loved the free food at the hospital!! We haven’t shared our childcare plans yet, but fear not, we shall be doing so before too long here.

      1. How was the food, my last stay at a hospital, knee replacement surgery the food was amazing!!!!!!!! Positive I gained weight. But alas when I moved into rehab they more than made up for it, the food was horrible! True hospital food????

      2. Hope you’re considering taking extended leave….or quitting the job entirely. Mrs. F. is a great writer/blogger so working from home is a true possibility. Babywoods is so precious… You will never regret staying home with her, if it is financially possible.

  3. This. Is. Awesome. I’m constantly amazed by how little babies actually need to thrive, and of course December’s low spend rate is incredible! I totally second that food is the best gift that you can give new parents – giving birth and breastfeeding make you ravenous! Congratulations!

  4. I guess the one thing that surprised me most was having to pay $7.00 for parking while you were in the hospital!!!! Talk about healthcare reform. That’s one place to start. It’s crazy to charge patients for parking! Other than that, just want to congratulate you on all the savings in December. Who would have thought December would have been a month of savings.

    The article on diapers was priceless! Loved it. Will be interested to see how you cope with that expenditure. That’s just one you can’t avoid but there are ways to make it less costly. Besides food, that is one gift most appreciated.

    So happy for all four of you! May this new year be just as “less” as the previous but may your happiness be “more.”

  5. Congratulations on your uber frugal month with Babywoods! Parking tickets stink. Maybe you could charge his office. Ha! The free hospital food was a nice bonus! I do remember that. Thanks for giving us the update. 🙂

    Mrs. Mad Money Monster

  6. Congratulations again! That’s hilarious that Frugal Hound seems to think the baby is an extension of you.
    (And re: Boston/Camberville parking tickets…the meter-checkers are so incredibly good at their jobs, it’s crazy! Two minutes over and you’ve likely already gotten a ticket. That’s one of the many reasons I got rid of my car shortly after moving here.)

    1. Salem, MA parking enforcement folks are also incredibly good at their jobs…. I’ve lived in Salem for less than two months and I’ve already had two parking tickets (both my fault)…. result: I downloaded the parking app for the city and just pay as I go. The small service fee is worth the NOT getting the $25.00 parking tickets! 😉

  7. I’m so excited for Babywoods. That photo of you holding her makes me so happy. Now that we can see your face in photos, I can see how much you’re radiating joy (and kicking butt at Canasta?!). While I haven’t ever picked up a parking ticket (yet?), I did have three dollars in overdue fines at the library for the first time in my life in December. Womp womp.

    1. Awww thank you! Pretty sure I was losing at Canasta as Babywoods is not very good at cards yet ;). I’ll trade you my parking ticket for your library fines!

  8. I found myself spending less on “extra’s” for myself after having kids, because it was too much work to go shopping, and not fun anymore. But this brought into focus how much I didn’t really need anyway, and we’ve embraced this to free up funds for their college accounts, nominal kid expenses, more food for a growing family, etc.

  9. I’m shocked! Having a baby actually saves money?

    Exactly our experience, too. You’re busy with the baby and don’t have time (or energy) to spend money on other stuff. Sure, there are braces, car insurance, and college in the next few decades, but right now it just won’t be that expensive.

    1. We have found this too! Since having our son (he’s 3.5 years old now) we have spent a lot less! We find a lot more joy in doing free family stuff then going to movies or the mall to buy stuff we don’t need. For right now it’s inexpensive. I’m always worried about the teenage years 😉

  10. You guys are an inspiration! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and love hearing about how you can still be frugal with a newborn baby 🙂 And I share your disappointment with parking tickets…
    Keep it up and I hope you guys can get some sleep!

  11. Parking tickets are such a drag. I kick myself anytime I’m slapped with even a $10 bill. But given how amazing y’all did on the rest of your expenses, I wouldn’t beat yourselves up too much. Happy to hear you’re back in the swing of things. Fingers crossed Boston has a milder winter this year!

  12. Parking tickets are the worst. You just feel violated somehow. Street sweeping is the culprit here. I went over two years not getting one and people around here were amazed. BTW, they are double the amount of your parking ticket. Grrr! Glad it was such a cheap month!

  13. The first month of Kenny’s life was spent preparing to move across the country, so we spent next to nothing too. Staying in and doing nothing leads to very little spending. Is your water bill quarterly?

    1. Our water bill is indeed quarterly, which is why it doesn’t show up on every month’s expense report (I just put the total amount in the month when it hits)

  14. I wasn’t in a frugal mindset yet, but I LOVED the hospital food when I had my daughter. They had the best milkshakes in the world (except maybe Molly’s Dinner in Snowville, UT – YUM). That homemade feeling icecream with ice crystals….yes, yum. I did hear the food wasn’t near as tasty for visitors in the cafeteria though; they missed out. I never would think a hospital would provide salmon so thick and moist!

    Since this is technically your end of 2015 post, I’d like to happily report that I increased my annual savings rate from minimal (2013) to 24.51% (2014) to 43.56% (2015)! I’m aiming for another 10% increase to 54.41% for 2016 based on my calculations! Here’s to fabulous year!

    1. Huge congrats on your increased savings rate! That is absolutely awesome!!!! Woohoo! What a great way to kick off the new year 🙂

    2. This summer I broke both of my hips (different times) and ended up spending about 7 weeks in inpatient therapy. The

      I broke each of my hips at different times this summer. The result from this was, I spent almost 7 weeks in therapy at a local in patient facility. I am retired. I met a wonderful staff and some made some great friends among the patients. I had delicious meals, (which I didn’t have to prepare or clean up) I played Bingo, read books, had lots of company while there. I had all my medications provided all in a hotel like room. And guess what, the insurance paid for EVERY penny. My car insurance was credited with 29% because of low miles driven. I saved on gas also. I wouldn’t want to break a hip again, but I am counting my blessings for sure.

  15. OH man – the annual parking ticket – What? It’s not an annual event for you? Hmm. I give myself grace when it happens (annually!) and move on. One of the joys of having enough is the ability to not kick yourself over the small stuff. Life moves on. And I’m glad everything is going well with the adorable baby. She’s so sweet!

  16. I’m impressed! I might have to start looking through our monthly expenditures. Mostly I try to focus on food. This might be a fun thing to do once or twice.

    We did fairly well in December. I think our 2015 grocery costs were about $5715. (It was $5706.05, but then my spouse found another Costco receipt).

    We have been beset with illness from November on – now on our third round of stomach flu, plus a head cold and a chest cold. No bueno. So we canceled our November vacation and canceled 5 social engagements during the 2 week Christmas break. That saved money. I have been baking a lot of bread (cheap!) because it’s easy on sore tummies.

  17. At our UMC in Tucson, AZ they do charge for parking but you can have the ticket validated and get free parking. It’s ironic that parking is free in shopping malls and charged for in hospitals. Beautiful baby. In a couple of months you can start sleeping a little longer so have patience. Hugs!

    1. Yay for sleep! It’s amazing how much she changes every day–we’re already getting more sleep, which is fabulous 🙂

  18. Ah, parking tickets!!! They’re the worst. But amazing recap of December. It’s interesting, that I always assume big life changes come with expenses. Although I’m sure Babywoods will bring expenses in the future, it was interesting to learn about how she had the opposite affect for the first month.

    p.s. Super cute pictures! Keep them coming! cheers.

  19. So what did you end up doing for diapers? If disposable it should be in expenses and if cloth it should be as well, no?

    1. We actually bought diapers in either October or November (I can’t remember which… mommywoods brain) 🙂

  20. I won’t even scare you with the stories I have about San Francisco parking tickets. Basically we’re all idiots for living here and attempting to drive anywhere. That said, despite street parking every day my husband and I average about 1 ticket/year which is VERY good. It’s so funny, if you told me that my electricity bill was $60 more or I had to buy $60 worth of stuff at the hardware store for something that broke, I wouldn’t sweat it, but a $60 parking ticket makes me want to jump of a cliff.

    Your spending for this month makes sense to me! New baby=hibernating & casseroles right? That was always my understanding.

    1. We were definitely all about hibernating and casseroles last month! Starting to venture out more now, which is refreshing 🙂

  21. I’m so happy to be seeing your faces on the blog now! And I love the baby pics! I’m very glad December was unusually low-spending for you instead of unusually high-spending, as I imagine happens for many new parents.

  22. I’m pretty sure the 3-4 months after having each baby were pretty low expense-wide for us too. No one felt like leaving the house, going on dates, or doing anything much other than binge-watching Netflix. All the free meals people brought helped too. December had a lot of medical expenses for us, but we are on budget lock-down for the next 6 months or so.

  23. Its amazing how you are all on the same page. Our family is starting to move in that direction of saving more, consuming and spending less. We practiced this weekend since my son had a swim meet at MIT on Saturday and Sunday. We brown bagged our lunch and snacks and figured we saved at least $100 from eating out each day. Sunday was a bonus since we got free parking in Cambridge.. We hit Trader Joes on our way home and did not drive the extra miles for groceries. I figure that saved money but more importantly time.

    1. Howdy neighbor! Packing your own food is such an awesome frugal hack. It’s amazing how easy it is and how much money it saves! We brown-bag it everywhere and love to calculate how much we’ve saving :). I do love that Trader Joe’s…

  24. Very impressive sub $500 monthly (non-mortgage) spending!!!

    December was high for us. We had two sets of plane tickets between a wedding and Christmas, airport parking, a car rental, one fancy pants brunch out with husband’s old high school friends (everyone was in visiting so going out seemed easiest), holiday gifts (kept it below $315 for 8 ppl) all related to those two trips. It added up – over $2k between the two trips. We stayed home for two prior Christmases but we not able to get away with it a 3rd year. Good to see the extended in-laws after three years though but man they need to seriously people need to start learning how to travel. I dislike that we are always expected to travel. As usual, I’ll visit my side of the family in January or February when tickets are cheaper though.

    Then our 12 year old senior dog got so sick from some dog boarding/kennel germs. That lead to a $500 vet bill to get her better. I was so scared for her. We already knew that was her last kennel stay being old, so our future trips need a new plan. Dog swapping is not good because she doesn’t like dogs in her home.

    Then I bought new ski boots because for as much as I love skiing I was also in a lot of pain (yet kept doing it!). These boots solved all my pain issues and they are a miracle. So worth the money. I backcountry ski, so only gas money to the hills which are 45 minutes or less of a drive. I rarely do the resorts.

    January will be better though!

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that your dog got sick–that’s always so scary because they can’t tell us what’s wrong! I hope she’s feeling better now. And, sounds like you did all that travel and gifting pretty frugally. I’m with you on the Jan/Feb travel strategy–that’s usually what we do too. So much cheaper. But, I totally understand the need to be there on Christmas itself–we’ve been in that boat before too. Ski boots sound like a wise investment. That’s how I feel about my hiking boots: they’ve got to be comfortable and high quality!

  25. I cannot pick my favorite picture from this post; they are ALL beautiful!
    So glad you are all thriving!

    1. You’re so sweet, thank you!! I didn’t include all the pics of Babywoods crying and Frugal Hound running away 😉

  26. You’ve probably been told this before, but Babywoods will A) get faster at breastfeeding and B) get herself on a schedule at some point, so it will become MUCH easier. I, too, felt like I did nothing but sit and feed the baby for the first couple of months. I had to forget/ignore all of the “this is how much your baby should be drinking” lists because she’d eat EVERYTHING I gave her. Five ounces to a newborn? No problem! But it gets so much easier. By the time I went back to work at 11-ish weeks things were much better.
    Glad you’re having fun with Babywoods. Mine’s two now and while new challenges crop up to drive us crazy, she just keeps getting more fun as time goes by. There’s nothing more fun than watching them transform into capable, independent little people.

    1. Hahah, Babywoods is the same way–she’ll pretty much eat anytime and in any amount :). I’m just so grateful that she’s a breastfeeding champ–she eats so much I think we’d be out about a million bucks on formula already!

  27. We had to pay for parking for months while our baby was in the intensive care unit. There was a discount for weekly parking but you would think they’d give parents with babies in NICU a break!

    1. Oh wow–that just seems cruel! There really should be a discount or waiver for parking in cases like yours.

  28. A week… if that means there were complications, I hope it wasn’t too scary/stressful! I also loved free maternity ward food. I was super-hungry and just ordered all kinds of stuff. (“‘ll have fresh strawberries and vanilla yogurt and a bagel with cream cheese and orange juice and a sausage patty, please.”) AND they would bring me graham crackers in the middle of the night so I could take my Percoset with food. (Pro tip: I found that one bottle of Percoset was enough for two c-sections in adjacent years.)

    Parking tickets… grrr. I’m embarrassed to admit that I got two speeding tickets last year (I don’t have a lead foot, but I was lost and stressed), one “real” one ($168, ouch!) and one fake one (from a street camera–$40 and no points).

    1. Yes to the food! I ordered so much that a few times they asked if it was all for one person (ahem, yes, it is… and yes I would like two different sandwiches and the fries, salad, cookies, and fruit… ). I have an upcoming post about why we were in the hospital for a week–unexpected circumstances to say the least–but we’re all happy and healthy now, which is all that matters.

  29. Way to go! It’s amazing you haven’t had to spend any money on your new little bundle of joy. I’m looking forward to the post that tells us how you will handle childcare!

  30. Your pictures are fabulous- you all look so happy!

    I’d love to hear more about how you pre-arranged some of your hospital costs. It’s one thing I find very hard to budget, healthcare.

    1. Thank you! In terms of the co-payment for the birth–this was something that our hospital offered. If we paid in full in advance, they’d give us a percentage off the total of the co-pay. I had the same experience when I was paying for my LASIK surgery–paying in full in advance yielded a discount. Now, I always ask places if they’ll give me a discount for paying in advance! Never hurts to ask 🙂

  31. Thanks.
    I need a surgery soon and I find health insurance very difficult to understand and use, hoping I can finally get what I need!

    Last year was full of setbacks with health issues to address first then ‘ narrow networks’ which meant I could see the specialist as an outpayient but no specialist tallied up with a hospital doing the procedures…woulx be laughable if it wasn’t so awful.

    But it gives me great joy seeing you enjoying these best of times in life- thank you for sharing them : )

  32. Back in the day -10 to 15 years ago – a parking ticket in Cambridge was a frugal score. The cost of the ticket used to be a lot less than garage parking. The city of Cambridge eventually caught on and raised the parking ticket fines!

  33. Congratulations on the birth of Babywoods and your frugal December! My husband and I had the same experience when our daughter was born at the end of July. August was our lowest spending month on record since we weren’t driving anywhere or eating out at all. I recently found your blog and am enjoying reading up on your posts on frugal baby preparation. The pressure to spend money buying baby stuff is intense!

  34. Congrats on babywoods! New to the site and have really enjoyed reading the articles! It has really inspired my wife and I to go down the frugal journey especially as we are expecting our first child! Right now we are discussing if she would be a stay at home parent or continue working. Would be curious to see how you two are handling that decision and tying it into your frugal lifestyle!

    As always truly enjoy the articles and thank you for sharing your journey and tips!

    1. I’m so glad you found us :)! And many thanks for your kind words. Huge congrats on expecting baby #1!!! You’re totally right that babies don’t have to be anywhere near as expensive as people assume. Best of luck during this exciting time :)!

  35. Hi Mrs. FW! I moved to NYC a few months ago and have been very aggressive with saving (~$1000 every other paycheck) (one full paycheck and $100 of another goes to rent – that’s NYC living for ya lol). I was just wondering if you and I could maybe touch base on a feasible plan for me as I am 24 and would like to travel a little before the whole marriage / kids thing (ps. babywoods is the. cutest.). I feel like I am doing everything right, but would like another viewpoint on it – (i think my parents might be a little too close to the situation haha).

    1. Hi Beth! Nicely done on saving so much! I used to live in NYC, so I totally feel your pain ;). I think it’s all about what your longterm goals for your money are. If you want to travel, then you should! And if you want to retire early, then you’ll want to factor that into your expenses. If you’re interested in how we travel frugally, you can check out our Travel section. I wish you all the very best :)!

  36. You’re very lucky for having free hospital food! When I was at Johns Hopkins a few months ago, the cafeteria was serving $12 sandwiches and $4 bottles of water! Since I’d had to fast that day, I was just happy to have food, but when I was back there again earlier this week my mom and I decided to just hit a nearby grocery store and get food there! That’s always been my family’s favorite thing to do when we travel- stop at a grocery store and everyone gets whatever they want.

    Also, I saw you mention you love Trader Joes- what do you usually buy there?

  37. Congrats on the low month. It makes sense.

    And I plan to do the same thing for my friend will be having a baby in Feb. Food … Question did they ask you what they could bring or just make whatever they wanted…. And where they impromptu visits or did you guys plan them out. 🙂 I know every ones different but some examples will give me some direction.

    Also still getting use to seeing your faces. It was nice to meet you at FinCon. Though I didnt get a chance to talk to you as much as Mr FW

    1. Mr. FW and I are very easygoing eaters (as in, we’ll eat anything), so folks just made whatever they wanted, which we were thrilled with. And they did indeed schedule their visits with us, which was wonderful as it enabled us to not have more than one meal delivered per day. We were so grateful for the food! I must say, it’s the very best gift.

  38. Congrats on the new addition to your family and also your extremely low spending month!!

    Any chance we could see a post or two from Mr. Frugalwoods about what he’s planning and doing with the newfound parenthood? As a soon to be father myself I’d love to know a little more from the perspective of the frugal dad 🙂

    Thank you very much for the blog, it’s been both inspiring and intriguing to read. Keep up the great work.

  39. Just found your blog last week so please accept my belated congratulations on the safe arrival of Babywoods! What a little gem!

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