My lilac bush in spring! With glamour shed peeking out

I know you can’t start your summer without knowing whether or not the Uber Frugal Month Group Challenge is happening in July, so consider yourself informed: IT’S BAAAAAAAACK!! The Uber Frugal Month Group Challenge is a free, 31-day program I created to help you better understand your finances, set goals around your money, and ultimately change the way you approach spending and saving.

I recently told someone I was bringing frugal back and she about fell out of her chair laughing. But you know I’m serious. I’m serious about helping you whip your money into shape. I’m serious about recalibrating my own spending habits. Sign-up in the box below to join thousands of fellow Frugalwoods readers in a month-long Challenge to revamp how you manage your money.

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Sign-up to receive an email a day from me for 31 days starting July 1, 2019. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances.

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Take Control Of Your Money

If your money is under control, YOU are under control. If your money is doing what you want it to be doing, YOU are doing what you want to be doing. How you use your money dictates the type of life you’ll lead. Use your money wisely and LOVE the life you live.

Cherry blossoms on the homestead!

This, by the way, is not a platitude or a cliche. It’s a truism I’ve realized over the course of working with many of you on your finances through our Reader Case Studies, the Reader Suggestions, over email, and in person. You can control your money, or it can control you.

The Uber Frugal Month Challenge is designed to help you wrest back control of your financial life–however beastly it may be–and give you the confidence and concrete knowledge to create a more sustainable, fulfilling, and simple financial path forward.

Having your money in check allows you to pursue the things you love and allows you to create a lifestyle of reduced stress that includes more of what you enjoy doing. Managing money well is a medium through which you can tap into deeper forms of self-care. It’s the bedrock foundation of overall health and well-being.

The Uber Frugal Month Is Free. It Costs $0.

Our pond in May

Yep, the Uber Frugal Month is free!!! It’s not a ploy to up-sell you or sell your email address (I don’t even know how to do that… ) or inundate you with cute dog photos. Some things in life are actually free and this is one of them. Maybe I should charge for it, but I don’t because I’m passionate about helping people manage their money.

While you can sign-up for the Uber Frugal Month Challenge any old time of year (seriously, any old time), we do the Challenge as a group every January and July. We’ve been doing it this way for several years and–based on the feedback you’ve provided–you all love it. I love it too! It’s a chance to connect with likeminded frugal weirdos, to offer advice and support, and to know that we’re not alone in our commitment to creating better financial futures for ourselves.

And Now For My World-Famous FAQs Section! (probably not world-famous, but sounds better than “non world-famous”)

Q: What, exactly, is this Uber Frugal Month Challenge thing?

It’s a 31-day program I created that follows the steps my husband and I took to recalibrate our approach to consumerism, ramp up our savings rate, and ultimately, achieve financial independence. To sign-up for the Challenge, enter your email address in the box below and you’ll be all set to go!

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Sign-up to receive an email a day from me for 31 days starting July 1, 2019. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances.

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Q: What do you mean “31-day program”? Sounds painful/long.

Littlewoods: “you mean to tell me there was GRASS under that snow? And that I’m supposed to PLAY in it?”

Not at all painful! Only one month long! You’ll receive an email from me every day for 31 days, starting on July 1, 2019. Each email contains a theme for the day, an action item, links to recommended reading, and a mantra for inspiration.

The first step, which you’ll be prompted to do in the first email, is to read through and complete the questions contained in this post:

Uber Frugal Month: The Ultimate Guide To Saving More Money Than You Ever Thought Possible

You can get started on that adventure now since it does take some time to perform the soul-searching that’s required to really do the Uber Frugal Month with gusto.

Q: Who should take the UFM?

Anyone and everyone!

  • If you’ve never been frugal a day in your life, but are ready to improve your financial health and make real changes in how you manage your money, then the UFM is for you.
  • If you feel like you’re in an awesome place with your frugality, the UFM is a nice touch-up and a good reminder of why you’re frugal and how you might augment your savings and your overall philosophical approach to a simple, fulfilling lifestyle.
  • If you previously took the UFM but bailed without finishing (no judgment from me) or weren’t ready to follow through on all of the action items, now’s your chance to try it again.
  • If you thought about taking it last time, but didn’t sign-up, do it now!
  • If you’ve already taken the Challenge, but want to touch base with where you are on your financial journey, join us again!
  • If you took the Challenge before and had so much fun hanging out in the Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Facebook group that you want to hang out with us again, sign-up!
  • If you think you might want to save more money, but aren’t sure, join us.
  • If you have no clue what your longterm financial goals are (or even how much money you have or how much money you’re spending), then the UFM is definitely for you!

Q: Do I need to use Facebook (or other social media) in order to participate?

Nope! The Challenge is conducted entirely via email and here on Frugalwoods. The UFM Facebook page is a totally optional bonus. No need to sign-up for Facebook in order to participate in the UFM. All you have to do is sign-up with your email address in the box below.

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Sign-up to receive an email a day from me for 31 days starting July 1, 2019. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances.

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Q: If I’ve already taken the UFM, can I take it again?


Absolutely! I had my tech guy (aka Mr. Frugalwoods) set up the email thing-y such that you can sign-up to re-take the Challenge with the same email address you used to take the Challenge previously. You do, however, need to sign-up again in order to join us starting July 1st.

Q: What does it mean to take the UFM as a group in the month of July?

It means that I will moderate the UFM Facebook page every day and lead discussions with conversation prompts to help you along your journey. This Facebook page is active only twice a year during the two months that we take the Challenge as a group (January and July). You can join the Uber Frugal Month Facebook page here. Note that this is different from the regular Frugalwoods Facebook page, which I moderate year-round.

If you take the Challenge in July, you’re doing so with the knowledge that thousands of other frugal adherents are participating in the UFM right alongside you. There’s power and motivation in knowing that you are not alone on this epic frugal journey.

Q: How much does the UFM cost to take?

It is absolutely free! So, no excuses!

Q: How do I know if my sign-up was successful?

You’ll receive an email from me confirming your registration. The Challenge will commence on July 1, 2019!

Q: When are the UFM emails sent?

You’ll receive an email from me every single morning for the entire month (July 1 – July 31, 2019) at 5:00am EST. The emails are sent automatically at the same time everyday to everyone signed up for the Challenge so, fear not, they will arrive. I’m paranoid about the emails so I manually check every morning to make sure they’re sent.

Kidwoods: lover of mud season

Please note that the time at which emails are delivered to your inbox depends on your email and internet providers–some providers are slower than others to deliver messages. If you suspect you’re not receiving your UFM emails, please do the following:

  • #1: check your spam and all other email folders (search for “UFM” as every email begins with that title in the subject line).
  • #2: if you think you’ve accidentally unsubscribed from the Challenge, you can sign-up again here on Frugalwoods.

Unfortunately, due to the volume of Frugalwoods readers who sign-up for the Challenge, I can’t send out the emails individually. We are a two-person team over here–me and Mr. Frugalwoods—and much as I would love to email each of you personally, I have very real limitations on my time as a work-from-home mama of two small children and a homesteader on 66 acres. People, I don’t even have time to brush my hair everyday (and it shows… ).

Q: Can I access the UFM in any other way?

Nope, you gotta sign-up for the emails.


Q: How should I prepare for the Challenge?

  1. Read Uber Frugal Month: The Ultimate Guide To Saving More Money Than You Ever Thought Possible and follow all of the instructions contained in that post.
  2. Join the UFM Facebook page and introduce yourself!
  3. Start tracking your expenses ASAP if you’re not already doing so. I use and recommend the free online expense tracker through Personal Capital (this is an affiliate link).
  4. Be proud of yourself for taking this powerful step toward creating the life you want to live–not the life you have to live.
  5. Invite a friend to take the Challenge with you!
  6. Have no regrets!

Q: Can I take the UFM after July 2019?

Yes! You can sign-up to take the UFM at any time, but the Group Challenge is only offered in January and July. Sign-up by July 1 in order to join us!

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Sign-up to receive an email a day from me for 31 days starting July 1, 2019. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances.

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Real Live People Love The UFM!!!

Fun as it is to read what I write (right?!), it’s even MORE fun to read what other people (real, live people!) have said about their participation in the Uber Frugal Month Challenge. Lucky for you, I’ve collected testimonials from past Challenge participants who’ve written heartfelt notes about how the UFM revolutionized their finances and ultimately, their lives. Here are but a few selected for your enjoyment, published with permission:

Heather wrote:

I enjoyed every single email! They were confirmation to me that we are on the right path and that this frugal lifestyle journey is oh so worth it!! We live very frugal… have for a long time… and I enjoy your emails and posts because they are like having a “frugal friend” who understands and celebrates this lifestyle!! Thank you!! You encourage me to keep going with this!!

Bei shared:

I have read every one of your UFM messages and they are totally awesome! Full of wisdom and practical suggestions. My level of frugality is definitely improved! BTW, I read your book Meet The Frugalwoods last year. And it was a great book. One of the best Minimalist books I’ve read. Your blog is full of fantastic articles that are fun to read but still instilling the virtue of frugality everywhere. Please keep up your great work! I’ll be a fan of your blog and email list forever. Thanks a ton!

Kelly wrote:

At 58 yrs old, and after a lifetime of debt, overspending and anxiety, I somehow found the chooseFI podcast and your blog! If only I had been open to this message 35 years ago! Fortunately my husband is a saver and after reading your book and digging into this way of thinking, I finally get it! It’s the next level of the sense of accomplishment and stress relief I experienced when I eliminated consumer debt years ago. Currently looking at ways to shave expenses but my biggest takeaways are simply… stop buying and/or 72 hour rule. How freeing! Many thanks for all you do.

Donna shared:

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and my husband was on board with too!  We both saw that we both needed to reset the lifestyle. We were eating out way too much previously and this past month, although not perfect, only ate out twice and had Chinese takeout once. We also cut our grocery spending in half. It made us realize how much food we were buying between eating out & all the groceries…. and we’re a family of two! I have also learned that boredom is expensive, not that we’re much of a shopper, but it was death by $20 bills. We are going to continue the challenge for February and March. Our challenge is to do better each month by working on mindfulness not being on autopilot.

TJ wrote:

Thank you for this challenge, your stories, and your way of making it all light and fun. I started this month’s challenge when my girlfriend signed me up. I was shocked that she would do such a thing. We have had money conversations in the past and mostly we have similar views. Over the last year I have become much more interested in personal finance and the FI movement. This gave us a great framework to have many deeper life planning conversations and put our thoughts down on paper. We became much stronger users of the library as well as  participating in a beekeeping class through the local park service.

As for some numbers, January I spent $1,855 while in December I had spent $3,098 and November $4,368. That is a 34% difference between November and December and 50% difference between December and January. Over the three month time frame comparing November to January it’s a near 81% difference. I did not realize how much money I was throwing away. Thank you for this month of emails. It has been my routine to read them first thing in the morning to start my day off right. 

Renee shared:

Thank you for your thoughtful and thorough emails, essays and resources. Not to mention, good humor! Your month of emails activated me to review our finances (something I hadn’t done for about 8 years) and eliminate several expenses… With the changes inspired by you we will likely be able to plan one vacation a year (other than visiting our parents! Our only destination previously!!). It’s time to show this girl more of the world around her. Thank you. The time you spent developing your ideas and your skillful writing truly made a difference in our family. 

Christy wrote:

I wanted to say the sincerest “thanks” for this months challenge. I did the challenge last year & only read each day, but didn’t really adhere too much. This year was different & I’m eternally grateful. So much so, I’m stretching our frugal dollars even more for February & doing a personal “Uber frugal food” challenge. I’m purposing to spend less than $100 for the entire month for 2 (& crisis meals for people in our church). That will be $25 a week. This will be a challenge for certain, as we have no home canned goods and only a few staple pantry items. I’m always up for a good challenge and I feel there is no reason not to pursue the idea that we could drastically cut food costs. We’ve hit a very lean season in our household since fracturing my back a few months ago & yet, I have perfect peace. I feel like there is at least one thing I might be able to have a little control over. I’ve always pinched a few pennies but never all of them …needless to say I’m so excited for the future. 

Laurie shared:

This month was a remarkable journey. I was actively shifting my life from full-time executive work (from all the years I have been personally driven for the next “big” title and more money) to now. I am 54 yrs old and… when the Uber frugal challenge presented itself, I signed up.  I had room to move on truly living a frugal life.  The essence of the questions go far beyond money and frugality and I am so grateful to you for your work, your writings and your invitation to journey to this one kind of wild and precious life.  

Erin wrote:

Thank you for your Uber Frugal Month Challenge, a months worth of emails of encouragement and your blog! Here is some of what we did:

–  We are now monitoring our finances with Personal Capital and a spreadsheet

–  Dropped our lawn service and started doing it ourselves (saving $120.00 a month)

–  Dropped Sling TV and planning to not re-enroll for Amazon Prime when it’s up in two weeks (which we occasionally used for TV) (saving $56.00 a month & $95.00 annually for Prime)

–  Dropped our house alarm monitoring service (saving $45.00 a month)

–  Reduced our monthly groceries charges from (get this!) a whopping $1200 – $1600 (how in the world did we spend that for a family of four?) to $545 last month (saving $600+!!!)

– Eliminated eating out (we didn’t do this much but even the two times or so a month we did adds up — $90 savings)

–  My husband has started to bike to work everyday (which he loves and is so very thrilled about!) saving us his work parking fees ($185 a month) and gaining a clear head upon arrival at work and also at home at the end of the day

–  Reduced our cell phone data usage as much as possible (saving us about $20 month — we only spend $45 a month for both of our phones via Consumer Cellular)

–  Finally potty trained our youngest and super-disinterested-in-potty- training-daughter!  Motivated by a desire to stop buying diapers ($40 a month savings)

The bottom line is that we feel super empowered thanks to the two of you! I think for us it has felt very natural to make this, on the surface, seemingly large shift in spending as so much of what we believe in and value as human beings has to do with not taking advantages of resources in the environment and focusing on relationships and experiences rather that things that don’t matter (which are things), and our spending was out of sync with that.

In retrospect, we had been financially reckless and were spending not only more that we needed to be, but more than we now consider responsible.  So, a huge “thank you” to you and your husband — what wonderful role models the two of you are!  There is much more to say but I’ll leave it here for now.

Josie shared:

…the messages about consumerism really hit home.  For my whole working life, I was obsessed with new clothes, shoes, products.  Treats I “deserved” or “earned” or even “needed” to keep up my professional image.  So, this January, I did not buy a thing.  My only discretionary spending was getting together with old friends. Once I tuned into the anti-consumerism, I was shocked by how pervasive the messages are and how I was affected by them, even though I recognized them for what they are.  I learned that I have way more than I need and can still look nice without adding even more.  That having less is more and “good enough” is in fact, good enough.  Seeking perfection, be it the perfect home or perfect mascara is a clear path to dissatisfaction. And I learned our money can be in service to experiences vs. things and in service to generosity like funding our granddaughters 529’s or donating to good causes. Thank you for what you do and for encouraging messages.

Keri wrote:

What a month! It’s funny because I had already planned to make January a no spend month when I saw the sign up for the Uber frugal month. It felt right. I read every email. Followed every step. I also read your book (I have 1 chapter to finish). Thank you!!! Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for inspiring me to dig deeper. We have always been frugal to a point and thankfully have been savers but we have debt too. Mostly student loans, but we are ready to tackle it and eventually we will but with your wisdom, much faster than I originally intended. 

Jamie shared:

The Uber Frugal Month was a great way to get this frugal ball rolling.  I claimed to be frugal last year and “conquer” my debt, but I didn’t.  I reviewed my year end numbers and realized I was wrong.  I just bought things with credit and paid a lot of credit card bills but only reduced my debt by $300!  $300!!!! I was horrified at my lack of progress. This month long encouragement helped to firm up the road ahead to actually pay off $5000 in debt this year!  I’m making my own deodorant, taking the zero clothes purchasing thing seriously, no exceptions!  I’m grocery shopping smarter too.  It should take 24 months to get completely out of debt excluding my little home. Thank you so much for helping me and everyone else make our lives easier and more sustainable.

Carrie wrote:

Thank you for the support for the last 30 days. I hope that this year will set me up for a future that is frugal and fun.
I am 61 years old and I want the rest of my life to be filled with gratitude, and focus, on what is important. I’ve always been somewhat of a minimalist but what I have I wanted to be nice. My house and business burned in a California wildfire in 2016. I had really good insurance, thank God. The interesting part came when I started to “replace” what I had lost. I really started to think about my life and the things I “needed.” It is amazing how much I didn’t need. I got most of my stuff at auctions and estate sales. I bought a few things new.
It pays to reevaluate our lives no matter what stage we are in. I thought I needed an area rug in the living room. Turns out I don’t, it’s easier to clean the wood floors and I like the look of the floors without anything on them. I could give you many examples of changes that I have made in the way I think and do things. The bottom line is that change is good and that we should not resist it. Save your energy for the stuff that really matters and be grateful for the beautiful life that we have. 

Katherine shared:

Thank you for this fantastic challenge! My husband and I were both in the same page for the whole month with our spending-yay! My biggest accomplishment was cutting grocery spending by almost half. I paid much more attention to leftovers and meal planning around what was already there. And I started shopping at Aldi. I’ve been striving toward a slower pace in life/more simple living for our family for a couple of years. My husband never really got why because it’s innate in him. Then I read your book and started taking about money and, wow, it’s been incredible for our family. My husband now reads a lot of FI blogs and we can talk about money without me getting frustrated and discouraged. Thank you for talking money and finance in a way that doesn’t scare/intimidate me. Your book and blog have really changed our family. 

ALM wrote:

I just wanted to say thank you for putting this course together and sending the daily emails. They were a great inspiration. We had planned to do the uber frugal month just to get some of our spending under control, and then my husband lost his job mid-month. It was great to already have the good money-saving mojo going. It has given us the confidence that we need to know that we can live on my income until he finds something else that he truly wants to do. Again, thank you for all of the tips and motivation! Coming from another working mama of two young children, please know that your writing is inspirational and you are making a difference in people’s lives.

Becs shared:

Thank you again for making your ufm month challenge available to us. This month taking the challenge made buying school uniforms no challenge at all, we also used the money we saved to prepay our tickets for a family holiday we are taking in April, and paid an extra $410 in diesel taxes we have to pay in New Zealand.  So for us a really successful month.  I thought I would also share some of the ways you have helped us in the past. A year ago your post on using your time better helped me think to use my lunch break for exercise as I was struggling to fit it in with a full time job and a two year old. On reading and then buying your book I researched and made the most of my employer contribution to my New Zealand super fund.

Last January in Ufm my lovely husband and I laid our own paved area in our backyard using used pavers we brought for a song online, thus learning a great new skill and creating a lovely area for our family to enjoy outside.
So thanks for doing what you do, and sharing what you share.  The inspiration you provide has helped make my family’s finances a little brighter.
KS wrote:
What a month! I have taken your challenge once before, but this time I got my husband on board! He’d bought me your book as a b-day gift (yeah, he’s that sweet!) and we read it aloud to each other on our regular Friday tuck- the- kids- in- early- w/- candy- promised- in- the- morning- if- you- stay- in- bed- all- night date nights. That got him interested to take the challenge w/ me. And he found it so helpful! Mostly he found the gratitude part of it so interesting. And I enjoy that to, it’s something I find I need to be reminded of often. My budget is v. strict at the best of times, but I’ve enacted the 1% challenge this year starting last November acutally I think it was, I couldn’t wait, where every month I put an extra percent of our takehome pay on the mortgage. Interest rates are much higher in NZ than America. I want to get that percentage up until 40% of takehome pay is directed to the mortgage. I’ll succeed, Lord willing, January of next year I think. This is strict since we are a one income family, I volunteer any extra time or resources, none of our charitable giving is to be sacrificed, we travel back to America sometimes so my family can get to know my children, and we are sending our children through private school. HOWEVER  I still saved $134.51 in budget catagories I call discretionary! By that I mean expenses I can change on short notice. And it WOULD have been $303.51 except for the bi yearly roof treatment for moss required by the 100+ year tiles. This was a total frugal win b/c my husband did the treatment himself for a mere $169 versus the $700+ we paid 2 years ago. That is  thanks at least in part to your diy articles!  And since he’s in the chemical business himself and can reuse the bottles and nozzles that came w/ the product, and enough was left over for him to do a chemical analysis w/, in two years’ time it should only cost us around $5! Still it was a bit of a shame this had to fall on our uber frugal month! Anyways, I do want to thank you for your insightful articles and for putting this challenge together. Also for getting husband on board. It is v. appreciated!
Juls shared:
We saved $1,800 this month…we are retired and just bought 5 acres for our retirement. Hubby wants to save even more during FEB!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you

Have you done the Uber Frugal Month Challenge before? Will you join us in July?

Uber Frugal Month Challenge Signup

We all need encouragement and inspiration on our financial journey! Sign-up to receive an email a day from me for 31 days starting July 1, 2019. Every email has a tip, a mantra, an action item, and recommended reading, all designed to help you transform your finances.

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Similar Posts


  1. This is the 2nd time I’ve joined the UFMC and I’m so excited!! The last time one of my major goals was to cancel our satellite television that my husband always swore he would never do. I got him a tv cube so that he could ‘experiment’ with internet TV and by the end of March I had him convinced it was the way to go. We cancelled our satellite television saving us around $150 a month (he’s a sports junkie). It might take us a little longer than a month to make changes, but this challenge gives me the motivation and support to try. Thank you so much for offering it twice a year, I feel like I’ll be joining for years to come!

  2. I am in! I resigned from my teaching job and our income will be reduced drastically by the end of this month. Frugality has permitted us to save and invest and we are now able to spend winters in Florida. More than ever, I’ll have to find ways to stretch our pennies.

  3. I find it useful to review your 30 day challenge every so often, especially when spending is not where I would like it to be. One quick question – Do you use Personal Capital Savings account that pay 2.3% interest? I was thinking I might want to open an account with them, since my current savings pays – just about nothing!

  4. When I did this last year and was really committed, it was great. I couldn’t believe how much money I was saving by just not going into stores. I’ve backslid a bit with money so the timing here is Perfect! Thanks again guys.

  5. I’m excited to do this!! Is there anyone that has info on good free Canadian money tracker apps and such? That is one thing I’m noticing, that it doesn’t always translate well.

  6. I’ve thought about the challenge before but was never ready when it started, and so didn’t follow through. I’m excited for this go-round! I’m moving at the end of the month, and it’s been an expensive process. Plus I’m traveling for work the week before, so I’m at the throw money at this to get it done stage. I don’t at all regret that choice (lol) but July needs to be a frugal month to build those savings back up 🙂

  7. This is the perfect timing for our household! My husband is starting a new job and we have to purchase a new “used” car so we have to reign in the spending. I’m looking forward to this and just signed up for Personal Capital.

  8. Thanks for offering this free support. I‘m looking forward to your emails with excitement and I wonder if I am the only one living in Germany. It will turn out on Facebook 😏.

  9. Hi – I am reading your blog and enjoyed it a lot so far. I enrolled – but I am not sure, if I am able to participate in every part – because some general conditions are different in Germany. But I will give it a try.

  10. I sign up for it every time, and it’s a helpful reminder, day-to-day, to be mindful with money. And the timing of it is perfect! It helps us to reexamine our values and priorities and how to implement small changes that create big change over time. We’re always looking to improve!

    Sadly, July was not a frugal month for us as we had to buy last minute flights ($ouch$) to fly home for a funeral but because travel and family are priorities for us, and because we are so frugal throughout the rest of the year, we can spend on things like this without worry or grief over the cost. It was worth every exorbitant penny to take that quick trip home to be with family during a difficult time.

    Thanks, Liz, for all you do!

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