Monthly Archive: January 2020

55

How to Create Sustainable Money Habits

Today’s goal: Make it easy to do the right thing with your money. The January 2020 Uber Frugal Month Group Challenge* ends today. Congratulations to everyone who participated! A major focus of this month-long challenge is enshrining healthy money habits for the longterm. It’s not good enough to do good with your money one month, you’ve got to do good with your money all the months. That’s the only route to true improvement. Frugality can...

94

How We Manage Our Money: Behind The Scenes of The Frugalwoods Family Accounts

Today, by popular demand, I bring you a comprehensive rundown of how my husband and I manage our money. Before we dive in, I want to point out that your money management strategy will likely differ from mine, and that’s ok! Your financial situation will also likely differ from mine, and that’s ok too! There’s no one right way to do money, although there are definitely some wrong ways. What I hope is that by...

30

Reader Suggestions: How To Make Frugality Luxurious and Longterm

Frugality is not deprivation. At least, not in my opinion. Frugality should be liberating, not restrictive. Frugality should give you options and breathing room and remove the yoke of debt or the stress of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Frugality isn’t meant to punish or induce guilt when you spend money. It’s meant to free you from constant worry about money. Frugality is a mindset that encourages us to evaluate our money based on the following: Am I...

62

Travel Rewards, Flying With Two Toddlers, And A Free Hotel Stay

This is the story of flying with two toddlers on a plane, a free hotel stay, and why credit card rewards are a good thing. Here’s a boring (but important) explanation of how Frugalwoods makes money. Air Travel With Two Toddlers: How Bad Can It Be? In November, we flew to North Carolina to celebrate Thanksgiving with my in-laws. Two kids, two adults, and 45 individual boxes of raisins. Being four years old, Kidwoods got a...

63

How We Use 529 Plans To Save For College

December, with all its merry festivity, is naturally the month we contribute to our daughters’ college funds. Ah yes, just what every four-year-old and 22-month-old want for Christmas: well-funded 529 savings plans. Don’t worry, in addition to putting $5k into each of their 529s, we did give them actual Christmas gifts (most of which were either hand-me-downs or purchased at garage sales last summer… ).   Save On What Doesn’t Matter: Spend On What Does...

63

This Month On The Homestead: Hiking and The Great Indoors

December 2019 December is a dormant month. By December, we’ve completed our fall wrap-up tasks: all food from the garden is preserved, the apple cider is pressed, the tractor is switched over to the snow blower and chains, the snow tires are on the cars, the firewood is stacked on the porch, and snow obviates all homesteading labor save its removal from our driveway and walking paths. In December we turn inward and embrace the...

185

Reader Case Study: Community College Teachers Dream Of Real Estate and Rural Living (oh and they’re having another baby soon!)

Ann and Leo are both tenured community college English teachers in Seattle, WA. They have a three-year-old daughter, a baby due in March, and an adorable Corgi keeping them busy. While Ann and Leo appreciate the life they’ve created, they feel they’re at a turning point and want our help determining what’s possible, and prudent, given their financial situation. Case Studies address financial and life dilemmas that readers of Frugalwoods send to me requesting advice....

73

Mini Mittens And Other December 2019 Expenditures

Mini Mittens One clothing item I’ve failed to find used, or receive as a hand-me-down, are winter hand coverings for my children. These are also known as mittens. There seems to be one–and only one–brand of mittens that’s truly warm enough and truly stays on enough for toddlers: SnowStoppers. We bought a pair for Kidwoods a few years ago and she’s still rocking them (I got her the size medium). Here’s a boring (but important) explanation...

107

Potlucks: They’re Great

What’s not to love about a potluck? You make food, other people make food, you bring that food together and then you eat! Potlucks are a bedrock of frugal living, of community-centered living, of family-oriented living, of social living, and of living for people who like to eat. How could something so inherently frugal–so inherently about food–not be talked about on Frugalwoods until now? We cite the oversight and seek to remedy. To all you...

7

Today Is Your Last Chance To Join The Uber Frugal Month January 2020 Group Challenge!

It’s New Year’s Day, which can only mean one thing: the Uber Frugal Month Group Challenge starts today!!! Like, right now! The UFM is my free, 31-day money management bootcamp. It will transform how you think about, spend, save, earn, and manage your money. It’s designed as a spending detox, but it goes beyond mere frugality and delves into almost every aspect of money management. There’s still time to join the thousands of fellow frugal...