My sunflowers!

It’s UFM time!!!!! We take the UFM as a group twice a year: in January and July and it’s time to sign-up for the July edition! It’s like Christmas in July, but cheaper (SINCE IT’S FREE!) and more exciting–debatable, but you will feel really good about yourself afterwards.

What is this UFM of which you type?

Better than Utility Fish Markets, Underwear Fang Monkeys and Unstoppable Ferocious Moths, it’s the Frugalwoods Uber Frugal Month Challenge and it is fabulous. Sign-up in the box below to join me!

The UFM Cultivates a Healthy Relationship with Money

Summer flower bouquet!

While the name implies this Challenge is only about saving money, it is not. It’s about a holistic restructuring and examination of our relationship with one of the most divisive, fear-inducing, anxiety-provoking, divorce-causing, emotional things in our lives: OUR MONEY.

Saving money is great, but until we understand our money–and our reactions to it–we can’t make lasting changes to facilitate a healthy, long-term relationship. The Uber Frugal Month is a chance to spend quality time with your money and understand it in a guilt-free environment devoid of financial jargon and shaming.

I invite you to join me this month for an accessible, easy-to-understand journey to financial health. Plus, it’s free so there’s nothing to lose!

The Private Facebook Group Lives On

Actually, the private Facebook group never stopped after I created it a few years ago. I LOVE the supportive, helpful, friendly, funny and frugal conversations in that group. I rarely comment because the group members are rocking it and have created a wonderful community!

This chicken: does not have a Facebook acocunt

You do not have to join the private Facebook group in order to participate in the Challenge–it’s an added bonus and a way to connect with the broader, worldwide Frugalwoods community.

If you’re already a member of the group, you just keep on keeping on. If you’d like to join the group, you’ll receive instructions after you sign-up for the UFM. It’s a private group, which means the posts are confidential to the group.

It’s also a “Frugalwoods-y” group, which means no rudeness, judgement, self-promotion, or mean comments tolerated. Humor and photos of your frugal hacks (and pets!!!) are welcome and encouraged!

And Now For My World-Famous* FAQs Section!

*not world-famous, just sounds better

Q: What, exactly, is the Uber Frugal Month Challenge?

It’s a 31-day program outlining 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!

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

Not at all painful! Only one month long! You’ll receive an email from me every day for 31 days, starting on July 1, 2022. Every email has 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 and complete the exercises in this post:

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

You can get started on that now since it takes some time to really do the Uber Frugal Month with gusto.

Q: Who should take the UFM?

Anyone and everyone!

  • Summer garden view

    Except for dogs. The UFM is not designed for dogs. Sorry, dogs.

  • 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, the UFM is for you.
  • If you’re in an awesome place with your frugality, the UFM is a nice touch-up and reminder of why you’re frugal and how you might augment your savings and overall philosophical approach to a simple, fulfilling lifestyle.
  • If you previously took the UFM but bailed without finishing (no judgment) or weren’t ready to follow through on all 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), 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 Group is an 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.

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 July?

Littlewoods + chicken little

It means I will moderate the UFM Facebook Group and facilitate discussions in the group to help you along your journey. I moderate this Group only twice a year during the two months we take the Challenge as a group (January and July).

You’ll receive an email with instructions on how to join the Group when you sign up for the UFM.

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 alongside you. There’s power and motivation in knowing you’re 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 starts on July 1, 2022!

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, 2022) at 5:00am EST. The emails are sent automatically at the same time every day to everyone signed up for the Challenge so, fear not, they will arrive. Plus, I’m paranoid about the emails so I check every morning to make sure they’re sent.

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 has that in the subject line).
  • #2: if you think you’ve accidentally unsubscribed from the Challenge, you can sign-up again here on Frugalwoods.
Carrot eaters unite

Unfortunately, due to the volume of Frugalwoods readers who sign-up for the Challenge, I can’t send out the emails individually.

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 the instructions in that post.
  2. 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).
  3. Be proud of yourself for taking this powerful step toward creating the life you want to live–not the life you have to live.
  4. Invite a friend to take the Challenge with you!!! 

Q: Can I take the UFM after July 2022?

Absolutely! 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!

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 and published with permission:

Lynn wrote:

Thank you! I had a great month with the support of yourself and the Frugalwoods community. It was like moving to a new neighborhood and finding love and acceptance. And great neighbors who want nothing other than to help you succeed. Very very grateful to be included in this community you have built.

Flavia shared:

I have tried making through an entire Uber Frugal Month in the past, but something would always get in the way. Until this month, that is. I’m happy to report that for the first time in my life, I’ve completed an entire Uber Frugal Month challenge, and to be honest I’m kinda asking myself, “Why isn’t this a three-month challenge?” 🙂

In this month, I have: curbed all unnecessary spending, changed cell phone carriers, canceled magazine and newspaper subscriptions (they were just piling up on the coffee table), forgone dog grooming, and I’m now looking into ways to decrease our grocery bill.

Rachel said:

It was a good opportunity to recommit. And a supportive reminder that I’m not alone in being weary of the consumerism around me… the UFM did nudge me to have more fun with frugality.

Jack wrote:

Thank you so much for the uber frugal month.. It has been very educational and that is what I was hoping to get out of it. I enjoyed learning about the frugal mentality that you have and how I can improve mine. We are already sort of frugal but I’m hoping with a better understanding of frugalness we can save even more. My biggest takeaway is to plan ahead and work to make sure when we spend money it is in a frugal way.

Rachel shared:

I confess this is my 3rd time through, and I got my sister to start the journey as well – super high 5 for that. This time it was more about double checking and level setting, now that I have FIRED. Before my Dad died almost 5 years ago, he said all he wanted was a Happy Daughter. I am happier than I have been in a very long time. I aim to be even happier!!!

Jean said:

I have just completed my reading for the day, “There’s no perfect time to start being frugal.”
It is so inspirational, I am already a Frugalista (is that a word?)  but I am spending today, Sunday in Australia already, reviewing to myself any goals I wish to make. Today is the perfect day to start. My biggest Goal in life was made very much as you relay in your blog post. It was a “ping” moment. I longed to live in a warm climate. I had talked about it every time we came back from a sun chasing holiday. it started at that very moment, over lunch my then husband said “shall we move to Australia” and I said “yes.”  It took three years for our permanent visa to arrive, and here I am living in a sub-tropical climate. Forty years later, every morning I look out from my balcony and I still cannot believe I’m here, living the dream, even when the day is so hot and sweaty… My mantra is renewed today with your blog post, just do it.

Adina wrote:

I like signing up for Uber Frugal Month challenge every year; being frugal is second nature for me, but I always discover something new during this challenge, both about me as a person but also about my habits. This Challenge is sort of a New Year tradition for me as well as a frugal checklist. Thank you for making it all happen and for building such a great frugal community online!

Liz shared:

When I noticed the uber frugal month, I was intrigued but hesitant about doing it. I have never been good with challenges and also frugality definitely had a more negative connotation for me.  I eventually joined when I realized that it can only be a beneficial exercise and I wouldn’t be graded or get a work evaluation based on how I did – it was just for my benefit, and I could do as much or as little as I wanted.

I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed the challenge. …The environmentalist aspects of  the challenge resonated with me a lot… loved your stories and hearing your approach to handling life’s complexities.

With pandemic and lost interaction from leaving work, I’ve been craving interaction and your daily emails seemed to help that.  Your writing style is very approachable and I could find myself clicking through multiple posts in a day. My girlfriends also loved hearing about what was going on with the challenge. More recently we’ve been trying to learn more about finances and investing so this was a great addition to it all.  One had already read your book :)… I appreciate your time, effort, thorough research and candidness in your posts.

Kari said:

Thank you so so much Liz, i’ve enjoyed every one of the daily emails – given me lots to think about and talk about with my husband :). I’ve made heaps of notes about your daily actions and mantras to keep referring to over the year.

It’s truly so freeing to realise that I can be in control of my money instead of the other way around.

Life changing stuff, thank you so much for all that you’ve shared and your beautiful clear & clean way of seeing through the tangle of marketing messages thrown at us daily. We all get a little off-track sometimes, and just need a nudge back in the right direction.

Clo said:

I love your blog. I started reading MMM when I was 14 (it still holds a special place in my heart), but this year, I moved to your blog and found that I recognized myself a lot more in it – the base principles were similar, but your values and your personality shine through! It’s always a pleasure to read you.

I appreciate that your blog isn’t just for “beginners” or people who are neck-deep in debt and need to do a complete 180 in their lives. I like that even though I pretty much qualify as a very frugal weirdo, I can still learn lots from your blog, and I also find community and it reinforces my good habits.

Jen shared:

Thanks so much for this UFM. I’ve learned so much that I knew somewhere in the back of my brain but was too lazy/“busy” to address. It’s only been a month but this is so freeing and makes so much sense, I can’t imagine not continuing.

Jimmy wrote:

I loved taking part in this and changing my perspective on spending. This is something I will recommend to my friends and family. Thoroughly enjoyed doing this and am confident this has changed my life for the better. 

Akef shared:

… as far as frugality skills I am better equipped now… But away from all the money skills… I realized that your main message is thinking about how to create a sustainable and fulfilling life based on one’s values it’s not really about money. So what I really ended up doing is actually think about why am I doing this and what life am I seeking and how frugality as a skill can help me achieve that life that I am pursuing.

Are you ready to Uber Frugal it up with me in July?!?

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  1. This is perfect timing! We moved to a new state about 6 months ago, and just this week I was thinking that we needed to do this again to reset now that the wild “we just moved” expenses have had a chance to settle.

  2. Moving /hopefully/ next month and this is the perfect thing to do to make sure we don’t overspend on any unnecessary expenses!! Can’t wait to do this with my husband. It’s perfect timing as we are really focused on cutting down our spending right now.

  3. We also just moved and it feels like we are absolutely bleeding money! This is an awesome time for a reset of spending habits and flexing our rusty frugal muscles!

  4. I love this challenge — and sign up every time it’s offered. I’ve reached fiscal independence — helped by frugal habits, parents (and grandparents) who were savers and instilled good habits, attention to details, years of savings — and age(!) and don’t want to lose all that I’ve gained over my life. The Uber Frugal Month is a great reminder of good habits and a re-set, if needed.

  5. Are the emails the same as the ones that are sent in January? I’m happy to participate in the FB group, but I don’t need to receive the same emails again (no offence–I saved the ones from January). So just wondering if they’re exactly the same before I sign up. 🙂

    1. They are slightly different (and in a slightly different order), but the general idea is the same. I edit and update them for each group challenge and I always end up changing my mind about the order and some of the themes. But, it’s not radically different, if that helps!

  6. As others have said, great timing!
    I was planning to ot spend ay money on Amazon next month, so this lines up nicely.

  7. Same. My spending on food (includes: grocery, takeout, dining) has been getting out of hand lately. Also, I have been tempted to buy things (excess) for the house. I want to cut back. This will make me accountable.

  8. LET’S DO IT! It’s going to be a challenge for my boyfriend and me to be uber frugal in July, because we’re flying to two different family events on weekends, but we can do our best to travel economically and make up for those expenses elsewhere.

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