Loading...

Follow Frugalwoods | Financial independence and simple li.. on Feedspot


Valid
or
Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook

Next month, Mr. Frugalwoods and I celebrate TEN years of wedded bliss! Our marriage is, in many ways, the backbone of our frugality and journey to financial independence. Over the years, I’ve written about the role that our partnership plays in our financial decisions and the importance of being on the same financial page with your partner. But today, I want to discuss the lighter, fluffier side of getting married: the wedding registry!

Apparently a lot of you are getting married soon (congrats!) because I’ve received quite a few questions about the sometimes-dreaded, sometimes-loved topic of wedding registries. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the endless lists of things you’re supposed to include on a wedding registry (champagne flutes AND martini glasses? Really?). And that little point-and-register scanner thingy in the Crate & Barrel doesn’t help matters.

It’s the worst intersection of impulse buying and, if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a bunch-o-junk you do not need.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

April 2018

Remember how I said last month that the snow was receding? Well, it must’ve overheard my hubris and felt the need to prove me wrong. April was, uh, pretty snowy. Although our winters are indeed long up here in Vermont, this winter took it to the extreme and overstayed its welcome.

The snow would melt, tempting us with a glimpse of bare earth, only to jealously cover the nascent grass with a colorless slate. Back and forth we went all April long, with snow exacting its final revenge with one last (admittedly lovely) snowfall on April 30th. Seriously, snow? You just couldn’t let April go.

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead. After leaving urban Cambridge, MA in May 2016 to chart this wholly different life, we’re experiencing a constant learning curve of exploration (and plenty of stupid novice moments).

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We’re headed to Arkansas in this month’s Reader Case Study for a discussion with Emily and John, a young couple with a two-year-old and two dogs. Unfortunately, it’s a cancer diagnosis that prompted Emily to request a Case Study, but I’m optimistic that the Frugalwoods community can offer this young couple support, advice, and insight.

Case Studies are financial and life dilemmas that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in. Then, Frugalwoods nation (that’s you!), reads through their situation and provides advice, encouragement, insight, and feedback in the comments section. For an example, check out last month’s case study.

I provide updates from our Case Study subjects at the bottom of each Case Study several months after a Case is featured. You all have requested an easier way to track Case Study updates and I have heard your pleas :)!

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Well, if you’ve ever wanted to feel good about your spending vis-a-vis my spending, then THIS is your month!!! April was absurdly expensive around here. ABSURD, I tell you. As I shared the other week, Mr. Frugalwoods and I finally broke down and bought a used truck in April, and since we paid cash for the full amount of the truck, that accounts for the vast majority of our spending. I have several posts detailing why paying cash in full (and buying used) is the most financially sound route to car ownership, so I won’t rehash all the details here. Suffice it to say that by taking this approach, we avoid incurring the interest rate and the massive depreciation that accompanies new vehicles (or used vehicles bought with financing). While it’s a lot of money to pay all at once, buying used and avoiding a car payment generally costs much less overall (which allows you to save more every month, which allows you to fund this type of purchase).

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Parenting often feels like walking through water with all of my clothes on. Everything is damp, I’m moving more slowly than I ever thought possible, I’m more exhausted than I ever have been, and I just can’t seem to get anywhere, let alone to my destination. Come to think of it, I’ve completely forgotten what my destination even was to begin with. I’ve gone hours before having the chance to go to the bathroom. Days without a drink of water (ok, probably like 30 minutes, but I get dehydrated quickly) and I recently went nine months without wine.

It’s not easy to parent small people and it’s even harder to parent two small people. I think many of us have a tendency, or a desire perhaps, to paper over the challenges of raising kids. To focus only on the highs, of which there are many. But acknowledging the challenges doesn’t diminish the wonders.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Although I’m having trouble believing it, seeing as I’m looking out over a landscape of snow (and actually we’re in the middle of an ice storm at the moment… ) summer is coming! For the first time since way back when I was in school, summer has an actual meaning this year. Now that our oldest daughter is almost 2-and-a-half, she has a fairly packed schedule during the year. She goes to preschool two mornings a week, to several different free playgroups throughout the week, and we have playdates with friends all the time.

We love this diversity to our days and Babywoods thrives on these social encounters (as do I!). The problem, I’ve recently learned, is that all of this stuff STOPS in the summer! Le eek!!! Preschool stops, the free playgroups run by the elementary school AND the library stop, and a lot of our friends are headed off on vacation!

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

We finally did it. We didn’t want to do it, we delayed it, we put it off, we even bought a Subaru instead. But the realities of rural living caught up with us and we finally capitulated to the fact that… we needed to buy a truck. And so, this month, we did. I don’t have anything against trucks except that they’re so BIG and non-fuel efficient and, well, truck-like, which is exactly why we needed it!

I won’t keep you in suspense, we bought a 2010 Toyota Tundra for $15,300 and we paid cash. For comparison, a brand new 2018 Tundra, similar to the one we bought, costs circa $37,000.

Fear not, all details are below! Also, don’t worry if you hate cars, this’ll still be a fun post to read. I did, after all, once write a post about replacing a storm door that people thought was hilarious, so hey, this at least sounds more interesting than that one did, right?!

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

March makes very clear that we had a baby! Our co-payment for Littlewoods’ birth as well as a few doctor’s appointments and her birth certificates are all reflected in March’s spending. While we frugalize nearly every aspect of child-rearing–from sourcing all used clothing, furniture, and baby accoutrements to creating simple, inexpensive holiday celebrations–there are some immutable costs of having a baby (such as buying copies of their birth certificates!). I love that most of Littlewoods’ stuff–her crib, her clothes, my infant carrier, etc–is on at least its fourth child.

Friends and family handed things down to us before Babywoods was born (and I bought some things at garage sales and thrift stores) and it lives on for Littlewoods! I’m already lining up friends interested in taking these hand-me-downs from us after Littlewoods is done with them.

I foisted off gave away a bunch of maternity clothes this past weekend to a friend who is pregnant and am delighted to continue the cycle of sharing and passing along maternity and baby things.

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

It’s back to the Big Apple for this month’s Reader Case Study for a conversation with Lauren, a psychologist in Manhattan with a love of dogs and the arts. She has questions about planning for possibly adopting a child and potentially buying a condo in NYC.

Case Studies are financial and life dilemmas that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in. Then, Frugalwoods nation (that’s you!), reads through their situation and provides advice, encouragement, insight, and feedback in the comments section. For an example, check out last month’s case study.

I provide updates from our Case Study subjects at the bottom of each Case Study several months after a Case is featured. You all have requested an easier way to track Case Study updates and I have heard your pleas :)! Here’s list of all the Case Studies that currently have an update provided at the end of the post:

  • Reader Case Study: Earn More, Spend Less, Or Both?

Read Full Article
Visit website
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

March 2018

Early March, with its balmier temperatures and reluctantly melting snow, set our minds towards spring. We foolishly began to discuss impending blooms and said reckless things like, “maybe we’ve had our last snow of the season.” Overhearing our misguided words, March retaliated in an effort to prove how wrong we were and dumped a righteous amount of snow.

It snowed daily, weekly, heavily. With gusto and vigor, the landscape was newly coated and freshly imbued with the mummification of snow. Deep as that snow was and lusty as each storm seemed, eventually bare ground will win out. Rounding the final days of March, mud began to take over our driveway and roads. Snow still coats most of the landscape, but mud is decidedly the upstart usurper.

If you’re just tuning in, this is a recurring series in which I document each month of our lives out here on our 66-acre Vermont homestead.

Read Full Article
Visit website

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview