- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: HarperBusiness (March 6, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062668137
- ISBN-13: 978-0062668134
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 279 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living Hardcover – March 6, 2018
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From the Back Cover
The deeply personal story of why award-winning personal finance blogger Elizabeth Willard Thames abandoned a successful career in the city and embraced extreme frugality in order to create a more meaningful, purpose-driven life and retire to a homestead in the woods at age thirty-two
In 2014, Liz Thames and her husband, Nate, were conventional young urban professionals working nine-to-five jobs. But the rat race had worn them down, and they dreamed of becoming modern-day homesteaders in rural Vermont. Determined to retire as early as possible in order to start living each day—as opposed to wishing time away working for the weekends—they enacted a plan to save as much money as they could.
In less than three years, Liz and Nate reached their goal. Today they are financially independent and living out their dream with their young daughters on a sixty-six-acre homestead in the woods of Vermont. In this rural setting, they’ve discovered the deep joy of pursuing their passions, the fulfillment of a vibrant community, and a sense of peace they never expected.
Their frugal methods, as described by Liz Thames in this book, aren’t born of deprivation and hardship, but rather of a conscious decision to joyfully live far below one’s means. Thames believes frugality isn’t about what you’re giving up, but about what you stand to gain through the freedom of a financially secure lifestyle.
Through embracing wholesale frugality, Tha-mes discovered the self-confidence and liberation that stem from disavowing our culture’s promise that we can buy our way to “the good life.” She unlocked the freedom of a life no longer beholden to the clarion call to consume ever more.
Meet the Frugalwoods is the inspiring story of how Liz and Nate realized that the main-stream path wasn’t for them, crafted a lifestyle of sustainable frugality, and reached financial independence. While not everyone wants to live in the woods or quit their jobs, many of us want to have more control over our time and our money, and to lead more meaningful, fulfilling lives. By following Thames’ advice, you too can live your best life.
About the Author
Elizabeth Willard Thames is the personal finance blogger behind the award-winning Frugalwoods.com. At thirty-two she abandoned a successful career in the city and embraced extreme frugality to create a more meaningful, purpose-driven life and retire to a sixty-six-acre homestead in the woods of Vermont with her husband and young daughter. Started in April 2014, Frugalwoods is a respected voice in the personal finance, early retirement, and lifestyle blogging sector and empowers readers to take charge of their finances and create fulfilling lives. Thames holds BAs in political science and creative writing from the University of Kansas and an MA in public administration from American University. Prior to following her calling as a writer and homesteader, she worked for ten years in the nonprofit sector as a fund-raiser and communications manager.
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After hearing several of their podcasts (the one with On Point in particular), my image of Liz and her family has changed drastically. I feel very mislead. All this time she has referred to themselves as "middle class" and making a point to say they both worked for non-profits. When I learned of her husband's income alone, I sat there dumbfounded. This family is not middle class. They are extremely well off, and were given a lucky hand in life. I am thankful that I found this out and could stop being so hard on myself for not making our dreams comes true sooner---despite being extremely frugal and trying to make ends meet at the same time.
I felt like I was reading a book written by a different person. I didn't like her writing style or tone of voice (both in the book and interviews). Something felt off, and very different than the blog I so loved to read. Then I learned more about the size of their income, and things started to make sense. I really wish Liz was more upfront about their financial situation in terms of actual numbers--It is a finance book after all! While I do understand the need for privacy, I now feel like this was an extremely important piece of information for their readers. I applaud them for becoming less materialistic, and finding the joy in the simple things. These are lessons most of us need to learn. But I don't really want to take financial advice from an upper middle class couple who has never known the struggle of debt and a lower middle class income.
I'm still hoping she will address this in a future blog post, I know I'm not the only one who feels this way.
The online persona is entirely different from what I read. I feel like the account we have been given through Frugalwoods is a sham.
This couple did not retire. They work from home, earning hefty paychecks. Not exactly the retired 32 year olds they want the world to believe they are. My IT husband works from home, I can promise that he would never claim to be retired!
Her interview on NPR displayed that she is oblivious to the struggles of Americans who are trying to get by. This book did nothing but prove that she has no clue. Stating that she gave up $40/week in artisanal cheese should embarrass her if she is actually trying to prove her point that scaling back helps when times are tough.
She is correct, people need to scale back. Americans buy too much and we are driven by the desire to consume and acquire more. But please do not insult us by claiming to be something you are not. The numbers do not add up. They are not retired and they did not amass a fortune by saving on modest non profit salaries. Her husband’s salary is public record.
3/22 update: Lowered the overall rating from 3-stars to 1-star because in the intervening two weeks, FW has reportedly been deleting even the most tepid questions about incomes/finances from their newer blog posts and have not addressed readers' questions in other forums that they are known to frequent. I understand that the scrutiny that comes with being a public figure isn't always pleasant, but it's disheartening to see that they would rather obfuscate/dodge questions than engage in good-faith with the community that has supported their success for years.
In the blog posts and now book, Mrs. Frugalwoods stated they don’t have “investment banker salaries” and are “average”. Now I find out that they make greater than 200,000 a year. It breaks my heart that she is so out of touch that she feels this is an “average “ salary and I now I understand why even with cutting everything to the bone, that we haven’t been able to save like they do. We actually ARE “average” having an income of around 55,000.
Kudos to the Frugalwoods for their wonderful income, but it is misleading to say your income is “average”. I much prefer the blog to the book, feel duped and wish I hadn’t beaten myself up for not being able to save like the Frugalwoods.