• Hardcover: 256 pages
• Publisher: HarperBusiness (March 6, 2018)
The deeply personal story of how award-winning personal finance blogger Elizabeth Willard Thames abandoned a successful career in the city and embraced frugality to create a more meaningful, purpose-driven life, and retire to a homestead in the Vermont woods at age thirty-two with her husband and daughter.
In 2014, Elizabeth and Nate Thames were conventional 9-5 young urban professionals. But the couple had a dream to become 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 an enormous amount of money: well over seventy percent of their joint take home pay. Dubbing themselves the Frugalwoods, Elizabeth began documenting their unconventional frugality and the resulting wholesale lifestyle transformation on their eponymous blog.
In less than three years, Elizabeth and Nate reached their goal. Today, they are financially independent and living out their dream on a sixty-six-acre homestead in the woods of rural Vermont with their young daughter. While frugality makes their lifestyle possible, it’s also what brings them peace and genuine happiness. They don’t stress out about impressing people with their material possessions, buying the latest gadgets, or keeping up with any Joneses. In the process, Elizabeth discovered the self-confidence and liberation that stems from disavowing our culture’s promise that we can buy our way to “the good life.” Elizabeth unlocked the freedom of a life no longer beholden to the clarion call to consume ever-more products at ever-higher sums.
Meet the Frugalwoods is the intriguing story of how Elizabeth and Nate realized that the mainstream path wasn’t for them, crafted a lifestyle of sustainable frugality, and reached financial independence at age thirty-two. 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 money and lead more meaningful, simplified lives. Following their advice, you too can live your best life.
This a great book for anyone wanting financial independence or anyone who is interested in the subject. Told with a bit of humor, you learn how Elizabeth and Nate reached financial independence in three years. She gives some pretty good ideas of how to achieve that goal, and they all sound really doable.
For me, I’d like to be financially independent, but I really want to live a life of less. Less stuff, only have what I need and a few things that make me happy. I really only want a bookcase or two of my favorite can’t get rid of books, a few lighthouse pictures on the walls, and of course my favorite kitchen gadgets. I’m done with having stuff that I really don’t need. I want to down size. I need to down size. I think that will make me so much more content.
Then, because I’m not buying everything that catches my eye, I won’t be spending money on things I don’t really need. You know what I’m talking about. Those things you see in a store and think you just have to have. You take it home and ooh and aah over it for a few days and then it loses it’s thrill and just sits there, abandoned.
I’ve often thought of how rich we’d be if we’d just not bought so much. We’d have a whole lot more in our savings account for sure.
This book should be a must read for high schools or college. There’s an old saying, “Money can’t buy happiness”. But I think money can buy you more happiness than stuff you paid money for that is sitting forgotten around your house. I’d much rather take more vacations than I would like to have “stuff”.
About Elizabeth Willard Thames
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.
I’d give this book a 5★
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