Blog spotlight

Spotlight on: Frugalwoods

This was my binge read of the week. What was most memorable to me was the idea of using a spreadsheet and time to find the right place to call home. I think most of all that is central, albeit unspoken, in My Early Retirement Journey. There is a live wire in the background of My Journey wondering where exactly I will land. Remember the ‘old days’ when online chat was still a thing and people would list and ask for stats upon entering a chatroom. I thought that might be a quaint idea to utilize as I browsed and shared other FIRE blogs of interest. As this blog grows, there might be other blogs that might apply to your situation or season or just might be more interesting. I like sharing knowledge; it’s kind of what the Internet’s all about. Some of the details are things bloggers have strong opinions on and use it to differentiate their experience. Others are things that are fun or basic to know about other bloggers.

Blog name: Frugalwoods
Author: Elizabeth Willard Thames
Blog start date: 2014
Location: Southern (rural) Vermont
Current Age: 34 year old
Date of FI/RE: May 2016
Net worth: undisclosed
Debt: 1 mortgage  (their primary residence $1393/mon)
Income/ Income streams: rental income from their previous home
Savings: undisclosed
Filing status: Married
Rent/own: own
Kids: 2
Pets: yes
Car: yes and farm equipment
Cell phone: yes
Cable: no
Credit cards: yes “how we buy everything”

Motivation: My husband asked me, “when are you happiest?” And I said, “I’m happiest I’m out hiking in the woods […]” And he said, “Why are we living in the city? Why are we spending all this money on this lifestyle that is not really bringing us that high level of contentment.” And so we thought, ‘instead of running away to the woods every weekend, we should really just move to the woods.’ This is where we are happiest, this is where we are most at peace. (

Their Journey so far: They do not hide the fact that they come from a stable home of privilege that has afforded them the wherewithal to choose to live a frugal life despite high earned income. Her husband is and still works as a software engineer and the blogger was a professional fundraiser with writing experience. Less than three years after that reflective moment, the couple moved to their 66-acre homestead in central Vermont. The full-time transition to life in the woods is made possible – in part – by being able to rent out their house in Cambridge. (

Blog Notables: Their decision to pursue (and subsequently achieve) financial independence afforded them the opportunity and ability to live a life of their own design. Their blog focuses less on investing and early retirement so to speak but more on the benefits of frugality, financial independence, homesteading, and choosing your peace.  In the works for the homestead is turning the outbuildings on their property into rental income through Airbnb. This intent was one of several factors on the spreadsheet they used to find their optimal location. Of note, readers can submit case studies for the blogger and community to provide recommendations and insight.

My takeaway: Spreadsheets work!
How I relate to Their Journey: I appreciate a well thought out and executed plan. Kudos!

What blogbytes would you like to know about your favorite FIRE blogger?

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