Author Topic: What's up with the Frugalwoods?  (Read 106006 times)

nick663

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #400 on: March 30, 2018, 08:44:03 AM »

And yet in that first link I posted here:

http://www.frugalwoods.com/2015/02/16/the-privilege-of-pursuing-financial-independence/

She states that they have high paying jobs.  So while it's super fun to look at one statement, take it out of context, and blow it all out of proportion by claiming they live in a bubble and have no sense of what's average, it's not really the case at all.  They obviously know they make a lot of money.  It's probably why she writes so much about how privileged they are. 

But of course by this point, the pitchforks are out and all of these anti-MMM attitudes are feeding upon each other, so there's probably not much anyone can do to stem the tide.  I tried though.
"High paying" relative to what though?  A couple paragraphs before that she mentions being in a "higher earning category than many other people in the world" ...which is true for pretty much anyone in the United States.  The median household income of earth is less than 10k.

Jobs.  Relative to other jobs.  Hence the phrase "high paying jobs".
Well duh but jobs exist outside of the US.  That article was about privilege and they're not just privileged relative to those in the US.

Tyson

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #401 on: March 30, 2018, 10:25:02 AM »
Frugalwoods - "We have high paying jobs".

nick663 - "Yeah, but what does that MEAN!!!!?????"

Me - Uhm, sometimes words mean exactly what they say. 

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #402 on: March 30, 2018, 10:32:26 AM »
Wow -- this NYT editorial discussing anxiety around affluence sure is pertinent to this discussion:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/08/opinion/sunday/what-the-rich-wont-tell-you.html

"Scott and his wife had spent $600,000 in the year before our conversation. ďWe just canít understand how we spent that much money,Ē he told me. ďThatís kind of a little spousal joke. You know, like: ĎHey. Do you feel like this is the $600,000 lifestyle? Whooo!í Ē Rather than living the high life that he imagined would carry such a price tag, he described himself as ďfrenetic,Ē asserting, ďIím running around, Iím making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.Ē Having money does not mean, in his view, that he is not ordinary."

O_O

[this isn't related to your point about anxiety, but it, um, stuck out to me.]

How the flying fuck does one spend $50k a MONTH and not understand how they spent it?! In NYC I guess mortgages are expensive on what must be multi-million dollar properties, but holy smokes! There's an eye-opener.

One of the things I admire about the FW's is that despite their apparently high incomes, they have thus far resisted the temptation to inflate their lifestyles and are still very forthcoming about their expenses. That's an interesting facet of their story that to me is only amplified by the revelation of them having very substantial salaries. Some of the folks in this story earn as much or more, yet can't seem to figure out how to not blow it all. You don't spend $600k per year by buying $6 bread. [Insert groan-inducing "dough" pun here, if you're into that.]

I understand where the outrage is coming from, and why some folks are left feeling like the rug was pulled out from under them; I'm in the camp that doesn't feel especially misled because I wasn't all that surprised to discover that they were very high earners. I've read their blog for years and have always operated under the impression that they earned more than they let on. That said, my reaction is to be happy for them for playing the hand they were dealt to enable themselves to live an intentional life.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #403 on: March 30, 2018, 10:51:27 AM »
Frugalwoods - "We have high paying jobs".

nick663 - "Yeah, but what does that MEAN!!!!?????"

Me - Uhm, sometimes words mean exactly what they say.

Lol

nick663

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #404 on: March 30, 2018, 11:06:12 AM »
Frugalwoods - "We have high paying jobs".

nick663 - "Yeah, but what does that MEAN!!!!?????"

Me - Uhm, sometimes words mean exactly what they say.
Yes, being somewhat obtuse there but he accused others of using words out of context while wanting to focus on 3 words in a 5,000 word blog post.  He wants to nitpick, let's nitpick. :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 11:44:43 AM by nick663 »

Basenji

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #405 on: March 30, 2018, 11:20:09 AM »
I think that someone on the previous thread hit the nail on the head:  while we might like to think that FI or RE is available to anyone willing to save and put in the work, the fact is that is much easier--and indeed much more likely--if you have a significant income to save (or money from an inheritance, a house sale, etc). As noted, 54,000 (the FW average spending [and MMM's is around there too, as I recall]) is the average income--before deductions-- of many. The fact that they can save on top of that points to a high wage, whether they reveal that or not.

I've read the FW blog for awhile, and I don't recall them saying, "Hey, anyone can do this, etc."  I suspect the ire in this thread and the other is that the blog exposes--unwittingly or not--the importance of income (not to mention stellar benefits and the ability to work from home and thus live in a less expensive area), and the fundamental inequities in those perks, particularly among millennials.

Agreed, badassprof. Life circumstances are unfair from day one. One can either give up and say, "It's impossible for me to FIRE on my low salary." Or one can make the best of a situation. Even if someone can't fully FIRE, saving money puts one in a stronger position than being in debt. I think attacking Frugalwoods for making/having money is sour grapes and approaches personal stalking with the internet searches for taxes and salaries. Newsflash: a person who makes more money than you can (in theory) save more money and do it more quickly than you can! Math!

Eric

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #406 on: March 30, 2018, 03:37:44 PM »
Frugalwoods - "We have high paying jobs".

nick663 - "Yeah, but what does that MEAN!!!!?????"

Me - Uhm, sometimes words mean exactly what they say.
Yes, being somewhat obtuse there but he accused others of using words out of context while wanting to focus on 3 words in a 5,000 word blog post.  He wants to nitpick, let's nitpick. :)

Well Nick, I'll let you in on a secret.  High paying jobs relative to the US would still be high paying jobs relative to jobs outside of the US.  So no matter the comparative item, the meaning would be the same.  I'm a bit surprised you needed someone to explain that to you, but I'm happy to be of assistance.

Please read the other 4997 words (you can, right?) and you'll see that they agree with my points.  They will also provide context for the 3 words I used, which will show that I was not taking them out of context.

And I didn't nitpick anything.  I was attempting to show the nitpickers that they were wrong.  This is because a 5000 word post provides better information than a one sentence tag line designed to sell books.  That was the nitpicking that was taking place.  Did you happen to read the multiple posts accusing them of living in a bubble due to a single sentence?  No?  That's okay, as I'm assuming this is your reading comprehension problem cropping up again.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #407 on: March 30, 2018, 03:46:35 PM »
I think that someone on the previous thread hit the nail on the head:  while we might like to think that FI or RE is available to anyone willing to save and put in the work, the fact is that is much easier--and indeed much more likely--if you have a significant income to save (or money from an inheritance, a house sale, etc). As noted, 54,000 (the FW average spending [and MMM's is around there too, as I recall]) is the average income--before deductions-- of many. The fact that they can save on top of that points to a high wage, whether they reveal that or not.

I've read the FW blog for awhile, and I don't recall them saying, "Hey, anyone can do this, etc."  I suspect the ire in this thread and the other is that the blog exposes--unwittingly or not--the importance of income (not to mention stellar benefits and the ability to work from home and thus live in a less expensive area), and the fundamental inequities in those perks, particularly among millennials.

Agreed, badassprof. Life circumstances are unfair from day one. One can either give up and say, "It's impossible for me to FIRE on my low salary." Or one can make the best of a situation. Even if someone can't fully FIRE, saving money puts one in a stronger position than being in debt. I think attacking Frugalwoods for making/having money is sour grapes and approaches personal stalking with the internet searches for taxes and salaries. Newsflash: a person who makes more money than you can (in theory) save more money and do it more quickly than you can! Math!

Agreed. Like I said on the other thread, I think this entire discussion is tacky. This isnít CSI: FIRE, but people are internet sleuthing like their lives depend on verifying if people who have said they make incredible salaries as part of their FIRE strategy, actually do. I expect more from the MMM community than this level of pettiness. This isnít reddit. I wish the mods would close of this discussion. Nothing new is being said, itís beating a dead horse and asking people to stalk and investigate innocent people who have done nothing but shared far more than anyone here complaining about their lives, in order to help others improve theirs. Be better people!

FIREwannabe

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #408 on: March 30, 2018, 07:40:52 PM »
For the record, I don't begrudge the Frugalwoods their income or their success.  If the book had been made available as a free download from the blog, I bet there wouldn't be as much arguing going on about them.  Speaking only for myself (and probably for others, given the comments on this forum), I feel like I've been duped by purchasing the book.  It is disingenuous.  It is not retirement advice, but an accounting of how two well paid individuals managed to live on the average/median income of the US household.  They have set goals and managed to live up to this goals, in part by creating a fan club that helps add to their net worth.  If the envelope hadn't been pushed to monetize their own life story by writing a pure-play vanity piece and selling it for more money than it is worth, the Frugalwoods wouldn't be facing the ire of those who (like I do) feel duped.

For the record, I have worked for investment banks for the past 16 years in a support role.  Like the Frugalwoods, I have never earned an investment banker salary, but investment bankers keep me very busy.  In the first few years of an investment banker's career, it would not be surprising to find that first- second- third- fourth- fifth-year bankers (pretty much everyone who isn't at least a VP) live, not on seltzer water, but on Red Bull and other caffeine/energy drinks.  My day starts anytime between 7:30 and 8 AM; it ends anytime between 5:30 and 7 PM - if I'm lucky.  The bankers, meanwhile, stay at their desks.  Many mornings, there will be an email sent at 8PM with a request; a follow-up email will be sent anywhere between 11 PM and 2 AM; and often, there will be a "when will you get this to me? I need it ASAP!" email sent between 5 and 6 AM.  No investment banker can go hiking every weekend, or even get a regular sleep schedule.  Many have joined the building's gym just to access the showers.  Six years ago one investment banker I did work for, who had been employed at this bank for less than a year, died in his sleep.  Investment bankers are overpaid, but they are also overworked.  Given the blog posts about the daily life of the family, it seems that neither of them have comparable work stress (despite the fact that he does have a more-than-comparable salary). 

And I'm not saying either of the Frugalwoods should work themselves to exhaustion, but I don't like using my limited funds to add to their less limited funds.  There is more in the book about how Mrs. Frugalwoods gave up make-up than how she managed to leave an employer, go to graduate school, and get the former employer to create a new position to bring her back.  Some tips about that would have been useful, and maybe earned the purchase price.  Instead we go from a distracted employee in a meeting learning that there will be layoffs, to a relieved comment about how she managed to keep her job.  This book is full of potential pitfalls, which the Frugalwoods managed to avoid because they are so awesome and frugal that the trouble that might hit your life or mine sees their combined strength and goes in the other direction.  Everything is mentioned in this book except the details that might be put to use in your life or mine.  This is the story of how their lives went from good to great - a total puff piece.  From all the pre-publicity hype, I expected more.  And I feel like an idiotic dupe for aiding and abetting them. 

Given the fact that there are so many other posts calling them out for their humble-bragging/obfuscation/misdirection/etc, I don't think I'm the only one.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #409 on: March 30, 2018, 08:56:24 PM »
For the record, I don't begrudge the Frugalwoods their income or their success.  If the book had been made available as a free download from the blog, I bet there wouldn't be as much arguing going on about them.  Speaking only for myself (and probably for others, given the comments on this forum), I feel like I've been duped by purchasing the book.  It is disingenuous.  It is not retirement advice, but an accounting of how two well paid individuals managed to live on the average/median income of the US household.  They have set goals and managed to live up to this goals, in part by creating a fan club that helps add to their net worth.  If the envelope hadn't been pushed to monetize their own life story by writing a pure-play vanity piece and selling it for more money than it is worth, the Frugalwoods wouldn't be facing the ire of those who (like I do) feel duped.

For the record, I have worked for investment banks for the past 16 years in a support role.  Like the Frugalwoods, I have never earned an investment banker salary, but investment bankers keep me very busy.  In the first few years of an investment banker's career, it would not be surprising to find that first- second- third- fourth- fifth-year bankers (pretty much everyone who isn't at least a VP) live, not on seltzer water, but on Red Bull and other caffeine/energy drinks.  My day starts anytime between 7:30 and 8 AM; it ends anytime between 5:30 and 7 PM - if I'm lucky.  The bankers, meanwhile, stay at their desks.  Many mornings, there will be an email sent at 8PM with a request; a follow-up email will be sent anywhere between 11 PM and 2 AM; and often, there will be a "when will you get this to me? I need it ASAP!" email sent between 5 and 6 AM.  No investment banker can go hiking every weekend, or even get a regular sleep schedule.  Many have joined the building's gym just to access the showers.  Six years ago one investment banker I did work for, who had been employed at this bank for less than a year, died in his sleep.  Investment bankers are overpaid, but they are also overworked.  Given the blog posts about the daily life of the family, it seems that neither of them have comparable work stress (despite the fact that he does have a more-than-comparable salary). 

And I'm not saying either of the Frugalwoods should work themselves to exhaustion, but I don't like using my limited funds to add to their less limited funds.  There is more in the book about how Mrs. Frugalwoods gave up make-up than how she managed to leave an employer, go to graduate school, and get the former employer to create a new position to bring her back.  Some tips about that would have been useful, and maybe earned the purchase price.  Instead we go from a distracted employee in a meeting learning that there will be layoffs, to a relieved comment about how she managed to keep her job.  This book is full of potential pitfalls, which the Frugalwoods managed to avoid because they are so awesome and frugal that the trouble that might hit your life or mine sees their combined strength and goes in the other direction.  Everything is mentioned in this book except the details that might be put to use in your life or mine.  This is the story of how their lives went from good to great - a total puff piece.  From all the pre-publicity hype, I expected more.  And I feel like an idiotic dupe for aiding and abetting them. 

Given the fact that there are so many other posts calling them out for their humble-bragging/obfuscation/misdirection/etc, I don't think I'm the only one.

This seems so petty to me. You bought the book, did you read it? Was there anything valuable you could use? They arenít talking out their ass about anything. Now, you feel duped? Sheesh. You should have just read their blog, that was free or this one. Not sure what secrets of the universe you thought they had hidden in their book that they hadnít already covered. And this is your first post? Maybe the lesson is that sometimes the people writing books arenít the myths we want them to be, doesnít change that we can find value still in their words. Petty.

Fireball

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #410 on: March 30, 2018, 09:29:31 PM »
Other than Nate's tragic, tragic beard, nothing the FW's have done really offends me. I decided a long time ago to take what I want from the PF blogosphere and leave the rest.

obstinate

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #411 on: March 30, 2018, 10:09:57 PM »
And I'm not saying either of the Frugalwoods should work themselves to exhaustion, but I don't like using my limited funds to add to their less limited funds.
Oh my god. Just return the book then. Anything but this continued whining.

Basenji

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #412 on: March 30, 2018, 10:20:57 PM »
And I'm not saying either of the Frugalwoods should work themselves to exhaustion, but I don't like using my limited funds to add to their less limited funds.
Oh my god. Just return the book then. Anything but this continued whining.
My city library has the book. I hope Mustachians didn't pay full price!

grantmeaname

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #413 on: March 31, 2018, 02:39:12 AM »
this is your reading comprehension problem cropping up again
1.  It's so hard for me to understand how this topic is so persistently nasty. whatever happened to:
Quote from: Forum Rules
The overriding principle here on this site: Be a human being and treat others respectfully.

That includes, but is not limited to:
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Attack an argument, not a person.
[...]
4. Be respectful of the site and other members.

2. Did you actually read the book? The "one sentence tag line designed to sell books" is not just in the Guardian article and the other media from the book's sales and promotion blitz, it's in the book itself. The infamous "investment banker" quote is pulled verbatim from the first section of the book that sets the stage for what happens in the rest of the book. Similarly, Mrs FW goes into extreme detail when it comes to her income during her year in AmeriCorps, then never mentions income again as she marries and climbs the ladder.

I was not a regular frugalwoods blog reader before the book came out, having poked my head in from time to time but nothing more. The blog seems a bit more even-handed in its treatment of their income than the book. Maybe it was slanted editing with an eye towards the story's marketability, but the book works far harder to advertise the FWs as everyday joes and obscure the fact that they were saving over 50% before their frugality kick and that they retired a few short years after they kicked it into high gear.  I think you'd be harder pressed to call the book even-handed if you had read it.

3. Can we stop with this tired trope that everyone who objects to the book is a petty, brutish person envious of the FW's success? I read the book and loved it. I thought it was great fun. The FWs deserve all the success they have had and I wouldn't take a dime of their income away from them. I've worked in nonprofits and did a year in a AmeriCorps, and have no issues with a nonprofit paying whatever salary it finds appropriate, including Nate's. I'm not the internet retirement police and don't give half a fuck whether you call yourself "retired", "FI", or nothing at all, nor for how much you work. And they look to be using their wealth well, building a life similar to the one that I hope to have in a few years. In short, I think they're terrific. I also think the book is misleading and works hard to obscure the truth at some times and misstate it at others.

Cranky

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #414 on: March 31, 2018, 09:01:10 AM »
What is confusing me is... is there really anyone, anywhere, who would read the FW blog and proceed to think "Well! If I am just thrifty on my $40k/year salary, I, too, will be able to buy a giant piece of property in Vermont, and a beautiful house, and a cider press, and will never work again except at cider pressing season?"

Really? Because I can do my own math with my own numbers.

sui generis

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #415 on: March 31, 2018, 11:10:30 AM »
What is confusing me is... is there really anyone, anywhere, who would read the FW blog and proceed to think "Well! If I am just thrifty on my $40k/year salary, I, too, will be able to buy a giant piece of property in Vermont, and a beautiful house, and a cider press, and will never work again except at cider pressing season?"

Really? Because I can do my own math with my own numbers.
Yes, I think there are potentially lots of these anyones everywhere!  It's not so confusing to imagine these people that are different than you/us in this way when we know that most people are different from you/us in *all the ways* wrt FI.  The PF community is chock full of stories of amazement at people that are undermining their financial stability in the stupidest of ways and don't seem to be able to do basic math.  It's at times sorta a hobby to make fun of those people around the community.  So I'm confused about how it's confusing to imagine those people existing in the first place and to imagine that they are the target audience of the book, media commentary on the book &etc.

Cranky

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #416 on: March 31, 2018, 01:03:06 PM »
Then, truly, the book is selling them a daydream and it won't matter what the FW say about their income.

FIREwannabe

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #417 on: March 31, 2018, 01:07:00 PM »
Oh my god. Just return the book then. Anything but this continued whining.

Why don't I return the book?  For the same reason I don't buy a sweater on Friday, wear it on Saturday, and return it for a refund on Sunday.  The book has been read; returning it to a bookstore is something that I don't consider ethical.  As I don't enjoy being mislead, neither will I mislead others.  It is that simple. 

But I see my post has hit a nerve.  This entire string reminds me of a story a teacher told our class years ago.  According to my memory, here is the story:
Tom is popular; Mike is not.  Tom and Mike compete in a 2-runner race.  Mike wins, but the story that spreads through the school is that Tom had a second-place finish in the race, but Mike was next to last.  When those who witnessed the race pointed out that there were only two people in the race, the popular/would-be-popular people did not the truth to get in the way of a good story.  Perception is reality to some/many/you, perhaps.  My preference is for facts/raw data.  If only this had hit my memory before shopping, I would not have shed the torrent of tears that comes from being called names. (Bazinga! - I'm being sarcastic).

The blog mentions a judgement (sic)-free zone; I took that to mean a lack of criticism, not critical thinking.  My bad.
My other bad: believing the Frugalwoods when they downplayed their income; I thought they were just living well as DINKs - since I am a SINK, I knew they were living off of more than I do, just not that much more.

Ever watch the 80s TV series Newhart?  There is an episode, Message from Michael, that parallels the book and forum/discussion.  If you can get it from your library, it is a season 7 episode.  Since you don't have a problem with returning read books, then you can find it on Youtube.  It might add some much needed levity to this discussion.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #418 on: March 31, 2018, 02:20:38 PM »
Oh my god. Just return the book then. Anything but this continued whining.

Why don't I return the book?  For the same reason I don't buy a sweater on Friday, wear it on Saturday, and return it for a refund on Sunday.  The book has been read; returning it to a bookstore is something that I don't consider ethical.  As I don't enjoy being mislead, neither will I mislead others.  It is that simple. 

But I see my post has hit a nerve.  This entire string reminds me of a story a teacher told our class years ago.  According to my memory, here is the story:
Tom is popular; Mike is not.  Tom and Mike compete in a 2-runner race.  Mike wins, but the story that spreads through the school is that Tom had a second-place finish in the race, but Mike was next to last.  When those who witnessed the race pointed out that there were only two people in the race, the popular/would-be-popular people did not the truth to get in the way of a good story.  Perception is reality to some/many/you, perhaps.  My preference is for facts/raw data.  If only this had hit my memory before shopping, I would not have shed the torrent of tears that comes from being called names. (Bazinga! - I'm being sarcastic).

The blog mentions a judgement (sic)-free zone; I took that to mean a lack of criticism, not critical thinking.  My bad.
My other bad: believing the Frugalwoods when they downplayed their income; I thought they were just living well as DINKs - since I am a SINK, I knew they were living off of more than I do, just not that much more.

Ever watch the 80s TV series Newhart?  There is an episode, Message from Michael, that parallels the book and forum/discussion.  If you can get it from your library, it is a season 7 episode.  Since you don't have a problem with returning read books, then you can find it on Youtube.  It might add some much needed levity to this discussion.

Iím confused by your critical reading skills. Until I saw this thread and wondered what was going on, I didnít know who the FW were. I looked up one article, thought it was pretty good (a case study helping someone in a tough situation) and scanned the blog to see that they have at least 2 kids. So, how did you think they were DINKs? Or will you feel deceived about that now too? Youíre nothing like them, so why is it so important to compare yourself? They have a basic message, get the best job you can that makes you happy, save and invest your money and donít buy into consumerism. Thatís it. MMM says you can achieve FI on virtually any salary after 10 years, if you save over 50%, but your spend might need adjusting. Your salary doesnít determine your ability to be FI, your spending does. Anyways, this debate is inane because clearly the people upset are the ones who are missing the messages and want the magic pill and now feel duped. So, burn the book and leave a scathing review on Amazon and then vow to turn your back on all FI bloggers. Problem solved.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 04:24:04 PM by MrThatsDifferent »

badassprof

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #419 on: March 31, 2018, 03:58:44 PM »
I know that this thread has taxed everyoneís patience, but i do think the extent of the ire and angst is instructive. While as a reader of the blog, I admit I donít find the FWs disingenuous. i understand others do, but letís think this through: we are sold things all the time that turn out not to be what we had hoped they would be. I have half a drawer of moisturizers to prove it. Our last election might serve as another example,lol.

Reading this thread symptomatically, I feel for those who feel upset about the FWs. I donít think it is really about the bloggers but about a fear that a financial dream might not be easy or even possible with their current income or responsibilities.
 I recommend kindness on all sides. This thread has definitively triggered something for some folks and those of us with high incomes, high savings rate or good luck maybe viewing this from another place.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #420 on: March 31, 2018, 04:29:17 PM »
I know that this thread has taxed everyoneís patience, but i do think the extent of the ire and angst is instructive. While as a reader of the blog, I admit I donít find the FWs disingenuous. i understand others do, but letís think this through: we are sold things all the time that turn out not to be what we had hoped they would be. I have half a drawer of moisturizers to prove it. Our last election might serve as another example,lol.

Reading this thread symptomatically, I feel for those who feel upset about the FWs. I donít think it is really about the bloggers but about a fear that a financial dream might not be easy or even possible with their current income or responsibilities.
 I recommend kindness on all sides. This thread has definitively triggered something for some folks and those of us with high incomes, high savings rate or good luck maybe viewing this from another place.

The financial dream isnít easy, itís hard work and sacrifice, even if you make $300k. Yeah, that might not seem right, but again, remind yourselves, they arenít spending $300k! Most of these people are living poorer than many people who make far less. Granted $54k in expenses isnít living super poor, but itís not caviar and jets. Their day to day life isnít better per se, itís just they can RE sooner, if they want, which they donít have to.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #421 on: March 31, 2018, 05:37:37 PM »
I wasn't really into their blog, but this thread and all the haters makes me really root for them.  I hope they absolutely crush it.
Exactly. Don't people have their own lives to be bettering, especially as posters on mmm? I wasn't really into 7 Habits either, but seriously, circle of concern / circle of influence, people.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #422 on: March 31, 2018, 07:30:28 PM »
I wasn't really into their blog, but this thread and all the haters makes me really root for them.  I hope they absolutely crush it.
Exactly. Don't people have their own lives to be bettering, especially as posters on mmm? I wasn't really into 7 Habits either, but seriously, circle of concern / circle of influence, people.

Exactly my thoughts -- this hate/envy attitude seems very counter to the spirit of this community.  It's being implied they haven't "earned" their FI merit badge because of their income.  Of course it's easier to become FI with a higher income.  One can only do so much to improve their situation by being frugal, and every effort should be made to move the income needle at the same time.  Well done to them for doing both.  It's certainly not an easy feat to achieve a high income level AND be simultaneously frugal.  Community members should be asking how they can do the same instead of ridiculing.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2018, 07:35:10 PM by dustinst22 »

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #423 on: March 31, 2018, 07:53:41 PM »


Iím confused by your critical reading skills. Until I saw this thread and wondered what was going on, I didnít know who the FW were. I looked up one article, thought it was pretty good (a case study helping someone in a tough situation) and scanned the blog to see that they have at least 2 kids. So, how did you think they were DINKs? Or will you feel deceived about that now too?
One of the kids was just born, the other is a toddler. Pre homestead, they were DINKS

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #424 on: March 31, 2018, 08:08:55 PM »
I wasn't really into their blog, but this thread and all the haters makes me really root for them.  I hope they absolutely crush it.
Exactly. Don't people have their own lives to be bettering, especially as posters on mmm? I wasn't really into 7 Habits either, but seriously, circle of concern / circle of influence, people.

Exactly my thoughts -- this hate/envy attitude seems very counter to the spirit of this community.  It's being implied they haven't "earned" their FI merit badge because of their income.  Of course it's easier to become FI with a higher income.  One can only do so much to improve their situation by being frugal, and every effort should be made to move the income needle at the same time.  Well done to them for doing both.  It's certainly not an easy feat to achieve a high income level AND be simultaneously frugal.  Community members should be asking how they can do the same instead of ridiculing.

Maybe thatís why Iím getting so annoyed by this, I have a high income too but I just discovered this thinking. There are people who make a quarter of what I make with far more net worth. Iíll never catch them. Iím lucky I can accelerate but I still have had to make massive changes, cut out so much of what I was doing before and fight with my SO constantly about changing and again, itís touch because my SO canít understand why we should live on less when we make so much? I admire the FW for pulling their head in, not giving into creep and giving themselves security. Itís much easier to blow through all your money when you have a lot coming in. Haters need to find a new hobby.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #425 on: March 31, 2018, 09:09:47 PM »
I actually think their high incomes make their frugality MORE impressive, not less. How many people do you know who go three years and only buy a pair of boots, but no other clothing? Oh and have two babies in that time.

I think they book is more forthcoming about income. She mentioned in many chapters that they are high earners and even devotes a chapter to career progression and how to maximize income.

I enjoy the book and the blog. I did assume they needed much less income, but I probably should not have made that assumption, given their quick FI.

That said, I agree they may not be FI. They moved sooner than planned, seemingly due to difficulty finding the right home/land and then loving that one and feeling very worried it would get away if they delayed. That could also explain why Mr kept his job. I listened to an interview on Mad fientist from two yrs ago, and mr was definitely planning to quit his IT job when they moved to the woods.

Over all, i love the FW and hope they keep the blog going. I do feel they were a little disingenuous with regard to their high incomes.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #426 on: April 28, 2018, 03:04:07 PM »
The very first page of the book (preview on Amazon) says "...embraced extreme frugality in order to ... retire to a homestead in the woods at the age of thirty-two".

This is what people are having an issue with. Neither one of them has retired and in fact the husband continues to make a very large salary. 

So their definition of "retired" is working from home (?). 

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #427 on: April 28, 2018, 04:19:54 PM »
Much like MMM!

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #428 on: April 28, 2018, 04:38:56 PM »
Much like MMM!
MMM left his corporate job to pursue other things.  Mr Frugalwoods is still working at the same job he has for years.

Unsurprisingly, MMM has also written about this subject and why he defines himself as "retired"
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/09/15/a-brief-history-of-the-stash-how-we-saved-from-zero-to-retirement-in-ten-years/
Quote
Some people will say, ďBut Wait! You just said you still work sometimes! Thatís not retirement!Ē. To these people, I can only say, ďYouíll seeĒ. Because when you quit your corporate job, you end up with even more energy, which means you want to do more stuff! If some of this stuff happens to earn you money, so be it.

I define us as Retired, because that is a novel word to throw around for those under 50 that sounds much more interesting than ďFinancially IndependentĒ. Also, the cashflow from investments is much higher than our spending.. so work is only done for fun and on our own terms. For example, this year I stopped taking on carpentry work altogether for most of the year and just started typing this blog and doing other unpaid work like school volunteering. Other years, I may accidentally earn hundreds of thousands of additional dollars by starting another company. Who knows!? Even then, Mr. Money Mustache will still be retired, so there.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #429 on: April 28, 2018, 05:40:36 PM »
My understanding is He was planning to retire when they moved to Vermont, but when he told his job he was leaving they asked him to work remotely.  Because he liked the job, he agreed. 

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #430 on: April 28, 2018, 05:43:09 PM »
It's not worth quibbling over what it means to be retired.

Financial Independence should be the goal, not retirement.  If the Frugalwoods are FI, well done.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #431 on: April 28, 2018, 08:34:39 PM »
It's not worth quibbling over what it means to be retired.

Financial Independence should be the goal, not retirement.  If the Frugalwoods are FI, well done.

Well I guess so - but who wouldn't be in that same scenario i.e. one spouse works as a writer/blogger and one spouse has a full-time job. Is that financial independence? Then we all are. Yay!

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #432 on: April 28, 2018, 09:02:00 PM »
It's not worth quibbling over what it means to be retired.

Financial Independence should be the goal, not retirement.  If the Frugalwoods are FI, well done.

Well I guess so - but who wouldn't be in that same scenario i.e. one spouse works as a writer/blogger and one spouse has a full-time job. Is that financial independence? Then we all are. Yay!

Not sure I understand your comment.  They may have enough assets that allow for them to stop working should they choose to -- that's financial independence.  From what I can gather that is in fact their situation.  That's a much different situation than being forced to work in order to cover living costs.   
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 09:04:56 PM by dustinst22 »

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #433 on: April 29, 2018, 09:27:01 AM »
There is something with the tone of their blog that I find smug. I am not sure exactly what it is but I often find myself a bit irritated after reading a piece there. I wonder if other people pick it up too and this is why they get so critical?

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #434 on: April 29, 2018, 10:01:43 AM »
It's not worth quibbling over what it means to be retired.

Financial Independence should be the goal, not retirement.  If the Frugalwoods are FI, well done.

Well I guess so - but who wouldn't be in that same scenario i.e. one spouse works as a writer/blogger and one spouse has a full-time job. Is that financial independence? Then we all are. Yay!

Keep reading around the forum. I don't think you understand what financial independence means.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #435 on: April 30, 2018, 09:03:49 AM »
I think blogs like Frugalwoods and MMM use the word "retired" because it's better for marketing as opposed to "financial independence".   Personally, I think it's inaccurate terminology. 

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #436 on: April 30, 2018, 09:24:57 AM »
MMM at least left his job, and while i think he is just self-employed, at no one writes him a paycheck.
Nate works for someone else. That's NOT retired.

HBFIRE

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #437 on: April 30, 2018, 10:54:51 AM »
MMM at least left his job, and while i think he is just self-employed, at no one writes him a paycheck.
Nate works for someone else. That's NOT retired.

I don't see the difference.  I'm just as impressed with someone who achieves early FI as someone who retires early.  Not everyone wants to quit their regular jobs, some are passionate about their work.  There are many very good reasons to continue working.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #438 on: April 30, 2018, 11:34:29 AM »
MMM at least left his job, and while i think he is just self-employed, at no one writes him a paycheck.
Nate works for someone else. That's NOT retired.

I don't see the difference.  I'm just as impressed with someone who achieves early FI as someone who retires early.  Not everyone wants to quit their regular jobs, some are passionate about their work.  There are many very good reasons to continue working.

Yes, but in NO definition is working for a company and getting a paycheck retired.  It just makes no sense that they would call themselves retired when Nate is still very clearly working for a company. He's not even 'consulting'. He works for them.

I personally don't think MMM is retired either (self-employed); but I can see how someone would bend the definition to say not receiving a paycheck is retired.

I am FI. I am not retired. I have no interest in being retired right now. I enjoy work. I don't think Nate should retire if he doesn't want to.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #439 on: April 30, 2018, 11:59:53 AM »


Yes, but in NO definition is working for a company and getting a paycheck retired.


Agree, that's why they put that they are financially independent and not retired.

In any case, who cares if they do call themselves retired?  Why does it matter to anyone?  If they are financially free that's the major importance, right?  We are quibbling about silly definitions.  The core concepts are all that matter.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 12:01:52 PM by dustinst22 »

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #440 on: April 30, 2018, 12:10:25 PM »


Yes, but in NO definition is working for a company and getting a paycheck retired.


Agree, that's why they put that they are financially independent and not retired.

In any case, who cares if they do call themselves retired?  Why does it matter to anyone?  If they are financially free that's the major importance, right?  We are quibbling about silly definitions.  The core concepts are all that matter.

I'm seeing more instances of them calling themselves retired. I used to only see them saying financially independent.

No, it doesn't matter- but neither does 95% of things discussed on the internet... 
I read (well skim...) her blog and mostly enjoy it.

Still it seems the core concept was "make shit tons of money".  Which is fine- that's a good plan to do.
I like the homesteading stuff she talks about; but it isn't frugal. Their spending has gone up a lot.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #441 on: April 30, 2018, 12:15:48 PM »


Still it seems the core concept was "make shit tons of money".  Which is fine- that's a good plan to do.


Hell yes that's a good plan!  Well done for them, absolutely.  And now FI at relatively young ages.  Definitely something to be proud of.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #442 on: December 29, 2018, 01:27:00 PM »
I did not find this forum until today, and I found it seeing what was out there regarding this very topic--e.g., the Frugalwoods income.

I think I discovered them several years ago by being mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, back when they were anonymous.  I actually figured out who they are by searching on line real estate records in the area they purchased their house in 2012 and a low price per square foot.  Didn't take long...

I thought about, since enjoying their blog and wanting a farm myself, maybe seeing about getting the book as a Christmas present.  Between when the book came out and now (Christmas), somewhere in the Wall Street Journal it was mentioned that Nate's income is like $270k and increased like 50k in the last 2 or 3 years.

Cross that book off my list!  How disingenuous, really blatant lies!  All along, I thought by living frugally, I could do the same!

I have more education than both of them, to earn $270k takes me nearly 3 years, my pay increases are minimal to none, I never receive bonuses, and I have never been allowed to telecommute.

I ALWAYS wanted an extremely high paying job where I could work from home, BTW!

I ask, what makes him worth that much working remotely?  Seems like he has friends who gave him a job such as this.

How hard does he work, really?  Takes a LOT of time from your working day cutting wood and maintaining your farm.

I don't mean to crucify the Frugalwoods, but it seems like they create hope for others and had MANY advantages most don't receive.  I never had that sort of job, paid for all my college expenses myself, etc.

Telecaster

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #443 on: December 29, 2018, 04:33:26 PM »
Cross that book off my list!  How disingenuous, really blatant lies!  All along, I thought by living frugally, I could do the same!

I have more education than both of them, to earn $270k takes me nearly 3 years, my pay increases are minimal to none, I never receive bonuses, and I have never been allowed to telecommute.

I ALWAYS wanted an extremely high paying job where I could work from home, BTW!

I ask, what makes him worth that much working remotely?  Seems like he has friends who gave him a job such as this.

How hard does he work, really?  Takes a LOT of time from your working day cutting wood and maintaining your farm.

I don't mean to crucify the Frugalwoods, but it seems like they create hope for others and had MANY advantages most don't receive.  I never had that sort of job, paid for all my college expenses myself, etc.

Wanting a good job isn't enough.   One of the keys to getting a good job is developing an in-demand skill set, and another key is developing a robust professional network.  Do those things and you can make a lot of money working from home. 

I just don't get all the Frugalwoods hate.  Granted, I never paid much attention to them, so maybe I'm missing something.    Mathematically, the key to retiring early is to save lots.  High percentage savings trumps investment returns.   The Frugalwoods saved a whole lot.   The fact they earned (and apparently are still earning a whole lot) doesn't invalidate the math.   

And math is the main reason why I'm confused about Fruglewoods hate.  Everybody can figure out their own savings rate, and what type of lifestyle that will lead to in the future.   People seem to think that savings lots will automatically lead to a good paying job and a farm in Vermont and get mad when they realize that isn't necessarily the case. 


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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #444 on: December 29, 2018, 05:59:03 PM »
I did not find this forum until today, and I found it seeing what was out there regarding this very topic--e.g., the Frugalwoods income.

I think I discovered them several years ago by being mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, back when they were anonymous.  I actually figured out who they are by searching on line real estate records in the area they purchased their house in 2012 and a low price per square foot.  Didn't take long...

I thought about, since enjoying their blog and wanting a farm myself, maybe seeing about getting the book as a Christmas present.  Between when the book came out and now (Christmas), somewhere in the Wall Street Journal it was mentioned that Nate's income is like $270k and increased like 50k in the last 2 or 3 years.

Cross that book off my list!  How disingenuous, really blatant lies!  All along, I thought by living frugally, I could do the same!

I have more education than both of them, to earn $270k takes me nearly 3 years, my pay increases are minimal to none, I never receive bonuses, and I have never been allowed to telecommute.

I ALWAYS wanted an extremely high paying job where I could work from home, BTW!

I ask, what makes him worth that much working remotely?  Seems like he has friends who gave him a job such as this.

How hard does he work, really?  Takes a LOT of time from your working day cutting wood and maintaining your farm.

I don't mean to crucify the Frugalwoods, but it seems like they create hope for others and had MANY advantages most don't receive.  I never had that sort of job, paid for all my college expenses myself, etc.

Wow, this is the most butthurt post Iíve ever seen on here. 😂😂😂

Too bad, youíre so educated but not worth much. Dry those tears.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #445 on: December 29, 2018, 06:00:12 PM »
Yes, I know this NOW, but one's brain doesn't simply grasp these things when one is in college aged 18 to 22.  I guess it does for some folks, and they study logical things like business and engineering.  I grew up lower middle class in an area with a lot of wealth.  Trust fund babies and such.  My parents made sacrifices I wasn't even aware of until recently just to survive.  Some scary stuff; going over to the grandparents to eat was fun, but the real reason is the money ran out.  And nothing exorbitant at all there, that's what it took to just survive.

I got into the local state university and I had enough sense to start out with some accounting and economics courses.  My only goal at that time was to get out as soon as possible and get a stellar career with a major corporation.  I didn't care what I did, just as long as I made a ton of money...enough to trounce those trust fund babies.  The counselor asked me what I wanted to do and I told her I wanted to work for a major corporation and she told me corporations love liberal arts graduates.  WORST ADVICE I EVER GOT!!!  I did such, and because it was an easy track, I graduated a semester early.  I thought I was doing this to get such a job, but all I landed was a job that paid 25 cents more than minimum wage with no benefits!

After several years, I did get a government position, that was dead end.  Got another degree, another government job, only slightly better.  Not worth the years I was out of the workforce.

Networking.  Nonexistent.  I just don't know folks in major corporations except a few folks back when I got out of college and they didn't do anything for me.  Sure, I mowed their lawn nicely but I wasn't one of them!  And, growing up lower middle class with folks who keep to themselves, how do you develop such network?

Lessons learned:  Myself, yes develop a social network, should have majored in business or engineering.  (But why do that if you are told the easier route is just as good?).  Colleges, options should be to major in business, science, or engineering.  Get rid of the fluff.  Plus, I did have some science and business courses, like chemistry, biology, genetics, etc., but a biology degree isn't a cutting edge STEM degree.

I have since developed a more mature outlook on life, but I still don't know why there aren't lots of high paying jobs around for Gen Xers as baby boomers continue to retire?

At least the dream got me through my degrees.  Had this not existed, I would never have gone to college.  I tried to get into General Electric once.  For some reason, had I made it to the top, I think I could have run things better.  (Of course, I didn't realize how cutthroat it is in companies like that, but that's another topic).

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #446 on: December 29, 2018, 06:50:46 PM »
I should have clarified something.  I have neibors all throughout where I live who work for a major corporation that is a few miles from here.  I could ask them I'd they could get me in, except I don't think that will go far.  On the website, all current openings are in engineering, IT, and HR.  So, finally I might have a network, but not the skills.

I came down hard on the Frugalwoods because they are not like you and I.  When you think about it, and what makes for a good blog, is that they were simply at the right place at the right time--right degree, location, and friends, for BOTH partners.  I think that happens quite rarely, which is why we don't all have our own blogs.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #447 on: December 29, 2018, 08:10:00 PM »
I did not find this forum until today, and I found it seeing what was out there regarding this very topic--e.g., the Frugalwoods income.

I think I discovered them several years ago by being mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, back when they were anonymous.  I actually figured out who they are by searching on line real estate records in the area they purchased their house in 2012 and a low price per square foot.  Didn't take long...

I thought about, since enjoying their blog and wanting a farm myself, maybe seeing about getting the book as a Christmas present.  Between when the book came out and now (Christmas), somewhere in the Wall Street Journal it was mentioned that Nate's income is like $270k and increased like 50k in the last 2 or 3 years.

Cross that book off my list!  How disingenuous, really blatant lies!  All along, I thought by living frugally, I could do the same!

I have more education than both of them, to earn $270k takes me nearly 3 years, my pay increases are minimal to none, I never receive bonuses, and I have never been allowed to telecommute.

I ALWAYS wanted an extremely high paying job where I could work from home, BTW!

I ask, what makes him worth that much working remotely?  Seems like he has friends who gave him a job such as this.

How hard does he work, really?  Takes a LOT of time from your working day cutting wood and maintaining your farm.

I don't mean to crucify the Frugalwoods, but it seems like they create hope for others and had MANY advantages most don't receive.  I never had that sort of job, paid for all my college expenses myself, etc.

It's odd that you refer to high-paying jobs as "advantages." Most people don't get handed jobs on a silver platter; we plan for them, work for them, develop skills, and sacrifice for a higher income. Over decades.

It seems like you're unhappy about your job situation. You must be working pretty hard to change it, right? Because that might do more good than envying strangers who are richer than you.


Telecaster

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #448 on: December 29, 2018, 08:35:41 PM »
Networking.  Nonexistent.  I just don't know folks in major corporations except a few folks back when I got out of college and they didn't do anything for me.  Sure, I mowed their lawn nicely but I wasn't one of them!  And, growing up lower middle class with folks who keep to themselves, how do you develop such network?

By kicking ass at your job.  By being the guy who gets shit done.  Not necessarily working long hours, but working productive hours.  The boss may not appreciate your efforts, but your co-workers will notice.  As your co-workers move up the ladder and onto different companies they'll want and need people are good at what they do.  When they need that person, they will pick up the phone and call you.  That's how you develop your network. 

And if you get shit done and kick ass always, then people don't care if you work from home and are willing to pay you amazing salaries.  That's how you do it.  Simple, not easy. 

Annie101

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #449 on: December 29, 2018, 08:53:23 PM »

I will say I credit them for me finding out about both the Buy Nothing Group and DAF- both of which have been really really helpful.  MMM gets credit for index funds; we'd only used managed funds before I found him.  All the "pack your lunch", "buy less", "bike to work"- I didn't need a blogger for that.

What is DAF?  I read "Meet the Frugalwoods" and really enjoyed it, but I don't remember DAF.  I love my Buy Nothing group (which I have been in for years) so I don't want to miss out on something else that might be similarly helpful.  Thanks!