Author Topic: What's up with the Frugalwoods?  (Read 139524 times)

Captain FIRE

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #600 on: October 25, 2019, 01:11:45 PM »
I'm not judging them by saying daycare costs are too expensive similar to the question above by some of how much alcohol is being bought.  I was just objecting to being considered fair to "ignore" the daycare costs as not existing and remove them from the budget. 

And I remain committed to the idea that it is a luxury item and not the most frugal approach, if she is indeed, considered retired.  With enough luxury items in the budget, it's hard to say you're particularly frugal.  I don't promote myself publicly as a frugal expert, because I'm not - my budget would be laughed at by many here.  I don't know where the tipping point is of "too many luxury items", but it's interesting to contemplate.  The message is still worthy, but it does start to seem disingenuous how much was obscured (not expenses, as I feel they are very transparent there).

big_owl

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #601 on: October 25, 2019, 01:19:34 PM »
If you take out mortgage and daycare, they're at about $30k/year.  That's really very good - less than two full time minimum wage jobs (depending on the state, of course).

LOL, you don't get to just subtract subjective  line items from expenses and claim you're frugal.  If it weren't for the $40k in vacations I took last year and my $6k/mo mortgage payment I too could call myself frugal by that standard.
But MMM does it?

IDK what MMM does these days with his budget, does he still post it up annually?  I generally stopped reading his stuff and just hang around for the forums anymore.

obstinate

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #602 on: October 25, 2019, 07:47:06 PM »
IDK what MMM does these days with his budget, does he still post it up annually?  I generally stopped reading his stuff and just hang around for the forums anymore.
He still posts it annually, and people still gripe about it annually. Some things won't change.

Malcat

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #603 on: October 26, 2019, 06:30:46 AM »
That's a good point. 

Is frugality expressed as having a certain savings rate?  Like, is anything greater than a 50% savings rate considered frugal?  In which case, frugality will shift up or down based on income. 

Or is frugality a specific dollar spend every year (say, $30k) and anything above that is 'non-frugal'?

I am honestly asking, I am not really sure where I would draw that line.

There is no line and there is no answer.

That's why I find a lot of value in people sharing openly about their own experiences and their own individual challenges.

The challenges of trying to save are different for high income people than they are for low income people, which are both different from mid income people.

The challenges of people in LCOL areas are different from HCOL areas, rural different from urban, child free from families, single from partnered.

The various MAJOR factors that affect people are all intrinsic to how they handle their finances, and all perspectives are valid.

Not all perspectives are marketable though...

donblanco

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #604 on: October 27, 2019, 05:24:46 PM »
Here's what I don't get. When we first attempted RE we were living off of savings and working on 'making money online' to bridge the gap between the end of our savings account and the first pension check. We didn't make it. Once I decided to go back to work for the last two years (and vest in my *own* pension in the meantime) the concept of making money online just went right out the window. Why bother with the crazy amount of time that involves when you have retirement income all lined up?

It was mentioned earlier in the thread that they probably had $3MM in the bank. Given their stated income they are probably putting another $250K into the bank each year. They could already draw out $90K a year at 4% SWR. I don't blame them for continuing to work and pad those numbers, but why bother with books and blogs on frugality at this point? Is the Amazon Affiliate money making a significant difference? I don't get it.

TVRodriguez

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #605 on: October 27, 2019, 05:59:48 PM »
Here's what I don't get. When we first attempted RE we were living off of savings and working on 'making money online' to bridge the gap between the end of our savings account and the first pension check. We didn't make it. Once I decided to go back to work for the last two years (and vest in my *own* pension in the meantime) the concept of making money online just went right out the window. Why bother with the crazy amount of time that involves when you have retirement income all lined up?

It was mentioned earlier in the thread that they probably had $3MM in the bank. Given their stated income they are probably putting another $250K into the bank each year. They could already draw out $90K a year at 4% SWR. I don't blame them for continuing to work and pad those numbers, but why bother with books and blogs on frugality at this point? Is the Amazon Affiliate money making a significant difference? I don't get it.

I think she bothers because she likes to write.  She also had a pretty good audience before they "retired" to the country, so it's likely a lot more streamlined than it would be for someone who doesn't have that setup already.  They also obviously enjoy "optimizing" as MMM and others would call it, so as for the affiliate links, I guess it's a sort of "why not?"

AdamBe

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #606 on: October 27, 2019, 09:57:09 PM »
They very purposefully lead with frugality and obfuscate the role that high income plays.

After all, the blog is called "Frugalwoods", not "My husband's mega-high income, work from home situation-woods". The subhead is "Financial independence and simple living". The subhead of the book is the even less ambiguous, "Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living". Many podcast appearances or write-ups where headlined something like, "This couple quit their jobs and moved to the country thanks to their frugal habits."

100% Agreed.

I expect honesty/integrity from personal financial bloggers.

Let's say FW currently has 100,000 subscribers.  But let's say that right from the start, they were honest and disclosed their 'privileged' income situation.  Under a worse case situation, they might only have half of their current audience, as perhaps some people couldn't relate to that income level to their own particular situation and don't read onward.  But on the plus side, the other half of the audience understands the context and is still there for the excellent frugal blog tips that FW presents.  At 50,000 subscribers, the FW blog would still be a wildly popular personal finance blog that assists many people with achieving their goals for financial independence.  Mission accomplished.  You've given a great contribution to the financial community.

In other words, there's really no acceptable excuse for FW to obfuscate their positive financial story.

....unless, of course, your ego is driving you to push to get the biggest possible readership that you can get.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 10:02:08 PM by AdamBe »

Dicey

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #607 on: October 28, 2019, 01:05:09 AM »
They very purposefully lead with frugality and obfuscate the role that high income plays.

After all, the blog is called "Frugalwoods", not "My husband's mega-high income, work from home situation-woods". The subhead is "Financial independence and simple living". The subhead of the book is the even less ambiguous, "Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living". Many podcast appearances or write-ups where headlined something like, "This couple quit their jobs and moved to the country thanks to their frugal habits."

100% Agreed.

I expect honesty/integrity from personal financial bloggers.

Let's say FW currently has 100,000 subscribers.  But let's say that right from the start, they were honest and disclosed their 'privileged' income situation.  Under a worse case situation, they might only have half of their current audience, as perhaps some people couldn't relate to that income level to their own particular situation and don't read onward.  But on the plus side, the other half of the audience understands the context and is still there for the excellent frugal blog tips that FW presents.  At 50,000 subscribers, the FW blog would still be a wildly popular personal finance blog that assists many people with achieving their goals for financial independence.  Mission accomplished.  You've given a great contribution to the financial community.

In other words, there's really no acceptable excuse for FW to obfuscate their positive financial story.

....unless, of course, your ego is driving you to push to get the biggest possible readership that you can get.
They didn't start out with 'priviledged' income, as you put it, it came afterwards. Are you saying they should have quit blogging when they became successful?  It's kind of accepted that Pete makes about $400k per annum being MMM, though he hasn't confirmed it. If it's true, should he be forced to hang up his blogging boots too?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 11:18:26 AM by Dicey »

MyAlterEgoIsTaller

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #608 on: October 28, 2019, 08:29:05 AM »

Let's say FW currently has 100,000 subscribers.  But let's say that right from the start, they were honest and disclosed their 'privileged' income situation...

Right from the start of their blog they disclosed their monthly spending, and right from the start they disclosed their savings rate.  It was apparent right from the start, based on arithmetic plugging in those two numbers, that their income was above $200k.  I'm not understanding where they were ever dishonest about that, or obfuscating.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 08:31:35 AM by MyAlterEgoIsTaller »

Gin1984

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #609 on: October 28, 2019, 08:35:41 AM »

Let's say FW currently has 100,000 subscribers.  But let's say that right from the start, they were honest and disclosed their 'privileged' income situation...

Right from the start of their blog they disclosed their monthly spending, and right from the start they disclosed their savings rate.  It was apparent right from the start, based on arithmetic plugging in those two numbers, that their income was above $200k.  I'm not understanding where they were ever dishonest about that, or obfuscating.
Seriously! Did people here forget how to do math? I did the math after reading her monthly spending report, it was right there in black and white.  I think people are mad because they did not put two and two together and want someone else to blame for not thinking.

Malcat

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #610 on: October 28, 2019, 09:01:52 AM »

Let's say FW currently has 100,000 subscribers.  But let's say that right from the start, they were honest and disclosed their 'privileged' income situation...

Right from the start of their blog they disclosed their monthly spending, and right from the start they disclosed their savings rate.  It was apparent right from the start, based on arithmetic plugging in those two numbers, that their income was above $200k.  I'm not understanding where they were ever dishonest about that, or obfuscating.
Seriously! Did people here forget how to do math? I did the math after reading her monthly spending report, it was right there in black and white.  I think people are mad because they did not put two and two together and want someone else to blame for not thinking.

That, and a lot of people don't read everything from blogs and only read parts that we find interesting.

I never properly read the bulk of posts from Frugalwoods, I've even only read fully a handful of Pete's posts as well. I suspect there are a lot of blog "followers" out there like me who largely skim content.

I imagine it's people like me who "followed" for a few years, heard her on podcasts, and took an interest more in the message than the details, who were the most shocked to find out they were so high income.


mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #611 on: October 28, 2019, 09:11:01 AM »
Me doing the math, 18 months ago, lol

Based on my reading, they don't discuss their income in terms of hard numbers. But given age (early 30s), spending (discussed above), and inheritance ($0), it's a reduced to a mathematical exercise to impute the rest. If I were to ball-park it, I'd say, in excess of 3X the median household income.

This is what initially piqued my interest actually. I learned about these people from this thread, and in checking them out, I was confused at the lengths they went to to frame their salaries as normal/average/non-profit/not-investment banker, etc. And further confused as to why they'd credit frugality as the driver instead of income, and why they'd allow others to have the misconception that flexible, high income working situation = "we quit our jobs and moved to the woods thanks to frugality."

In a perfect world, everyone would be as inquisitive as I am. But the Amazon reviews for the book show that many people were legitimately bummed out and felt misled.

This doesn't come from nowhere.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2019, 09:14:34 AM by mathlete »

englishteacheralex

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #612 on: October 28, 2019, 09:18:35 AM »
I started reading Frugalwoods in 2016 and it always seemed to me that they probably were bringing in very good salaries. Both seemed very smart and hard-working. She has a master's degree and there were several blog posts about his financial acumen and how he was hosting seminars at his job about investing wisely in one's 401(k). I didn't feel misled by the revelation that they earned very high incomes.

The book wasn't really my favorite because her tone is too "precious" sometimes. But I still like her blog and read all the new posts, of which there have been many lately. I have two small children just a year or so older than hers so I relate to her struggles with them and also completely understand that they are spending more money now than they did pre kids.

Her most recent post, in my opinion, is very smart and original and also spot-on. Here it is: http://www.frugalwoods.com/2019/10/25/why-buying-a-low-mileage-used-car-is-the-worst-of-both-worlds/ She wrote about how cars actually don't depreciate enough in the first few years of ownership to make buying a low-mileage used car a great deal. The post advocates for a "sweet spot" in depreciation where the car's drop in value is essentially flat-lining but there is still a lot of wear left. I thought that was a brilliant observation and not one I have ever seen articulated anywhere else.

Of course, buying used cars at the "flat-line" point of depreciation has been my key vehicle strategy for my entire life, so yeah, I already had figured that out, but it made me happy to see a nicely written rebuttal to folks who don't buy used cars because they think the value isn't there--and I'm always like, you're looking at cars that aren't used enough.

FIPurpose

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #613 on: October 28, 2019, 10:12:08 AM »
I started reading Frugalwoods in 2016 and it always seemed to me that they probably were bringing in very good salaries. Both seemed very smart and hard-working. She has a master's degree and there were several blog posts about his financial acumen and how he was hosting seminars at his job about investing wisely in one's 401(k). I didn't feel misled by the revelation that they earned very high incomes.

The book wasn't really my favorite because her tone is too "precious" sometimes. But I still like her blog and read all the new posts, of which there have been many lately. I have two small children just a year or so older than hers so I relate to her struggles with them and also completely understand that they are spending more money now than they did pre kids.

Her most recent post, in my opinion, is very smart and original and also spot-on. Here it is: http://www.frugalwoods.com/2019/10/25/why-buying-a-low-mileage-used-car-is-the-worst-of-both-worlds/ She wrote about how cars actually don't depreciate enough in the first few years of ownership to make buying a low-mileage used car a great deal. The post advocates for a "sweet spot" in depreciation where the car's drop in value is essentially flat-lining but there is still a lot of wear left. I thought that was a brilliant observation and not one I have ever seen articulated anywhere else.

Of course, buying used cars at the "flat-line" point of depreciation has been my key vehicle strategy for my entire life, so yeah, I already had figured that out, but it made me happy to see a nicely written rebuttal to folks who don't buy used cars because they think the value isn't there--and I'm always like, you're looking at cars that aren't used enough.

I don't understand this post. The chart shows that the Toyota Prius is depreciating at 10% pretty consistently year over year. You could just change the chart numbers on the left and make it look like she hasn't hit the flatline part yet until the car hits 5k in value. Even since she bought it in 2016 (which she did get a good deal for it) the average price has dropped 10% yoy. The 2018 price being around 9500 and then the 2019 price is around 9000 so closer to 5%, but a 2 year old car is going to have less maintenance than a 8-9 year old car on average.  There will always be anecdotes on both sides of either having a beater that never broke down or a 2 year old car that needed a new transmission the month after you bought it.

The value I see in a cheaper car is having less money parked in car value, and more money in investments. But the depreciation/upkeep looks about the same to me from a 2-3 year old car to a 8-9 year old car.

mm1970

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #614 on: October 28, 2019, 11:20:49 AM »
They very purposefully lead with frugality and obfuscate the role that high income plays.

After all, the blog is called "Frugalwoods", not "My husband's mega-high income, work from home situation-woods". The subhead is "Financial independence and simple living". The subhead of the book is the even less ambiguous, "Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living". Many podcast appearances or write-ups where headlined something like, "This couple quit their jobs and moved to the country thanks to their frugal habits."

100% Agreed.

I expect honesty/integrity from personal financial bloggers.

Let's say FW currently has 100,000 subscribers.  But let's say that right from the start, they were honest and disclosed their 'privileged' income situation.  Under a worse case situation, they might only have half of their current audience, as perhaps some people couldn't relate to that income level to their own particular situation and don't read onward.  But on the plus side, the other half of the audience understands the context and is still there for the excellent frugal blog tips that FW presents.  At 50,000 subscribers, the FW blog would still be a wildly popular personal finance blog that assists many people with achieving their goals for financial independence.  Mission accomplished.  You've given a great contribution to the financial community.

In other words, there's really no acceptable excuse for FW to obfuscate their positive financial story.

....unless, of course, your ego is driving you to push to get the biggest possible readership that you can get.
They didn't start out with 'priviledged' income, as you put it, it came afterwards. Are you saying they should have quit blogging when they became successful?  It's kind of accepted that Pete makes about $400k per annum being MMM, though he hasn't confirmed it. If it's true, should he be forced to hang up his blogging boots too?
good point and funny thing too.  Years ago I read a vegan blog (Vegan Lunch Box), and bought one or two of the cookbooks too.  It was great (Note: I'm not vegan).

But, like many vegans - she went back to being non-vegan due to health issues.  The internet is brutal when you do that.  I remember reading comments on her blog that how DARE SHE continue to make money on her (previously published) vegan cookbooks because SHE ISN'T VEGAN ANYMORE. 

Uh, but the books still are?

It was weird.

DadJokes

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #615 on: October 28, 2019, 12:23:37 PM »
They very purposefully lead with frugality and obfuscate the role that high income plays.

After all, the blog is called "Frugalwoods", not "My husband's mega-high income, work from home situation-woods". The subhead is "Financial independence and simple living". The subhead of the book is the even less ambiguous, "Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living". Many podcast appearances or write-ups where headlined something like, "This couple quit their jobs and moved to the country thanks to their frugal habits."

100% Agreed.

I expect honesty/integrity from personal financial bloggers.

Let's say FW currently has 100,000 subscribers.  But let's say that right from the start, they were honest and disclosed their 'privileged' income situation.  Under a worse case situation, they might only have half of their current audience, as perhaps some people couldn't relate to that income level to their own particular situation and don't read onward.  But on the plus side, the other half of the audience understands the context and is still there for the excellent frugal blog tips that FW presents.  At 50,000 subscribers, the FW blog would still be a wildly popular personal finance blog that assists many people with achieving their goals for financial independence.  Mission accomplished.  You've given a great contribution to the financial community.

In other words, there's really no acceptable excuse for FW to obfuscate their positive financial story.

....unless, of course, your ego is driving you to push to get the biggest possible readership that you can get.
They didn't start out with 'priviledged' income, as you put it, it came afterwards. Are you saying they should have quit blogging when they became successful?  It's kind of accepted that Pete makes about $400k per annum being MMM, though he hasn't confirmed it. If it's true, should he be forced to hang up his blogging boots too?
good point and funny thing too.  Years ago I read a vegan blog (Vegan Lunch Box), and bought one or two of the cookbooks too.  It was great (Note: I'm not vegan).

But, like many vegans - she went back to being non-vegan due to health issues.  The internet is brutal when you do that.  I remember reading comments on her blog that how DARE SHE continue to make money on her (previously published) vegan cookbooks because SHE ISN'T VEGAN ANYMORE. 

Uh, but the books still are?

It was weird.

People on the internet are really good at judging others who have done no harm.

For example, see this thread.

mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #616 on: October 28, 2019, 01:28:47 PM »
People on the internet are really good at judging others who have done no harm.

For example, see this thread.

On judgement - We make dozens of judgments about people every day. It's necessary to even function. Some judgement are really bad. Like saying, "People from group X are untrustworthy." We call this a prejudice. Someone is called "judgmental" when they're being excessively critical. I assume that's what you mean here. I disagree.

Even so though, this community is kind of built around the idea of passing judgement. When a car is called a "clown car" we're passing judgement on the driver. They are a clown. Same goes for consumerist suckers and complainy-pants. An awful lot of traffic is driven to this website based on a subforum about passing judgement on and making fun of people for their consumer behavior.

So in short, passing judgement is good and necessary. And I completely reject that this community is in any way "above" it.

On harm - Nobody has done me any harm personally. But the same can be said about a lot of people who deserve criticism. I'm rich. And smart. And white. And healthy. Almost nothing a politician in the United States says or does impacts me on a personal level. But I'll still open my mouth because they can do things that harm others, or harm a public good, such as the environment, or intellectually honest discourse.


slappy

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #617 on: October 28, 2019, 01:59:45 PM »
They very purposefully lead with frugality and obfuscate the role that high income plays.

After all, the blog is called "Frugalwoods", not "My husband's mega-high income, work from home situation-woods". The subhead is "Financial independence and simple living". The subhead of the book is the even less ambiguous, "Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living". Many podcast appearances or write-ups where headlined something like, "This couple quit their jobs and moved to the country thanks to their frugal habits."

100% Agreed.

I expect honesty/integrity from personal financial bloggers.

Let's say FW currently has 100,000 subscribers.  But let's say that right from the start, they were honest and disclosed their 'privileged' income situation.  Under a worse case situation, they might only have half of their current audience, as perhaps some people couldn't relate to that income level to their own particular situation and don't read onward.  But on the plus side, the other half of the audience understands the context and is still there for the excellent frugal blog tips that FW presents.  At 50,000 subscribers, the FW blog would still be a wildly popular personal finance blog that assists many people with achieving their goals for financial independence.  Mission accomplished.  You've given a great contribution to the financial community.

In other words, there's really no acceptable excuse for FW to obfuscate their positive financial story.

....unless, of course, your ego is driving you to push to get the biggest possible readership that you can get.
They didn't start out with 'priviledged' income, as you put it, it came afterwards. Are you saying they should have quit blogging when they became successful?  It's kind of accepted that Pete makes about $400k per annum being MMM, though he hasn't confirmed it. If it's true, should he be forced to hang up his blogging boots too?
good point and funny thing too.  Years ago I read a vegan blog (Vegan Lunch Box), and bought one or two of the cookbooks too.  It was great (Note: I'm not vegan).

But, like many vegans - she went back to being non-vegan due to health issues.  The internet is brutal when you do that.  I remember reading comments on her blog that how DARE SHE continue to make money on her (previously published) vegan cookbooks because SHE ISN'T VEGAN ANYMORE. 

Uh, but the books still are?

It was weird.

I'm guessing she didn't continue to claim being a vegan after she changed her diet.

Telecaster

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #618 on: October 29, 2019, 09:40:58 PM »

Seriously! Did people here forget how to do math?

Yes.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #619 on: October 30, 2019, 08:47:39 AM »
There just seems something off about the motivation and intent behind her works. The book came across more of a memoir and attention seeking instead of a FI book. Maybe some people enjoy it, but it just really turned me off. MMM I think write because he thought he had a good idea and wants to share it to improve other people.

mm1970

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #620 on: October 30, 2019, 10:31:11 AM »
Quote
I'm guessing she didn't continue to claim being a vegan after she changed her diet.

Right.  I mean, it all came out when she did a blog post about how she was no longer vegan.


Tyson

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #621 on: October 30, 2019, 10:57:24 AM »
I get the sense that the Frugalwoods were fairly working class early on in their careers and marriage, and the frugal tips they share nowadays had their origins in those times.

It's too bad they are sticking with the narrative of "we're just average folks", even now, when they clearly are not.

I say too bad, because I think it's a missed opportunity for a different (and probably better) narrative: "We started off average, leveraged frugality and financial discipline to become FI, then used FI as a position of strength to supercharge our later (current) careers." 

To me that's a more interesting story, and more in line with what seems to have happened here.

scantee

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #622 on: October 30, 2019, 11:18:45 AM »
I don’t read the blog but I do check her Instagram from time to time and she seems so desperately unhappy. I really think that country living is his dream, not hers, and it does not seem to be going well for her. In the middle of nowhere, with very little adult interaction, two small children, and no “real” job to get her out of the house and interacting with non-family regularly. I suspect that is why she continues the blog, because it is her one endeavor away from her family and home life.

She has shared her struggles with postpartum depression and it seems that has extended beyond that at this point. I feel sad for her. It seems like she would be much happier back in Boston and that is not an option he will consider.

Maybe I’m way off base, this is just my read on the situation from her social media alone. Hope she is able to find more peace and enjoyment in her life.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2019, 11:24:33 AM by scantee »

totoro

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #623 on: October 30, 2019, 01:06:45 PM »
Comes across as satisfied with her life to me.  Postpartum depression can happen to anyone.  She clearly has a supportive community/family in real life and online.  I don't want a large acreage in snow country to manage myself, but they did, and they got it after loads of thought and planning and research.

mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #624 on: October 30, 2019, 01:43:24 PM »
I get the sense that the Frugalwoods were fairly working class early on in their careers and marriage, and the frugal tips they share nowadays had their origins in those times.

Hmm. Maybe. I would guess that they were exception from the start though.

Like FW, my girlfriend and I met in college, and soon graduated debt free. Her because of a full ride scholarship. Me because of a partial scholarship and help from parents. To my credit, my parents stopped helping after my second year, and so I paid the last two years on my own. But when it comes down to it, the fact that we graduated debt free is probably 85% good genetic dice rolls and help from my parents, and 15% protestant work ethic and frugality.

After graduation, we both got jobs despite u/e being close to 9%. I was making ~$50K/year and had plenty of room for advancement. She was only making $30K, but it was obvious that her smarts were being underutilized.

Tens of thousands of dollars a year above the median household at age 22. No debt. Both had college degrees. I saw what was going on in the news. I saw my millennial friends struggling to get work, even if they had degrees. I could see that I was making as much or more money than most of the adults I interfaced with in high school just a few years earlier. And pretty much every adult I worked with at my food service jobs. I saw relatives trying to raise children on $9/hour. Even then, it was pretty easy to see that "normal" and "average" shouldn't be used to describe our financial trajectory.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #625 on: October 30, 2019, 05:58:14 PM »
I get the sense that the Frugalwoods were fairly working class early on in their careers and marriage, and the frugal tips they share nowadays had their origins in those times.

Hmm. Maybe. I would guess that they were exception from the start though.

Like FW, my girlfriend and I met in college, and soon graduated debt free. Her because of a full ride scholarship. Me because of a partial scholarship and help from parents. To my credit, my parents stopped helping after my second year, and so I paid the last two years on my own. But when it comes down to it, the fact that we graduated debt free is probably 85% good genetic dice rolls and help from my parents, and 15% protestant work ethic and frugality.

After graduation, we both got jobs despite u/e being close to 9%. I was making ~$50K/year and had plenty of room for advancement. She was only making $30K, but it was obvious that her smarts were being underutilized.

Tens of thousands of dollars a year above the median household at age 22. No debt. Both had college degrees. I saw what was going on in the news. I saw my millennial friends struggling to get work, even if they had degrees. I could see that I was making as much or more money than most of the adults I interfaced with in high school just a few years earlier. And pretty much every adult I worked with at my food service jobs. I saw relatives trying to raise children on $9/hour. Even then, it was pretty easy to see that "normal" and "average" shouldn't be used to describe our financial trajectory.

And because of the choices you've made in your life, looking toward the future, your kids will be even more advantaged than you were.  I think that's a really good thing.  I know it makes me happy to know my daughter won't have some of the same stresses I had growing up.  Or the (even greater) stresses her grandparents had growing up. 

middo

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #626 on: October 30, 2019, 06:58:54 PM »
From her blog:

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


"We have high-paying jobs. While this alone isn’t a predictor of financial health, or the ability to achieve financial independence at a young age, it sure does help. Yes, we’re extreme frugal weirdos and yes, we save 71% of our incomes every year and yes, minus our mortgage we spent $13,000 in all of 2014. But, we recognize how fortunate we are to be able to do this."

This was in 2015.  I thought it was pretty clear they earned a lot.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #627 on: October 30, 2019, 09:13:41 PM »
I don't understand your point, middo. I think most people were aware of their income. Anyone buying property in Cambridge, MA, yeah, we get it. Even if not, let's let it slide as a miscommunication. The debate seems to be whether (a) they (well, the woman, at least) falsely portrayed themselves to be retired to sell books, and (b) whether they're actually models of frugality, as the title of the blog suggests.

The information that you linked to, combined with the upthread breakdown that someone did suggests they've tripled their (non-mortgage) spending in the last five years. This, combined with the fact that the lady is shilling $300 vacuums this month, suggests to me that they're basically an advertisement badly disguised as a rural paradise fantasy.

As for the fake-retiring bit, I'm sure someone must have already brought this up, but I found this book synopsis:

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

Source: The BACK COVER OF THE BOOK (per US Amazon's website) - Not linking to it, but its right there.

This is... unambiguous to me.

Regardless, I'm not sure how circling the particulars is going to help anyone. She's already been brigaded online; all the most helpful reviews are calling her out for the bullshit. She made a business decision (or her publisher pushed her around) to go for mass-market appeal, knowing the lack of authenticity would largely cook her with the FI community. Unfortunately, the end result didn't do nearly as well as, say, JL Collins's (which, I just discovered, is free for Kindle Unlimited readers). Even so, I still respect the effort to try and get the critical mass for her brand with the book. She took a shot, which is something a risk-averse crowd like this should at least respect. 

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #628 on: October 30, 2019, 09:50:07 PM »
I don't understand your point, middo. I think most people were aware of their income. Anyone buying property in Cambridge, MA, yeah, we get it. Even if not, let's let it slide as a miscommunication. The debate seems to be whether (a) they (well, the woman, at least) falsely portrayed themselves to be retired to sell books, and (b) whether they're actually models of frugality, as the title of the blog suggests.

The information that you linked to, combined with the upthread breakdown that someone did suggests they've tripled their (non-mortgage) spending in the last five years. This, combined with the fact that the lady is shilling $300 vacuums this month, suggests to me that they're basically an advertisement badly disguised as a rural paradise fantasy.

As for the fake-retiring bit, I'm sure someone must have already brought this up, but I found this book synopsis:

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

Source: The BACK COVER OF THE BOOK (per US Amazon's website) - Not linking to it, but its right there.

This is... unambiguous to me.

Regardless, I'm not sure how circling the particulars is going to help anyone. She's already been brigaded online; all the most helpful reviews are calling her out for the bullshit. She made a business decision (or her publisher pushed her around) to go for mass-market appeal, knowing the lack of authenticity would largely cook her with the FI community. Unfortunately, the end result didn't do nearly as well as, say, JL Collins's (which, I just discovered, is free for Kindle Unlimited readers). Even so, I still respect the effort to try and get the critical mass for her brand with the book. She took a shot, which is something a risk-averse crowd like this should at least respect.

Quite a few of the earlier posts suggested that they hid, or at least tried to hide their high incomes.  I don't believe FW ever hid their income.  They achieved what they wanted A LOT faster than similar people on similar incomes through not spending it all. 

As for "retiring", I know that most people would consider doing what they enjoy without worrying about money to be retirement.  If writing is what she enjoys - great.  If she can also make money out of it, then good for her.  I'm not suggesting that their spending hasn't grown over the years.  I'm not suggesting that they don't always live up to their publicity.  I just think that a bit of over-reach has happened by people "calling them out".


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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #629 on: October 31, 2019, 04:29:08 AM »
I don't understand your point, middo. I think most people were aware of their income. Anyone buying property in Cambridge, MA, yeah, we get it. Even if not, let's let it slide as a miscommunication. The debate seems to be whether (a) they (well, the woman, at least) falsely portrayed themselves to be retired to sell books, and (b) whether they're actually models of frugality, as the title of the blog suggests.

The information that you linked to, combined with the upthread breakdown that someone did suggests they've tripled their (non-mortgage) spending in the last five years. This, combined with the fact that the lady is shilling $300 vacuums this month, suggests to me that they're basically an advertisement badly disguised as a rural paradise fantasy.

As for the fake-retiring bit, I'm sure someone must have already brought this up, but I found this book synopsis:

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

Source: The BACK COVER OF THE BOOK (per US Amazon's website) - Not linking to it, but its right there.

This is... unambiguous to me.

Regardless, I'm not sure how circling the particulars is going to help anyone. She's already been brigaded online; all the most helpful reviews are calling her out for the bullshit. She made a business decision (or her publisher pushed her around) to go for mass-market appeal, knowing the lack of authenticity would largely cook her with the FI community. Unfortunately, the end result didn't do nearly as well as, say, JL Collins's (which, I just discovered, is free for Kindle Unlimited readers). Even so, I still respect the effort to try and get the critical mass for her brand with the book. She took a shot, which is something a risk-averse crowd like this should at least respect.

Quite a few of the earlier posts suggested that they hid, or at least tried to hide their high incomes.  I don't believe FW ever hid their income.  They achieved what they wanted A LOT faster than similar people on similar incomes through not spending it all. 

As for "retiring", I know that most people would consider doing what they enjoy without worrying about money to be retirement.  If writing is what she enjoys - great.  If she can also make money out of it, then good for her.  I'm not suggesting that their spending hasn't grown over the years.  I'm not suggesting that they don't always live up to their publicity.  I just think that a bit of over-reach has happened by people "calling them out".

She may be "retired" but her husband is not retired in any sense of the word. He works from home full time and provides the health care coverage for the family.

tooqk4u22

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #630 on: October 31, 2019, 06:09:22 AM »
I don't understand your point, middo. I think most people were aware of their income. Anyone buying property in Cambridge, MA, yeah, we get it. Even if not, let's let it slide as a miscommunication. The debate seems to be whether (a) they (well, the woman, at least) falsely portrayed themselves to be retired to sell books, and (b) whether they're actually models of frugality, as the title of the blog suggests.

The information that you linked to, combined with the upthread breakdown that someone did suggests they've tripled their (non-mortgage) spending in the last five years. This, combined with the fact that the lady is shilling $300 vacuums this month, suggests to me that they're basically an advertisement badly disguised as a rural paradise fantasy.

As for the fake-retiring bit, I'm sure someone must have already brought this up, but I found this book synopsis:

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

Source: The BACK COVER OF THE BOOK (per US Amazon's website) - Not linking to it, but its right there.

This is... unambiguous to me.

Regardless, I'm not sure how circling the particulars is going to help anyone. She's already been brigaded online; all the most helpful reviews are calling her out for the bullshit. She made a business decision (or her publisher pushed her around) to go for mass-market appeal, knowing the lack of authenticity would largely cook her with the FI community. Unfortunately, the end result didn't do nearly as well as, say, JL Collins's (which, I just discovered, is free for Kindle Unlimited readers). Even so, I still respect the effort to try and get the critical mass for her brand with the book. She took a shot, which is something a risk-averse crowd like this should at least respect.

Quite a few of the earlier posts suggested that they hid, or at least tried to hide their high incomes.  I don't believe FW ever hid their income.  They achieved what they wanted A LOT faster than similar people on similar incomes through not spending it all. 

As for "retiring", I know that most people would consider doing what they enjoy without worrying about money to be retirement.  If writing is what she enjoys - great.  If she can also make money out of it, then good for her.  I'm not suggesting that their spending hasn't grown over the years.  I'm not suggesting that they don't always live up to their publicity.  I just think that a bit of over-reach has happened by people "calling them out".

She may be "retired" but her husband is not retired in any sense of the word. He works from home full time and provides the health care coverage for the family.

Don't forget about the $200k+ paycheck that comes with those benefits.   

Also, as I stated way earlier in this thread, I don't think they had enough to be truly FIRE based on their lifestyle.   

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/what's-up-with-the-frugalwoods/msg1946818/#msg1946818

What I do think is that they made the turn to start living very intentionally and saved a very high percentage of their really high incomes then pursued the life they wanted....but I really believe that to do so required MR FW to maintain his job, or at least a job that covers the shortfall. 

« Last Edit: October 31, 2019, 07:07:53 AM by tooqk4u22 »

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #631 on: October 31, 2019, 08:57:10 AM »
I don't understand your point, middo. I think most people were aware of their income. Anyone buying property in Cambridge, MA, yeah, we get it. Even if not, let's let it slide as a miscommunication. The debate seems to be whether (a) they (well, the woman, at least) falsely portrayed themselves to be retired to sell books, and (b) whether they're actually models of frugality, as the title of the blog suggests.

The information that you linked to, combined with the upthread breakdown that someone did suggests they've tripled their (non-mortgage) spending in the last five years. This, combined with the fact that the lady is shilling $300 vacuums this month, suggests to me that they're basically an advertisement badly disguised as a rural paradise fantasy.

As for the fake-retiring bit, I'm sure someone must have already brought this up, but I found this book synopsis:

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

Source: The BACK COVER OF THE BOOK (per US Amazon's website) - Not linking to it, but its right there.

This is... unambiguous to me.

Regardless, I'm not sure how circling the particulars is going to help anyone. She's already been brigaded online; all the most helpful reviews are calling her out for the bullshit. She made a business decision (or her publisher pushed her around) to go for mass-market appeal, knowing the lack of authenticity would largely cook her with the FI community. Unfortunately, the end result didn't do nearly as well as, say, JL Collins's (which, I just discovered, is free for Kindle Unlimited readers). Even so, I still respect the effort to try and get the critical mass for her brand with the book. She took a shot, which is something a risk-averse crowd like this should at least respect.

Quite a few of the earlier posts suggested that they hid, or at least tried to hide their high incomes.  I don't believe FW ever hid their income.  They achieved what they wanted A LOT faster than similar people on similar incomes through not spending it all. 

As for "retiring", I know that most people would consider doing what they enjoy without worrying about money to be retirement.  If writing is what she enjoys - great.  If she can also make money out of it, then good for her.  I'm not suggesting that their spending hasn't grown over the years.  I'm not suggesting that they don't always live up to their publicity.  I just think that a bit of over-reach has happened by people "calling them out".

She may be "retired" but her husband is not retired in any sense of the word. He works from home full time and provides the health care coverage for the family.
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #632 on: October 31, 2019, 09:10:27 AM »
Here's what I don't get. When we first attempted RE we were living off of savings and working on 'making money online' to bridge the gap between the end of our savings account and the first pension check. We didn't make it. Once I decided to go back to work for the last two years (and vest in my *own* pension in the meantime) the concept of making money online just went right out the window. Why bother with the crazy amount of time that involves when you have retirement income all lined up?

It was mentioned earlier in the thread that they probably had $3MM in the bank. Given their stated income they are probably putting another $250K into the bank each year. They could already draw out $90K a year at 4% SWR. I don't blame them for continuing to work and pad those numbers, but why bother with books and blogs on frugality at this point? Is the Amazon Affiliate money making a significant difference? I don't get it.

Why do people go on reality shows or submit videos of themselves doing asinine things?

They aren't content with their Warhol-allotted 15 minutes. 

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #633 on: October 31, 2019, 09:57:34 AM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

She claims to be retired on the literal outside of the book she wrote, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you.

Davnasty

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #634 on: October 31, 2019, 10:01:54 AM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

She claims to be retired on the literal outside of the book she wrote, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you.

"and retire to a homestead in the woods at age thirty-two"

It's nit-picky but in context this is a different definition of "retire" - withdraw to or from a particular place.

Perhaps their intent was to mislead and suggest an absence of paid work, but it is a technically correct statement.

mm1970

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #635 on: October 31, 2019, 10:29:46 AM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

She claims to be retired on the literal outside of the book she wrote, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you.

"and retire to a homestead in the woods at age thirty-two"

It's nit-picky but in context this is a different definition of "retire" - withdraw to or from a particular place.

Perhaps their intent was to mislead and suggest an absence of paid work, but it is a technically correct statement.
and of course, let's not forget...
I've thought a lot about retiring.  I could do it RIGHT NOW.

But nobody in the world would call me retired.
They'd call me a stay at home mother.

Tyson

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #636 on: October 31, 2019, 11:00:31 AM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

She claims to be retired on the literal outside of the book she wrote, as has been repeatedly pointed out to you.

"and retire to a homestead in the woods at age thirty-two"

It's nit-picky but in context this is a different definition of "retire" - withdraw to or from a particular place.

Perhaps their intent was to mislead and suggest an absence of paid work, but it is a technically correct statement.
and of course, let's not forget...
I've thought a lot about retiring.  I could do it RIGHT NOW.

But nobody in the world would call me retired.
They'd call me a stay at home mother.

That's a great point.  If you have kids and FIRE but have a spouse still working, does that make you 'retired', or 'a stay at home parent'. 

Maybe this is part of what Mrs. FW is struggling with - all that education, career, intelligence and financial savvy and she ends up in a situation that looks a lot like the old "high earning man supports stay at home mom". 

slappy

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #637 on: October 31, 2019, 11:23:55 AM »
I don't understand your point, middo. I think most people were aware of their income. Anyone buying property in Cambridge, MA, yeah, we get it. Even if not, let's let it slide as a miscommunication. The debate seems to be whether (a) they (well, the woman, at least) falsely portrayed themselves to be retired to sell books, and (b) whether they're actually models of frugality, as the title of the blog suggests.

The information that you linked to, combined with the upthread breakdown that someone did suggests they've tripled their (non-mortgage) spending in the last five years. This, combined with the fact that the lady is shilling $300 vacuums this month, suggests to me that they're basically an advertisement badly disguised as a rural paradise fantasy.

As for the fake-retiring bit, I'm sure someone must have already brought this up, but I found this book synopsis:

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

Source: The BACK COVER OF THE BOOK (per US Amazon's website) - Not linking to it, but its right there.

This is... unambiguous to me.

Regardless, I'm not sure how circling the particulars is going to help anyone. She's already been brigaded online; all the most helpful reviews are calling her out for the bullshit. She made a business decision (or her publisher pushed her around) to go for mass-market appeal, knowing the lack of authenticity would largely cook her with the FI community. Unfortunately, the end result didn't do nearly as well as, say, JL Collins's (which, I just discovered, is free for Kindle Unlimited readers). Even so, I still respect the effort to try and get the critical mass for her brand with the book. She took a shot, which is something a risk-averse crowd like this should at least respect.

Quite a few of the earlier posts suggested that they hid, or at least tried to hide their high incomes.  I don't believe FW ever hid their income.  They achieved what they wanted A LOT faster than similar people on similar incomes through not spending it all. 

As for "retiring", I know that most people would consider doing what they enjoy without worrying about money to be retirement.  If writing is what she enjoys - great.  If she can also make money out of it, then good for her.  I'm not suggesting that their spending hasn't grown over the years.  I'm not suggesting that they don't always live up to their publicity.  I just think that a bit of over-reach has happened by people "calling them out".

She may be "retired" but her husband is not retired in any sense of the word. He works from home full time and provides the health care coverage for the family.
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

What? It says right on their book that they are retired. Please see comment above mine that I was responding to.

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #638 on: October 31, 2019, 11:41:06 AM »
It's a shame that the book states that they are retired. It seems like this page on their site has been edited to reflect their actual position: https://www.frugalwoods.com/2014/07/16/more-than-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-the-frugalwoods-family/

I don't think anyone would argue that they are FI, and this statement seems accurate:

Quote
Although we’re financially independent, we’re not early retired since we both choose to continue working from home.

Davnasty

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #639 on: October 31, 2019, 12:03:31 PM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

What? It says right on their book that they are retired. Please see comment above mine that I was responding to.

What? It doesn't say that. Please see comment #644.

To retire is an action. One can retire from the living room to the bedroom, from having a job to not having a job, or from the city to the country.

So unless they said it somewhere other than the comment you're referencing they did not claim to be retired.

OtherJen

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #640 on: October 31, 2019, 12:19:38 PM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

What? It says right on their book that they are retired. Please see comment above mine that I was responding to.

What? It doesn't say that. Please see comment #644.

To retire is an action. One can retire from the living room to the bedroom, from having a job to not having a job, or from the city to the country.

So unless they said it somewhere other than the comment you're referencing they did not claim to be retired.

I haven't listened to the podcast, but things like this (from last year) certainly add to the confusion: #121: HOW I RETIRED AT AGE 32 – WITH LIZ THAMES FROM FRUGALWOODS

From the attached article. The bolded is highly misleading, as the husband never quit his very lucrative job, but I don't know whether this is Paula Pant's error that was never corrected or a misstatement directly from the Frugalwoods:

Quote
By age 32, they achieved financial independence. Their investment portfolio is robust enough that they could draw down, in perpetuity, for the rest of their lives.

They rented out their home in Cambridge, quit their office jobs, and moved to a 66-acre farm in Vermont. These days, they live on a combination of their rental income and ‘side hustle’ income from their blog, Frugalwoods. They have two children.

Davnasty

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #641 on: October 31, 2019, 12:40:42 PM »
These days, they live on a combination of their rental income and ‘side hustle’ income from their blog, Frugalwoods.

Ya, this statement is wrong. I suppose someone could argue that they have income from the husband's job but they don't "live on" that money, but that would be a huge stretch so it's still dishonest. And when you consider they get health insurance from the employer, even that argument goes out the window.

If this is Paula Pant's error, that makes it a little more acceptable, but they still should have made it a point to correct the people that interview them.

slappy

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #642 on: October 31, 2019, 12:45:04 PM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

What? It says right on their book that they are retired. Please see comment above mine that I was responding to.

What? It doesn't say that. Please see comment #644.

To retire is an action. One can retire from the living room to the bedroom, from having a job to not having a job, or from the city to the country.

So unless they said it somewhere other than the comment you're referencing they did not claim to be retired.

I haven't listened to the podcast, but things like this (from last year) certainly add to the confusion: #121: HOW I RETIRED AT AGE 32 – WITH LIZ THAMES FROM FRUGALWOODS

From the attached article. The bolded is highly misleading, as the husband never quit his very lucrative job, but I don't know whether this is Paula Pant's error that was never corrected or a misstatement directly from the Frugalwoods:

Quote
By age 32, they achieved financial independence. Their investment portfolio is robust enough that they could draw down, in perpetuity, for the rest of their lives.

They rented out their home in Cambridge, quit their office jobs, and moved to a 66-acre farm in Vermont. These days, they live on a combination of their rental income and ‘side hustle’ income from their blog, Frugalwoods. They have two children.

Well, he did quit working in the office and now he works from home. So technically that statement is correct, right?

OtherJen

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #643 on: October 31, 2019, 12:47:28 PM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

What? It says right on their book that they are retired. Please see comment above mine that I was responding to.

What? It doesn't say that. Please see comment #644.

To retire is an action. One can retire from the living room to the bedroom, from having a job to not having a job, or from the city to the country.

So unless they said it somewhere other than the comment you're referencing they did not claim to be retired.

I haven't listened to the podcast, but things like this (from last year) certainly add to the confusion: #121: HOW I RETIRED AT AGE 32 – WITH LIZ THAMES FROM FRUGALWOODS

From the attached article. The bolded is highly misleading, as the husband never quit his very lucrative job, but I don't know whether this is Paula Pant's error that was never corrected or a misstatement directly from the Frugalwoods:

Quote
By age 32, they achieved financial independence. Their investment portfolio is robust enough that they could draw down, in perpetuity, for the rest of their lives.

They rented out their home in Cambridge, quit their office jobs, and moved to a 66-acre farm in Vermont. These days, they live on a combination of their rental income and ‘side hustle’ income from their blog, Frugalwoods. They have two children.

Well, he did quit working in the office and now he works from home. So technically that statement is correct, right?

It's the same job with the same salary and benefits, only performed remotely. If we want to split hairs, fine, but both words and context have meaning.

Davnasty

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #644 on: October 31, 2019, 12:51:14 PM »
Oh, we're definitely splitting some hairs :)

I vote he did not "quit his office job" rather, he moved to a new office.

Buffaloski Boris

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #645 on: October 31, 2019, 01:25:33 PM »
I guess I'm missing something here.  The author is a good writer, and has some interesting insights.  So she decided to try to cash in on the FIRE fad.  Good for her.  So her husband and she are doing very well economically AND are raising babies. That's great!  Last I checked, being FI didn't require taking a vow of poverty, chastity, or obedience. 

Telecaster

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #646 on: October 31, 2019, 01:36:39 PM »
What? It doesn't say that. Please see comment #644.

To retire is an action. One can retire from the living room to the bedroom, from having a job to not having a job, or from the city to the country.

So unless they said it somewhere other than the comment you're referencing they did not claim to be retired.

Compare these two statements:

I'm retiring to Florida.

I'm moving to Florida.

If someone made the first statement, I'm confident it would be universally understood as "I'm quitting work and moving to Florida."   

While you are technically correct that the two statements could mean the same thing, in practice people would not interpret them the same way.   





mathlete

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #647 on: October 31, 2019, 01:38:53 PM »
I guess I'm missing something here.  The author is a good writer, and has some interesting insights.  So she decided to try to cash in on the FIRE fad.  Good for her.  So her husband and she are doing very well economically AND are raising babies. That's great!  Last I checked, being FI didn't require taking a vow of poverty, chastity, or obedience.

Pretty sure no one is asking for this. And you can probably find at least a dozen examples of myself and other critics saying how we're happy for these people all throughout this thread.

It's not wrong to make a lot of money, become a rich person, and live a cool rich person lifestyle. That's awesome. It is wrong, in my estimation, to credit your cool, rich person lifestyle to anything other than being a rich person who makes a lot of money. And it gets iffier when you're profiting off of that.

big_owl

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #648 on: October 31, 2019, 02:00:53 PM »
I guess I'm missing something here.  The author is a good writer, and has some interesting insights.  So she decided to try to cash in on the FIRE fad.  Good for her.  So her husband and she are doing very well economically AND are raising babies. That's great!  Last I checked, being FI didn't require taking a vow of poverty, chastity, or obedience.

Pretty sure no one is asking for this. And you can probably find at least a dozen examples of myself and other critics saying how we're happy for these people all throughout this thread.

It's not wrong to make a lot of money, become a rich person, and live a cool rich person lifestyle. That's awesome. It is wrong, in my estimation, to credit your cool, rich person lifestyle to anything other than being a rich person who makes a lot of money. And it gets iffier when you're profiting off of that.

Heck I think I originally defended them back in the annals of this thread.  Then I read more and knew I had been fooled. 


1. They aren't FIRE or even retired at all

2. Their spending isn't Frugal

3. Their "homestead" isn't any more of a homestead than my $620k house in the rural DC exurbs

4. I'm not certain but I bet they even have more than one toilet and possibly a garage type structure to house motor vehicles.
 


Suffice to say my command of the english language isn't as good tho :)

slappy

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Re: What's up with the Frugalwoods?
« Reply #649 on: October 31, 2019, 02:02:01 PM »
She has never said she is retired, nor that her husband is.  She says they are FI.

What? It says right on their book that they are retired. Please see comment above mine that I was responding to.

What? It doesn't say that. Please see comment #644.

To retire is an action. One can retire from the living room to the bedroom, from having a job to not having a job, or from the city to the country.

So unless they said it somewhere other than the comment you're referencing they did not claim to be retired.

I haven't listened to the podcast, but things like this (from last year) certainly add to the confusion: #121: HOW I RETIRED AT AGE 32 – WITH LIZ THAMES FROM FRUGALWOODS

From the attached article. The bolded is highly misleading, as the husband never quit his very lucrative job, but I don't know whether this is Paula Pant's error that was never corrected or a misstatement directly from the Frugalwoods:

Quote
By age 32, they achieved financial independence. Their investment portfolio is robust enough that they could draw down, in perpetuity, for the rest of their lives.

They rented out their home in Cambridge, quit their office jobs, and moved to a 66-acre farm in Vermont. These days, they live on a combination of their rental income and ‘side hustle’ income from their blog, Frugalwoods. They have two children.

Well, he did quit working in the office and now he works from home. So technically that statement is correct, right?

It's the same job with the same salary and benefits, only performed remotely. If we want to split hairs, fine, but both words and context have meaning.

Yes, I know. I was being sarcastic, but I wasn't quite sure how to show that. Do we have emoticons on the MMM forum? Am I 100 years old for using the word emoticon? I think I mean emoji...

I'm retiring to my living room out of embarassment. ;)