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Meet the Frugalwoods

Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living
Narrated by: Ann Marie Gideon
Length: 5 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The deeply personal story of how award-winning personal finance blogger Elizabeth Willard Thames abandoned a successful career in the city and embraced frugality to create a more meaningful, purpose-driven life and retire to a homestead in the Vermont woods at age 32 with her husband and daughter. 

In 2014, Elizabeth and Nate Thames were conventional 9-5 young urban professionals. But the couple had a dream to become modern-day homesteaders in rural Vermont. Determined to retire as early as possible in order to start living each day - as opposed to wishing time away working for the weekends - they enacted a plan to save an enormous amount of money: well over 70 percent of their joint take-home pay. Dubbing themselves the Frugalwoods, Elizabeth began documenting their unconventional frugality and the resulting wholesale lifestyle transformation on their eponymous blog. 

In less than three years, Elizabeth and Nate reached their goal. Today, they are financially independent and living out their dream on a 66 acre homestead in the woods of rural Vermont with their young daughter. While frugality makes their lifestyle possible, it's also what brings them peace and genuine happiness. They don't stress out about impressing people with their material possessions, buying the latest gadgets, or keeping up with any Joneses. In the process, Elizabeth discovered the self-confidence and liberation that stems from disavowing our culture's promise that we can buy our way to "the good life". Elizabeth unlocked the freedom of a life no longer beholden to the clarion call to consume ever-more products at ever-higher sums. 

Meet the Frugalwoods is the intriguing story of how Elizabeth and Nate realized that the mainstream path wasn't for them, crafted a lifestyle of sustainable frugality, and reached financial independence at age 32. While not everyone wants to live in the woods or quit their jobs, many of us want to have more control over our time and money and lead more meaningful, simplified lives. Following their advice, you too can live your best life. 

©2018 Elizabeth Willard Thames (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Wonderful Read

I really enjoyed this book. learned much from it and want to jighly recommend it to all!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Very inspiring

Interesting AND useful, a great tool to initiate a reflection on our lifestyle and choices.

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Real life examples to saving money

It's nice to listen to a financial advice book that recognizes the privilege associated with their situation. They make it clear that the tips and tricks can apply to anyone but to quit your job and retire may only be possible if you were dealt a lucky hand at the start of your life.

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Inspirational

I love the Frugalwoods blog and I appreciate the story being told in a linear narrative. I am a little disappointed that there wasn't a lot of new and different information. I can also see how some people may feel judged by the book - but I implore that it is worth opening your mind and listening to the message behind the story. We don't all have to be extremely frugal or give up our jobs or stop buying things all together. But we should consider how buying things that we don't truly value may be preventing us from achieving the things we truly want. I continue to turn to the blog for inspiration while I am on my own journey to save money and feel more content with what I have.

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Excellent audiobook, and a perfect addition to the blog

A reader of the Frugalwoods’ blog for 4 years, I was hooked from the very beginning by the refreshing content and articulate, hilarious and quality writing. So I was delighted to discover a book was on the way. I downloaded it yesterday (yes, I was THAT impatient) and just finished listening to it. In a word : A.W.E.S.O.M.E. I find that the book explores more deeply some topics that appeared as blog posts I’ve been reading over the years, while developing it all in a more detailed way. For example, the way Liz’s nascent career in Brooklyn shaped her view of many things, or how she discovered her passion for hiking. It’s very well written with a remarkable fluidity. I highly recommend it.

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  • Cecelia
  • 2018-08-06

Self-congratulatory, pollyanna garbage

Actual tip in the book: if you're spending $300 on yoga, don't.

More spoilers: buy a $450k house in Cambridge mass as a source of rental income. Then you can quit your job!

Hang your clothes to dry, watch your thermostat and - gasp - use Craigslist for furniture.

There is absolutely nothing radical in here that you can't find in a quick Google search or common sense.

Plus the first 2/3 is fully a irrelevant personal history about the author's early career search.

280 of 286 people found this review helpful

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  • Carolyn G.
  • 2018-05-22

millennial discovers the world

A thoroughly bizarre and condescending exploration of how to 'budget' and invest by someone with tons of money. wide-eyed discoveries included that you don't have to buy all your baby stuff new and that you an omit vanity purchases. Offensive for its stupidity, arrogance, and egomaniac.

141 of 145 people found this review helpful

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  • Williams
  • 2018-04-26

Very wordy for simple thoughts.

Oh my goossshhh the back story is killing me. It goes on and on and on and on and oooonnn . The information is good for ppl that have absolutely no money sense— but it’s mostly just common sense? I was hoping to get some cool money life hacks out of this book but all I’ve gotten is a life history lesson on the author.

156 of 161 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel Luna Scarano
  • 2018-06-29

Good story but really annoying

I really like the ideas of frugalwoods, but she is such a type A worry wart that it’s really painful to listen to. Just a warning

50 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Kay
  • 2018-05-22

More of an autobiography than finance book

Downloaded this because I heard great things about their story from a few podcasts and thought it would tell the story of how they became financially independent. I am not a follower of their blog, so I don’t know or care about the frugalwoods personal lives per se, but wanted to hear how they achieved FI. After a few chapters of listening to what was more of a personal journal entry about college and moving to New York, getting jobs, etc. I grew bored. I started skipping ahead chapters in hopes to get to some meatier info, but a few chapters in and I learned very little and stopped listening. Maybe it picks up later but if you’re interested in learning more about FI I would suggest looking elsewhere.

49 of 51 people found this review helpful

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  • Almira
  • 2018-07-09

meh. no big revelations combined w smug privilege

Saccharine and smug and naive luck mistaken for wisdom. we couldn't finish it. the sound of her voice become unbearable and the story had zero to offer for the mortal middle aged shmuck like me.

45 of 47 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rebekah Cain
  • 2018-05-16

Good narration, meh story

We get it...you feel privileged....move on. While this story of frugality at its extreme is somewhat interesting, it is frequently punctuated with how privileged the author feels. Her tirades on the subject are lengthy and in some instances feel more like a force-fed sermon aimed at making the reader feel the same way. To be honest my head hurts after being browbeaten with the subject. The rest of the author's story is interesting and written very conversationally, and is read in a way that makes this book very easy to get through.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Lemke
  • 2018-04-23

No practicalities, just a story.

didn't get into any real detail at all, just a series of anecdotes. well written and entertaining for that it was.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 2019-02-17

horrible

this is one of the most useless audiobooks on finance and life I have ever listened to

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ken
  • 2019-02-13

OMG! Complete and utter nonsense!

Elaborate story of how a millennial meets real world.

Although....The narrator is 1st class.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful