To all you parents out there. When is the last time that you read a book? Like, a real book…from cover to cover? Somehow, about a month ago, I was able to crack a book open and do just that… and you know, finish it over the course of two weeks. Sure, it took me a while, but I still read it and it was awesome!! (A vacation with your mother-in-law (who loves her grand-babies) makes something like this possible by the way! ;)). “Meet the Frugalwoods” — To put it simply, I loved it…
Meet the Frugalwoods, Liz and Nate – My Review of Their Book!
While overall I think the book was fantastic and I think everyone should give it a read, there were still some pros and cons that I’d like to cover (because after all, it wouldn’t be much of a review if I just said, “It was great…”‘ 😉 )
Meet the Frugalwoods, an Overall Summary
- They met in college,
- They started their careers, which took them to different geographical places,
- Eventually, they got married, lived together and started their blissful lives…
Except…they weren’t really happy.
- They were working crazy hours,
- They rarely saw each other,
- And they discovered that even though they were living together and were racking up anniversaries, they really weren’t growing close to one another…
They were doing everything that society tells them to do. Buy a house, get nice cars, keep working toward career advancement, get bigger and better everything. However, it left them both empty… They weren’t happy.
And That’s When Nate Hatched the Plan…
Nate, the apparent nerdiest of nerds (truly, I’m a little jealous) developed this plan on his own and kept it to himself until just the perfect time to spring it all on his wife.
Here’s what they could do:
- They could live on practically nothing,
- earn as much as possible,
- and therefore save more than 75% of their income each year.
- Then, after just a few years they could buy a place in the middle of nowhere, quit their jobs, and live a life away from the high-rise buildings and Corporate America
- Oh…and Nate set up a website so that Liz (the writer) could document their progress and draw a huge following (which she was upset about, but it obviously happened just as he planned – as I said, the nerdiest of nerds. He’s GOOD!)
So yes, she agreed, they tackled it, and everything happened pretty much how they thought it would. Today, they live on 66 acres in Vermont. They still work online, but only because they want to, not because they have to.
Annnnd they also added a few bambinas to the mix as well! Two daughters that are learning to hike, scrape their knees, and enjoy God’s creation each and every day. Sounds a tad bit better than sticking them in daycare for 10 hours a day…
Related: What’s Your One-Page Financial Plan?
What I Loved About This Book
Like I said probably 3-4 times already, I really loved this book.
The main reasons why I profess my love for this compilation of words?
- Most personal finance books give you a ton of, “Do these things”, “Don’t do these things”, and “here’s what all these financial terms mean”, Liz’s did none of that
- Instead, Liz wrote about life and her wisdom flowed out naturally with each memory. You basically didn’t realize you were learning a financial lesson; it just felt like you were following an autobiography of a fascinating life! That’s how good the writing was.
- Overall, the book inspired me to live the life they now have – to save up a bunch of money, live off the land, and quit all the office politics B.S. We aren’t so different from them, we could do it too!
What I Somewhat Disliked About the Book
I didn’t dislike much, but there was one thing that stuck out after contemplating the message days later.
Everything as described was a bit too perfect.
- They no longer work real day jobs
- They have a huge plot of land that many of us would dream of
- Their bank accounts continue to grow, even as they live such an unconventional life – one that we all dream of…
But is it really all that perfect? Will it really be such a dream for all of us?
I don’t think so.
And honestly, Liz does bring this to light a bit toward the end of the book. Her life isn’t for everyone. We all have different needs, goals, and wants. And we are all made happy via different things. So naturally, a life without a job, living in the middle of nowhere probably wouldn’t be best for us all. In fact, some of you outgoing personalities might crack out there with so few people to talk to!
It’s nit-picky, I know. But when I finished reading the book, I wanted to call my wife over and tell her about our new “retire extremely early” plan… but then I soon realized it’s still not for us.
- We have two young kids that we want to send to private school (my wife nor I want to home-school them)
- I actually like going to work every day – I enjoy getting away and challenging my brain with a group of friendly folks that aren’t my family
- And, the schedule of work will align nicely with school once the kids start with preschool. Why drop work that I love, just to stay at home and stare at the wall?
I guess my complaint about the book is that it’s written too beautifully and can woo you into dreaming about a life that might not be best for you.
Like I said…super nit-picky. Sorry Liz…. 😐
So, if you don’t want to get caught up in the FIRE craze, then maybe you should just steer clear of this book.
Meet the Frugalwoods – A Solid Read That You Should Probably Pick Up
Overall, “Meet the Frugalwoods” is a fun book to read. It’s entertaining to hear someone’s story, to learn what they discover along the way, and to hear about their successes in their journey. If you hate financial books, you’ll like this one. And, if you like financial books, you still might get a kick out of this printed work.
Grab a copy from your local library today!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.