Meet the Frugalwoods by Elizabeth Willard Thames

Meet the Frugalwoods

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 thirty-two 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 homesteader...

Details Meet the Frugalwoods

TitleMeet the Frugalwoods
Release DateMar 6th, 2018
GenreNonfiction, Economics, Finance, Autobiography, Memoir, Personal Finance, Currency, Money

Reviews Meet the Frugalwoods

  • Christy
    4 stars! Meet the Frugalwoods is a book I’ve been looking forward to. About 2 years ago, a friend on Facebook who runs a group about finances recommend a blog in her group- The Frugalwoods ( for anyone interested). I read a ton of their blog posts and got some fantastic finance tips. There were certain things I was never going to do, give up makeup, buying books, clothes ban etc, but I did participate in several no spend mont...
  • Laura
    I have a lot of nit-picky critiques of the book. (It barely escapes my dreaded "millennial special snowflake" tag. ;-) And yet, I find the Thames' story extremely inspirational. In fact, while listening to an interview of the author on a podcast, I came up with a scheme to change our living situation drastically--hopefully for the better-- and save a ton of money.So, I rolled my eyes reading her section on parenting (children don't need things! t...
  • Julie
    This book is basically rich people who play frugal and profit off of it. When you bring in 4k+ per month in rental income plus income from a 250k+ job, you are not middle class. I think the message of living within your means is important, but there's a difference between people who struggle to get by and the Frugalwoods.
  • Hector Ibarraran
    Before reading this book, understand that you are going to be reading a memoir, not a step by step guide to frugality. Also, this book will challenge your notions about what it means to live reasonably, and comfortably. Personally, I loved the whole thing, and will probably will start looking at my own consumeristic tendencies, because even if I never get to the author’s level, adding a bit of frugality to my life will not hurt. Some people hav...
  • Heather
    I really enjoy the author’s blog and have incorporated a lot of her ideas into my own life. So, I was excited to read her book. For some reason I thought it would be more of a lifestyle book. Maybe some frugal living ideas, recipes, etc. The book was ok at best. I felt like she came across as unintentionally preachy, without a true understanding of how the majority of our country lives. She continually said that she knows how privileged she is ...
  • Janna Dorman
    I've read the Frugalwoods blog for about a year and a half, which details the frugal lifestyle of Elizabeth Willard Thames, her husband, and her daughter. The blog mostly consists of money-saving techniques so I expected a book by Thames to be much of the same. I was pleasantly surprised that this was more memoir style and told the story behind Thames' ability to become financially independent at age 32. Thames is a talented writer and her story ...
  • Lori Jackson
    I thought the book was well written as far as the prose are concerned, with several anecdotes that had me laughing out loud. Unlike some other reviewers, I enjoyed her word choice. But, the whole premise that this couple has achieved financial independence while both still work is a contradiction in terms in my view and diminishes the book's premise. I get that the author stipulated that FI is definitional, but come on: your husband works full ti...
  • Catherine
    One of the most frustrating personal finance books I've ever read - and I generally love learning about people's approaches to money. Somehow manages to be condescending, deceptive, and self-congratulatory all at once. They're not retired; he works from their rural home and she's a part-time blogger/SAHM. His job apparently pays him over $200,000 a year, which makes any lack of haircuts and restaurant meals pretty small changes in the scheme of t...
  • Margaret Sullivan
    This would have been a lot more useful to me thirty years ago. :) But then, thirty years ago I was living paycheck to paycheck and could barely pay my way, let alone save money. I was frugal by necessity.And as I've gotten older, I stopped caring about material things very much. I don't know if that's just a function of getting older or what.In any event, I did get some inspiration from the book. I can certainly pare back my expenses, and having ...
  • Lisa
    I really liked this book but it’s not realistic and practical for everyone.
  • Jess
    I really enjoyed this book. I preferred the more memoir style this book had and as someone who follows the frugalwoods blog I already knew I enjoyed her writing style. I appreciated how multiple times the author acknowledges how privileged she and her husband are and how she related that as one of the reasons she was able to become financially independent so early in life. I enjoyed the portion where she talks about how her year in NYC was her al...
  • Amanda
    I am a dedicated reader of the author's blog which I have enjoyed reading and following for the last couple of years. I really enjoyed reading this book and hearing the whole backstory and journey from the beginning of when her and her husband were young up until now. It really showed where they had been and what they had gone through to get to where they are. I really liked the fact that she clearly puts it out there in the begin...
  • Ollie
    This book was an interesting read but there were a lot of things that annoyed me. I like their blog a lot which offers a lot of good advice about being frugal. It was interesting to get the story about how the Frugalwoods changed their way of living. They seem like nice people. Elizabeth points out how privileged they were starting out and she also said that she is aware for a lot of people being frugal is the only way they can afford to live. Ho...
  • Kelly
    The title of the book does not really indicate to me that this is a memoir. It is a well written one, but I was expecting more financial information and frugal tips. None of the things that they did to become financially independent is really that radical or new, unless maybe you are a millennial. Maybe that is the desired audience? Not really someone who has been around the block before. I don’t know why I still read these kinds of books, ther...
  • Brie Peters
    I wouldn't go as far as letting my husband cut my hair... but I'm inspired!
  • Nathan
    Really interesting book,kind of inspiring how they saved and saved to get what they really wanted! I live that lifestyle and yes there are areas I can cut back on like smoking lol..I am not college educated YET I am getting there and yes I agree her and her husband were give a good footing to do what they did with no college debt starting their lives together etc and some breaks here and there but overall they did it themselves.
  • Janice
    When I picked up this book at the local library I had never heard of Liz Thames, nor her blog Frugalwoods. I took the book at face value, "achieving financial independence through simple living." That's me, the queen of simple living! So what's not like about this? Well, for me, plenty.First off, this is Liz's memoir of her (and hubby's) lifestyle. The book has little to do with achieving financial independence. Granted, Liz does provide examples...
  • Erica Bryant
    This book isn’t full of tips for frugality but it’s a great look into one person’s journey to change their spending and their life.
  • Christopher Lawson
    Reading MEET THE FRUGALWOODS, the very first thing I noticed, is that the author (and her spouse) are nice people! As they note, they are “just some average, middle-class kids from the Midwest who decided we wanted something more out of life than what our consumer culture sells us.”The second thing I observed is that they are really committed to living a super-frugal lifestyle. And it paid big dividends: “We wanted to have enough money save...
  • Bonnie G.
    I finished this book in one day and I was definitely interested in what she wrote about- and it is a personal memoir and she does go into detail about how she had privilege in her assets. But she also had huge advantages when it came to debt- no student loans? No car loan? I understand she means she had no money in cash from her parents- but she totally blew over her wedding which makes me think that cost was covered by family. And while she is b...
  • Beth
    This is a well-written book by a young woman who achieved financial independence in her early 30s and moved with her husband and infant daughter to a homestead in Vermont by practicing frugality. Thames writes the blog Frugalwoods. This book is the story of her journey from being a yuppie in Cambridge, MA working a 9-5 cubicle job that she did not enjoy to her current life. Thames was a very driven achievement-oriented person who followed the typ...
  • Maria
    This book was well-written and gave me a lot to think about, as someone who is the opposite of frugal - I like my expensive haircuts, weekend trips, nice hotels, and dinners out. However, frugality has always interested me because the problem is, as the book points out, that you adapt to nice things and then just start wanting more. Reading the book has already led me to think what I can cut out, so that's a step in the right direction. That bein...
  • Rebecca Scaglione
    This should be renamed to show it’s THEIR story of frugality, not how you can be so frugal that you can buy a homestead. Really enjoyed this memoir, and there are a few tips here and there to help you out, but not many and not too preachy. It’s more like explaining how and why you might want to leave or lessen your dependability on the consumer lifestyle. Really good read.
  • Gina
    I feel sorry for Nate for marrying a dimwitted, narcissistic, spastic, selfish, privileged prima donna. This book is so ridiculous. You can tell Thames got a creative writing degree from the overwrought and burdened writing that uses Faulkner levels of imagery for no reason. This girl is a hot mess from her obsession with marriage to relationship ultimatums not to mention her complete ignorance of personal finance. Clearly her parents failed her....
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Summary: This wasn't a book that included much specific advice for saving, but it was a relatable story told in an authentic and self-aware way.Blogger Elizabeth Thames and her husband Nate were following a conventional path to success in their 20's, but they weren't happy. Despite being married and succeeding at their careers, they felt worn down except for their weekly hikes. This led them to commit to a dream of achieving financial independen...
  • Melissa Riley
    This book wasn't for me. The author does mention how privileged they are in the forward and also several times throughout the book but it was a bug-bear for me just how privileged it all seemed. If you are able to put away 70% of your combined income, you are clearly on good money - something that isn't the norm. I know they making frugal choices to compound these savings, but it is a bit 'rich' to assume that any Tom, Dick or Harry could follow ...
  • Esha
    To her credit the author does start with the disclaimer that this book was written by middle class white people living in a First world country. But by god I've never met a more removed from reality and preachy woman as this author. For whom frugality is a bid to purchase success (her limited way of saying happiness). From $300 hair cuts, $40 artisan cheese, $500 per month bubbly water and $300 per month hot yoga this woman and her husband have N...
  • Brooke Showalter (Brooke Blogs)
    Meet the Frugalwoods by Elizabeth Willard Thames is part memoir/part non-fiction detailing Elizabeth and her husband's journey to financial independence. I enjoyed reading it and while I couldn't totally relate to their circumstances (the author does make note of the fact that she and her husband were born into incredibly privileged circumstances that allowed for them to work toward this dream of financial independence) I found a lot of good info...
  • Torrie
    4.5 starsAs a long-time follower of the Frugalwoods blog, I was a little wary that this would be a rehashing of stuff that I'd already heard before on the blog. While I was familiar with the majority of their story in this book, what I DID find totally refreshing was how this portrayed a more realistic, "raw," relatable version of events. Sometimes with blogs, especially blogs that fall within a certain niche (like finance), it's easy to kind of ...
  • Domic
    Wirklich sehr angenehm zu hören! Ich stehe ja im Moment sehr auf solche "MInimalismus-Sparsamkeit-Bewusster Konsumieren"-Bücher und bin über den Frugalwoods-Blog auf dieses Buch gestoßen. Als Hardcover ist es noch recht teuer, aber es gibt bei Audible eine ungekürzte Hörbuchversion, für die ich mein Mai-Guthaben auf den Kopf gehauen habe - und ich habe es nicht bereut! Liz aka Mrs. Frugalwoods beschreibt, wie sie es durch sparsames Leben g...