How Two "Frugal Weirdos" Are Saving to Retire at Age 33
Some people cite delayed gratification as a sign of maturity. So are these two self-proclaimed “frugal weirdos” the maturest 20-somethings around? They refer to themselves as Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods on their clever blog for financial independence and simple living, and they have figured out a way to build a large enough nest egg to retire at 33.
No, they are not tech billionaires or financiers; they are a two professionals (Mr. Frugalwoods is a software engineer, and Mrs. Frugalwoods is a communications manager) who take pleasure in living a “luxurious frugal life.” Read on to find out how these two self-sufficient people manage to save 71% of their income.
“The only way to figure out what was really necessary for us to be happy and what’s superfluous was to cut things out then reassess,” says Mr. Frugalwoods. Date nights out, movie tickets, and new furniture all fell into the unnecessary category. Instead the Frugalwoodses make their own date-night meals, watch movies from the library, and repurpose secondhand furniture. When Mrs. Frugalwoods realized that she couldn’t cut out her favorite yoga classes, she worked out a deal with the studio owners. She would man the front desk in exchange for free classes.
In our world of Uber for everything, there is still a large audience for the DIY lifestyle. However, Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods take the do-it-yourself ethos to new heights. They not only maintain their own home, but they cut each other's hair, engineer standard-issue products like the Sodastream to function more efficiently, and research any needed skills on Google and YouTube.
Google and YouTube serve as the Frugalwoodses’ most powerful resource and main source of entertainment. They turn to the search engine and video streaming source for everything from how to replace a molded window frame to how to cut hair. “It’s kind of become a game for us, and we really enjoy the challenge,” says Mr. Frugalwoods.
Surprisingly, the Frugalwoodses don’t have a budget. Instead, they research everything they do to death and never make a purchase (whether a house or a deodorant) without painstaking deliberation. Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods admit that they splurge on one thing—their rescued racing greyhound (who costs $1000 annually).
The ultimate goal for these fiercely independent lovebirds is to buy a 20-acre piece of land in Southern rural Vermont (an all-cash acquisition) and decamp to the homestead. This is where Mr. and Mrs. Frugalwoods intend to raise their family, build two homes to rent on Airbnb, and do what they love, like hike, weld metal, and write.