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Photo: Instagram / Liz Frugalwoods


The Inertia

Part of living wildly is having the means to pull it off. Traveling and buying gear can add up. I’ve interviewed everyone from dumpster divers to minimalists and people with side hustles galore, but author Elizabeth Thames is an actual expert on financing your dreams.

Also known as Liz Frugalwoods, Thames is the voice behind the blog and new book, Meet the Frugalwoods. Liz and her husband did everything they were supposed to as young adults: they attended a good state college, graduated, and got good jobs. But as millennials working 9-to-5 jobs for non-profits, they knew there was something beyond the daily grind. Instead of just working harder and harder, they instead used extreme frugality so they could retire in their early 30s.

Today, Liz and her husband have two daughters and live on a 60-acre homestead in Vermont, spending their time enjoying the outdoors and hiking as much as their hearts desire. They still spend money on things like farming equipment (which doesn’t come cheap), and she works on her blog by choice, not because she has to.

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Instead of making more money so they could have more, they just spent less – a lot less – in order to achieve financial independence. This mindfulness about money led them to a unique, amazing outlook on life, and one that I found motivating. In our conversation, Liz shares some great tips for living frugally (like hacking her SodaStream) and also talks about the psychology of what going with less has done for her own self-esteem. We also get deep into the power of gratitude and privilege, and how having less materially has helped her get more out of life.

Whether your dream is world travel or you have a surf trip bucket list to finance, this conversation will offer some words of wisdom for making those things happen.

Note: You can listen to more of Wild Ideas Worth Living here.