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Lots of people work much harder, longer hours than we do for vastly less money. This yields rewards in two ways: it costs less to be healthy and, our health enables us to work hard both at our jobs and at home by insourcing just about everything.

They might live just as frugally as we do–forgoing cable, restaurants, haircuts, and cars newer than 19 years old–but they won’t be able to save at the high rate we do. We’re able to do our own home improvements, cook our own meals, shovel our own snow, clean our own home, bathe our own Frugal Hound, and more–all of which saves us money. FW and I were able to grow up together and devise our financial approach as a team.

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I don’t buy the argument that if people would just save more money, they wouldn’t be poor.

I don’t think that everyone who’s poor is poor because they’ve made bad decisions. FW and I aren’t successful because we’ve made good decisions, people aren’t unsuccessful simply because they’ve made a few bad decisions. And I believe that everyone should take control of their own finances and not blame their parents, the government, or their employer for every problem they face.

Sure, we both went to school, but we were already well ahead of the curve by the time we entered kindergarten.

Never underestimate the power that parents have over the crucial early learning years. Neither of our families were wealthy, but they were solidly middle class. FW’s parents have been married for 34 years and mine for 47. FW’s siblings aren’t married yet (good thing too since the youngest is 18 😉 ), but I’m sure they’ll both choose lifelong partners when the time comes.

Yes, we’re extreme frugal weirdos and yes, we save 71% of our incomes every year and yes, minus our mortgage we spent $13,000 in all of 2014.

But, we recognize how fortunate we are to be able to do this. Neither of us has a chronic illness, nor do we take prescription medications on a regular basis.

My family bought clothes from the thrift store, went camping for vacation, drank powdered milk, and had at-home birthday parties with frozen pizza and homemade cake. FW’s upbringing was remarkably similar to mine and his parents tell stories of pawning their TV after Mr. But we never went hungry, we never missed gifts at Christmas, we were never teased or ridiculed for “being poor,” we never lacked health, dental or vision care, and we were able to participate in the hobbies that interested us (ballet, horseback riding, boy scouts, band, choir, speech and debate… We certainly don’t have trust funds or inheritances, but we were lucky little kiddos. The solid foundation of love, trust, faith in God, and respect that both of our parents built for their three children (Mr. My sister and her husband have been married for 14 years, my brother and his wife for 13, and Mr. There’s nothing wrong with divorce and sometimes it’s absolutely the best option for everyone involved.

I merely want to share why I think the background of married parents set Mr. We both grew up with superb examples of loving marriages. Frugalwoods and I are what you might call racially vanilla.

We’ve never been in debt (other than our mortgage).

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