FW-100 -- Happy Hundredth: Radical Frugality and More

* * * * * * * * F R U G A L W A T C H * * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of how to be frugal in the world's most
expensive country to live (unless you read this!), written
and compiled by Wendy J. Imura.

January 7th, 2007 Issue No. 100
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***** Happy Hundredth: Radical Frugality and More ****
- Credits

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***** Happy Hundredth: Radical Frugality and More ****

Dear Frugalites,

First of all, please help me celebrate a bit - we've finally
reached issue No. 100! Maybe you're a new subscriber, and this
is the first issue of Frugal Watch you've ever read. Maybe
you've been with me since the beginning (March 13, 2004 -
in case you're curious). Whatever the case - here's a cheery
'kanpai' to this not-so-shabby accomplishment.

I've had some major life changes in the last two-and-a-half
years:
quitting a job, starting a company, major cross-country move,
and a new baby (now toddler!). Frugal Watch, once a like-
clockwork weekly e-zine, is now dissapointingly sporadic,
written during fleeting naptimes or late in the evening.
I've also made a few steps in my own frugal journey: surviving
the lean months with little income during my maternity leave,
descent into overspending from overwork, and hopefully now a
return to more dedicated budget control. The good news: we're
out of debt, mostly! The bad news:
we're also a little slim on savings.
My goals for 2007 include eliminating the former altogether
and increasing the latter.

Through it all, I've gained and learned from doing Frugal Watch.
Occaisonally, I even meet someone who reads the e-zine and
enjoys it, and for those people - Thank You! For those that
delete me on first sight in your inbox - Don't worry!
I understand. I do the same to the majority of my newsletters
as well.

Today, in addition to celebration, I wanted to introduce a
new breed of Frugalite I've found that might provide some
fodder for inspiration and/or amusement. Frugality, it seems,
is much more hip than it was when I started the Frugal Japan
community back in 2002. As with any movement, there are a
wide range of participants.
There are people that are mildly interested (frugal
observers), folks like me (the modestly frugal) - and
then there are folks like Brown Dress Girl.
(www.littlebrowndress.com)

Actually, Brown Dress Girl is extremely cool. (If you didn't
click on the link above, know that Brown Dress Girl spend an
entire calendar year wearing a *single* brown dress that she
made. She layered during winter, washed it many times, and of
course replaced the buttons, but she spent an entire year
without buying any new clothing. A deviant, brilliant social
statement.) She, and the other urban homesteading,
dumpster-diving, dryer-lint saving crew are what I term
the Radically Frugal. They're vocal, driven, and ... actually,
quite an inspiration.

The start of a new year is an excellent time to wipe away
a past of financial mistakes and start afresh. And heck,
even if your well- intentioned goals only last a few weeks
- you're still a few weeks better off financially than you
were before! So, to get your frugal drive in gear, I offer
below links to a few Radically Frugal persons and websites
I thought might inspire you. As with anything, take the
recommendations with a shaker of salt. I'm not suggesting
we all follow their paths (I certainly couldn't), but
perhaps one step in the direction of radical frugality
might be worthwhile.

Radical Frugalites/Frugal Sites
1) Judith Levine (www.judithlevine.com)
Author of "Not Buying It - My Year Without Shopping"
2) Dumpster World (http://www.dumpsterworld.com/)
No, I'm not kidding. It has over 3400 members.
3) Freeganism (http://freegan.info)
Frankly, these folks sound a bit extreme. But there is a
good philosophy (in moderation) here worth looking at.
4) Urban Homesteading (http://www.urban-homesteading.com/)
This sounds more do-able - and very fun!
5) Earthaven (http://tinyurl.com/ye6jjp) Eco-commune in
the North Carolina mountains

Enjoy, and happy frugal New Year!

Frugally yours,
Wendy J. Imura

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Written by: Wendy J. Imura (frugalwatch@japaninc.com) Edited by: JI

Copyright 2005 Japan Inc. Communications

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