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Heterosexual Privilege and Money with Mrs. Frugalwoods

Heterosexual privilege and money

Does heterosexual privilege exist and does it impact your money? Our Queer Money™ guest this week thinks so and explains how she’s benefited, and how she learned to appreciate the simplicity and beauty of less. 

Understanding heterosexual privilege and your effect on your world

Liz and Nate Thames spent nearly ten years working corporate jobs, making a lot of money—and spending it on fabulous clothes, evenings and cars. Despite having the means to pursue this Rumspringa of spending, the Thames were still waiting for happiness.

Four years ago, Liz and Nate stepped out of the consumer loop and redesigned their lives. They adopted frugality and shifted their focus to spending only on the things they valued most. By 2016, the couple had achieved financial independence and moved to a homestead in the woods of Vermont. Today, Liz shares the inspiration for her upcoming book, Meet the Frugalwoods. She explains the relationship between money and happiness and offers her take on the privilege, including heterosexual privilege, from which she benefits. Liz discusses the tertiary benefits of a frugal lifestyle, sharing how it’s strengthened her relationships and provided her with the clarity to focus on her highest and best purpose.

Hear Liz and Nate’s story:

Topics Covered

The impetus for Liz’s book

  • Provide example of frugality as positive force
  • Share ‘simplicity and beauty of less’

How Liz and her husband made the shift to frugality

  • Lived in expensive urban corridors, working corporate jobs
  • Deeply unfulfilled, not using time/money in valuable ways
  • Made radical change to live in woods of Vermont

The relationship between money and happiness

  • Tied to idea of consumerism in our culture
  • Money does make life better up to certain threshold
  • Won’t derive contentment from material goods

Liz’s insight on privilege

  • Recognizes born into wonderful middle-class life
  • Understood role of privilege living in Brooklyn
  • Experience with neighbors who didn’t see way out
  • Embraces a mindset of gratitude (abundance vs. deprivation)

Liz’s take on heterosexual privilege

  • Lived in Kansas, people friendly and welcoming
  • Fit idea of what person ‘should be’ as white, heterosexual couple

How to use your privilege for good

  • Look at how you spend time, money
  • Work on projects that deliver the greatest benefit

The relationship between frugality and minimalism

  • Connected with environmentalism, sustainability
  • Lower stress, stronger relationship with husband
  • Focus on highest, best priorities affords clarity

The concept of ‘smoothing out the happiness curve’

  • Previously lived for happiness spike on weekend
  • Experienced crash on Monday back in cubicle
  • Now ‘live life we want every single day’

What we can learn from Liz’s Rumspringa of spending

  • Didn’t deliver promised happiness, fulfillment
  • Ask what you want your life to represent
  • Spend on things most important to you
  • More choice decreases happiness

The Uber Frugal Month Challenge

  • Only spend on things you need
  • Gradually add back in what’s important to you

Connect with Liz



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