How One Couple Ditched the Daily Grind to Live Their Dream Life

This couple made simple changes that made a big impact.

Imagine you are in your early 30s, you wake up and get to spend the rest of the day doing exactly what you want to do. That’s the life Liz Thames lives every day, but it wasn’t always the case.

Thames was living in Cambridge, Mass. with her husband Nate, not paying attention to where her money was going each month or focusing on any specific goals for her future.

They were eating out a lot, buying craft beer and shopping for clothes, but they weren’t really happy. They didn’t feel like they had control of their time, and Thames didn’t find her job as fulfilling as she’d hoped.

See: How to Be Happier Without Spending A Lot of Money

But all that changed over a coffee date, when Thames’ husband presented her with a blueprint for their future that would change the course of their lives.

In her new book “Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living,” Thames wrote, “Nate drew the obvious, but previously taboo, conclusion that we should find a way to spend a larger percentage of our time in the woods. Namely, by moving there.”

On that pivotal day, they outlined a plan to ramp up their savings rate from an already impressive 40 to 50 percent of their take-home pay, to 70 to 80 percent. Additionally, they could achieve their dream of ditching the 9-to-5 if they maintained their well-paying jobs.

They reached their goal in two years, and now the Thames family is spending their time how they want to, on a homestead they purchased in rural Vermont.

Thames emphasizes frugality as their core tenet for being able to achieve their goal of financial independence and outlines some financial strategies to help others achieve their dreams.

She said, “Be really clear about your goals. Then figure out how you need to get your money to get you there. Be sure you’re tracking what you’re spending and go through line item by line item and decide is this helping me reach my long-term goals. Because it’s not really about what you’re giving up. It’s about what you’re going to gain.”