"Read about your site in Oprah....visited immediately and plan to become a frequent visitor" -Flo
Read More Testimonials»

On the Finances Blog

Bankruptcy: The Power of the Clean Slate

It doesn’t take many clicks online to find writing and advice on how to shape up your finances, even First30Days has a great financial advice section found here. There are...

Read More About Bankruptcy: The Power of the Clean Slate»

Our Frugal Living Experts

Joanne Heim

Joanne Heim

Author of Living Simply: Choosing Less in a World of More

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Gary Foreman

Gary Foreman

Editor and publisher of The Dollar Stretcher Newsletter

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Melissa Tosetti

Melissa Tosetti

Editor and publisher of Budget Savvy magazine

Shared by First30Days View Profile»

Meet all of our Finances Experts»

News

The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Can You Be Too Frugal?

Can You Be Too Frugal?

Have you heard the term "carborexic" or "energy anorexic" used to describe someone who is conscious of their carbon footprint? Personally, we think the [word]orexic thing jumped the shark at pregorexic, but whatever. The point is that as more Americans try to save money, they're taking the green lifestyle to extremes.

Sharon Astyk, 36, is a writer and a farmer trying to reduce her family's energy use to 10% of the national average. From the sounds of it, they're making excellent progress.

Mrs. Astyk has unplugged the family refrigerator. During the warmer months on their farm, they use the refrigerator as an ice box with frozen jugs of water as the coolant. During the warmer months, they store their milk and butter outside. They have a homemade composting toilet and get their heat from burning wood in the stove. The four kids sleep huddled together to keep warm during the colder months. Being that they live on a farm, they grow and raise most of their own food. They spend approximately $1,000 a year in consumer goods, most of which they buy used. They also air-dry their clothes.

Mrs. Astyk says she's heard all kinds of comments about her lifestyle, from the nicer "they're just eccentric," to the more rude "they're completely nuts." Either way, she knows she's making a difference in the world and doesn't really care what others think of her. While we think that's a wonderful attitude to have, we're not so sure we're on the bandwagon for "carborexia."

It sounds a little like Survivor: Little House on the Prairie to us, but it seems to be working for them. What do you think? Is this too much, or are Mrs. Astyk and her family pioneers (pun totally intended) that will lead us to a cleaner Earth and less reliance on credit?  [NYT]

Posted: 10/20/08
LauraLee311

Wow, I commend their efforts, but I'm not sure I could handle their lifestyle -- or that I would really want to. Did anyone ask what their kids think of this? It sounds like the one son who couldn’t join a baseball team because of the long commute isn’t too thrilled.