What’s with the name? (long version)

The hardest part of creating anything is giving it a name.  I live in the Pacific Northwest and I love evergreen forests.  I visualized myself in a mossy green forest, smelling the pine needles and hearing birds.  How unexpected it would be to come upon a foundry in the middle of such a rustic setting. It’s operating self-sufficiently, in harmony with nature around it.  That’s how I’m trying to live.  This blog is a little peek into how and why.

A Foundry in the Forest needs to be:

  • Self-sufficient – It’s hard to get raw materials out to the forest, so the foundry needs to make or grow the things it needs to sustain itself.
  • In harmony with nature – A foundry that pollutes or wastes resources will find itself no longer in a forest, but in a dead zone.
  • Productive – What’s the point of building a foundry if not to produce useful goods? Likewise, what’s the pont of Financial Independence if–once reached–isn’t used to make the world a better place.
These are the three visions of my life (and thus of this website).

What’s with the name? (short version)

  • It’s an aliteration
  • I like forests
  • It implies self-sufficiency, harmony with nature, and productivity

Explain your Tagline

The tagline is the four main topics of Foundry in the Forest:

  1. Work to earn means Maximizing Income. Reading your average frugal blog has a diminishing return on your time, since there’s a limit to how little you can spend (Jacob, from Early Retirement Extreme, seems to have found that limit, $7k a year per person). On the other hand, there’s no limit to how much you can earn. That’s why I recommend most people focus their efforts on maximizing income. Once you’re past 6 figures, you’re probably good in this department.
  2. Earn to save means Minimizing Spending. Figure out how much is enough and don’t spend a penny more. If you increased the frequency of your breathing, you could gulp up so much more oxygen. But you don’t because you have all the oxygen you need.
  3. Save to invest means Educating yourself about Investing. I wrote a series of posts on this topic that will help start your investing education. But never stop learning!
  4. Stop working means Becoming Financially Independent, and no longer requiring paid employment. That part should be self-explanatory. But maybe not, since smart people are still re-working the definition of “retirement” these days.

Why “Urban Frugalism”? (This question was about the old tagline. I’m leaving here for posterity)

In a rural area, you can have inexpensive outbuildings on your property to store 5 years worth of oats and toilet paper, but in the city you have to be much more creative. Urban Frugalism is a lifestyle of thrifty resourcefulness that’s only possible in a big city.

(I’m not sure if I made up the word “frugalism,” but it’s a combination of “frugality” and “pugilism”, since you need to fight for what’s right in your life.)

The Urban Frugalist relies on biking and public transit to get everywhere, which is only possible in an area with urban density. He/she takes advantage of an active used market (namely Craigslist), a well-funded public library and parks department, access to farmers markets, and proximity to other like-minded people.

To be clear, I’m not advocating the city mouse over the country mouse, I’m just writing from the perspective I know best.

Lastly, this isn’t about spending less money or denying yourself. It’s about thinking for yourself and aligning your spending with your values.

Content License

All photos on the site were taken by me or my wife, unless otherwise noted. All content (photos, text, etc) is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


I don’t get paid by anyone to write things. I use an affiliate ID for some links. That doesn’t change my opinion on anything. Please click on them! It’s a nice and fully optional way to help out this blog if you choose to do so.

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