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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,886Posts
    • 50,808Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge 14th Dec 17 at 2:12 AM
    Join us here for year 11 of the Frugaldom challenge on MSE

    The Frugal Living Challenge 2018

    It's that time of year again, the time when we all need to start thinking ahead into the new year and how we are going to tackle any debts, generate extra income and squirrel away some savings.

    Please take the time to read this post in full and if you have any questions, feel free to message me or ask in the forum.

    This is an adaptation of the original NYK/Frugaldom 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been running here on MSE for several years, although these particular money challenges began back in the 90's, elsewhere. We have seen many changes over the years, so this version is a catalogue of diaries charting the progress of 'debt free wannabe' money savers.

    Your budget is personal to you, it should fit with your personal financial situation.

    If you would like to use a simple spreadsheet for calculating your annual expenditure, you are welcome to download a free copy of the original one HERE Simply overwrite the initial monthly amounts and the totals will auto-calculate. From then, it is a simple case of deducting (use the minus sign in front of the amounts) all your outgoings as the year progresses. It's worth while playing about with it to alter headings to suit your personal lifestyle. I've included a couple of extra columns for things like rent/mortgage & council tax and misc/debt payments.

    Some have already achieved debt freedom and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay debt free. Others are still tackling their debts and living a frugal life in an attempt to reach their debt-free and/or mortgage-free day. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us and share your journey.

    The following links will take you to previous MSE versions of our challenge:

    The 2017 Challenge

    The 2016 Challenge

    The 2015 Challenge

    The 2014 Challenge

    The 2013 Challenge

    The 2012 Challenge

    Part 1 - January to March 2011
    Part 2 - April to June 2011
    Part 3 - July to December 2011
    Introduction to the 2010 Challenge
    Part 1 - January to March 2010
    Part 2 - April to June 2010
    Part 3 - July to September 2010
    Part 4 - October to December 2010
    Part 1 - January to March 2009
    Part 2 - April to June 2009
    Part 3 - July to September 2009
    Part 4 - October to December 2009
    Part 1 - January to March 2008
    Part 2 - April to June 2008
    Part 3 - July to September 2008
    Part 4 - October to December 2008

    How it all began - Saving to buy a house without a mortgage 2007 Challenge

    The original interest beater challenge

    The original £1000 in 100 days challenge

    The original free hobbies thread

    IMPORTANT
    Please respect others' lifestyles and beliefs. We are not here to judge, we are here to support. Thank you

    This challenge is about living a frugal, sustainable lifestyle - establishing your true cost of living, sticking to your budget, clearing any debts and making savings wherever and however you can to enable you to live the life you really want.

    Frugal living isn't for everyone, but everyone is welcome to join us. Methods employed by our merry band of frugalers include batch cooking, stockpiling, preserving, foraging, mending, shopping in charity shops, reducing, reusing, recycling, Local Exchange Trading Schemes (LETS), vegetable and fruit growing, allotments, keeping hens, using cash back sites and earning whatever it takes to become self sufficient in managing the cost of living without incurring debt.

    For some it is initially about clearing debt, for others it's about increasing savings, buying property, becoming stay at home mums or paying off the mortgage early. Some choose the lifestyle on ethical grounds. Above all, this is a fun and supportive way to manage your budget so you have control of your own cost of living. It's about NEEDS and not WANTS.

    Living on a budget = living within our means.
    Frugal = thrifty, living without waste

    Ideas to help you achieve and/or maintain debt free living
    Recognise the differences between needs from wants

    Spend within your means
    Set a proper budget
    Quit expensive bad habits
    Houseshare
    Get a lodger
    Shop via cash-back sites and always price compare
    Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them
    Stockpile & bulk buy bargains that you use
    Batch cooking
    Make the most of charity shops
    Join freebie or waste awareness and recycling associations
    LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
    Bartering
    Grow your own herbs, fruit & veg
    Preserving & winemaking
    Breadmaking & home baking
    Card & gift making
    Order splitting/sharng for better discounts & reduced delivery costs
    Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
    Online trading - auctions, stores, social media pages
    etc, etc, etc...

    Monitoring and revising the budget is part of a good frugal living plan. Gifts & cards could all to be homemade, livestock needs to pay its own keep, anything else needs to be cash neutral.

    The bits we need to include to make this work
    ====================================

    Please read the MSE forum rules and help us to keep this challenge on track, thank you.
    If you have any questions about this challenge, feel free to PM me.
    The following is taken from the official MSE forum rules section:


    KEEPING THREADS ON-TOPIC

    Please try not to take threads off-topic. This can be confusing for new users and makes it especially difficult for people ... Where requests from Board Guides for threads to be brought back on track have not been followed off-topic posts may be removed. We encourage community, but not thread derailment.

    Please bear in mind the main purpose of the site is to save money. The forum team has therefore been instructed to prioritise its time on the MoneySaving forums.


    KEEPING TOPICS RELEVANT TO THE BOARD

    There are two boards provided for off-topic chat and discussion. The MoneySavers Arms has been set up for fun, more lighter-hearted chat (although do still remember this is a family forum – keep it clean please). Discussion Time is for discussion of current issues (read Martin’s description).

    If you post a topic that does not relate to the board it’s posted on it will be moved to a more relevant MoneySaving board or to Discussion Time/The MoneySavers Arms.

    This challenge is about paying for needs so we can afford to live debt free and save for/afford wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December. The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone and these will be updated accordingly.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

    GOOD LUCK IN 2018
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 29-12-2017 at 10:54 PM. Reason: updating
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
Page 1
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:13 AM
    • 5,886 Posts
    • 50,808 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    • #2
    • 14th Dec 17, 2:13 AM
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • #2
    • 14th Dec 17, 2:13 AM
    Let's be prepared for 2018... join me for the next big frugal living challenge. My personal budget for the cost of living remains unchanged but please remember that is simply to cover the COST OF LIVING.

    Your budget is personal to you - you simply calculate it by deducting ALL your necessary expenditure from your total annual income, then the balance is your frugal living budget. If you end up with a negative number then we're all here to help others turn those numbers around as quickly as possible so your goal of debt freedom becomes achievable.

    I focus purely on the needs and not the wants throughout the challenge. I'm self employed, not in receipt of any benefits and run my business as a social enterprise, (Perhaps some of you remember the Frugaleur, frugal entrepreneur, EEK or Cyberdosh challenges... these are still going, but the challenge here is purely about affording to live within our own means and have some fun doing that. )

    If you would like your name on this list of challengers, let me know and I can amend the list as we progress. I don't always have internet access at Frugaldom, so be patient - I will get to the list editing as soon as possible.

    THE 2018 CHALLENGER LIST
    1. *Jellie*
    2. 1Saver
    3. AdventureofMemories
    4. Allie23
    5. Angelicious
    6. Anniee88
    7. Arc2014
    8. BroadwayBaby71
    9. Buffythedebtslayer
    10. Bustiblondilocks
    11. Buttonnose
    12. CheshireCat
    13. Cybertortoise
    14. CW18
    15. Datlex
    16. DawnW
    17. Debttaghh
    18. Elly68
    19. Evuka
    20. FairyPink
    21. Fishcake_Random
    22. Fizzyisbusy
    23. Florence J
    24. FrankieM
    25. Frugaldom
    26. Frugalsazzle
    27. Frugalwannabe
    28. Gien
    29. Igaveupnowimback
    30. KB_soma
    31. Kerreh
    32. Kerry Woman
    33. Mumof3.12kindebt
    34. Lessonlearned
    35. LittleGingerFox
    36. LynneJK
    37. MadamMim2013
    38. Merle
    39. Miss D Meanor
    40. Moll
    41. Moneysavingmadgem
    42. Moneysavingmonkey85
    43. Mooloo
    44. Munchin
    45. NannyGladys
    46. Nonnadiluca
    47. Penny2myName
    48. PennyGrabber
    49. Peony40
    50. Pipsmum
    51. PlayJay
    52. PlaysNicely
    53. Poppycat1
    54. RosesandRainbows
    55. SarahC74
    56. Saver-upper
    57. Shish100
    58. SimpleLivingIslandLife
    59. Sinkorswim2018
    60. Smijil
    61. Squirrelgirl
    62. Steve1097
    63. Supersaver2018
    64. SusieG
    65. Tanya12345
    66. ThePennyFarthings
    67. TreasureQueen
    68. TrueBlueMummy
    69. Unicorn101
    70. Wit40iwtwan
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 09-01-2018 at 9:15 AM. Reason: Updating list
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 14th Dec 17, 8:08 AM
    • 2,129 Posts
    • 20,371 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    • #3
    • 14th Dec 17, 8:08 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Dec 17, 8:08 AM
    Will work out my budget towards the end of the year.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST January: Health, Wealth and a Life Well Lived NSD 9/18
    • evuka
    • By evuka 14th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 776 Thanks
    evuka
    • #4
    • 14th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    Challenge 2018
    • #4
    • 14th Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    Happy to join again!

    Already updated my benefits at work - decided to keep only my pension contributions for 2018 (that I need to pay for, all else I go with the standard options that my workplace offers) but reduced it a bit to have a little more in my pocket. Reason being is that 1) I decided to start saving for a home 2) one of my sisters is getting married this August!

    Started working out a detailed budget, will revisit it and put it down to an excel.

    Thinking of opening an ISA or a savings account for the savings - which do you think is better if I want to use the money as a deposit as well? Or shall I save separstely for the deposit?

    Thanks Frugaldom for running this challenge year by year, it's been a great help to me!
    SwagBucks
    Make £10 a day challenge
    Sell 100 items 7/100
    GC:
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017
    NSD:
    • Fishcake_Random
    • By Fishcake_Random 14th Dec 17, 1:22 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
    • 6,112 Thanks
    Fishcake_Random
    • #5
    • 14th Dec 17, 1:22 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Dec 17, 1:22 PM
    Count me in please. I will work out my years budget shortly and update you x
    Fishfinger arrived 19/03/2010.
    Married on 21/09/11
    Baby Prawn arrived 22/08/2012
    • allie23
    • By allie23 14th Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    • 1,252 Posts
    • 13,687 Thanks
    allie23
    • #6
    • 14th Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    I'm in again for 2018. Thanks for the new thread x
    Save £12k in 2018 - Challenger 33 - £0/£25,000
    • Poppycat1
    • By Poppycat1 14th Dec 17, 6:01 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 405 Thanks
    Poppycat1
    • #7
    • 14th Dec 17, 6:01 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Dec 17, 6:01 PM
    Please can I join? Budget not sorted yet because I have an issue with my house move. If it goes ahead my mortgage increases so therefore my budget will be a lot less.
    MFW 2017 number 25
    • cybertortoise
    • By cybertortoise 14th Dec 17, 8:27 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    cybertortoise
    • #8
    • 14th Dec 17, 8:27 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Dec 17, 8:27 PM
    I'd like to join please. I have been eagerly awaiting the new thread. Thank you.

    I'll have my budget ready in the next week.
    Fresh start & LBM #3: 29.08.17 DFD: 28.08.20 Debt at highest: £19383.27 Currently: £16576.07
    1% challenge: 0% Frugal 2018: £0/£7500 Decluttering: 0/1095
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 10:31 PM
    • 5,886 Posts
    • 50,808 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    • #9
    • 14th Dec 17, 10:31 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Dec 17, 10:31 PM
    Nice to see some old faces already - let's see if we can make 2018 extra special! I know it's a BIG year for us with every extra penny being ploughed into future developments while trying to maintain maintaining debt freedom.

    I've just completed my 2018 household budget (for 2 adults), so it goes as follows:

    Groceries & toiletries £1,000
    Fuel & electricity £1,500
    TV, telephone & Internet £520
    Clothing & footwear £200
    Gifts £400
    Insurance £140
    Sundries £240

    Total £4,000

    Council tax is approximately £1,000, which includes water, so my overall target is to manage on £5k including council tax. (We have no rent, no mortgage and no debts to service.) We are both home based, self-employed and not in receipt of benefits of any description, unless you count the benefits of being totally debt free and financially independent. Every other penny gets saved for investing in our Frugaldom project.

    I base my grocery shopping on £1 per person per day and have allowed extra for toiletries, visitors and special occasions.

    This is essential household expenditure but the budget could, if necessary, be cut further. Things like TV, telephones, Internet and gift buying are all basic luxuries, as is affording new clothing or having a sundries/extras budget. I could also cut down on the energy bill buy living in Scotland means it gets quite cold during winter and we rely on electric heaters, an open fire and a log burner.
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 15-12-2017 at 11:27 PM. Reason: Adding in additional info
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 15th Dec 17, 1:33 PM
    • 10,334 Posts
    • 58,982 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    I would like to join this year if I may. I will go back and read some of the 2017 thread to get some ideas.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 15th Dec 17, 4:17 PM
    • 5,886 Posts
    • 50,808 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    I would like to join this year if I may. I will go back and read some of the 2017 thread to get some ideas.
    Originally posted by lessonlearned
    Hi lessonlearned, there are so many pages of past challenges that it could take you a long time to get through them so please feel free to post any questions if you need faster answers. Welcome on board, I hope we can all help you reach your goals.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 15th Dec 17, 5:19 PM
    • 1,843 Posts
    • 10,967 Thanks
    Florence J
    I would like to join, I was part of the 2017 thread but will be honest I'm more an observer then contributor.

    This year was supposed to be a No Spend Year (No unessential spending or spending on things outside the 'allowed' categories). In essence you could say I failed as although greatly reduced I did buy 'contraband' items (before you think I broke the law, I mean things like a work canteen lunch or a takeaway coffee). BUT, I think this year was definitely a success if the goal was to be as frugal as possible.

    I will keep living my life like this until my debts are cleared, and to be honest I think I will now always live like this.

    I don't set budgets for individual categories, it is more 'DON'T USE DEBT TO PAY FOR THINGS' so if I had say £100 disposable income each month, it wouldn't bother me if I spent all of it on clothes, as long as I didn't then spend any additional money.

    I will allow myself go get my haircut next year as it will be 2 years then since I last had my hair cut and I now look like Neil from The Young Ones.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    November 2017 Credit Card Debt: £3980
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 15th Dec 17, 10:20 PM
    • 5,886 Posts
    • 50,808 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    FlorenceJ, the mere fact that you take the time to look at your budget and know your own spending habits is good, taking it that step further and budgeting to live in debt freedom is even better, so you're definitely a winner if you know your numbers here.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Tanya12345
    • By Tanya12345 16th Dec 17, 9:44 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    Tanya12345
    Love to join please, last year I attempted the challenge but for various reasons was unsuccessful ! Looking at budget(s) now, determined to have a better year in 2018
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 16th Dec 17, 1:01 PM
    • 14,985 Posts
    • 48,620 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    Hello all

    I have attempted this many times and it always helps even if I am not totally successful

    I am pondering something, I think I could manage to take a thousand pounds out of my savings and see how long that lasted me.

    My outgoings have crept up a lot this year (audible subscription, Office Subscription, Amazon prime) and I am going to have to get the car insurance with the rest of my savings.

    I know it doesn't make sense but I was thinking if I could ignore my wages....perhaps let them build up (as well as paying into my savings)
    and see if I could really limit my budget by challenging myself to make the 1000 last as long as possible.

    I shall go and think some more.
    Penny a day Challenge, Frugal living challenge, £1 a day challenge, VSP challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge.
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 16th Dec 17, 1:19 PM
    • 4,734 Posts
    • 36,510 Thanks
    DawnW
    Can I join in too please?
    NSDs for January 4 /18
    Decluttering 20 /31

    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 16th Dec 17, 2:32 PM
    • 5,886 Posts
    • 50,808 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    ... I know it doesn't make sense but I was thinking if I could ignore my wages....perhaps let them build up (as well as paying into my savings) and see if I could really limit my budget by challenging myself to make the 1000 last as long as possible...
    Originally posted by Buffythedebtslayer
    Hi Buffy! That makes perfect sense to me, especially in lieu of the ridiculously low interest that savings accrue nowadays! In my opinion, you could probably shave a higher percentage off your spending than the banks will ever pay you for having the same amount lying in the bank, thus allowing you the luxury of a higher interest regular saver account with your income without having to juggle things about the place. I'll add your name to the list as we're all winners in the frugal living game just by being aware of our own finances. I tend to do a similar thing - use my cashback CC for as much as I can with bank transfers for everything else and then I seldom ever need cash, so all monthly income stays in the bank. My stumbling point now, however, is contactless payments, as they tempt you to spend up to the minimum £10 just to use the system. I have had to reduce the number of times I go to the shop now!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 16th Dec 17, 8:41 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 991 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    I'd like to be in next year too....I've got an expensive year ahead with home improvements so need to keep expenditure elsewhere as low as possible...I have set myself a 15 month challenge of doing the house up and paying off the mortgage so I've really got to knuckle down and take it seriously....I'm sorting the budgets tomorrow and will be ruthless from solstice onwards!
    15 Month Challenge: House - £35/£15000 Mortgage - £300/£19000 Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 16th Dec 17, 11:56 PM
    • 5,134 Posts
    • 53,487 Thanks
    lynnejk
    Evening all

    Definitely in again for 2018, though, hopefully, will have to readjust the budget in March - we will see what happens. Don't want to say more atm as might jinx things. Will get figures done after Chrissy, but looking at monthly accounts we seem to have been under so far this year fingers xd.

    ............ I tend to do a similar thing - use my cashback CC for as much as I can with bank transfers for everything else and then I seldom ever need cash, so all monthly income stays in the bank. My stumbling point now, however, is contactless payments, as they tempt you to spend up to the minimum £10 just to use the system. I have had to reduce the number of times I go to the shop now!
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    I do exactly the same. Everything on cashback CC and only cash in an emergency.

    I also grab any loyalty cards offered - even if used occasionally they often give you a discount/some freebies eventually, and don't cost you anything

    Pennies make £s after all and the best way to stop spending is to stay out of the shops

    Hope you all having a great weekend
    Lx
    £10day.2014=3213...2015=3421...2016=3238...2017=2702..JAN=197.44/310
    GrocC.2014=2162...2015=2083...2016=218...2017=1996..JAN=85.56/200
    Bulk buy.......JAN=112.08
    GC.NSD..2015=216..2016=213..2017=229..JAN=9/15
    SPC130x61...2014=1178...2015=1287...2016=4616...2017=3843
    OS WL= -1/8 ......CC =00......Savings = £12,140
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 17th Dec 17, 3:45 PM
    • 2,129 Posts
    • 20,371 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Have got my notebook ready for each monthly spends for 2018. Just need to sort out the budget, will do this near the end of this year.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST January: Health, Wealth and a Life Well Lived NSD 9/18
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