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    • abundant1972
    • By abundant1972 29th Jan 17, 12:14 PM
    • 1,178Posts
    • 8,601Thanks
    NST February Challenge : A Winter Voyage
    • #1
    • 29th Jan 17, 12:14 PM
    NST February Challenge : A Winter Voyage 29th Jan 17 at 12:14 PM
    Welcome to February’s NST Challenge : A Winter Voyage

    The end of January is almost upon us… I’m looking outside and there’s a blue sky, and the frost is thawing. It has been a long month – and for those who maybe have children and celebrated Christmas, it can feel like you’re just about recovering from the expense. Energetically – I always feel at a bit of a low ebb… We bowl through Christmas, into New Year and back to work perhaps, and that again can feel tough. If you spend more time at home – it can be a difficult month too – the cold and dark nights might leave you craving the comfort of your home and your natural tendency is to go within. Heck – we should all be hibernating – but life dictates we push ourselves onwards… Just pause for a moment – and mark the occasion. Congratulate yourself - you have provided for yourself (and your family if you have one) and the New Year we planned last month is awakening. We still have a way to go before Spring arrives, so wrap up warm and batten down the hatches.

    Last month, Misstara asked us all to set goals for the year ahead. I would like you to consider the following quote from Earl Spencer…

    “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. It’s that simple. Failures, on the other hand, believe that their lives are shaped by circumstances … by things that happen to them … by exterior forces.

    Think of a ship with the complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take – it has a definite goal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there.

    Now let’s take another ship, just like the first, only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree that if it gets out of the harbour at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach – a derelict. It can’t go anyplace because it has no destination and no guidance.”

    So… the next leg of our journey is going to be by sea. Yes you heard right. This month – we are setting sail towards our goals. You have a few days before our ship departs and I want you to make ready.
    We will be at sea for 28 days remember - it is imperative that you bring adequate supplies. There may be clear skies at the moment but storms can blow up out of nowhere and have been known to sink many a ship. We must prepare for the unexpected. There are pirates in these parts who will stop at nothing to loot and pillage your cargo. Tales also tell of sirens – whose song can tempt you from your course, only for you to crash upon the rocks – your budget smashed to smithereens! We must be on our guard against them. Look out for dolphins along the way – they are good omens and can help your money go a bit farther. According to my maps – there’s an island where we can stop mid-way if we can find it – for some much needed rest and relaxation.

    The Rules:
    • The ship sets sail on February 01st and it’s journey finishes on February 28th
    • Plan your shore leave. If you want to meet with friends – log the dates now and don’t deviate once we have set sail.
    • Pay your debt repayments first, and budget separately for birthdays, car expenses, travel, bills, school fees etc. Set money aside for these - they do not count towards a spend day – as long as you have budgeted for them! Be prepared and plan ahead. Get your house in order before you depart!
    • Plan your personal budget with what money you have left. Set aside an amount for essential rations and an amount for personal spending. What you use your personal spends for is up to you – essentially ‘non-essential’ things. It could be a trip to the cinema, a chocolate bar, a new t-shirt or a book. Try not to feel guilty for spending a little on yourself – but budget it in. I am allowing £80.00 for rations and £80.00 for spends.
    • Aim for 15 NSDs. I am giving you each 12 flares. Use them wisely. Fire one off and you can get supplies (have a spend day). That’s 3 flares per week – use them wisely.
    • Look out for Dolphins (a.k.a Yellow Sticker produce). These DO NOT count as a spend day. If you see them break the waves – give thanks, and grab a bargain (as long as you’ll use it!).
    • Beware Pirates! They come in many guises and want to steal your booty! Make your lunches for work, and take in your own coffees – avoid shop/canteen bought convenience food which tends to be overpriced.
    • Beware Sirens! High Street retailers that tempt you in to buy buy buy!!! Before any purchase – ask yourself... ‘is this going to bring me nearer my goal or push me further from it?’… Is it a ‘need’ or a ‘want’…? Can I afford it or will it leave me broke?
    • Mid Voyage we will be stopping off at the Isle of Aphrodite – an enchanted place, and a welcome rest from our travels. This is a free day. Put aside £10.00 if you can afford it and a bit of time for yourself. More details to follow.
    • Remember those lost as sea – try and give or do something charitable. It could be a cash or food donation, or giving of your time if you don’t have a lot of spare money.
    • Never be afraid to ask for help or advice. It occurred to me that I take things like budgeting for-granted… but when I was a newbie – I didn’t know where to start. It was only through joining forums like this one that I learned.
    • It’s ok to make mistakes – as long as we learn from them and do not keep repeating them. If we do – we need to look at why we do – what is our gain from keeping ourselves in debt or perpetuating bad habits.

    What I’d like to see posted from you:
    1. If you haven’t already – try and do a signature. It’s a great way to personalise your goals and targets – and provides a visual aid to your progress. If you need help setting one up just yell!
    2. List your food and spends budgets. Try doing them separately for this month and tell me if it works – or not. I find giving myself permission to have a little bit of a life (spends) really hard… but life is about living. If it helps, each week draw out your spend allowance – when it’s gone, it’s gone.
    3. A running NSD total.
    4. Post 3 things – daily if you can – that you are grateful for. It helps us focus on what we have in our lives and gives us a feeling of wealth and abundance that goes beyond just money.
    5. Re-visit your goal(s) set last month (or do a new one if you’ve just joined). How is your progress? Are you on track or floundering? Be honest. Remember the ship quote above – unless you give direction and purpose to your goals – you will likely run aground. Break it into smaller steps that are manageable for you. If you’re not sure how – put it to the crew. Tell everyone at least one thing you will commit to doing this month to help achieve your goal.

    Them be the rules me Hearties… If you think you’re up to it – put your name below on the ship’s roster and I’ll make sure there’s a cabin on board with your name on it. I run a tight ship – and expect commitment from each and every one of you! We can’t be carrying no stowaways – arggggh! <said in sailor voice haha> Try and check in everyday if you can… it’ll keep you focussed on your goals. Mothernerd has kindly agreed to be my second-in-command for one week in Feb when I have to stop off on distant shores to see family. Rest assured I will keep in touch as best I can and will rendezvous with you all a bit later!
    Last edited by abundant1972; 29-01-2017 at 6:10 PM.
    Repay Car : Phase 2 : £0/£500 by 13/09
    Follow your heart & be true to yourself always
    Help To Buy ISA = £5283.65. EF = £2000/£4500
    NST Dec : NSD=2/16 : Food £0/£100 : Spends £0/£100
    Spiritual Practice =0/31. Exercise Sessions 0/14.
Page 2
    • crazy_lady2009
    • By crazy_lady2009 29th Jan 17, 8:13 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 3,461 Thanks
    Great challenge Abundant! I got washed overboard last month, but will clip on this time around!
    Frankly, being on a boat at sea seems the safest place right now. Are we sure we have to land?
    Last edited by crazy_lady2009; 29-01-2017 at 8:52 PM.
    Feb 17 #AllAboardNST NSD: 1/15 Flares (SDs) : 2/12
    Rations: 30/ 80 Spends: X/100 Fuel: X/65 ClimbingTheRigging: X/12 Holiday:X/100

    Family loan £10,000 CC1:£1640 Target by end of Feb £9800/£1000
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 29th Jan 17, 8:29 PM
    • 1,173 Posts
    • 6,596 Thanks
    What a great piece of writing!
    Originally posted by smallholdingsister
    ......and I second that!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My debt free diary - " Paid off the £31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • SkintTeacher
    • By SkintTeacher 29th Jan 17, 8:50 PM
    • 326 Posts
    • 1,881 Thanks
    Yes please!!! Loving this challenge x
    • WelshKitty85
    • By WelshKitty85 29th Jan 17, 9:52 PM
    • 642 Posts
    • 5,758 Thanks
    Great challenge. Sign me up please!
    Battling my final debt:
    Credit card - £4844.62(Dec 16) £2835.02
    • Fmess
    • By Fmess 29th Jan 17, 10:24 PM
    • 2,574 Posts
    • 24,346 Thanks
    How exciting! Me please
    LBM = 07/09/13 Debt = £13339 (100% cleared)
    New Car and Roof Debt £0/£19033
    DecNST #2 SFD 0/15 Food 65.06/120 Personal 91.34/350 Petrol 40.01/80
    • bizzie
    • By bizzie 30th Jan 17, 12:21 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 1,266 Thanks
    Can I join in again please.
    Still finding my sealegs with the must post, not just read everyone elses, updates.
    Slowly getting my bearings to where I'm heading.
    Will be back to plot my course for Febuary soon(ish).
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 30th Jan 17, 9:22 AM
    • 1,758 Posts
    • 13,817 Thanks
    Deal me in please.

    Need to batten down the hatches in February as I have put away 50% of my wages into savings so I'm skint!!

    I'll be disappointed if I don't get 15 NSD's.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • thriftylass
    • By thriftylass 30th Jan 17, 12:10 PM
    • 3,117 Posts
    • 25,654 Thanks
    Ahoy matey. Count me, please Cap'n. Thrifty(cut)lass is on board. Here we go (try) again
    Last edited by thriftylass; 30-01-2017 at 12:19 PM.
    NST Nov 6
    SFD 3/20 spends 401/625 (98/200 xmas)
    Exercise 5/20
    Debt - all 0% 1000 to go from 5290 (80% paid off)
    DFD 2/2018 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 16 years left
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 30th Jan 17, 6:12 PM
    • 703 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Can I join again please. I'll try not to get. seasick
    • abundant1972
    • By abundant1972 30th Jan 17, 6:14 PM
    • 1,178 Posts
    • 8,601 Thanks
    Good... Good... Get packing your belongings!

    Pre-Boarding Tasks:

    1) Take a quick stock-check of your cupboards/fridge/freezer. Be thinking of things you can cook up from these before you buy more. I <still> have 2 bags of buckwheat I haven't the foggiest notion what to do with hahaaaar!

    2) You can't be taking everything on-board with you. Go through your drawers and wardrobes - is there anything you never wear and can give away? Lighten your load and hit your charity goal this month all in one go!

    3) Look around your house and find something small that you can carry around with you... something that you think of as lucky... Where we be sailing to - a good luck charm might be just the ticket. No priceless family heirlooms mind haha. If nothing springs to mind - maybe next time you're out - find a little stone or pebble that you like the feel of... or a twig to decorate. It doesn't have to cost - be creative.

    More details to follow...
    Repay Car : Phase 2 : £0/£500 by 13/09
    Follow your heart & be true to yourself always
    Help To Buy ISA = £5283.65. EF = £2000/£4500
    NST Dec : NSD=2/16 : Food £0/£100 : Spends £0/£100
    Spiritual Practice =0/31. Exercise Sessions 0/14.
    • FurryBeastOz
    • By FurryBeastOz 30th Jan 17, 8:21 PM
    • 1,098 Posts
    • 14,478 Thanks

    2) You can't be taking everything on-board with you. Go through your drawers and wardrobes - is there anything you never wear and can give away? Lighten your load and hit your charity goal this month all in one go!
    Originally posted by abundant1972
    Tee hee. Did this on Sunday - amazing how interesting the sock drawer was as an alternative to work
    *** Debt Free***
    NST October 1/18
    Goals - Weight loss 0/13lb from 1st Jul 17
    GC To 1/10/17 £2416.17£3,500, 69.03/74.79% of the year. Had to raise budget
    • The Only Girl
    • By The Only Girl 31st Jan 17, 7:49 AM
    • 850 Posts
    • 7,212 Thanks
    The Only Girl
    Good morning, this turtle has decided to come out of her shell. Any room for one more turtle to join this voyage?
    [CENTER][B]"There is Life AFTER DEBT."
    LBM 2009 Total Debt £49046.24 Debt Free as of 27/08/2015
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 31st Jan 17, 11:19 AM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 11,797 Thanks
    Hi abundant I will join in for February if that's OK, I've always wanted to go a cruise!!!! It sounds exciting so I've packed my flipflops and Sun cream and I will prepare my budgets!!

    Mortgage free and debt free at last, but still frugal as retired. Time to enjoy life on a state pension!!!
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 31st Jan 17, 2:43 PM
    • 6,638 Posts
    • 48,674 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Hellooooo tog! Lovely to hear from you again!
    NST DDD#1; NSD 9/15; Ex 4/12; craft 11/30 (267); remove 6/31 (601)
    2017 MFW#63 Pay off: £3708/£4050; 2
    017 sell 351

    Mortgage £23,486 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 31st Jan 17, 4:46 PM
    • 703 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    First question, crew. Can somebody tell me how to make a signature? Not very good with this new fangled technology,
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 31st Jan 17, 6:42 PM
    • 475 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Sign me up captain!!!
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • abundant1972
    • By abundant1972 31st Jan 17, 7:16 PM
    • 1,178 Posts
    • 8,601 Thanks
    One day to go crew...

    So - for a signature:

    On your main menu you can left click (if you use a mouse) 'Quick Links' and go to 'Edit Signature'. This opens up a box where you type.

    You can have then play around with font size, text, colour and spacing if you want to. Pressing 'preview signature' will show you what it will look like. Scroll back down and you can adjust the text until you are happy. Then click 'Save Signature'. You can insert emojis off the side bar too... Either click them - or if that doesn't work, right-click, then copy and paste in the text box.

    Holler if you run into trouble!
    Repay Car : Phase 2 : £0/£500 by 13/09
    Follow your heart & be true to yourself always
    Help To Buy ISA = £5283.65. EF = £2000/£4500
    NST Dec : NSD=2/16 : Food £0/£100 : Spends £0/£100
    Spiritual Practice =0/31. Exercise Sessions 0/14.
    • lozzy81
    • By lozzy81 31st Jan 17, 7:25 PM
    • 215 Posts
    • 762 Thanks
    I would love to join in... i kinda lurk through every challenge but don't want to get caught as a stow away!!
    Virtual sealed pot 2017 member #14
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 31st Jan 17, 7:57 PM
    • 703 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Thanks, captain. I'll have a go at that tomorrow.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 31st Jan 17, 8:15 PM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,842 Thanks
    Thanks Captain Abundant - looking forward to being part of the crew for February.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 15 for November
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 01/11/17)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
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