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    • abundant1972
    • By abundant1972 29th Jan 17, 12:14 PM
    • 1,177Posts
    • 8,598Thanks
    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 = £5083.65. EF = £1750/£4500
    NST Dec : NSD=0/16 : Food £0/£100 : Spends £0/£100
    Spiritual Practice =0/31. Exercise Sessions 0/14.
Page 37
    • abundant1972
    • By abundant1972 28th Feb 17, 9:59 PM
    • 1,177 Posts
    • 8,598 Thanks

    Today I am grateful for:
    • Fantastic news from a good friend that made me smile!!!
    • Great feedback from my work colleagues
    • An empathic client that was a great support
    Permission to disembark!
    Well... We made it. Day 28! A couple of us got washed over board - but out of a crew of 40 that's pretty good going I reckon.

    Congratulations on making progress on your goals... and for those who feel like they didn't do so well or meet targets - you still made *some* progress... maybe not as much as you'd hoped - but you are still nearer to your end game than you were on day 1. That is still progress in my book.

    It is only February, and I suspect each month we will all tweak and fine tune how we function and live day to day - and we'll learn along the way. You have all survived our sea voyage... and am proud to have had you on-board and to have Captained our ship. Thank you again to everyone for your contributions, and to Mothernerd for her support in my absence.

    It is to her that I now pass the mantle of command to once more. The next leg of our journey is by land... a Marathon no less. Carry only what you need, get your running shoes on, and let's see if we can't find a steady but sure route to the finish. See you tomorrow at the start line shipmates!

    Signing off,

    Captain (for today at least!) Abundant!!! xxx

    Last edited by abundant1972; 28-02-2017 at 10:05 PM.
    Repay Car : Phase 2 : £0/£500 by 13/09
    Follow your heart & be true to yourself always
    Help To Buy ISA = £5083.65. EF = £1750/£4500
    NST Dec : NSD=0/16 : Food £0/£100 : Spends £0/£100
    Spiritual Practice =0/31. Exercise Sessions 0/14.
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 28th Feb 17, 10:11 PM
    • 2,153 Posts
    • 22,063 Thanks
    abundant thank you so much for this lovely challenge. Still on 16 NSDs as I had to pay for my massage (treat/ feeling good about myself and my body - realised I am still completely unselfconsious about my body, as long a sI take my glasses off first). I had already added this to my extras budget.

    Variable results with my challenges but quite pleased overall. Taken action on the most important things and small steps on everything. As I have lots of areas I want to improve I chose to set some things up this month and will add more once I am comfortable with those.

    Strange day today. Had a phone call from mum at 8.30am to say she was ill and could I go and look after her. Went and stayed all day until it was time to go for the massage. Took taxis (nearly died when I opened the curtains to snow), got wet through putting mum's bins out (had to pick up half a chopped up tree and put it in the green bin. Mum told me to come in, she hadn't realised it was chucking it down (washed away the snow) but I finished as I couldn't get any wetter.

    District nurse came out to see her, demonstrated how to use inhaler with big plastic thing. Would have put her on a nebulizer but she has an appointment with the respiratory team in 2 weeks, so waiting to see what they say. Food delivery came and I put it all away and pills were delivered but not the extra ones or the antibiotics the doctor supposedly wrote the prescription for yesterday (should have been faxed to pharmacy and delivered with the rest. Cue series of phone calls to doctor's - it's sorted but some of the items are not in stock so have to wait for order to come in.

    Think I have not gone overbudget despite a random shop about an hour since. Mum gave me money for taxis, the things I sent at weekend, more shopping that she wants (birthday cards mainly). I took water and crispbread and low fat cheese spread for breakfast, had one of mum's hm fish pies for lunch. My part of the shop included cough medicine (bugs mum passed on last Thursday are turning into irritating cough and sore throat), soft buns to make lunches to go (and a ys 10p coleslaw as I have a few ys prawns in the freezer) and a pack of boxers for DS3 (part of his Christmas present owed).

    Today I am grateful for brave little purple croci (battered by snow and rain but still trying), that mum wasn't worse than she was (think she was frightened by her symptoms when she woke up - doctor has been battling to keep her out of hospital all winter) and for a quick efficient shop (lots of boxes ticked).
    Building a rainbow of happiness and joy
    NST Nov #9 SFD 7/20 Food £31.50/£100 Travel £2.50/£10 DIY £/£30Debt free and EF January 2016 No mortgage Progress through plodding, baby steps and purposeful pottering
    • Calling14
    • By Calling14 28th Feb 17, 10:21 PM
    • 2,506 Posts
    • 18,596 Thanks
    Thanks abundant for steering us safely through choppy seas. Great challenge and thanks again for all your lovely comments and time, keeping us in shape x
    LBM 13039 1.1.13 NOW £1040
    PAYDBX 2017 #16 £3260 /£4300 DFD 12/17
    Fund #9 £100/£1,000
    1 x 100 days challenge £1161.71/2000 ends 29/12/17

    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 1st Mar 17, 7:29 AM
    • 6,506 Posts
    • 47,635 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Proud of = my weight loss, I've lost a stone since Christmas and 6lbs this month.
    Originally posted by Fmess
    Well done!
    NST November #; NSD 3/17; Ex 2/12; craft 1/30 (247); remove 578
    2017 MFW#63 Pay off: £3415/£4050; 2
    017 sell 116

    Mortgage £23,689 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Calling14
    • By Calling14 1st Mar 17, 9:30 AM
    • 2,506 Posts
    • 18,596 Thanks
    Fmess wow that's brilliant weight loss. Well done
    LBM 13039 1.1.13 NOW £1040
    PAYDBX 2017 #16 £3260 /£4300 DFD 12/17
    Fund #9 £100/£1,000
    1 x 100 days challenge £1161.71/2000 ends 29/12/17

    • bizzie
    • By bizzie 1st Mar 17, 11:48 AM
    • 102 Posts
    • 1,180 Thanks
    Have achieved my target of 15 NSDs though almost ran aground towards the end of the month.
    Progress against goals - I think the term becalmed sums it up - relying on others but next month will be more under my command.
    Would like to improve my menu planning during the upcoming marathon ( or at least keep closer to it ) anticipating changes to the path ahead.
    Proud I achieved a few hours doing craft, something that is normally put to the back of the queue as I deal with day to day life with my crew.

    Grateful for
    all the guidance and support shown in this post.
    my lovely family and friends
    a decent waterproof coat
    Groceries 43.37/400 Personal Spends ..../100
    NST November #11 NSDs 4/12 @05/11/17
    Goals for 2017: Balance in
    Self: Health: Wealth :
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 1st Mar 17, 3:44 PM
    • 2,153 Posts
    • 22,063 Thanks
    Link to March thread for anyone who is lost
    Building a rainbow of happiness and joy
    NST Nov #9 SFD 7/20 Food £31.50/£100 Travel £2.50/£10 DIY £/£30Debt free and EF January 2016 No mortgage Progress through plodding, baby steps and purposeful pottering
    • FurryBeastOz
    • By FurryBeastOz 1st Mar 17, 4:36 PM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 14,464 Thanks
    Only 14/15 Non budget spending days. Got seriously derailed with the Fat/unnecessary spends, and also over budget for indulgence - but that was an investment towards the next 2 months.

    Thanks abundant for a great challenge. It's really making me think about priorities and boundaries.

    See you in March.
    *** 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
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 1st Mar 17, 7:05 PM
    • 3,368 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    Thank you Abundant for a Fantastic February.
    And thank you other turtles for helping me stay on track (mostly).
    See you for the marathon...
    NSTSeptember #32 NSD 8/18 RYSAW17 #1 £1313.42 20p Savers #88 £1 a day for Xmas # DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
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