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2013 Frugal Living Challenge
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# 1
Frugaldom
Old 18-12-2012, 11:36 AM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Rural Scotland
Posts: 5,660
Thumbs up 2013 Frugal Living Challenge

Frugaldom's Frugal Living Challenge

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 posts 1 and 2 in full and check out the HANDY LINKS section.

To help avoid clogging up this very fast-moving thread, please private message Frugaldom to have your name added to the challenger list.

NB: THIS IS AN ADAPTED VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL CHALLENGE, SPECIFICALLY FOR MSE FORUM USERS

This is an adaptation of Frugaldom's 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been running here on MSE for the past 5 years, but the actual challenge began several years previously, elsewhere. It has 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.

Some have achieved their debt free status and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay debt free. Others are still pursuing that dream. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us for 2013 and share your journey as you give debts the heave-ho once and for all.


Edited in - the MSE version of the 2014 Frugal Living Challenge is HERE

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

The 2013 Challenge - this one

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


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 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 cashback 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
Spend within your means
Set a proper budget
Houseshare
Get a lodger
Shop via cashback sites but always price compare
Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them
Stockpile & bulk buy
Batch cooking
Make the most of charity shops
Join Freecycle or other similar waste awareness and recycling associations
LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
bartering
Grow your own herbs, fruit & veg
Preserving & winemaking
Card & gift making
Order splitting for better discounts & shared postal costs
Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
Free scratchcards
Matched betting
Free online bingo
eBid and eBay trading
etc, etc, etc...

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


Quote:
HANDY LINKS
(I am neither endorsing nor recommending any of the links provided here, members of our extended frugal community have simply found them to contain helpful information.)

Approved Food - Some amazing bargains if you don't mind short dates or past sell by – save a fortune whilst saving it from landfill!
Bite Card - 20% off food at train stations (ideal for regular travellers)
Budgetbrain - MSE's free to use budget analysis tool - BRILLIANT!
Carrot recipes - loads of ways to use up those carrots
CASHBACK - The official MSE list of sites offering the best cashback deals
Complete (MSE) cooking collection - Loads and loads and loads of recipes
Coupon thread on MSE - For coupons, money off and discounts
Crafting for Christmas - homemade presents
Eggs, eggs, eggs - Frugaldom's '100 things to do with eggs' list
Electricity & Gas savings - monitor your electricity & gas with the MoneySaving Carbon Club
Flannel Cake making - unusual gifts
Food Bargains - Discounted food, short dated and past 'BBE' dates
Foraging & Preserving - free foods, when, where, what to do with them
Free crafts ideas - how to make papier mache banks etc
Freecycle - don't bin it, rehome it
Freegle - Originally Freecycle in UK
FREE Spreadsheet - link to Cheryl's (CW18) budget spreadsheet
Frugaldom - Home of this challenge
Gift Baskets & Hampers - an index to the MSE relevant threads
Gifts in a jar - you don't need a canner for these
Greenfingered money saving - Gardening & growing your own food
Grocery bargains - Supermarket price reduction times
Homemade Rhubarb Champagne - quick, cheap and easy
How to make a sealed pot - saving all your spare change in papier mache banks
Hunger Site - Charity site where every click counts
i-Measure - log your meter readings and try to reduce your carbon footprint
Laundry Gloop and loads of other frugal cleaning related 'recipes'
Leftovers - don't bin them, get creative, make another meal.
LETS - Local Exchange Trading Schemes and alternative currencies within communities
Martin's mad moneysaver ads - a surprising new addition to the site - advertising offers!
Martin's current offers & discount codes - updated daily
Menu Planning - hundreds of options and suggestions
My FREE spreadsheet - where to download from
Nutrition and diet info, an excellent thread - thanks to Weezl74
Old Style indexed collection - Indexed collection of links, hints and tips for anything old style, moneysaving and frugal.
Preparing for winter the frugal way
Recipes part 1 - thanks to Rosieben on the Grocery Challenge
Recipes part 2 - thanks, again, to Rosieben
Remoska discussion - everything you need to know about Remoska ovens
ROSSPA - Cheap groceries & fresh produce direct to your door.
Rural Moneysaving Hunt - official MSE discussion
Selling on eBid - decluttering and recycling for cash with no listing fees
Slow Cooker Recipes - on MSE
Snowman Soup - always a favourite with frugallers during the festive season
Soapnuts - The frugal, eco-friendly alternative to soap powder or detergents (free samples)
Soapnuts thread on MSE - discuss, ask questions here
Spending Diary - excellent free resource for recording your spends
Start a cottage industry - the official MSE discussion
Veg Planner - free printable vegetable planting guide/calendar from the RHS
Weezl74's 50p per person per day eating healthily thread
Weezl74's frugal recipe testing thread - Phase 1
Will Power & Billy Can - part 1, part 2, part 3
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 wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December 2013 The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone and these will be updated accordingly.
I reserve the right NOT to spend:
The less I spend, the more I can afford!
Frugal Living Rocks!

Last edited by Frugaldom; 22-12-2013 at 11:23 AM. Reason: Preparing for 2014 challenge
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# 2
Frugaldom
Old 18-12-2012, 11:37 AM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Rural Scotland
Posts: 5,660
Thumbs up 2013 Challenger List and Sample Budget

The 2013 Challenger List

If you want your name added to this challenger list, please private message Frugaldom.

*Jellie*
*Robin*
AngelaF
Avaquaver
Baking Mad
BMMA
Buffythedebtslayer
Candyandstripes
Chika
Couldsavemore
CW18
DawnOfTheBiped
Debbiedeejay
Dizzy Lizzie
Freedom2011
Frugaldom (NYK) - PM me to be added to this list
Georgiebrown0
Gien
Gretchen2012
Indibones
InTheDeep
JayneC
Kerry Woman
Kittiej
Knithappens
Kobrakai
Lbnblbnb
LolaLemon
Melskii
Miss Empty Piggy
Miss Frugal Wannabe
Mooloo
Mummy-of-2-boys
Munchin
Natnat13
New leaf 88
Out of Debt at Last
Ostrichnomore
Painted Lady
Pinkbrick
Rising from the ashes
SandraScarlett
Seriouslyfrugal
Silverfox13865
Skint_chick
Skintwellie
Slowlyfading - looking after the 2013 MSE version of the frugal living challenge
SLScarborough
Summertea
Tessie Bear
Vintagebrighton
Winchelsea
WonderfulLife
Wornoutmumoftwo
XNatalie81X
I reserve the right NOT to spend:
The less I spend, the more I can afford!
Frugal Living Rocks!

Last edited by Frugaldom; 30-08-2013 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Adding new names to challenger list
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# 3
AvaQuaver
Old 18-12-2012, 12:07 PM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 47
Default

The aim...£5000 or less in 2012. x
'The time is now.'

Last edited by AvaQuaver; 21-04-2014 at 5:21 PM.
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# 4
gien
Old 18-12-2012, 4:04 PM
Serious MoneySaving Fan
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,319
Default

I lurked a bit on the other thread but I'd like to join in properly this year as we are completely skint, and need to look after my money like never before.
We're a family of 5, high earners but high outgoings too and the two are very close right now. Additionally, we have a load of stuff to do on the house and we need to save up enough by summer to get it all done.
Trying to keep in budget.
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# 5
rising from the ashes
Old 18-12-2012, 4:28 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In my wee bit of Bonnie Scotland
Posts: 11,602
Default

Hi everyone, Frugaldom thanks for starting the new thread (I've PMd you to be added to the Challenger List) and thanks again to Slowlyfading for keeping an eye on us

2013 will be my 3rd year doing the FLC - year 1 was a big learning curve and I made huge steps but this year I seem to have plodded along - although great as I've not slipped back to non-frugal ways .... I need to learn new things next year!

Looking forward to the challenge!
Starting again - back on the frugal MSE journey
Groceries & Toiletries: Annual £2080
CCP claim success!

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# 6
slowlyfading
Old 18-12-2012, 6:48 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 11,333
Default

Woops! Was meant to grab post 3 but didn't get a chance....!
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr Seuss
2014 Frugal Challenge Member // Sept NSD - 9/20 // SPC #004
Engaged 14/08/10 // Married 31/03/12
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# 7
slowlyfading
Old 18-12-2012, 6:49 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 11,333
Default

A just in case and can edit post....
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr Seuss
2014 Frugal Challenge Member // Sept NSD - 9/20 // SPC #004
Engaged 14/08/10 // Married 31/03/12
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# 8
freedom2011
Old 19-12-2012, 9:23 AM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 101
Default

Looking forward to this in 2013 & discovering more frugal ways.
I haven't completely worked out my budget. I have really enjoyed it this year plus it keeps me on track. I hope to end the year with a high amount of savings next year and keep within whatever I set.
Frugal Challenge £9000
Grocery Challenge £tba pm £
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# 9
seriouslyfrugal
Old 19-12-2012, 10:18 AM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 319
Default

Please count me in for the 2013 challenge

I think for 2013 my challenge is to keep up to date the speadsheet I was doing alright until July

I hope everyone has a good xmas and here's to a successful 2013
Emma
Frugal Living 2013
Downshifting through choice - wanting a simpler life
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# 10
suzitiger
Old 19-12-2012, 10:41 AM
Serious MoneySaving Fan
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Newcastle
Posts: 933
Default

Hello, I am a lurker on this one but please add me again for 2013 and I will try and pop in a bit more often. Thank you :-)
Don't turn a slip up into a give up
*NSD Challenge Jan 0/10* *£10 a day challenge Jan £123.06/£310*
Debt Free by Xmas 2014 challenge!#3 £0/£6,000
No buying unnecessary toiletries challenge-in it for the long haul


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# 11
quintwins
Old 19-12-2012, 10:49 AM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4,760
Default

Count me in aswell my budget looks like this

rent- £1800
mobiles- £300
internet- £540
electric £600
food £1200
desil £1800
play money £250
insurances £180
heating £360
xmas £0 (trying to do xmas next year with vouchers and surverys but have £300 set aside just incase, have £5 already and quite a few gifts already for next year-excess stuff from this year)
clothes £0 trying to make clothes do and only use birthday/xmas money and uniform allowance have £53 already, i spent £12 of this already on 2 pairs of jeans and a pair of shoes.

That comes to £7030 i'm setting a budget of £7500 for 2013 which allows extra if xmas and clothes don't work out as planned.So £625 a month to live on.I'm feeling positive
Saving for a house £9407 (+6550 owed from friend and £3500 owed from inlaws) Total £19,257

Save £1300 in October £0/£1300
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# 12
allie23
Old 19-12-2012, 1:37 PM
Serious MoneySaving Fan
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Central Scotland
Posts: 979
Default

Wow, the new thread! Its amazing how excited I can become over a new thread - think I may be a bit of a MSE geek but proud of this nonetheless.

Will defo be joining again for 2013. I am having a bit of a dilema just now about applying for a job that may mean me moving house (if I get it). I have very small amount of savings but no mortgage (paid off earlier in 2012) and it would mean that I would have a permanent job again. Moving to this location is actually part of my 5 year plan but I am just not sure if I should accelerate that plan or wait until I have more avialable cash.
Frugal Living Challenge 2014
July GC - £150 budget
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# 13
candyandstripes
Old 19-12-2012, 4:23 PM
MoneySaving Convert
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 94
Default

I'd like to join in with this I'm hoping that being more frugal will allow me to hit my savings target in 2013. This means I have now started to think of what I can change, what I am spending on wants instead of needs and I will start this off by trying to put together a budget which I found on your list in the 1st post so thank you Frugaldom..
2014
Goals: Exercise Weekly | Eat Healthier | Save / Don't Waste Money | Learn to Cook | Try New Things | Enjoy Life!
Save in 2014 #76: £500.00/£4000 = 12.5% | Boots Points: 100
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# 14
MadamMim2013
Old 20-12-2012, 7:57 AM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Somerset
Posts: 363
Default

Please can you add me to this years challenge.. I've been hiding away reading all last years posts & really need to get my butt in gear & do something about how we live! I'll be thinking of my budget & put up later/as soon as I can x Thanks for all the inspiration x
Before you can honestly love another..
you must love & accept yourself!

Declutter the WHOLE house...
DMP Member 389
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# 15
cw18
Old 21-12-2012, 10:44 AM
Fantastically Fervent MoneySaving Super Fan
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tyldesley, Manchester
Posts: 6,996
Default

I really, really need to get back to this.

I just tried setting my budgets for next year, and I'm coming in at £2k more than I'd like to be, even after asking my son to increase his contribution to household running costs/grocery bills by 50% - so that's all going to have to come out of my savings

In fairness I could claw it (and more) back by cancelling my swimming lessons and personal trainer sessions, but with the health issues I'm having at the moment (and my long standing back problems) I think anything that forces me to exercise is money well spent Plus the swimming lessons are to get my techniques right (I can potter up and down for about 20 lengths in my own style), which means I shouldn't end up with back ache the next day as often happens now.

The budget's also not helped by the fact my grocery bill keeps climbing - and not just because of the costs rising in the supermarkets. It's looking increasingly likely I've developed lactose intolerance, but in the last couple of weeks I've also started to think I may be having issues with other foodstuffs (avoiding dairy but still having problems) - and that all means I'm having to pick and choose foods more carefully, and generally end up with much more expensive options (eg. my soya milk's almost twice the price of fresh skimmed milk, and the only cheeses I seem to be able to handle are goat's/feta which are a lot dearer than cheddar - especially compared to when mature cheddar comes up on offer). The grocery budget covers me for the whole year, my son for 2 days a week (about all he seems to be around, with the rest of the time spent at his girl-friend's) and my OH one day a week.

However it's looking possible I may be able to get a few extra hours work each week - and am hoping to tie them into a day I'm already at the gym for a PT session which means no extra petrol/car expenses. That would cover about £800 of my 'overspend' which is nice

I currently work Wed, Thur and Fri, with one PT session after work on Thur and my swimming lesson after work on Fri. My other PT session is on a Monday, so I'm hoping to do the extra hours that day so that I don't have to increase car running cost budgets - the boss is fairly flexible as to whether I do them Mon or Tues, so I may even be able to move them if I want a long weekend and not have to take holiday time

At least some of my exercise expenses (and all my commuting costs) are effectively covered by my employer. I used to pay £35/month for gym membership, but now I work there it's free as a perk of the job. So about £14/month of that covers the petrol I use to get to work, leaving the rest to offset other costs

I've had to set my 'medical' costs a lot higher than I wanted to, but that's because I remembered I'm due an eye check-up (and almost certainly new glasses) in October/November - which is over and above dental and prescription costs that were all I'd originally budgetted for.


I'm expecting to have to make some tweaks the first week of next month (after reading gas, electric and water meters and adjusting payments as necessary - almost certainly upwards ), but as it stands after a first stab my spreadsheet looks like this



EDIT: I've already realised I'm going to have to increase my presents budget as I've not allowed anything for my brother, sister-in-law and nephews, nor OH's niece (let alone other members of his family!). I'm hoping to make some and cover others with vouchers from surveys (must get back to doing those on a regular basis), but it's still going to be a hefty upwards jump in case those plans don't work out
Cheryl as of 10th September :
Frugal Living '14 (£6080.72/£12k); GC (£1556.85/£3195); NSDs (136/150)
GC spent / Budget : Sep £40.34 / £281.32. to 31st Aug '14 £1516.51 / £2051.53, balance +£535.02
Whoopsies spent / value : Sep £0.00 / £0.00. to 31st Auf '14 £49.57 / £120.20
NSDs achieved / target : Sep 5 / 10.
to 31st Aug '14 131 / 115

Last edited by cw18; 21-12-2012 at 11:00 AM.
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# 16
rising from the ashes
Old 21-12-2012, 1:53 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In my wee bit of Bonnie Scotland
Posts: 11,602
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by cw18 View Post
It's looking increasingly likely I've developed lactose intolerance, but in the last couple of weeks I've also started to think I may be having issues with other foodstuffs (avoiding dairy but still having problems) - and that all means I'm having to pick and choose foods more carefully, and generally end up with much more expensive options (eg. my soya milk's almost twice the price of fresh skimmed milk,
Ohhh with you on that one Cheryl - I'm lactose intolerant and my milk costs come in at around a staggering £400+ / year when you think you can get fresh "normal" milk for 43p / litre and the lacto*free stuff is around £1.30 / litre it quickly adds up.

I'm really struggling to keep my grocery bill under control - both from the lactose issues and having been ill recently I'm on a very restricted diet now ... and again it seems to consist of expensive foods *sigh*

I feel the way you do about your personal trainer with my massages - they help my back so much that there are other sacrifices I'd make first before getting rid of them.

Exercise is a good one as it's not built into my budget at all just now - I do a lot of walking with the dog but do find swimming helps the back too .... must look into that more as I get a staff discount at the pool!
Starting again - back on the frugal MSE journey
Groceries & Toiletries: Annual £2080
CCP claim success!

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# 17
rising from the ashes
Old 21-12-2012, 2:05 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In my wee bit of Bonnie Scotland
Posts: 11,602
Default

2013 budget

Might be a bit of tweaking still but just about there I think!



Red + and Green - figures are differences from last year

I have got some savings figures included in here which shouldn't really be in my overall expenses total but I use the SoW to keep track of all my monthly payments / direct debits as well so they've had to be added for that purpose

Overall reduction of nearly £450 on last years figure but not sure if that's really a sensible move! Still .... it is a challenge so!
Starting again - back on the frugal MSE journey
Groceries & Toiletries: Annual £2080
CCP claim success!


Last edited by rising from the ashes; 21-12-2012 at 2:15 PM.
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# 18
skint_chick
Old 22-12-2012, 6:42 PM
MoneySaving Stalwart
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 463
Default

Here's my budget for 2013 - aims are to pay off £7900 cc debt and hopefully make some overpayments on my loan with just over £8000 to go. I haven't included mortgage or debt repayments, council tax or the cost of the MA I'm studying. We recently got rid of Sky and have no tv aerial so don't have to have a tv licence for watching catchup online so have saved on that.

Electricity £300
Oil £500
Life insurance £248.04
Home insurance £100
Mobile phone £120
Presents £200 (4 x birthday 4 x Christmas)
Car insurance £200
Petrol and bus fares £500
Car tax £95
Clothes & shoes £200
Haircuts £100
Social life £500
Groceries £1200
Cleaning supplies and toiletries £200

This leaves me with enough for a couple of hot stone massages all for £4500. I've been seriously considering selling my car as it's only 3years old is still under warranty with servicing included for another 2 years and would raise about £6500. I get the bus to work and walk home as I only work 3 days a week and only use the car to go to the supermarket and my voluntary work, both of which are on bus routes. I'll probably decide around April time when the weather is a bit nicer!




"I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better." Paul Theroux
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# 19
Buffythedebtslayer
Old 22-12-2012, 7:27 PM
Deliciously Dedicated Diehard MoneySaving Devotee
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 13,672
Default

I am thinking of joining, I tried a few years ago and failed miserably!

I am going to do some reading. Not sure what I can manage, done a rough budget for the first time! and am in back in debt - due to my lack of budgetting and ability to save (this sentence is all a bit backwards but I really need the Loo so it is staying like that)

xx
Sealed Pot Member 008 Debt = 4600 down to 3700
Organiser of the 50p thread - see link in my diary. savings = 1000, plus pots for known expenses
Your life does not get better by chance it gets better by change.
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# 20
Kerry Woman
Old 24-12-2012, 6:40 AM
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Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
SP3 No 29 (Saved £368 in 2010) SPC4 No 29 (Saved £782 in 2011) SPC5 No 29(Saved £760 in 2012) SP C6 No 29(£881 saved in 2013)SP7 No 29 (Banked £811.37)
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