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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 28th Dec 16, 4:54 PM
    • 5,823Posts
    • 50,015Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2017 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 28th Dec 16, 4:54 PM
    2017 Frugal Living Challenge 28th Dec 16 at 4:54 PM
    Join us here for year 10 of the Frugaldom challenge on MSE

    The Frugal Living Challenge 2017

    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 check out the HANDY LINKS section. If you have any questions, feel free to message me.

    This is an adaptation of the 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.

    Some have already achieved their debt free status 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 teach 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 this 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


    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 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 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
    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 for better discounts & shared postal costs
    Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
    Online trading - auctions, stores, social media pages
    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.

    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!
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 28-12-2016 at 5:02 PM. Reason: Updating
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Frugal Living Rocks!
Page 11
    • allie23
    • By allie23 31st Mar 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,245 Posts
    • 13,588 Thanks
    allie23
    Is it too late to join in please ?If not i would like to join.
    Originally posted by try harder
    Welcome to the thread try harder. I'm sure you will find lots of inspiration here.
    Save £12k in 2017 - Challenger 11 - £14,920/£24,000
    • try harder
    • By try harder 31st Mar 17, 12:25 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,469 Thanks
    try harder
    Thank you both for the warm welcome ,i am now going to work my way through the posts
    • Jazee
    • By Jazee 1st Apr 17, 3:30 PM
    • 4,011 Posts
    • 47,175 Thanks
    Jazee
    Ok, so I must try harder. Overspent by £380 in March against budgets. Did spend £500 on home improvements, but all the same there was no council tax or water to pay. Also, I'm not sure what's going to happen on the job front for me in the near future so I do need to be careful.
    The "Save 12k in 2017" Thread! (#20) August £414.52 Total £7414.52/£12000




    • danni.yelly
    • By danni.yelly 3rd Apr 17, 11:42 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    danni.yelly
    I don't know if you have kids but my kids love angel delight so I tend to do that when we have a surplus of milk. Also you use a pint in tuna pasta bake so we tend to have that when we have a lot of milk.
    Do you definitely have to buy a new oven. Ours stopped working last year. We googled it and there was a brilliant website that said what part we needed to buy and how to fit it using a step by step video!! Think we fixed it for about £60. Worth a try if the cooker isn't too old!
    Originally posted by Frizzlef
    No kids but I love a bit of angel delight and the pasta bake tip is perfect, thanks!
    Also thanks for the tip on the cooker, unfortunately we had a friend take a look over it and it was too costly to fix, we did manage to get a re-furb for £100 with fitting included, so not too bad!
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017: Living on £5,000 a year
    All in on £20,000 a year (for two!)

    Debt Free Wannabie by 2020: Debt: £420/£7130.11 (+student loan! )
    Savings: £620.27
    • danni.yelly
    • By danni.yelly 3rd Apr 17, 11:57 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    danni.yelly
    Oh it is so motivating to be reading what everyone has been upto on here!
    Im not doing too badly on the budget, just worked out spending for March and i've a few bits to add on (need to find the receipts!) but its looking ever so slightly under budget for the month, yay!

    Im glad as February was a terrible month!
    Our cooker had broken so we'd spent extra money on eating out (I don't own a microwave) and then the cost of a new one. Work was quiet for me (im freelance) so had to borrow a little money from my savings to cover that but March has took a nice turn keeping me busy.

    Thanks for all the tips on using up the milk, we're not big milk drinkers here so some lovely advice on ways to use up! Have managed to cut the food shop right down now, averaging £20-£25 for 8-10 days (theres just two of us) which is allowing us a fortnightly dinner date and still under budget which is really nice!

    Gas and Electric are TINY compared to last year now, I changed supplier to Bristol Energy and we're paying roughly £40 for both a month. I think a massive amount is due to us making sure to unplug everything not in use such as phone charges and laptops! That saved me £5 alone! Now looking at timer plugs for things like the internet and lights for when we're out the house/asleep to really keep the cost down. Water bill here is unmetered so nothing I can do there.

    BUT Sky and mobile phone contract are on the naughty list EVERY month. I NEED to get the costs down on these. Ill be haggling with Sky again this week, wish me luck!
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017: Living on £5,000 a year
    All in on £20,000 a year (for two!)

    Debt Free Wannabie by 2020: Debt: £420/£7130.11 (+student loan! )
    Savings: £620.27
    • Penny pauper
    • By Penny pauper 8th Apr 17, 7:28 AM
    • 172 Posts
    • 702 Thanks
    Penny pauper
    Morning everyone,
    finally got round to looking at the figures for March. Came in under budget by £92 which frankly I was amazed at as I feel I was constantly paying out for things. able to make a £300 payment towards the debt so currently at £6597. Have a good weekend
    PP
    getting out of debt 1753/8350
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 8th Apr 17, 10:12 AM
    • 2,075 Posts
    • 13,214 Thanks
    parsniphead
    I really enjoy this thread and it does focus the mind but I think it's time to really begin to focus as my fixed term contract end in June. My self employed work is starting to build but I need to keep pushing and cutting costs.

    I have a load of veg plants which need sorting out, planting and transplanting. It's such a lovely day, I will enjoy spending it in the garden.

    I also have a new 0% card to transfer some debt with interest too. Later a new meal plan and freezer/cupboard inventory.

    Keep going everyone
    Debts as of 08/07/17 Credit cards £7811 majority on 0%. Car loan £1500 my half. Mortgage £36272 remaining balance (10 yrs 2 mnths remaining - i think not). Emergency fund £500/500
    GAZELLE INTENSE AND GAINING TRACTION
    • WeeMidgie
    • By WeeMidgie 11th Apr 17, 7:32 AM
    • 220 Posts
    • 4,299 Thanks
    WeeMidgie
    Hello, everyone, I have just retired and it's a good time for me to join in, as I've retired 31 months before my state pension age. I'll post my budget later, but just wanted to say hello to my fellow frugallers!
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 11th Apr 17, 7:45 AM
    • 6,334 Posts
    • 35,902 Thanks
    determined new ms
    welcome WeeMidgie! kudos on retiring early. My retirement seems so far off and in all probability I'll be working till lunchtime on the day of my funeral!
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling '16 £264.46 Roadkill £28.25
    Wombling YTD £2752.51/Roadkill £8.58
    NSDs Aug 3/15 CC saved £1802.50 Veg grown £352.33
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 11th Apr 17, 8:42 AM
    • 2,075 Posts
    • 13,214 Thanks
    parsniphead
    welcome WeeMidgie! kudos on retiring early. My retirement seems so far off and in all probability I'll be working till lunchtime on the day of my funeral!
    Originally posted by determined new ms


    Welcome weemidgie

    I'm seaching through the house today to see what can be sold to reduce the debt and the house stuff.

    My cupboards and freezer and very full so I want to go through the everything and see what I can do for my meal plan before shopping on Thursday. I want to keep the shopping billf as low as possible.

    I've put lots of stuff in the garden but plenty more to put in. This should cut the veg/salad bill later this year. I'm going to eat a veg based diet as much as possible.
    Debts as of 08/07/17 Credit cards £7811 majority on 0%. Car loan £1500 my half. Mortgage £36272 remaining balance (10 yrs 2 mnths remaining - i think not). Emergency fund £500/500
    GAZELLE INTENSE AND GAINING TRACTION
    • WeeMidgie
    • By WeeMidgie 11th Apr 17, 9:07 AM
    • 220 Posts
    • 4,299 Thanks
    WeeMidgie
    That made me laugh out loud, sympathetically.... I've retired because of health issues... holidays had become convalescent periods, latterly spent in bed, in between the uphill trudge of work. So relieved to have stopped and to be able to live life at my own speed!

    I'm not on sickness benefits so income is a work pension, £4,516 once the tax gets put back in, which I can apply for at the end of May, and the rest of expenditure will be spent as frugally as possible from savings! I've saved like a woman possessed in the past few years, as I could see this day coming. But although my GP fully understands my health issues, they don't equate to points in the PIP or ESA benefits. So retiral it is!

    The house is paid off, and is small, modern and well insulated. Car is small, modern and sips petrol! All this was planned into the Great Work Escape. I need to finesse my Sky bill for phone and internet, so will phone and threaten to leave, again... it has worked well before!

    I intend building up my stamina and using my older person's bus pass as much as possible (I live in Scotland where the bus pass option kicks in at 60). I had got a bit lax with meal planning in the last few months of work, so the sensible chef's hat is back in place, and I'm enjoying browsing my cookery books.

    I'll do the budget later on, I promise.
    • so very confused
    • By so very confused 11th Apr 17, 9:43 AM
    • 924 Posts
    • 3,006 Thanks
    so very confused
    WeeMidgie I am about to be in a similar position!
    Surgery and ME have left me with two not very useful arms. Like yourself, holidays have been periods to rest in order to carry on working.
    Well I have bitten the bullet and acknowledge as my pain levels rise working at present is no longer an option. I am 3 years of state pension......when I will consider myself rich!
    I have a work pension which just about covers all my essentials.
    I have managed to pay of most of my debt, very small amount remaining.
    I have been practising frugal living for several years and now consider myself pretty good. However whilst ever I am working cannot do this as well as I would like due to lack of energy.
    So....I am leaving work in 6 weeks, if I can last that long. Then it is full steam ahead with every which way I can save money but have I hope a better quality of life.
    So having pared my budget down I am now looking to grow my own veg, batch cook more and generally pick up tips to make my limited funds go further.

    Scary but exciting.
    SCP # 034
    The £1000 emergency fund #59
    • WeeMidgie
    • By WeeMidgie 11th Apr 17, 9:59 AM
    • 220 Posts
    • 4,299 Thanks
    WeeMidgie
    WeeMidgie I. am about to be in a similar position!
    Surgery and ME have left me with two not very useful arms. Like yourself, holidays have been periods to rest in order to carry on working.
    Well I have bitten the bullet and acknowledge as my pain levels rise working at present is no longer an option. I am 3 years of state pension......when I will consider myself rich!
    I have a work pension which just about covers all my essentials.

    So....I am leaving work in 6 weeks, if I can last that long. Then it is full steam ahead with every which way I can save money but have I hope a better quality of life.

    Scary but exciting.
    Originally posted by so very confused
    I so agree about scary but exciting! I do love a challenge, and let's keep posting on here as we enter this new chapter of our lives. Yes, too to feeling rich when the state pension kicks in!!
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 18th Apr 17, 1:53 PM
    • 1,914 Posts
    • 18,017 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Still trying to be frugal. Have compared my spending in the first three months from this year to last year and have spent slightly less. Probably not spending much on oyster card weekly fares, due to lack of temp work. Still looking for permanent work and going to register with another agency this week. Have been doing voluntary work just to fill in the gap and they offer training. Might help me to work in another field of work - have to wait and see. Have to change my budget in certain areas, but it will be still the same total amount for the year.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    • Penny pauper
    • By Penny pauper 21st Apr 17, 10:23 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 702 Thanks
    Penny pauper
    Hi everyone, feeling the need for a little bit of support. It has been a very spendy week on lots of little annoying necessary spends (e.g. a small child bursting her month old shoes grrr). I don't know. Is being frugal worth it? Feel like all I do is worry about money and currently I'm in the fortunate position of being able to afford my life, being frugal is an attempt at future proofing but I don't know. What if I make everyone miserable trying to penny pinch and something happens and I'm not here in ten years to reap the benefits. Guess it's the old 'live for today or live for tomorrow' question.
    getting out of debt 1753/8350
    • Jazee
    • By Jazee 22nd Apr 17, 8:25 AM
    • 4,011 Posts
    • 47,175 Thanks
    Jazee
    Penny Pauper, I do know how you feel. At the moment we too can afford a non-frugal lifestyle, but know that our circumstances could change at any time. I think adopting the MSE origins of if you're going to get something/do something, make sure you do it for the lowest price possible.
    The "Save 12k in 2017" Thread! (#20) August £414.52 Total £7414.52/£12000




    • whmf00001
    • By whmf00001 22nd Apr 17, 10:20 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 835 Thanks
    whmf00001
    Bless you - just keep penny pinching within reason. I am a pensioner so have always been careful and although I do not really need to make extra cuts, I try to buy whoopsie fruit & veg, make my own soup using scraps and make use of freezers big time, much to the discust of my children when they see stuff like "turkey mush" in there - turkey & mushrooms? turkey stewy thing? And I do not use the use by dates, I have eyes and a nose and then after making, Ia little taste test. Hang on in there it will benefit you in later life too.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 22nd Apr 17, 10:29 AM
    • 1,076 Posts
    • 1,097 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    Its easier if there is a goal insight. If you are frugal in order to save x amount for an emergency fund then you know you can go back to normal and the fund is there to protect you if something happens. Its good to live on less than you bring in but not to the extent it makes you miserable.
    • WeeMidgie
    • By WeeMidgie 27th Apr 17, 7:33 PM
    • 220 Posts
    • 4,299 Thanks
    WeeMidgie
    Well, I promised I would come back to the thread with my monthly budget. So here we go. I've just this evening negotiated reductions in my mobile bill and broadband, line rental so know what to expect for the next 12 months. I'm the quintessential single woman with cat! No mortgage as paid off.

    Council Tax Inc Water 100
    Gas & Electricity 30
    Broadband, line,
    Evening & weekend
    Calls 23.49
    Mobile 5
    Window cleaner 6
    Subscription 5
    Factor fees 10
    Dentist 5
    Hair 10
    Car maintenance 25
    Car insurance 15
    Petrol 50
    House insurance 15
    Food 90
    Cat food & litter 12
    Vet 10
    Pocket money 20
    Presents 20

    Total £451.49 per month or £5418 per year.

    I've no need to buy clothes or footwear for a good couple of years. I just negotiated 30% off my mobile & broadband etc bills, which I'm very happy about, and have both gas and electricity as low as I can. I'm with Ebico, no daily standing charges as a low user.

    The food bill may come down a bit, time will tell.
    • Jazee
    • By Jazee 28th Apr 17, 10:56 AM
    • 4,011 Posts
    • 47,175 Thanks
    Jazee
    Hello everyone. Bearing in mind that my income could be drastically reduced soon I really need to get my living frugally head on. I have £185 to last 13 days, but will report back next Monday on how much I have overspent in April, and it will be a lot.
    The "Save 12k in 2017" Thread! (#20) August £414.52 Total £7414.52/£12000




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