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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 28th Dec 16, 4:54 PM
    • 5,835Posts
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    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 14
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 30th Sep 17, 7:01 PM
    • 2,068 Posts
    • 19,591 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Cannot believe that it is the end of September. It has just flown by. My food spend was £140.52/£150. Pleased I was under budget this month. Have been in my temp job for a month now. Still do not know how long for as there is restructuring happening. Have not done any decluttering this month as like the last 3 months. Think I am on top of any big decluttering. Only general things like paper - leaflets etc. Have had quite a few NSD's this month.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST December: Debt Destruction December NSD 5/15 Food/household budget £59.58/£150
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 6th Oct 17, 8:29 AM
    • 134 Posts
    • 656 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Parsniphead, thank you, you too
    Kerry woman..we'll done coming in under budget!

    I know what you mean about time flying..I can honestly say that the past two years have been a blur!! horrendous in many ways but incredible in others...a real mixed bag but it has meant a loss of focus on the small stuff that I used to fill my life with....I feel the need to get at least some of it back and I'm starting now.

    Living frugally is part of that...I am in a fortunate position now financially where I have enough money not to worry about it - I'm by no means 'well off' but my lifestyle (normally!! ) is pretty sedate and inexpensive so I don't need a lot. We earn enough to pay our bills, put a bit aside and have treats when we want them. As far as I'm concerned that's plenty however, because I now have additional disposable income I'm no longer thinking about spending it!
    I think part of me just needed a blow out - it really has been a tough couple of years but I want to start this season afresh...I have a tendency to equate frugality with coziness and autumn so the timing is perfect
    Sorry about the essay...that turned into a bit of a confessional!!
    15 Month Challenge: Mortgage- £0/£19000 House - £0/£15000
    2018 - Jan - Mar: M £0/£1410 H £0/£4110 April-Jun: M £0/£1410 H £0/£4110 Jul - Sep: M £0/£1410 H £0/£4110 Oct - Dec: M £0/£5520 2019 -Jan - March: M £0/£5520
    • datlex
    • By datlex 7th Oct 17, 11:37 AM
    • 1,456 Posts
    • 1,236 Thanks
    datlex
    I have noticed this and to be honest not sure how achievable it is. I had to go back through the links to clarify what was included. I notice water rates are not. Is there a reason for this? For those of us on a water meter, we can be frugal with our water usage. However, I can say I am complaining that it is not included. I am also puzzled that the amount has not been adjusted for inflation each year.
    • cw18
    • By cw18 7th Oct 17, 12:40 PM
    • 7,846 Posts
    • 84,037 Thanks
    cw18
    Frugaldom lives in Scotland, and that side of the border the water charges are included in the Council Tax.

    We all set our own personal budgets, so £4k isn't mandatory. Mine normally runs at £10-12k for everything apart from rent/mortgage, and I live on my own so it's a lot higher than many are per person.
    Cheryl
    Sell £1000 : £0.00
    Crazy Clothes : £0.00
    Toiletries : 0 IN; 5 UU; 0 TA; 0 GA


    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 9th Oct 17, 10:14 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 299 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    Since June I have shaved £3k off my debts through frugal living.

    I must read and post on this thread more.

    From January we will be paying off debts and saving for a house deposit

    Until then I'm shaving as much as possible off my debts.

    I hope to join you all in 2018 for an even more frugal year. Until then I look forward to catching up on this year's thread
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 9th Oct 17, 11:32 PM
    • 2,068 Posts
    • 19,591 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    squirrelgirl - Thank you re the food budget. This is one area in which needs great improvement.

    mumof3.12kindebt - Congratulations on paying off £3k off your debts in a short time.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST December: Debt Destruction December NSD 5/15 Food/household budget £59.58/£150
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 10th Oct 17, 6:26 AM
    • 1,814 Posts
    • 10,236 Thanks
    Florence J
    Since June I have shaved £3k off my debts through frugal living.

    I must read and post on this thread more.

    From January we will be paying off debts and saving for a house deposit

    Until then I'm shaving as much as possible off my debts.

    I hope to join you all in 2018 for an even more frugal year. Until then I look forward to catching up on this year's thread
    Originally posted by mumof3.12kindebt
    Thanks for the lovely post. I am also on track to have paid of a similar level of debt this year, including my overdraft which I have almost permanently been in since I got the account nearly 10 years ago!

    I have been very frugal in that I am doing a No Spend Year, where I have banned the purchase of 'things' other than gifts for people, postage and packaging costs, social costs, travel costs and other things which I have deemed to be essential. I guess it would be more accurate to say it has been a Low Spend Year as I have had to buy things, but always at a highly discounted cost. This is why I have been able to pay off such a good level of debt.

    I am going to keep this spirit going until my debt is cleared. My target date is my 30th birthday in March 2019. I may be able to make it but it will be a challenge.

    For anyone looking for help with their food budgets then Eat Well For Less returns to BBC this week. I love this show.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2118.64
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3133.08/£3000)
    November 2017 Credit Card Debt: £3980
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 20th Oct 17, 11:13 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 299 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    I also plan to do a no spend November and then again in January apart from bills and essentials.

    Although when I add everything up our outgoings are quiet high so I need a plan to reduce them.
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 31st Oct 17, 7:38 PM
    • 2,068 Posts
    • 19,591 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Have managed to get the food/household budget under what I had put aside. £136.56/£150. Trying my best to use up what was already in.
    Achieved quite a few NSDs. Still in the temp job in the school. Put in my holiday hours that I have built up since I started temping at the school for last week as it was half term. Did go to the local theatre to see a play. It was not that great sadly. Some are better than others. Trying my best in not buying things for just in case it runs out. Have started my Christmas planning.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST December: Debt Destruction December NSD 5/15 Food/household budget £59.58/£150
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 22nd Nov 17, 10:17 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 299 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    I've managed to consolidate my credit card and car finance into one loan. So next year is now not so much about debt but saving a deposit. I have started a diary to help me on my journey. I plan to have a no spend year (apart from bills food and essentials) basically no spending on non essentials. I've already started over the last few months but I know we can do better. The aim is to have between 10-12.5k in savings by next December so frugal living for 2018 and this part of the forum will be an absolute must for me. i've done a rough budget and the 12k should be doable along with paying my catalogue off. If i can get some overtime at work. The 10k should be doable without overtime I think.
    I also have agreed that if we get to our 50% target by June then I will look at booking a camping weekend away aa a treat for staying on track. Again this will be frugal and as low spend as possible. My baby turned 8 months this month. My original goal was to buy a home by the time I turn 35. In ten years. Then I decided I would do it by the time im 30 but now i have a big ambition and a tough goal of doing it by the year youngest turns 3 so I effectively have given myself 2.5-3 years to get on that ladder.
    I dont mind living on as little money as possible to achieve our dream in the next 3 years. It's 3 years out of the rest of my life to achieve my dream and give my family a nicer bigger and more comfortable living space. We have 3 kids. Id love 3 bedrooms and space for a dining table so we can all sit together round the table at meal times again. Something we no longer have room for here. (small 2 bed flat) . I also plan to become minamilist as possible as part of our journey.
    The year will be full of fun free days out.
    Sticking to the budget.
    Learning what we can live without. But most importantly I hope it opens our eyes regarding consumerism and living better for less.
    If anyone has any tips to help me on my journey I'd be very greatful.
    I'm going to go back to cloth nappies for the baby. And Hope to successfully potty train middle son early in the new year (he's 4 this month but has gdd and has never shown signs of being ready before but is starting to show a few signs now) he also won't wear cloth nappies now. Basically anywhere I can save money without Harming ourselves our health or happiness is what the aim is. We have enough Dvds to keep us occupied on the cold days and nights and I have enough books to read 2 a month throughout the whole of next year.
    We will start the year learning what free things are in our area that we dont make the most of. And look forward to going geocashing (sp) with the kids again.
    Nothing ever stopping us just chucking on the Coats and wellies and going for a walk or bike ride. Foraging is also something I look forward to doing again next year.
    Our goals are only restricted to the ones we set ourselves
    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 22nd Nov 17, 10:38 PM
    • 5,043 Posts
    • 52,418 Thanks
    lynnejk
    The year will be full of fun free days out.
    Sticking to the budget.
    Learning what we can live without. But most importantly I hope it opens our eyes regarding consumerism and living better for less.
    If anyone has any tips to help me on my journey I'd be very greatful...........
    We have enough Dvds to keep us occupied on the cold days and nights and I have enough books to read 2 a month throughout the whole of next year.

    You don't say where you live but if near a large town the tourist office is a good place to start for free days out.

    Library is good for all ages and many have audio books as well

    Charity shops are good for resources such as books and puzzles.

    If you are in a town etc maybe you can start up a 'swop shop' with other Mums and Dads for all kinds of stuff


    We will start the year learning what free things are in our area that we dont make the most of. And look forward to going geocashing (sp) with the kids again.
    Nothing ever stopping us just chucking on the Coats and wellies and going for a walk or bike ride. Foraging is also something I look forward to doing again next year.
    Our goals are only restricted to the ones we set ourselves
    Originally posted by mumof3.12kindebt
    All the above are things I found very useful when I had sprogs and not many pennies.

    I have recently seen a site called OLIO. It's for recycling unwanted food and you might like to have a look. Not much good for me because of where we live.

    HTH and good luck with your project - hope it goes well for you
    Lx
    £10day..2014=3213..2015=3421..2016=3238..2017=2370....DEC=80.15/310
    GrocC..2014=2162..2015=2083..2016=2181..2017=1800....DEC=89.24/200
    Bulk buy.......DEC=101.44
    GC.NSD....2015=216....2016=213....2017=191....DEC=2/15
    SPC130x60...2014=1178...2015=1287...2016=4616...2017=3843.51
    OS WL= -4/8 ......CC =00......Savings = £10,250
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 23rd Nov 17, 1:02 AM
    • 149 Posts
    • 299 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    I love charity shops. Got some great bargians in the past.
    I'll definitely check to see if we have a local tourist office for information. If not I'm guessing our local Libary may know. (they are a Libary as well as information and groups etc.
    I'd also like to attend church more often than I've been able to the last few months.
    I'm sure we will be fine once it's become The norm. This year alone we have dramatically reduced our spends by not going into town buying stuff we dont need. And stopping eating out and takeouts which use to happen at least twice a week. So we are on the right road it's just about pulling the purse Strings even tighter and staying on this better road.
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 23rd Nov 17, 9:28 AM
    • 2,068 Posts
    • 19,591 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Have to try my best to be even more frugal now. My mum had a fall in the flat and broke her shoulder. Was lying on the floor for 2 hours when I found her when I returned from my temp work. She has been in hospital for 2 weeks now. The hospital are also dealing with some other health issues that my Mum has also. Have been visiting her every day. I am bringing my own lunch and flask of tea there every day. My brother and his wife who live in Somerset and my sister and niece who live in Norwich have visited my Mum. Am hoping she will be home by Christmas and to get things sorted for her in the flat with equipment that will help her. I gave up my temp job as my Mum is more important.

    I had complained about ppi with my building society for my mortgage but got no where. They sent me another letter regarding the commission that they get when ppi is sold. Applied on line and got a response that I will hear by the beginning of January. Fingers crossed that something positive will come out of this.

    Am thinking of getting myself a self care goody box for December. This is a monthly subscription but you can buy a one off box. December's box includes a book about self care. There might be something useful/nice for my Mum in the box. The organisation that does this offers good articles etc for mental health. I am still on medication for my depression and see the doctor every month.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST December: Debt Destruction December NSD 5/15 Food/household budget £59.58/£150
    • evuka
    • By evuka 2nd Dec 17, 12:56 AM
    • 80 Posts
    • 741 Thanks
    evuka
    Already preparing for 2018
    I've pretty much gone AWOL this year from the thread, lots of things have been going on... made some bad decisions then topped it up with decisions I thought to be better but now I think maybe I shouldn't have.

    Anyway, all this nonsense led me to a decision that I want to save up for a deposit for a .

    I'm 36, I'm single/live alone and I don't have any savings (well, a couple of hundred but that is currently my emergency fund, after some hard times I haven't fully recovered from).

    I earn £30k a year which sounds a lot and it is but my expenses are quite high, given that I have to commute to work (£3820 annual ticket ).

    I'm planning out my next year's budget to see how much I could save up but based on my initial sketch, it will be around £6k.

    As I aim for £20k at least, it will take me min. 3 years to get there. It is quite frightening. I will be 39 then with all these wasted years behind me. But I guess it's still better than not starting and having nothing at the age of 40, isn't it?
    SwagBucks
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    • foxyloxy11
    • By foxyloxy11 2nd Dec 17, 2:11 PM
    • 236 Posts
    • 1,283 Thanks
    foxyloxy11
    Hi Evuka it's never too late to start and remember never look back...we could all say if only and what if I'd... but at the end of the day all of the decisions you made got you to the place you're at now were your ready to save like crazy!!
    Keep plodding and you'll soon see that balance rise...
    £1000 Emergency fund challenge #225 - £720.00.00/£1000 Baby Step 1
    Debt free day October 2019 - End of Baby Step 2
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 2nd Dec 17, 4:57 PM
    • 2,068 Posts
    • 19,591 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Sadly my darling Mummy passed away this morning. Very emotional time for the whole family. We are all trying to sort things out. Have to rethink now about spending/finances/my future.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST December: Debt Destruction December NSD 5/15 Food/household budget £59.58/£150
    • foxyloxy11
    • By foxyloxy11 3rd Dec 17, 9:11 AM
    • 236 Posts
    • 1,283 Thanks
    foxyloxy11
    Sadly my darling Mummy passed away this morning. Very emotional time for the whole family. We are all trying to sort things out. Have to rethink now about spending/finances/my future.
    Originally posted by Kerry Woman
    so sorry to hear your sad news sending virtual hugs x
    £1000 Emergency fund challenge #225 - £720.00.00/£1000 Baby Step 1
    Debt free day October 2019 - End of Baby Step 2
    • evuka
    • By evuka 7th Dec 17, 1:44 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 741 Thanks
    evuka
    Hi Evuka it's never too late to start and remember never look back...we could all say if only and what if I'd... but at the end of the day all of the decisions you made got you to the place you're at now were your ready to save like crazy!!
    Keep plodding and you'll soon see that balance rise...
    Originally posted by foxyloxy11
    Thank you foxyloxy11! I've been a bit under the weather lately but I can assure you, I'm excited to get started!


    KerryWoman, I'm so sorry to hear about your Mum. I wish you peace and clarity
    SwagBucks
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    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 7th Dec 17, 7:05 PM
    • 2,068 Posts
    • 19,591 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    foxyloxy11 and evuka - Thank you. Still trying to get used to the idea that she is no longer here. Still trying to arrange the funeral.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2017
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST December: Debt Destruction December NSD 5/15 Food/household budget £59.58/£150
    • cw18
    • By cw18 7th Dec 17, 8:28 PM
    • 7,846 Posts
    • 84,037 Thanks
    cw18
    ((hugs)) being sent your way Kerry Woman. Don't forget to look after yourself
    Cheryl
    Sell £1000 : £0.00
    Crazy Clothes : £0.00
    Toiletries : 0 IN; 5 UU; 0 TA; 0 GA


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