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    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 28th Dec 16, 4:54 PM
    • 5,823Posts
    • 50,031Thanks
    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

    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
    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
    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:


    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.


    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
    • 1,984 Posts
    • 18,800 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
    Organise October NSD 13/20 Food/household budget £83.92/£150
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 6th Oct 17, 8:29 AM
    • 126 Posts
    • 580 Thanks
    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!!
    MFW £3510.00/£22968.96: October GC £30/£300
    • datlex
    • By datlex 7th Oct 17, 11:37 AM
    • 1,355 Posts
    • 1,139 Thanks
    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
    • 7,844 Posts
    • 84,018 Thanks
    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.
    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
    • 72 Posts
    • 142 Thanks
    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
    • 1,984 Posts
    • 18,800 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
    Organise October NSD 13/20 Food/household budget £83.92/£150
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 10th Oct 17, 6:26 AM
    • 1,601 Posts
    • 9,068 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 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £1623.56 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£2953.21/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £1120.95/£1120.95
    October 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4163.86
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