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    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 28th Dec 16, 4:54 PM
    • 5,930Posts
    • 51,392Thanks
    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

    Edited in - The 2018 Frugal Living Challenge is here.

    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 !!!8211; keep it clean please). Discussion Time is for discussion of current issues (read Martin!!!8217;s description).

    If you post a topic that does not relate to the board it!!!8217;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!!!8217;t already, join the forum to reply!
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 29-12-2017 at 7:55 PM. Reason: Updating
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
Page 16
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 19th Dec 17, 7:56 PM
    • 5,930 Posts
    • 51,392 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    December updates
    Only 12 days remaining until we celebrate the end of this year through to the beginning of next and as usual, I'm last minute bargain bagging online via mu favourite cashback website and always hopeful that my free Lotto entries will win me a small fortune. Well... the syndicate won on 3 numbers, so we each got the princely sum of £1.25! As my dearly departed granny used to say, it's better than a poker in yer eye or a slater up yer nose!

    My budget sheet has almost been completed - just awaiting the last electricity meter readings so we can pay it bang up to date. Everything else is looking not too bad, although I went a bit over on the groceries, having just done a big order from Asda online and then placed a Musclefood order to take advantage of their £1 deal. Just means the freezer and cupboards are full before we even start the new year.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 20th Dec 17, 9:25 PM
    • 5,930 Posts
    • 51,392 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Hi guys and gals... here's the copy of the basic budget showing the essential (and some not so essential) expenses over the past 12 months:

    Groceries - £915.00
    Toiletries etc - £50.00
    Electricity - £940.00
    Coal & Logs - £40.00
    Mobiles - 10.00
    Telephone & Internet - £575.00
    TV - £145.50
    Footwear & Clothing - £45.00
    Gifts - £320.00
    Transport - £365.00
    Postage & Deliveries - £25.00
    Insurances - £315.00
    Pets & Livestock - £200.00
    Other/Misc - £44.50

    Total £4,000.00 + Council Tax

    I had £57.88 remaining, so bought a £50 Argos voucher via TCB (got £4.00 cashback) to use during next year's sales. I now have £7.88 left to see out the next 11 days. Thankfully, all the bills are paid, shopping's done and there are zero debts. I now need to finalise my 2018 budget and make the appropriate adjustments. The main aim of the year was to get away from buying coal for the fire and using as much wood as possible collected from Frugaldom. Everything else was electricity. The biggest increases seem to be for telephone and Internet services!

    As well as my £50 Argos voucher, I have about £45 accrued in topcashback, almost £10 accrued in Nectar Points and then there will be my 1% cashback frm the credit card so that will get me quite a lot of extras during 2018.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 21st Dec 17, 7:19 AM
    • 180 Posts
    • 1,086 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Happy Solstice!!
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • evuka
    • By evuka 21st Dec 17, 7:32 AM
    • 99 Posts
    • 925 Thanks
    evuka

    Groceries - £915.00
    Toiletries etc - £50.00
    Electricity - £940.00
    Coal & Logs - £40.00
    Mobiles - 10.00
    Telephone & Internet - £575.00
    TV - £145.50
    Footwear & Clothing - £45.00
    Gifts - £320.00
    Transport - £365.00
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    I envy your transport budget... Mine - if all stays like it is now - is £4,368 for a year For 2017 it was defo more as I only bought an annual train ticket in October.

    How do you keep your mobile phone budget so low?

    I've created my budget for 2018, my new financial year started yesterday as I get paid on 20th. Looking at it, I think I need to move (back) to be closer to my workplace. Living in Glasgow and working in Edinburgh is way too dear.
    I moved to a closer village but had some hard time there (mixed with my depression getting worse) and I was longing back to Glasgow so I moved in September. At the time it looked my work wouldn't keep up for too long with as many staff as we had and I panicked that I'd be made redundant and got stuck in a village without any job.

    I calculated and if I were still living there, my transport cost would only be £2,292 and my whole budget would be approx £3k less

    So from now on, I'm going to comment on the new thread.

    Merry Christmas all Frugallers and here's to a happy, peaceful and financially wise 2018!
    SwagBucks
    Make £10 a day challenge need to join again
    Sell 100 items 7/100 to be updated
    GC: Jan 87.92/120
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018 £619.03/£8,965.88
    NSD: Jan 5/15 Feb 3/15
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 21st Dec 17, 11:13 AM
    • 5,930 Posts
    • 51,392 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Happy Solstice!

    Evuka, sorry this is so long but it will hopefully explain things.

    I live in an area where we have no mobile phone signals at all - zero, nadda, zilch - so I have no need for a mobile phone other than carrying it with me for incoming messages or emergencies. (Every second website wants to send you a security code before letting you do anything these days - MOST ANNOYING, as it means I need to be away from home (usually at Frugaldom) just to pick up a signal. Other than that, any mobile use for Internet access etc is work expenditure and not tied in with my household budget. I don't commute to work, as I'm self employed and work fulltime at the project,, where I base myself in a caravan. Tis is also where I also host the volunteers and work exchange students, so travel is minimal. What I include is just a sum equivalent to £1 per day for putting petrol into the borrowed car for running errands etc and even then, if I'm visiting family further afield, I would either lift share or get the train or bus via Glasgow. Having livesock to look after means not getting away often and now that we have holiday accommodation (frugal breaks) available for our visitors, most friends & family come and stay here.

    Also, remember that work expenses are not part of the cost of living - they are part of the cost of working. It costs me very, very little to work for myself from home, so no commuting and no loss of a substantial part of my meagre earnings - literally, I can survive on much less. Would changing job (even to one paying £4k less if you can walk to it) be out of the quesion? For peace of mind and a happier lifestyle, it could be so worth it even based on stress reduction alone. I tried the Glasgow commute many years ago - it would have driven me bonkers if I hadn't quit and that's probably when I decided to live within tiny means rather than make myself ill earning a city salary. I've never regretted it once.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 24th Dec 17, 10:51 AM
    • 5,930 Posts
    • 51,392 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    In advance of tomorrow - MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 24th Dec 17, 5:56 PM
    • 2,182 Posts
    • 21,043 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST February A FOREST ADVENTURE NSD 12/18
    • cw18
    • By cw18 25th Dec 17, 9:37 PM
    • 7,891 Posts
    • 84,583 Thanks
    cw18
    Hasn't been an NSD here

    I have seasons 1, 2, 3 and 5 of a TV show on DVD, and last night season 4 dropped to close to the price I was prepared to pay - with a few sellers competing on price. This afternoon I ordered it at 51p less than my 'ideal' price, and almost £1 less than it was last night
    Cheryl
    Sell £1000 : £0.00
    Crazy Clothes : £0.00
    Toiletries : 0 IN; 2 UU; 0 TA; 0 GA
    Groceries : Feb £8.63 / £80. Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £120.78 / £1200

    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 26th Dec 17, 10:51 AM
    • 5,930 Posts
    • 51,392 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Hasn't been an NSD here

    I have seasons 1, 2, 3 and 5 of a TV show on DVD, and last night season 4 dropped to close to the price I was prepared to pay - with a few sellers competing on price. This afternoon I ordered it at 51p less than my 'ideal' price, and almost £1 less than it was last night
    Originally posted by cw18
    I love it when a plan comes together. I'm hoping to get my bargains in the Argos sale after buying my £50 voucher during the secial cashback offer, so £46 for £50 voucher plus only using it for stuff at least 50% off should be like spending £46 on £100 worth of potential pressies for the coming year.

    I watched the extreme couponing programme on TV but doubted whether that would even be allowed here in UK. Anyone know?
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 29th Dec 17, 6:50 PM
    • 2,182 Posts
    • 21,043 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    I have added my spends for December, which was expensive. Also added up what has been spent for the whole year as I have not intention to spend the last few days of the year. Total spends for the year is £8698.61 - that is general and food/household spends added together. I have included everything I spend.

    Overall the year has been ok, apart for the last 2 months of the year with my Mum's health and her passing away. I am very grateful for having her as part of my life and miss her very much. My brother and sister and their families have been great and supportive. Also have a couple of other friends who have been supportive. I have to look to my future and what to make of my life now. Have to be even more frugal now.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST February A FOREST ADVENTURE NSD 12/18
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 29th Dec 17, 7:35 PM
    • 5,930 Posts
    • 51,392 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Thanks for sharing your end of year round-up with us, Kerry Woman. Things will certainly be different for you in the new year but I'm sure your frugalling experience to date will stand you in good stead for the unexpected adjustments. I hope you're doing OK and that your mum had a good send off. It will take time to adjust to the changes but we have our fellow frugalers both here and in the Facebook group if you need some virtual company at any time.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 29th Dec 17, 7:56 PM
    • 2,182 Posts
    • 21,043 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Frugaldom Thank you. Can you pm the facebook group page please.

    My Mum did have a good send off. Brother and sister helped out.
    Last edited by Kerry Woman; 29-12-2017 at 8:39 PM.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST February A FOREST ADVENTURE NSD 12/18
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 31st Dec 17, 10:59 PM
    • 1,885 Posts
    • 11,124 Thanks
    Florence J
    I have done the end of year accounts. I was doing a No Spend Year, which by my definition meant I wasn't allowed to buy 'things' that were unessential, so books, DVDs, magazines, work canteen lunches or food on the go. takeaway coffees and clothing.

    If I was supposed to have a complete no spend year then I failed, but if the goal was to live as frugally as possible then I did very well as my total unessential spending this year came to £416.92 which included a lot of essential clothing (I was being very strict and said all clothing purchases, even essential ones, were contraband).

    In 2016 my spending on the same items, that were allowed during that year, was £2124.63!!!!

    (That is the first time I have compared the difference so I am very, very pleased)

    Still working on my next budgets, so will see you next year most likely on the 2018 thread.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 1st Jan 18, 9:38 AM
    • 5,930 Posts
    • 51,392 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Happy new year 2018
    That's it, the 2017 challenge has been completed and we're now on our 2018 journey of frugal adventures.

    Owing to spotting a seed sale yesterday (link on the FB page) and taking advantage of the free postage and seeds at 25p per pack, I spent £6, which pushed me into a 40p overspend in my £4,000 challenge budget. Still - debt freedom allows even this frugal living Scot such extravagances now and again.

    Happy new year to all and very best wishes for the coming 12 months. See you in the new thread, which is now linked from post 1

    WELL DONE TO ALL WHO STUCK WITH THE CHALLENGE - HAVE A GREAT 2018!
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 01-01-2018 at 9:40 AM. Reason: Final post update
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • zoeyliam
    • By zoeyliam 8th Feb 18, 6:34 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    zoeyliam
    got cheap glasses
    I just Went to have an eye test yesterday. Found online a voucher for cheap eyeglasses. Had to get 2 glasses from specsfair.com distance and reading ones. Managed to get free lens included. Cost of lens were $45 for each glasses. Only had to pay for the frames. So saved $111 altogether yesterday. Both frames total cost $138. Really happy about that.
    • evuka
    • By evuka 9th Feb 18, 7:53 AM
    • 99 Posts
    • 925 Thanks
    evuka
    Zoeyliam, there is a new thread started for 2018 on the below link if you want to join?

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5759616&utm_source=MSE_FS&utm_med ium=Email&utm_term=06-Feb-18
    SwagBucks
    Make £10 a day challenge need to join again
    Sell 100 items 7/100 to be updated
    GC: Jan 87.92/120
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018 £619.03/£8,965.88
    NSD: Jan 5/15 Feb 3/15
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