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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 28th Dec 16, 4:54 PM
    • 5,840Posts
    • 50,138Thanks
    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 3
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 1st Jan 17, 12:48 PM
    • 5,840 Posts
    • 50,138 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Frugaldom- is there somewhere we can get hold of your basic spreadsheet to save reinventing the wheel?
    Originally posted by *Jellie*
    Hopefully this link will work and allow you to download and save simple spreadsheet. It is very basic and already shows my figures for £4,000 budget. You should change these to your own on the first page only (January) but do not change the totals as these will automatically calculate when you type in your own numbers. You only need to do this on the January page, then February through to December will auto-update.

    Each spend you make, log it into the corresponding date and column as a minus, if you spend £10 on something then type it in as -10.00 so it shows up in red and is automatically deducted from your budget total as the weeks & months progress.

    If you find that you are overspending in a category, go back to the start of January and see where you can make changes in the original budget so that the overall amount stays the same. Where the current total says £4,000, this should always show your budget figure, so if you have £10,000 coming into the household then that number cannot add up to more. If it does, start cutting back on the category amounts until you get it to show your budget figure.

    Needs, not wants... prioritise your spending to keep a roof over your head, food on your table, warmth in your home debts that will eventually vanish and become savings.

    ALWAYS MAKE A BACK-UP COPY.

    CW18 did a more in-depth version of the budget spreadsheet and may still have it available. I find that keeping things simple keeps things simple and I have been working with this exact same spreadsheet for years.
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 01-01-2017 at 12:52 PM. Reason: Rewording
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Frugal Living Rocks!
    • *Jellie*
    • By *Jellie* 1st Jan 17, 1:41 PM
    • 2,953 Posts
    • 13,404 Thanks
    *Jellie*
    Thanks frugaldom- you are a gem x

    Well and truly fell off wagon!...2017 Womble #9 Gave up counting :-( Saving for Christmas 2017 #46 £250/ £520. 365 Day Penny Challenge in 2017 gave up! VSP 2017 # Gave up SPC 10. Stashbusting projects lost track! Crazy clothes challenge 2017 #12 £350/200.....oops!
    • whmf00001
    • By whmf00001 1st Jan 17, 4:57 PM
    • 166 Posts
    • 856 Thanks
    whmf00001
    I have put a plea on the 2017 Grocery Challenge page about a spreadsheet.
    • angelicious
    • By angelicious 2nd Jan 17, 9:47 AM
    • 173 Posts
    • 1,343 Thanks
    angelicious
    Morning all and happy new year to everyone!!


    So off to a frugal start here, 1st day of the year was a NSD for me. Also went through the gifts I got for Christmas, there's one I don't particularly want so have decided to hold onto it and regift this next year. Can't believe I'm starting to think so far ahead, a new notion for me lol!!!!


    I really want to boost my earnings and savings this year so I'll be doing as much as I can to bring in extra money and as much as I can to hold onto this money. Another area I need to concentrate on is my home. It is so full of stuff at the minute that needs to go. So this year a bit effort will be spend on selling all of this. It's a mammoth task to be honest but I need to get cracking with it and get some control over my home again lol!!! Will also be focusing on loosing weight and getting healthier this year. I have a lot of weight to lose but am determined this will be the year I do something about it.
    Last edited by angelicious; 02-01-2017 at 11:10 AM.
    Make £10 a month Nove '17 £333/£1000;
    Oct '17 £304.70/1000,
    Sept '17 £0/1000
    Aug '17 £708/1000 July '17 £450.00/1000 June '17 787/1000May'17 £1067.05/1000 April '17 £456/1500 Mar '17 £709.00/310, Jan '17 £104/310[/COLOR], Feb '17 £437.55/280
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 2nd Jan 17, 11:26 AM
    • 6,611 Posts
    • 38,129 Thanks
    determined new ms
    Hi everyone. Read through this thread yesterday and was inspired as I always am! Frugaldom I just don't know how you are able to live on such a low expenditure. I take my hat off to you as I've been working out my figures and it is coming in at just under £16600. Even taking out our housing costs it comes out at £10252 and I honestly think I have cut all expenditure down as much as possible without my oh deciding to leave me! (he's certainly not on the same extreme page I am with frugalling) So that's my budget I will try to stick to it or bring it in under.
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling '16 £287.33 Roadkill £28.25
    Wombling YTD £2982.2/Roadkill £8.63
    SFDs Oct 13/15 CC saved £2372.50
    • whmf00001
    • By whmf00001 2nd Jan 17, 11:57 AM
    • 166 Posts
    • 856 Thanks
    whmf00001
    Thanks Frugaldom thats a big help but I will try to check out with CW18 to see if hers did the even more in depth one.
    Happy New Year x
    • cw18
    • By cw18 2nd Jan 17, 12:29 PM
    • 7,847 Posts
    • 84,039 Thanks
    cw18
    Thanks Frugaldom thats a big help but I will try to check out with CW18 to see if hers did the even more in depth one.
    Happy New Year x
    Originally posted by whmf00001
    Private Message me an email address and I'll get a copy over to you later today. Needs tweaking for the new year and I'm just about to head out for a walk, but I can get it done later this afternoon / early this evening
    Cheryl
    Sell £1000 : £0.00
    Crazy Clothes : £0.00
    Toiletries : 0 IN; 5 UU; 0 TA; 0 GA


    • mumtoomany
    • By mumtoomany 2nd Jan 17, 4:08 PM
    • 145 Posts
    • 1,223 Thanks
    mumtoomany
    Hi all, I'm back, ( what do you mean, you hadn't noticed I was missing!) Well last year the target was £8000. Didn't make it, I think we spent about £9000. Stayed within budget for food and bills, went over on the car, DD, and "everything else". Still managed to add around £2500 to savings, so not a disaster. This year I plan to do better. I'm not going to start with categories, but am aiming for £9000 total spend for the year. This will include £1000 gift for DD2, for her wedding. Watch this space! Happy new frugal year to you all, M2m.
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 2nd Jan 17, 5:00 PM
    • 1,819 Posts
    • 10,277 Thanks
    Florence J
    Have to shift my budgets a little bit after a mad panic yesterday when OH bought Printer Paper and I didn't have a category to pay him for my half of the paper.

    So SOCIAL Budget is now £25 a month/£300 a year and HOME is £2.50 a month/£30 a year.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2129.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3133.08/£3000)
    November 2017 Credit Card Debt: £3980
    • *Jellie*
    • By *Jellie* 3rd Jan 17, 7:08 AM
    • 2,953 Posts
    • 13,404 Thanks
    *Jellie*
    Cw18
    Thanks for all your help getting started.
    Does anyone else find it a struggle to figure out the best way of doing all this as a couple? I find it difficult to share the detail of every purchase. We both just do our best and put what we can into joint account. Now we are on very different incomes we've fallen into OH covering mortgage payments and bills while I cover groceries.
    I wonder if we need a better approach or whether to just focus on the money I spend etc.

    Well and truly fell off wagon!...2017 Womble #9 Gave up counting :-( Saving for Christmas 2017 #46 £250/ £520. 365 Day Penny Challenge in 2017 gave up! VSP 2017 # Gave up SPC 10. Stashbusting projects lost track! Crazy clothes challenge 2017 #12 £350/200.....oops!
    • mumtoomany
    • By mumtoomany 3rd Jan 17, 12:01 PM
    • 145 Posts
    • 1,223 Thanks
    mumtoomany
    Hi all, so far have spent £24.99. £10 for OH's birthday present. £5 on chocolates and crackers for next Christmas, ( well hidden so won't be touched till then), £1 on dog treats, and £10.99 on milk, eggs, ( I think our hens are on strike,) and reduced stewing steak for the freezer. That was on the 1st. since then no spends at all. Will get milk again, probably bread and nappies for "sprout" on the 5th when we collect DD4 from the station, she's been away for Christmas.
    Today having a brace of partridge for tea, from a neighbour. Slow cooked with left over cranberry sauce, some onions and claret. Hope it tastes ok!
    M2m.
    • smiley333
    • By smiley333 3rd Jan 17, 12:15 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    smiley333
    Ohh I'm excited for this. Have a wee bit of debt I'd like to clear and if I stick to my budget I'll hopefully have it cleared. 1st stop today was to cancel Netflix and bt package as my little brother got me a loaded firestick for christmas. This means my debit debits are only 5 now! Gonna do a stock check and hopefully search for a spare chest freezer.
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 3rd Jan 17, 12:19 PM
    • 6,611 Posts
    • 38,129 Thanks
    determined new ms
    oh was loud and clear last night he is not up for an ultra frugalling experiment going to have to be very inventive to keep on track and him with me....

    where I really need to be inventive is meals - he likes lots of meat! and also free/low cost dates and weekend outings...
    Last edited by determined new ms; 03-01-2017 at 12:24 PM.
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling '16 £287.33 Roadkill £28.25
    Wombling YTD £2982.2/Roadkill £8.63
    SFDs Oct 13/15 CC saved £2372.50
    • wishus
    • By wishus 3rd Jan 17, 12:57 PM
    • 759 Posts
    • 5,061 Thanks
    wishus
    Ah... yep, it's always easier when your OH is 100% on board. Mine is about 70% on board.

    He has no job. He does very little to help round the house. He likes to be generous to friends when he goes out, even though it's not really his money. He doesn't worry too much about how the heck I might make up any shortfall... he trusts me to have a solution later. And to be sure, I usually do. It's do without for myself and work harder!

    But when he remembers, he's very good, and he doesn't moan about having to eat from the freezer or all the yellow sticker shopping.

    For my budget, I need to add in conventions, where I get most of my freelancing work from. A lot of the expenses associated with that would be tax deductible, but you need to have it to spend in the first place. We don't have holidays, that's what we do instead.

    I would like to get rid of Netflix, but there would be resistance there. But getting into millions of pointless boxsets is hindering progress. Hoping to swap out for a good smart TV with freeview and firestick.

    PS can I join in please?
    Last edited by wishus; 03-01-2017 at 1:45 PM. Reason: want to join
    2016 save goals 091. £3921.55/ £5250 My DFD
    • wit40iwtwan
    • By wit40iwtwan 3rd Jan 17, 1:03 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 3,207 Thanks
    wit40iwtwan
    I've not done the budget comparison yet but hope to do that this week. I'm going to enjoy working out where it all goes month by month as I currently seem to be quite relaxed in some areas and clearly letting the money go too easily.

    I'm pretty frugal in most areas but I know I can take that up a level and with this thread I'm sure to learn a few tips and tricks from the experts. Ideally the end game is to move to Gran Canaria in 5 years so I've a pretty good incentive to do this as it will support our future lifestyle
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 3rd Jan 17, 2:14 PM
    • 6,611 Posts
    • 38,129 Thanks
    determined new ms
    walked to the local coop for milk. They had packs of bananas and kiwis for 19p each, picked up 2 each of those. They were on the list for when I finally go to the sm in the next week or so. So that's fruit sorted until next week for 1/2 the price
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling '16 £287.33 Roadkill £28.25
    Wombling YTD £2982.2/Roadkill £8.63
    SFDs Oct 13/15 CC saved £2372.50
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 3rd Jan 17, 6:04 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 14,318 Thanks
    parsniphead
    Ah... yep, it's always easier when your OH is 100% on board. Mine is about 70% on board.

    He has no job. He does very little to help round the house. He likes to be generous to friends when he goes out, even though it's not really his money. He doesn't worry too much about how the heck I might make up any shortfall... he trusts me to have a solution later. And to be sure, I usually do. It's do without for myself and work harder!

    But when he remembers, he's very good, and he doesn't moan about having to eat from the freezer or all the yellow sticker shopping.

    For my budget, I need to add in conventions, where I get most of my freelancing work from. A lot of the expenses associated with that would be tax deductible, but you need to have it to spend in the first place. We don't have holidays, that's what we do instead.

    I would like to get rid of Netflix, but there would be resistance there. But getting into millions of pointless boxsets is hindering progress. Hoping to swap out for a good smart TV with freeview and firestick.

    PS can I join in please?
    Originally posted by wishus
    Blimey Wishus, you have more patience than I do. He must have something going for him.

    My DH says he is on board but I sometimes feel it's just works. He is going to be very tested this year ( I need an evil simile thingy). Our biggest sticking point is food. He is fussy, no beyond fussy and DS is worse. They may be having a big shock.

    I'm still tweaking by budget as I have managed to move debt to 0% cards which will save a small fortune in interest.

    This weekend I will be able to confirm figures.
    Nothing gets better until you get better.
    • Penny pauper
    • By Penny pauper 3rd Jan 17, 8:23 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 718 Thanks
    Penny pauper
    Hi Everyone
    Can I join? Am trying to clear a debt of £8350 by Christmas and after that I'd like to tackle the mortgage £115k odd. I started out on the mortgage free boards but we had 2 cars to replace this year, hence the loan. I have never seen the Frugal Living Challenge before but I am excited and inspired by what I have read so far. My biggest concern is that my attempts to be frugal are going to be viewed as way too extravagant compared to everyone else. I too have an OH who really doesn't see the point of being frugal and isn't keen on me curtailing his expenses so it will be a bit of a head scratcher coming up with a plan!
    PP
    getting out of debt 1753/8350
    • cw18
    • By cw18 3rd Jan 17, 10:59 PM
    • 7,847 Posts
    • 84,039 Thanks
    cw18
    Frugal doesn't have to mean eating bread and scrape, living in rags and only getting anywhere by walking barefoot

    We all have our own levels of being frugal, and there's no way I can even attempt to achieve what Frugaldom manages (my grocery budget is horrific compared to hers).

    The important thing is that you're living within your means, and your outgoings are less than your incomings
    Cheryl
    Sell £1000 : £0.00
    Crazy Clothes : £0.00
    Toiletries : 0 IN; 5 UU; 0 TA; 0 GA


    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 3rd Jan 17, 11:34 PM
    • 5,048 Posts
    • 52,455 Thanks
    lynnejk
    Evening folks

    Have managed to reconcile budgets for 2016 and pleased to come out with a credit of £56 for the year That's going into the entertainment fund to cover a couple of birthday lunches, first one of which is mine in a fortnight To be honest, I think all the planning, money shuffling, chasing discounts and bargains and all the other myriad shenanigans it took - I think I deserve it

    This coming year budget is a wip and should be finished shortly.

    I have found that the answer to the DH/OH etc not being on board is to give them their own budget, a reasonable one, and let them buy all the treats, chocolate biscuits, drinks, clothes, steaks..... whatever out of their own budget. I have a fixed budget which covers all the outgoings, and a small personal budget for hair-cuts, clothes, shoes etc.

    I organise and make sure all the bills are paid on time - including the cc. I make DH a meal everyday, make sure his cereals are there and stuff to make his take-out lunches and fruit.

    If, when he is here, he wants crisps or chocolates etc he can buy them himself I very quickly noticed that, once I stopped buying them, he changed from branded stuff to cheaper stuff and lots less In fact, for the first time in years, he actually saves some of his own monies and says 'he likes to see it building up'. So don't despair and maybe try a different approach.

    Sorry for the long ramble and hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday
    Lx
    £10day..2014=3213..2015=3421..2016=3238..2017=2370....DEC=220.65/310
    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
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