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    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,895Posts
    • 50,899Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge 14th Dec 17 at 2:12 AM
    Join us here for year 11 of the Frugaldom challenge on MSE

    The Frugal Living Challenge 2018

    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 if you have any questions, feel free to message me or ask in the forum.

    This is an adaptation of the original 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.

    If you would like to use a simple spreadsheet for calculating your annual expenditure, you are welcome to download a free copy of the original one HERE Simply overwrite the initial monthly amounts and the totals will auto-calculate. From then, it is a simple case of deducting (use the minus sign in front of the amounts) all your outgoings as the year progresses. It's worth while playing about with it to alter headings to suit your personal lifestyle. I've included a couple of extra columns for things like rent/mortgage & council tax and misc/debt payments.

    Some have already achieved debt freedom 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 reach 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 our challenge:

    The 2017 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

    How it all began - Saving to buy a house without a mortgage 2007 Challenge

    The original interest beater challenge

    The original £1000 in 100 days challenge

    The original free hobbies thread

    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, sustainable 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 bad 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 that you use
    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/sharng for better discounts & reduced delivery costs
    Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
    Online trading - auctions, stores, social media pages
    etc, etc, etc...

    Monitoring and revising the budget is part of a good 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!

    GOOD LUCK IN 2018
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 29-12-2017 at 10:54 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 11
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 3rd Jan 18, 7:53 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 246 Thanks
    sinkorswim2018
    So since posting earlier this evening it has really made me think about my spending. Agreed to 2 x 8 hour overtime shifts this month as a consequence so that should help. Looked at what need to come out of my £800 a month that I have set as my target. Within it is £46 in bus fares for my daughter to college. She told me buying multiple tickets didn't save her anything and there was no bus pass to buy - I had taken her word for it. Now I've looked online and although they don't give the price they say they do them so I've fired off an email to see if I can save anything. Potential saving there. She's also agreed to take a drink each day rather than buying the £3 meal deal at the local Tesco (£55 based on 4 days a week on an average month). We'll have to negotiate what she will buy and how much she can spend. Obviously stuff from home would be cheaper, little steps might be the best way. Perhaps if she were to see some of the savings? She also wants to 'be healthy' for the new year so maybe that's my road in.
    I also bought her a pattern and fabric for a dress a few years ago as she was doing it at school. She never started and the fabric is nice. I've put the pattern on eBay and I'll buy one I like when it's sold. Then I'm going to make a dress for myself with it, with my mother teaching me. I'll learn new skill and we can spend time together without spending money in shops and coffee shops.

    To the green fingered amongst us...is it too late to plant my winter garlic?

    I'm finding this thread is focusing me, thanks.
    Monthly spend so far:£666.68 (22.1.17). Budget for month £800.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 3rd Jan 18, 8:08 PM
    • 5,895 Posts
    • 50,899 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Buffy, trying to keep on top of some things while making progress with other things can be absolutely soul-destroying, especially during the short, dark, wet, cold days of winter. My onl suggestion is taking it really slowly and steadily, so even a couple of small shovels full moveda little each night or even each weekend could help. Without the 'baby steps' approac to so many things, I'd be going insane here. I am vey fortunate in that I can make my own hours but getting cold, wet and achy while digging and barrowing is never fun. If you could afford to feed an extra mouth, I can highly recommend asking for volunteer help via Workaway or HelpX. There are plenty of students on there looking for room and board in exchange for doing work and practicing their English skills. (It's free to join.)
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • LittleGingerFox
    • By LittleGingerFox 3rd Jan 18, 8:51 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    LittleGingerFox
    Good evening again everyone! It's been another NSD day for me today- woop! 3days and no spending. I had to buy some electricity (pre-pay meter in a rented flat) so a) I don't have that into my budget, that is an essential but I paid for it from selling some bits on gumtree. I also got some expenses back from work so that is my £20 budget topped up for next week. Phew! A little bit closer to payday ��
    As I am new to the forum and still haven't got used to how it works, can someone tell me how to view 'replies'? It says I have some but I cannot see anything when I click on it.... you're probably going to have to send me a pm or post underneath as I'm a total novice at this!
    Does anyone have any recommendations for accounting/ basic income and expenditure books. I am a pen and paper sorta gal....not into spreadsheets one bit. I'm planning on making it a daily night time routine, much like coming on here and chatting with you guys ��
    Debts: CC1- £400/1650 CC2-£0/£6545 Mortgage- £69850
    Signed up to Commuter Club and have saved £128 off yearly London travel costs
    Strict self imposed budget of £20 per week to cover food, miscellaneous (not bills, DD or SO)
    £1 MEAL CHAMPION!!
    • CheshireCat
    • By CheshireCat 3rd Jan 18, 9:19 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    CheshireCat
    Hi,
    Can I join the thread, please? Our budget for the 3 of us will be £9,600. I have set myself the task of paying off the mortgage in 7 years. It would be more than doable if I was solely in charge of the purse strings....but my husband is not as frugal as I am. I feel like if I can prove to him just how much money it is possible to pay off the mortgage each year, he may get more fully behind it...maybe.

    As soon as the mortgage is gone, we are both going part time at work and getting a camper van. The plan is to spend as much time as we can on beaches or up mountains....living life purposefully and slowly.

    Good luck for 2018 everyone, I think it's going to be a good one!
    • kb_soma
    • By kb_soma 3rd Jan 18, 9:38 PM
    • 261 Posts
    • 2,037 Thanks
    kb_soma
    Hi everyone! A NSD for me today (technically) I had to get the train home from work due to the winds, which meant I couldn't cycle. However, I had to buy a ticket in the train but, the conductor didn't come to me although I told him on the train. I went to lidl on the way home and got some hotdogs and buns from the change that I scraped together to pay for my train fare from the penny jar. Result!

    I've been cycling since May so have saved the £50 ish that I would be spending on rail fare, so always feel annoyed if I have to get the train.

    First day back in work today and took lunch to work. Lunch ready for tomorrow, which is great going fingers crossed, I can cycle to work tomorrow.
    LBM: NOVEMBER 2011 || debt free date:30/06/15 || The Fighting Debt Army: #442 || Frugal Living Challenge 2018 || January 2018 Grocery £1.22/£100 ||
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 3rd Jan 18, 10:06 PM
    • 14,995 Posts
    • 48,651 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    Buffy, trying to keep on top of some things while making progress with other things can be absolutely soul-destroying, especially during the short, dark, wet, cold days of winter. My onl suggestion is taking it really slowly and steadily, so even a couple of small shovels full moveda little each night or even each weekend could help. Without the 'baby steps' approac to so many things, I'd be going insane here. I am vey fortunate in that I can make my own hours but getting cold, wet and achy while digging and barrowing is never fun. If you could afford to feed an extra mouth, I can highly recommend asking for volunteer help via Workaway or HelpX. There are plenty of students on there looking for room and board in exchange for doing work and practicing their English skills. (It's free to join.)
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    Thank you XX
    I am not good this time of year!
    The way he left it the clay has washed over part of the grass (was going to say lawn but that would be pushing it!) and it is very slidey so I can only do it on the weekends when I have the time and weather and daylight! He also watches me from the kitchen window which is very difficult to contend with. I will push on this weekend as it meant to a non raining weekend here! and I am feeling quite inspired by this thread and the possibilities of the garden. I could probably get a fair bit done. Sometimes he goes out on Saturdays so I shall hope for that. I am now sitting here planning what to plant. I will probably use one for food for the rabbits and guinea pigs...... and us. and maybe a run for the rabbits with grass so I can clean their aviary.......

    Focus!

    Didn't spend any money and have made a to buy list on Amazon - am practising restraint! Today is a no spend day.

    XXX
    Penny a day Challenge, Frugal living challenge, £1 a day challenge, VSP challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge.
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 3rd Jan 18, 10:48 PM
    • 1,144 Posts
    • 12,349 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hi everyone
    Spent £3.68 on veggies, but they will last a bit. Made some soup for lunch and bean stew for tea. There's plenty left so they will do for tomorrow as well.
    Walked into town to the shop so free exercise and no car used but glad I didn't buy anything heavy as I don't think I'd have made it back up the hill!!!
    So everything going fine.
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 3rd Jan 18, 11:55 PM
    • 207 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    2 nsds so far

    EBay listing tomorrow

    Managed to bag myself 3 extra shifts at work so far this month.

    Pantomime on Sunday.
    Eldest has a party to go to Saturday

    Back to school for eldest tomorrow. Back to nursery for second born

    I have 230 left of the budget to last till the end of the month. For food electric and petrol.
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 4th Jan 18, 9:16 AM
    • 1,214 Posts
    • 21,628 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Hi all,

    I have to spend some (unplanned) money today. I'm off work ill, and the dr surgery are sending me to the one in town instead of my normal one, so I will have to pay for parking. Not a huge sum, but every pound counts!

    The children are with their dad from now until Sunday afternoon, so I can have a good focus on spending minimally, perhaps even staying inside!

    PG x
    Last edited by PennyGrabber; 04-01-2018 at 9:21 AM.
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £54.12/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • grandma247
    • By grandma247 4th Jan 18, 11:31 AM
    • 2,375 Posts
    • 33,068 Thanks
    grandma247
    Cheshire cat a visual helps with motivation for paying off the mortgage.

    I taped the two short ends of A4 paper together and drew a thermometer on it.

    I drew a line down the middle of it then drew sections on it across that line.

    The amount owed went into the bulb at the bottom and i coloured the bulb red.

    Each section represented one week as we arranged with the mortgage company to pay weekly by standing order.

    On one side was the amount paid and the other was the new sum owed (Brain fog so can't remember the correct term.)

    I coloured in a section weekly with a red crayon after it was paid so it stood out.

    The paper was taped to the side of a cupboard so it was easily seen.

    My hubby got on board after that. We have paid off the mortgage and built up a small savings pot and are still adding to it even though we are living off one pension and tax credits for our youngest.
    • Kerreh
    • By Kerreh 4th Jan 18, 12:27 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    Kerreh
    May I join? I probably won't post all that regularly but I've been following along daily for over a week... it's like a mental check and measure for myself!

    Still working on the budget as I keep thinking of things I've forgotten like Car MOT and boiler service- I've used a spreadsheet budget in one form or another for years but generally it's month by month (deleting it when a month passes) so I'm trying to have the budget for the year on one sheet so I get more accurate idea over the course of a year.

    I bought my first home 18 months ago and I feel like I'm only just coming out of the other side of that (a shed, window dressings, boring things like a new lock for the front door... all adds up ). I paid my parents back £2600 last month (saved over a few months) and have £1800 to clear on a credit card which should be done by April. 2 weeks in Italy in June so need to save for that and then the second half of the year should be all about saving an emergency fund (longer term savings to follow). I used the snowball method years ago to clear some debt and then saved rather vigorously for a house deposit; I generally use the zero based budget approach.

    I guess my aim is to be more conscientious... shop only when I need to for things I need rather than want. Batch cook (which, as I live alone, I generally find these meals more enjoyable anyway) and ideally I'd like to end 2018 by 'living on last months income'.
    • gien
    • By gien 4th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    • 1,582 Posts
    • 15,101 Thanks
    gien
    I’ve not had a very frugal start to the year because I had to by food, Petrol to take my son back to uni and also work trousers. Talking of work, I have a start date of the 15th! Two days of induction and then 3 days training. All are a good drive from here but I get paid for my mileage. I’m looking forward to it I can say!
    Trying to keep in budget.

    2270
    • simplelivingislandlife
    • By simplelivingislandlife 4th Jan 18, 2:01 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    simplelivingislandlife
    So, I have spent the first of my money, and quite a bit in the scheme of things. I've spent the following from my personal budget £32.25, £7.25 was on a lovely 2 litre Kilner jar for my sourdough starter which I'm going to do this weekend (very excited) and if it doesn't work I have more than enough things to go into it. The next payment was £25 of which was two tickets to go and see Ronald Hutton for a talk on Megalithic Man, I paid for my sister to go for her birthday. He's one of our favourite speakers and we've already seen him on different talks over 5 times now! We'll be going for Vegan pizza (again a birthday treat) prior to going and I will sit with my knitting while listening along. We are both super super excited!!!

    So that's £32.25/£3,000

    I'll update my signature now .

    I've also started on my menu plan for next week and I don't think I'll need to go shopping at all and if I do it will only be bread and milk! Maybe a tin of tomatoes, so that makes me super happy. If we end up not going shopping I'm going to mentally put the money aside and then at the end of the week put it into savings.
    Frugal Living Challenge, Household £0/5,000 Personal £0/3,000 Starting on the 25th Jan.
    January 2018 Grocery Challenge - £42.88/280 20p Savers - £5.20p Virtual Sealed Pot No. 14 - £19.04/£260 Mortgage Overpayments - £0/£1,200 Sealed Pot No 37
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 4th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    • 14,995 Posts
    • 48,651 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    Today's spends were parking at the station (£5.50) and discovering the dentist is going to be 147 pounds more than I planned and I need two fillings. Also going to cost a lot.

    Hmm. Best go figure that out.
    Penny a day Challenge, Frugal living challenge, £1 a day challenge, VSP challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge.
    • simplelivingislandlife
    • By simplelivingislandlife 4th Jan 18, 5:15 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    simplelivingislandlife
    Right well, I've just done that big long trifle of a post and then looked at my budgets we still have "Christmas" payments coming out so it probably wont be wise for us to start this till the 25th when I get paid, that way we are starting with a clean slate. With this in mind I can actually move our spending around and put my yearly down at £4,500! Well it's coming out at £4,040 but I would like the buffer just encase. This makes me VERY excited as I'm getting lower. I think we could probably get it even lower as we don't by wood, coal or things for the fire during the summer as we don't need the heating on.

    Anyhow I do hope this is ok, I'll still be following along as I really don't want to spend what's in my account unless I have to, so this will keep me on track.
    Frugal Living Challenge, Household £0/5,000 Personal £0/3,000 Starting on the 25th Jan.
    January 2018 Grocery Challenge - £42.88/280 20p Savers - £5.20p Virtual Sealed Pot No. 14 - £19.04/£260 Mortgage Overpayments - £0/£1,200 Sealed Pot No 37
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 4th Jan 18, 5:59 PM
    • 9,382 Posts
    • 45,652 Thanks
    Mooloo
    Managed a no Spends day. Daughter and I had cuppa soups and crackers at work instead of buying Baguettes next door.
    £2.30 each usually.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • debtaghh
    • By debtaghh 4th Jan 18, 7:13 PM
    • 1,018 Posts
    • 2,942 Thanks
    debtaghh
    I got invited out to a coffee shop but said no and my friend came to my house instead. Iíve had 2 nsd so far.
    Debt 16th October 2017: Cc £49,987- family £37,561: total debt £87549

    Current debt: Cc £46,505 , Family £ 36,922 total debt £83,497

    Frugal living challenge # 10- £8000 presents/ food/ entertainment/clothes/shoes/haircuts
    • igaveupnowimback
    • By igaveupnowimback 4th Jan 18, 7:57 PM
    • 271 Posts
    • 1,997 Thanks
    igaveupnowimback
    Hi,
    I'd like to join please, have only included expenses not bills/payments is that ok ? Aiming for £6000
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 4th Jan 18, 8:19 PM
    • 5,895 Posts
    • 50,899 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Hi,
    I'd like to join please, have only included expenses not bills/payments is that ok ? Aiming for £6000
    Originally posted by igaveupnowimback
    Nice username! Welcome back!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • igaveupnowimback
    • By igaveupnowimback 4th Jan 18, 8:26 PM
    • 271 Posts
    • 1,997 Thanks
    igaveupnowimback
    Thanks - it's a mouthful and they wouldn't let me change it lol !
    Do I just post target/spend in signature? Think I'd better read up a bit : )
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