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FRUGAL LIVING CHALLENGE 2010, part 1. (Living on £4,000 a year)

Frugaldom Posts: 6,951 Forumite
Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
edited 31 March 2010 at 10:29PM in How much have you saved?
This is the follow up thread to the 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been renamed and adapted to allow a more diverse range of budgets, depending on individual circumstances. The following links will take you to all the previous challenge threads.

Introduction to 2010 Frugal Living Challenge
Part 1 - January to March 2010
Part 2 - April to June 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

The 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 & fruit growing, allotments, keeping hens, using cashback 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
Spend within your means
Set a proper budget
Get a lodger
Shop via cashback sites but always price compare,
Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them,
Stockpile & bulk buy
Batch cooking,
Make the most of charity shops,
Join Freecycle or other similar waste awareness and recycling associations,
LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
Grow your own herbs, fruit & veg,
Preserving & winemaking
Card & gift making
Order splitting for better discounts & shared postal costs,
Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
Free scratchcards,
Matched betting,
Free online bingo,
eBid and eBay trading
etc, etc, etc...

Sample Budget

Groceries £900.00
Toiletries £35.00
Heat & power £900.00
Internet £216.00
Mobiles £20.00
Telephone £140.00
Clothing & footwear £40.00
Travel £240.00
Household Insurance £42.50
Council Tax £935.00
TOTAL £3,468.50
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.
(I am neither endorsing nor recommending any of the links provided here, members of our extended frugal community have simply found them to contain helpful information.)

Approved Food - amazing bargains if you don't mind short dates or past sell by – save a fortune whilst saving it from landfill!
Bite Card - 20% off food at train stations (ideal for regular travellers)
Budgetbrain - MSE's free to use budget analysis tool - BRILLIANT!
Carrot recipes - loads of ways to use up those carrots
CASHBACK - The official MSE list of sites offering the best cashback deals
Cheryl's FREE spreadsheet - how to download & use it free
Complete (MSE) cooking collection - Loads and loads and loads of recipes
Cookingbynumbers - using up food you have in stock, free to use
Crafting for Christmas - homemade presents
Eggs, eggs, eggs - My '100 things to do with eggs' list
Electricity & Gas savings - monitor your electricity & gas with the MoneySaving Carbon Club
Flannel Cake making - unusual gifts
Food Bargains - Discounted food, short dated and past 'BBE' dates.
Foraging & Preserving - free foods, when, where, what to do with them
Free 2010 OS MSE calendar - download and print
Free crafts ideas - how to make papier mache banks etc
Freecycle - don't bin it, rehome it.
Freegle - Originally Freecycle in UK
Gift Baskets & Hampers - an index to the MSE relevant threads
Gifts in a jar - you don't need a canner for these
Greenfingered money saving - Gardening & growing your own food
Grocery bargains - Supermarket price reduction times
Hunger Site - Charity site where every click counts
i-Measure - log your meter readings and try to reduce your carbon footprint
Laundry Gloop and loads of other frugal cleaning related 'recipes'
Leftovers - don't bin them, get creative, make another meal.
LETS - Local Exchange Trading Schemes and alternative currencies within communities
Martin's mad moneysaver ads - a surprising new addition to the site - advertising offers!
Martin's current offers & discount codes - updated daily
Menu Planning - hundreds of options and suggestions
Nutrition and diet info, an excellent thread - thanks to Weezl74
Old Style indexed collection - Indexed collection of links, hints and tips for anything old style, moneysaving and frugal.
Preparing for winter the frugal way
Recipes part 1 - thanks to Rosieben on the Grocery Challenge
Recipes part 2 - thanks, again, to Rosieben
Remoska discussion - everything you need to know about Remoska ovens
Rural Moneysaving Hunt - official MSE discussion
Selling on eBid - decluttering and recycling for cash with no listing fees
Snowman Soup - always a favourite with frugallers during the festive season
Soapnuts - The frugal, eco-friendly alternative to soap powder or detergents (free samples)
Soapnuts thread on MSE - discuss, ask questions here
Spending Diary - excellent free resource for recording your spends
Start a cottage industry - the official MSE discussion
Veg Planner - free printable vegetable planting guide/calendar from the RHS
Weezl74's 50p per person per day eating healthily thread
Weezl74's frugal recipe testing thread - Phase 1
Will Power & Billy Can - part 1, part 2, part 3

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 wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December 2010. The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone.
I reserve the right not to spend.
The less I spend, the more I can afford.

Frugal living challenge - living on £4000 in 2024


  • Frugaldom
    Frugaldom Posts: 6,951 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited 27 February 2010 at 12:40PM
    1. *Jellie*
    2. 2ndtimerounder
    3. 98Sidney
    4. Aeb
    5. Afiendforlife
    6. AJP233
    7. Always
    8. Andan
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    11. Annie123
    12. Ansoff
    13. Aril
    14. AZJH77
    15. Babyboysmommy
    16. Bails
    17. Bay_tree_cottage
    18. BigMummaF
    19. Blairweech
    20. Bored of being at home
    21. Boring beige
    22. Brighton Belle
    23. Budgeteer
    24. Buffythedebtslayer
    25. Bunnytoo
    26. Butterfly72
    27. Cake_21
    28. Candygirl
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    126. Liz33
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    131. Deleted_User
    132. Luxor4t
    133. Lyndasharp
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    135. Mah_jong
    136. Mama67
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    139. Maz1964
    140. Meg72
    141. Merle
    142. Minjara
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    144. Mommyof4
    145. Monaebrook
    146. Moneybag
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    148. Moneymission
    149. MoneyQueen
    150. Moo2moo
    151. Mooloo
    152. Mumoffour77
    153. Mumtoomany
    154. MushyPeas
    155. Nessa56
    156. NewLifeAhead
    157. Nikki20022008
    158. Nikkiev27
    159. NualaBuala
    160. OldMcdonald
    161. OptimisticPair
    162. Pagangirl
    163. Pammyj74
    164. Patentgirl
    165. Paulgonnabedebtfree
    166. Pencekeeper
    167. Pink_numbers
    168. Philsbird
    169. Phoenix_dragon
    170. Plumduff55
    171. Poorbutrich
    172. Poppycat1
    173. PrincessDawnie21
    174. Prudent
    175. Puddleglum
    176. Purple_angel
    177. Queen.Bess
    178. Rachel021967
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    180. RedTop
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    182. Robbm
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    184. Sabs10
    185. Sallyknits
    186. Salnew
    187. Sammylds30
    188. Savingfortravel
    189. Savvy Student
    190. Shaz_mum_of_2
    191. Signs of recovery
    192. Silkbeast
    193. Skint_chick
    194. Skintbint
    195. Skint in Skirt
    196. Skint Jenny
    197. Skint Lynne
    198. Slm6002
    199. SLScarborough
    200. Slowlyfading
    201. Smlsave
    202. Snoppydog
    203. Sophiesmum
    204. Sparrer
    205. Spookycat
    206. Stay Calm Keep Knitting
    207. StitchingWitch
    208. Summertea
    209. SuzyWuzy
    210. Taka
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    212. Tesco Points Addict
    213. The_cat
    214. Thriftkitten
    215. Thriftylass
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    218. Totaldespair
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    220. Trinny
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    222. Tryingtodobetter
    223. Twinkles08
    224. VickyA
    225. Viv0147
    226. Vivw
    227. Vixstar
    228. Warney27
    229. Watchthisspace
    230. Whitewing
    231. Winterfrost
    232. Wit40iwtwan
    233. Wornoutmumoftwo
    234. Xnataliex
    235. XSpender
    236. YoungAgedPensioner
    237. Ziggy2407
    This list will no longer be updated but please feel free to take part, lurk, post or just practice small steps at pursuing a frugal lifestyle. The current list is in alphabetical order, numbers will remain unchanged from now until this year's challenge ends.
    I reserve the right not to spend.
    The less I spend, the more I can afford.

    Frugal living challenge - living on £4000 in 2024
  • knithappens
    knithappens Posts: 1,850 Forumite
    Here's to a great new year of frugal living
  • mama67
    mama67 Posts: 1,368 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Post First Anniversary
    HAPPY NEW YEAR to all

    Thanks Nyk for sorting this out.
    My self & hubby; 2 sons (28 & 25). Now also a daughter (36). Eldest son has his own house with partner & her 2 children (10 & 8)
    Youngest looking to buy a house end of 2024.
    Daughter married with 3 boys (11, 8 & 4).
    My mother always served up leftovers we never knew what the original meal was. - Tracey Ulman
  • kittiej
    kittiej Posts: 2,564 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 1 January 2010 at 10:55AM
    Happy New Year All.

    I've just subscribed to this thread so I know where to find it lol

    I've decided that my challenge will be to keep on top of spending for food, diesel, and gas/electric again.

    I won't be including anything else because they are things that I have no control over eg water, c tax, mortgage, debt payments etc.

    So my budget this year is £3000.

    To help myself I've made a fortnightly meal plan so I know exactly what I have to buy and then make.

    I have started to make a real effort to drive as carefully as possible to make the most of my diesel, and my car is empty in the boot to cut down on any extra weight.

    Lastly my central heating packed up before christmas so I have just been using the gas fire in the living room, and an electric blanket on my bed, a heater in DS1 ( but there's no rad in there anyway) and DS2 likes his hottie bottie and the amount of gas I would normally use has dropped loads. Tbh I have no inclination to get CH fixed, instead I want to save up for a new, more efficient, boiler cos I think this one's about 30 years old lol.
    Karma - the consequences of ones acts."It's OK to falter otherwise how will you know what success feels like?"1 debt v 100 days £2000
  • signs_of_recovery
    signs_of_recovery Posts: 67 Forumite
    edited 1 January 2010 at 11:55AM
    Good Morining, and Happy New Year. Thank you NYKMEDIA for the challenge and the thread!
    I think I'm going to keep a desk diary this year so I can try to see everything in the one place. I've come to the conclusion that I need something in front of my nose to remind me I'm meant to be frugal!!! (Got a nice pink one out of the pound shop the other week) I'm also going to use excel spreadsheets for menu planning and keeping track of spending, so hopefully I will have the organisation stuff covered!!! Now on to the spending.....
    We have 6 people in the house at the moment as our eldest daughter is back from uni on placement until May. So we're four adults, two children and a hungry labrador for the time being.
    I'm still sorting out the budget though. Will post back soon.
    NWCC £[STRIKE]2800[/STRIKE] £2600 Marbles £498.18 Egg £1,022.28 o/d1800 1400
    Cap1 £250
    student grant [STRIKE]£2000[/STRIKE]£1900 C.tax [STRIKE]£2312.91[/STRIKE] £301.64 live frugally,think sensibly, stop impulse buying,look at the bigger picture,relax,remember to budget,say no to the bairns. NSDs 6/10 GC £300/£200
    FL £0/£200
  • mooomin
    mooomin Posts: 13,703 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Morning all!

    Hope everyone had a nice New Year. We had two of our friends round to visit and I made dinner for them instead of phoning for a takeaway - start as you mean to go on! Doing the washing up and tidying today should keep me warm enough not to put the heating on for a while either :rotfl:
  • mommyof4
    mommyof4 Posts: 176 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Please count me in mommyof4 not sure of budget as yet need to do a bit more tweaking. Also got big car expense soon (old Toyota 8 seater needing new gear box yikes!)
    (vegetarian & vegan family: me, DH, DS11 & DS 7, 3 dogs and 3 cats (not veggie )
    Sealed pot challenge No 020
    challenge 5: [part 2] £426.09!!
    challenge 6: £272.14
    challenge 7: (target £500)
    Dont forget the birds - feed them your scraps :)
  • ceridwen
    ceridwen Posts: 11,547 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post

    Starting out on a firm foot here I am - just writing into my household Year Diary what expenses there will be this year. Got the estimated bills spend in there anyway and am now adding discretionary spending I intend to do and savings. Wishing I had done this last year - so I could see how much progress I made. Just know that this time last year I had debt (4 figure I think) and now I have a 4 figure amount of savings:D.

    Being somewhat of a pessimist/realist - I've even written down what money I would be due if the job vanishes and how much the DWP would deduct from benefit because I'd then have savings over £6,000:rolleyes::mad:
    All that just in case - as well as my worked-out figures of what I need to live on on the one hand as a bare minimum - and the (somewhat lower:eek::mad:) figure I would actually get if it came to it - so as to see what the shortfall between incomings/outgoings would be:eek:.

    Well - i thought I'd better be thorough and take all possible eventualities into account:cool: I'm not even going to try and be half as meticulous as cw18 - my mind goes blank at the thought of it....yikes...but I feel more in control being able to see clearly whats what.
  • rozeepozee
    rozeepozee Posts: 1,971 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    I do like your thoreau quote, Ceridwen.

    RP x
  • Fishcake_Random
    Happy New Year to one and all!!!!!

    Baby has let me have my first lovely lie in for a long time so I'm starting this one bright eyed and bushy tailed.

    Todays plans;

    OH and friends having a kick about in the park, need to make some drinks so he doesnt buy them!!!

    Cook a lovely mac cheese and use up all our odds and ends of ham etc

    Check Freegle for some goodies

    Take down the decs while OH and my brother are around, and get them to do the celling decs for me, at 7months I'm not standing on a chair lol

    Finish at least half of OH's sock I'm knitting, I finished one last night and would like the pair done by tomo night. Promise to post a piccy.

    Good Luck all
    x x x x
    Happily married mama of 5
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