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2012 Frugal Living Challenge (Part 1)

edited 18 December 2012 at 12:45PM in Debt Free Diaries
3.3K replies 265.4K views
FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
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edited 18 December 2012 at 12:45PM in Debt Free Diaries
Frugaldom's Frugal Living Challenge

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 posts 1 and 2 in full and check out the HANDY LINKS section. This helps to avoid repeat posts clogging up this very fast-moving thread.

With so many people in this challenge and this being only one version of it, it's very difficult to keep up with everyone, so don't be shy - to have your name added to the challenger list, or if there's something you'd like to ask, send Frugaldom a private message.

NB: THIS IS AN ADAPTED VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL CHALLENGE, SPECIFICALLY FOR MSE FORUM USERS

This is an adaptation of Frugaldom's 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been running here on MSE for the past 4 years, but the actual challenge began several years previously, elsewhere. It has 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 achieved their debt free status and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay debt free. Others are still pursuing that dream. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us for 2012 and share your journey as you give debts the heave-ho once and for all.

The following links will take you to previous MSE versions of this challenge:

The 2013 challenge is here

The 2012 Challenge - this one.

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 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
Houseshare
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
bartering
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...

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.

HANDY LINKS
(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 - Some amazing bargains if you don't mind short dates or past sell by – save a fortune whilst saving it from landfill!
Big Brands For Less - Bulk bread flour and other discouted foodstuffs
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
Complete (MSE) cooking collection - Loads and loads and loads of recipes
Coupon thread on MSE - For coupons, money off and discounts
Crafting for Christmas - homemade presents
Eggs, eggs, eggs - Frugaldom's '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 crafts ideas - how to make papier mache banks etc
Freecycle - don't bin it, rehome it
Freegle - Originally Freecycle in UK
Frugaldom - home of my original Frugal Living challenge
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
Homemade Rhubarb Champagne - quick, cheap and easy
How to make a sealed pot - saving all your spare change in papier mache banks
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
My FREE spreadsheet - where to download from
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
ROSSPA - Cheap fruit & veg, fresh produce direct to your door.
Rural Moneysaving Hunt - official MSE discussion
Selling on eBid - decluttering and recycling for cash with no listing fees
Slow Cooker Recipes - on MSE
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:


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 wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December 2012. The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone and these will be updated accordingly.
I reserve the right NOT to spend:
The less I spend, the more I can afford!
Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise! :D
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Replies

  • edited 20 March 2012 at 9:35PM
    FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
    6.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 20 March 2012 at 9:35PM
    2012 CHALLENGER LIST

    With so many people in this challenge and this being only one version of it, it's very difficult to keep up with everyone, so don't be shy - to have your name added to the challenger list, or if there's something you'd like to ask, send Frugaldom a private message.

    Slowlyfading has kindly offered to help me run this challenge for 2012.

    The list is kept in alphabetical order for ease of use, so no challenger numbers are necessary.

    *Jellie*
    _Tru_
    1463Emma
    2wildthing2
    Agreenmess
    Ailz95
    Alisean221
    Aliwali
    Allie23
    Amber03
    AndrinaPerry
    Angelaf
    Anouchka
    Aril
    Arrowlili
    ASG
    Asiacat
    Avogirly
    Bagabogof
    Bikingbint
    Black Cat
    Blairweech
    Blossom123
    Bramble1
    Brien123
    Brizzledfw
    Buffster
    Buffythedebtslayer
    Cagneuk
    Carolyn12
    Catslovelycats
    Charnic
    CheapsKate
    Cheerfulness4
    Cherryjack
    Ches
    Chika
    Chipps
    Choc-addict
    ClaireT13
    ClootiesMum
    Cocoribbon
    Cooltrikerchick
    CoupsRus
    Cowboymum
    Cranny44
    Cuddlymarm
    CW18
    Davidjmclare
    Dazzler123
    Debbiedebt
    Debbiedeejay
    DeepIn
    Determined New MS
    Digbysmum
    DizzyBee
    DizzyLizzie
    Doom_and_Gloom
    Elly68
    Enjoyfinancialchallenges
    Erme
    Fairy
    Fairyclicks
    Findingmyfeet
    Flip1
    Flourgirl
    Flying_Fresian
    Freedom2011
    Frivolous
    Frizz2
    Frugaldom
    FrankieM
    Fruityslh
    Fssjt
    Georgiebrown0
    Get rich or try dying
    Giggly Bug
    Gilligansyle
    GinTotMelinda
    Glen
    Glendam
    GrainneOK
    Grandma247
    Greying Pilgrim
    Happy but skint
    Happy Crafter
    HelenPie
    Hiddenidentity
    Hollysmum22
    Icontinuetodream
    Igamogam
    JammyDodger
    JaneRyan
    JayneC
    Jcst104
    JIL
    Jo.Mo
    Jovie
    Judi
    Kalojac
    Karismatik
    Kerfuffle
    Kerri_dfw
    Kerry Woman
    KittieJ
    Knithappens
    Landregistry
    BL29
    Letsdothis
    Libretia
    Lingojingo
    Little Miss Kirsten
    Lolalemon
    LoopyLou21
    Magan
    Mama
    Mcjordi
    Midwinter
    Mishmogs
    Miele
    MissEmptyPiggy
    MoaningMyrtle
    Mojoworking
    Mommieof4
    Moneybear123
    Mookiepook
    Mooloo
    More4less
    Mrs Good Life
    Mrs_midd
    Mumtothree3
    Mumwithamission
    Munchin
    NannyGladys
    Natalie_86
    Natlie
    Natnat13
    Newlifeahead
    Nikadi
    NotSuchaSmugMarriedNow
    Oceandreamer
    Paidinchickens
    Patentgirl
    Pauper1
    Phoenix_Dragon
    Piggybank1980
    Pinkcrafter
    PinotGrigio41
    Poorbutrich
    Prepareathome
    Purpleorchid
    Purpleruby
    Quintwins
    Rachel021967
    Rae18
    Ram_Murdock
    Rictus123
    Risingfromtheashes
    RobinandMarian
    RubyTuesday
    Saavybunny2009
    Sam09
    Samarnersen
    Sammie2012
    Sandrascarlett
    Savingforarainyday
    SavingJo
    Selwood
    Septemberblues
    SeriouslyFrugal
    Shellgsxr
    Silaren
    Silvasava
    Silverfox13865
    Skint_chick
    Slowlyfading
    Squinky McFeet
    Stitching Witch
    Strandedinaber
    Summertea
    Sunflowa20
    Susiejq
    SusieWa
    Suze72
    SuziTiger
    Taka
    Taraod
    Teacher2b
    The_cat
    The frugal frog
    Thrawn frugal lassie
    Thriftkitten
    Thrifty85
    Tink1981
    TravelDolly
    Tumptyteapot
    Vintage43
    Wannabee_in_credit
    Wear280902
    Welshgranny
    Welsh Poppy
    Winchelsea
    Wit40iwtwan
    Wornoutmumoftwo
    Youngmummy
    Zafiro1984
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise! :D
  • oh my, you organised people - add me please :-)
    Tumptyteapot

  • FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
    6.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Tumpty, thanks for joining. I always found it easier to deal with who was doing what during the November/December period, it gives us all more time to plan ahead and wrap up any loose ends from the current year. :)

    I'm expecting to see 'slowlyfading' along shortly, as she has offered to keep tabs on the challenge on here for 2012.

    Good luck for your next challenge, any ideas what your wannabe debt-free goals will be? (Mine's to renovate the house without incurring any debt.)
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise! :D
  • My goal for next year is to get an accountant. I'm self employed and not claiming half the expenses I could. I've booked into talk to someone in early December and I'm hoping they can make life much easier for me.
    Tumptyteapot

  • slowlyfadingslowlyfading Forumite
    13.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm here! :D
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
    Personal Finance Blogger / In pursuit of FIRE :)
  • slowlyfadingslowlyfading Forumite
    13.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Post for other stuff so I can edit...
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
    Personal Finance Blogger / In pursuit of FIRE :)
  • Kerry_WomanKerry_Woman Forumite
    2.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee!
    ✭✭✭✭
    I wish to join the 2012 challenge.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2020
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST May 2020: May the force be with you NSD 19/20
  • Please include me in this for 2012.
    Frugal living isn't exactly my cup of tea because I like paying for my luxuries.
    However, I am a DFW and would like to be part of a group that might help me to focus on my spending in general, even if I am not as good with it as you lot sound!
    Anything that will help me save some money that can go towards my mortgage OPs will be a good thing...
  • Please count me in! I too need to look at how I spend, ways of changing etc and what better way to join a thread like this and start planning. Thank you! :D
  • FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
    6.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Hi SF, hope I didn't drag you from your sickbed this morning. :) I have added in the names that are beginning to appear, so welcome to Kerry Woman, Catslovelycats and Choc-addict.

    This is an introductory thread so that we're organised for 2012, so there's plenty of time to get in some practice. It's about affording to live life the way you want to, free from acursed debts. :D After debt has gone, it's our money, our life, so let's start living it as soon as we can. :beer:
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise! :D
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