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NST: February: Back to Basics.

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  • FunBrum
    FunBrum Posts: 716 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    Yes please Apple I'm in!!:j
    Living a frugal retirement without treading on the planet :T
    Womble #17- £2,018.41 €2
    TURTLES NSD's 01/31
    FLC £3000/£2,328.12
    CCCC2016 #10 £19 monthly spends on clothes
    Wombled nectar points=728 Wombled Boots points=316
  • themarsbargirl
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    NST: February: Back to Basics.


    • We have 29 days on this challenge together. From the 1st February all the way to the 29th. It is not really a ‘short’ month this year.
    • What is important to you? That is what you will naturally focus on and that is what will take up most of your energy, so choose wisely. Keep your eyes on that goal this month. What will you fill your head with this month? Remove excuses, unsatisfying filler activities (tv, FB, PC time) and dedicate time to your chosen focus. My final dissertation for my degree, although I'm having a meeting at the beginning of the month to discuss whether I should defer. I also want to get back into walking again and shifting the weight. So, 2 hours a day on dissertation and 30-60min a day walk?
    • Cut back to the basics. Be austere.
    • When is your Debt Free Date? How much do you need to pay each month to achieve this? Can you bring this date forward? What are the consequences of not meeting this date? I haven't worked that out this time around :o


    Food: If your cupboards are stuffed, then you are to hone and tone them. Be creative in your concoctions. Downshift brands. Set your budget and stick to it. Can you reduce it by 10% I budget £50 a week combined cigarettes and food, 10% reduction is saving £5 a week which fits in with a personal mini goal to save money for going on holiday in April.


    Every penny has a purpose and a job. Allocate a role to them all. Pay to your debt/savings first. Do not give your money to coffee shops, canteens, vending machines, corner shops, takeaway outlets. Budget before the month starts and ensure you compensate for food, vehicle malfunctions, birthdays, travel, outings. And cut it back to the bone. I got birthday presents for my niece and nephew in post Christmas sales, I have a friend's birthday but just need to get some loose green tea to finish her present off. I can't make any promises about takeaway outlets as am travelling to my sister's at the end of the month and I tend to buy food in service stations.


    Buy a homeless person a tea/coffee; donate to a foodbank or the trussell trust; volunteer.I hope two out of three is ok, I can't talk to strangers and I'd struggle to find a homeless person.


    Recharge your batteries. The lighter days are coming. Do what you need to do to lift your mood (that involves no spending…!) Do it 5 times per week. So, clear stuff out and recycle it/give it away/donate it; sort out the paperwork that bothers you; exercise; listen to music; dance.
    I don't really know what recharges my batteries, so does my exercise pledge count?

    Use what you have before replenishing eg toiletries, cleaning products. Use up your freezer and cupboard stocks. Plan your meals. Take your lunch to work every single day you are there.
    but, but, with four drawers of toiletries I need more! I don't have many food stocks, but will use up what I do have this month (beef chunks, Glamorgan sausages, one piece of salmon)

    Avoid the virus that puts the over-riding feeling of ‘want’ beyond what you actually ‘need’, that makes us spend, waste food, accumulate debts. Weigh up every spend and if you decide to buy it, keep a note of it in your notebook.



    Reduce your outings. You cannot afford to go out every weekend! Arrange them before the month starts and cut by 1. Can you do it cheaper?
    I can afford to go out every weekend....i only go to my friends house for coffee :rotfl:

    Yellow stickers are your friend. If you need to use these or can get to a supermarket at the right time, then set yourself no NSD target (but keep within your budget). For those who prefer rules, you have to get 16 NSDs (not lost if you need medication, fuel, regular activities that need paying weekly or only buy reduced items) I'll track my nsd again, not everything I buy is ys but keeping in budget is most important.


    Who is with me?



    Ok, made my goals.
    Credit card respend 2551.58 (15/02/17)
  • The_Only_Girl
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    Hi Apple. Thanks for running this challenge. Please count me in.
    "There is Life AFTER DEBT."LBM 2009 Total Debt £49046.24 Debt Free as of 27/08/2015
  • positivelypunked
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    I'll give it a good crack.
    Need to sit down an properly sort this out.
    MarNSD 5/20 | EF 3-6m #27 & EF #179 £212.35 / £2,700 | FH: £20.00 / £10,000 | Car £51.66 / £200 | Xmas £0.00 / £100.00
  • apple_muncher
    apple_muncher Posts: 14,792 Forumite
    First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee! First Post Name Dropper
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    A question to answer: what is your Debt Free Date?

    For this you need to know:
    - how much you owe
    - how much your monthly payments are
    - what the interest rate is on your debt

    What are the consequences of not paying it back by then? Can you pay it back earlier?


    My debt is my mortgage. It is offset. We pay about £30 pcm in interest. We were on schedule to pay it off by the end of 2018, but dh is about to be made redundant. To pay it off within the agreed time, we now need to pay over £430 pcm. Obviously, not paying it off isn't an option! As and when dh is back in work, we shall throw all we can at it. The security of owning our house and never being threatened with losing it is something I am looking forward to. The sooner we can reach that point, the better.

    I appreciate that not everyone will want to write it on here, but do work it out for yourself.
    NST March lion #8; NSD ; MFW9/3/23 Whoop Whoop!!!
  • WelshKitty85
    WelshKitty85 Posts: 1,439 Forumite
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    Hi everyone!

    The challenge is looking fab Apple. Here is my plan for Feb:

    What is important to you? Becoming debt free. That is my main focus at the moment and I will take a big step towards it this month by paying off my main cc.

    When is your Debt Free Date? According to my current plan, by August I will have just my car finance and mortgage left. I could bring this forward, but things are going to be so tight in Feb and March that I want to be able to really enjoy our little holiday in April, and have a little left over so things aren't quite so tight.


    Food: I don't have an awful lot in the cupboards but am trying to keep food shopping to the absolute minimum. I am going to aim for a budget of £150 and 20 SFDs. This includes other essentials, such as loo roll, toothpaste etc.


    Every penny has a purpose and a job. I can't afford to waste a single penny this month so all spends will be planned.


    Buy a homeless person a tea/coffee; donate to a foodbank or the trussell trust; volunteer. We have a food bank drop off in work so will make a donation to it.


    Recharge your batteries. I have been trying to eat better, so will continue upping my fruit and veg intake in the hope it will help me feel more energised. I also want to take more me time, so maybe bubble baths, using up my toiletry supplies, face masks, foot spa etc, none of which will cost a penny.


    Use what you have before replenishing eg toiletries, cleaning products. Use up your freezer and cupboard stocks. Plan your meals. Take your lunch to work every single day you are there. Definitely.


    Avoid the virus that puts the over-riding feeling of ‘want’ beyond what you actually ‘need’, that makes us spend, waste food, accumulate debts. As above, only essential spends this month.



    Reduce your outings. Actually, this is where I aim to rebel! I want to get out of the house more, but will see what free outings we can come up with.


    Yellow stickers are your friend. I shop in ald! And very rarely find reduced items there, but will keep an eye out.
  • short_bird
    short_bird Posts: 3,719 Forumite
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    Hmmm. I've looked at the calendar and I'm away for 11 days and travelling on a further 4 days. Looks like I'm cheering you on from the sidelines... I'll be as careful as I can. Good luck, turtles!
    Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas.
  • misstara
    misstara Posts: 3,883 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post I've been Money Tipped!
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    Thanks for this month's challenge apple.
    NST: February: Back to Basics.


    • We have 29 days on this challenge together. From the 1st February all the way to the 29th. It is not really a ‘short’ month this year.
    • What is important to you? That is what you will naturally focus on and that is what will take up most of your energy, so choose wisely. Keep your eyes on that goal this month. What will you fill your head with this month? Remove excuses, unsatisfying filler activities (tv, FB, PC time) and dedicate time to your chosen focus. Becoming debt free, as I get closer to becoming debt free I don't want to relax and let bad habits start creeping back in.
    • Cut back to the basics. Be austere.
    • When is your Debt Free Date? October 2016 How much do you need to pay each month to achieve this? Around £350 a month Can you bring this date forward? Probably could but also want to save some money at the same time What are the consequences of not meeting this date? More paid in interest, not being able to start saving properly


    Food: If your cupboards are stuffed, then you are to hone and tone them. Be creative in your concoctions. Downshift brands. Set your budget and stick to it. Can you reduce it by 10% Usual budget is £120 but will try for £100 this month


    Every penny has a purpose and a job. Allocate a role to them all. Pay to your debt/savings first. Do not give your money to coffee shops, canteens, vending machines, corner shops, takeaway outlets. Budget before the month starts and ensure you compensate for food, vehicle malfunctions, birthdays, travel, outings. And cut it back to the bone. My monthly wage has been budgeted and I'll budget each weekly wage as it comes in.


    Buy a homeless person a tea/coffee; donate to a foodbank or the trussell trust; volunteer. Will do


    Recharge your batteries. The lighter days are coming. Do what you need to do to lift your mood (that involves no spending…!) Do it 5 times per week. So, clear stuff out and recycle it/give it away/donate it; sort out the paperwork that bothers you; exercise; listen to music; dance. I say this every month but need to up the exercise. I'm also planning to do a bit of minimising various things around the house.


    Use what you have before replenishing eg toiletries, cleaning products. Use up your freezer and cupboard stocks. Plan your meals. Take your lunch to work every single day you are there. Meal plan for next week is done and will need to be very careful if I'm going to stick to the £100 grocery budget this month.


    Avoid the virus that puts the over-riding feeling of ‘want’ beyond what you actually ‘need’, that makes us spend, waste food, accumulate debts. Weigh up every spend and if you decide to buy it, keep a note of it in your notebook. Will do



    Reduce your outings. You cannot afford to go out every weekend! Arrange them before the month starts and cut by 1. Can you do it cheaper? I've got a few outings this month and actually want to try and include more as pretty much all I did in January was work but will make them cheap/free.


    Yellow stickers are your friend. If you need to use these or can get to a supermarket at the right time, then set yourself no NSD target (but keep within your budget). For those who prefer rules, you have to get 16 NSDs (not lost if you need medication, fuel, regular activities that need paying weekly or only buy reduced items) I will aim for 16 NSDs as I find having a NSD target inspires me to spend less.


    Who is with me?


    Debt Dec 2022 - £2972.68. Current debt - £0 (100% paid). Flat deposit - £10814.10/£15000 (72.1% saved). Emergency fund - £1562.44/£2000 (78.1% saved).
  • apple_muncher
    apple_muncher Posts: 14,792 Forumite
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    short_bird wrote: »
    Hmmm. I've looked at the calendar and I'm away for 11 days and travelling on a further 4 days. Looks like I'm cheering you on from the sidelines... I'll be as careful as I can. Good luck, turtles!

    Could you just do half the challenge???

    Enjoy the days away x
    NST March lion #8; NSD ; MFW9/3/23 Whoop Whoop!!!
  • apple_muncher
    apple_muncher Posts: 14,792 Forumite
    First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee! First Post Name Dropper
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    For those who want to get out more in Feb - go for it! The reduction in outings is to reduce outgoings and save money. So cheap or free outings are encouraged - especially as part of the looking after oneself side of things. Enjoy!
    NST March lion #8; NSD ; MFW9/3/23 Whoop Whoop!!!
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