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NST Muddy March Marathon

edited 26 February 2017 at 1:21PM in Debt-free Wannabe Challenges
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mothernerdmothernerd Forumite
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edited 26 February 2017 at 1:21PM in Debt-free Wannabe Challenges
NST: MUDDY MARCH MARATHON


Inspired by the Zumba Twins (my niece and her wife) who completed a 10k mud run in aid of their local hospice last month and in despair at the impossibility of following Captain abundant's Winter Voyage, I have decided that in March we will run a
Muddy March Marathon.


M March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, they say. However March is a lot more varied than that and usually manages to throw a bit of everything at us. So it is, in life, and on our debt free journey. Some months we sail through, accumulating NSDs, knocking chunks off our debts. Others we struggle, barely recovering from one setback before the next hits us. This March, we will be adopting the American Indian mantra
Live in the Spirit of the Season”


Whatever the weather throws at us (or life or debt free journey) we will embrace it, enjoy the challenge, celebrate and commiserate with each other. We will relish any signs of Spring approaching but will also splash through the puddles (or slush), fizzle through the fog and giggle at the gales. The March Challenge runs from 1st March to midnight on the 31st March.


U Use it or Lose it is our second theme for the month. Both words have many conotations so from using what we have in the cupboard, reusing something for a repair, putting skills we have to good use and losing (rehoming/ selling/ giving to the charity shop for it to find someone who loves it) any unwanted/ needed possessions (captain abundant advised us to look through out wardrobes last month) and turn them into cash or return them to productive life. We are all short of space (and time and money) so each day I will try to give a helpful example and welcome you to add your own. Useful ways of making the most of what we have and using what we have wisely.


D Debt Free Date Do you know yours? How much should you be paying towards your debt or savings each month to reach your target. Mine was always a bit vague – basically “When I sell the house”. When that was done, I paid for mum's (and mine? Help – she's already deciding where 'we' will go on holiday) much needed bungalow and paid all my debts. Going forward, not having the burden of two sets of household bills is a great improvement. I have a very modest income but it is sufficient.


D Debt or Savings First An important turtle rule, instigated by our original leader Ninja Saving Kat*. Anything left after debt (savings) payments and other regular outgoings (dd for utilities, council tax, rent or mortgage) is for you to live on (food, petrol or bus fares to get to work, 'extras'). If it is not enough, how will you bridge the gap – extra income or cutting back, phones, tvs, alcohol and 'classes' are all choices. If your budget is tight, how do these extras compare to your need to get rid of your debt/ buy a house/ retire early? I am not suggesting that you forgo fun. Turtles love fun. We love free fun best of all. But when you have a serious debt problem you need to look at your past choices and how you go forward. * See turtle back story at post 2


Y You will set all your BUDGETS before the start of the month. You are in control of your money, the money (or spending is not in control of you). (I want to sing 'You're not the boss of me' from Malcolm in the Middle). Food, travel (petrol, public transport, maintenance), any kids clubs (this can be put into a separate 'purse' or 'envelope' at the start of the month and will then not affect your NSDs. All regular outgoings including 'personal' spending money.


M Monitor Your Goals. Misstara encouraged us to set goals at the beginning of the year and Captain abundant asked us to check them last month. As we enter a new month, we should do so again. Are you reaching your current goals? If you are meeting your current target(s) easily then maybe it is time to move forward a step and stretch yourself? If it isn't happening, you need to revisit your goals, revise your first step (better to do 10 minutes exercise a day rather than fail to get to the gym, repeatedly). Identify any snags/ obstacles and work out how to overcome them. * BHF suggestions on setting goals and keeping on target in post 15(as suggested by Captain abundant). New comers feel welcome to think about and post your own goals for the year.


A Avoid takeaways, canteens (unless bargainaceous subsidised ones), vending machines, costalot coffee and all their ilk. Take your lunch to work (from home) every day and where possible take your own food or snacks for hospital appointments (if travelling or out at meal times), cinema visits, days out. Some turtles allow themselves some purchases from this section (budgetted for as a special treat). If you are stuck and have to purchase, try to support a local cause or cafe (ie 'friends' cafe), rather than a chain. The rule is there because small spends ('only a drink')like this can add up to a large amount over the year – see Martin's demotivator and making your own lunches (and meals at home from scratch) can give huge financial benefits as well as being healthier (no hidden sugar, fat, additives).


R Remember those in Need. Donate to your local food bank or charity of your choice. Money, goods or time. Remember the numerous charity shops when clearing your house – your unwanted item could be just what someone needs. Apologies to those with children whose schools are constantly demanding 'donations' (especially making you pay through the nose for uniform and then charging you for your children not wearing it).


C Cupboard audit (+ fridge and freezer), Meal Planning and Cooking from Scratch are all great aids to saving money. What do you have in, what can you make with it, what do you need to buy. Again several turtles are full of ideas for recipes, special diets, how to use that bag of whatever that has been sitting at the back of the cupboard since the year dot. We can even get children to eat veg. Save time by knowing what you are going to cook or cook at weekends and days off and have hm ready meals.


H HELP and Advice are always available. If you don't understand something, need clarification or are just drowning in despair, just yell. The turtle gang will respond.


M Mistakes. We all make them. We all slip up, forget things, go off the rails. One slip is not a failure, do not write off the month. Get yourself back on track as soon as possible. Don't be afraid to ask for help or ideas for how to solve a particular problem


A Avoid temptation. Retailers want your money. You do not have to give it to them. They have all sorts of tricks to get you to spend. Be wary. Product xyz will not transform your life. Focus on what you want to achieve. What is a need and what is a 'want'? Who or what is driving that 'want'. Check your mood (applies to eating things you shouldn't as well). Are you sad, fed up, angry, bored. Think about that feeling (all feelings are valid). Will that purchase (or comestible) solve the problem? How else can you deal with it or make yourself feel better?


R Repairs Every little helps. Last month I was congrtatulated on being able to sew/ alter my own clothes. It's a skill I am glad to have (largely self-taught although surrounded by sewers). However something as simple as knowing how to sew on a button can help. Would you throw out a blouse (which cost you £30? - sorry I only know charity shop prices) because a button fell off? Many people do. Fix something in your house or wardrobe this month and feel good about it. The days are getting longer. Make a list of small household jobs and repairs that need doing (even tidying 'that' drawer which never gets sorted). Start with the things you can do yourself for little or no cost.


A Attend regularly. Daily posting is recommended. If you can't face posting (usually when we have done something wrong) carry on reading. We mostly confess after a day or two and the turtles will help you aviod the 'mistake' in future.


T Try to follow the rules. Turtle rules are tough (and can be confusing at first). You sign up to the rules and should try your best to follow them all. No turtle is ever left behind. Think of the rules as woodworking tools. A hammer (something we can all use?) knocks nails into things/ joins things together, sometimes a bit crudely. Think about saws (all different types for different jobs), chisels and planes and different fixings (screws, nuts and bolts). Think about the fine furniture you could make if you could use all those tools properly.


Turtle rules are like those tools. Some are simple and effective – if you avoid shops (and the internet) like the plague, you will save money. Some are more subtle, may require skill in applying, take longer to fully utilise but he more rules you use, regularly, the easier it becomes to reach your target.


H Health. Another important facet of the turtle gang. I promised you a marathon, we will be getting down and dirty with lots of sweaty lycra (optional) exercise. Lots of turtles have weight loss as a goal and for that we need to look at food intake and getting moving. Healthy eating I am going to be boring and say eat your veg. Very few of us are getting enough. Healthy exercise check your existing target and step it up 5 days a week. Do a bit more (extra class/ add to the length of your walk or run/ do more at home). Mental Health lots of us are suffering setbacks, low moods and stress. I will not be setting weekly mini-challenges this month but I have seen a 21 day wellness exercise which I might quote and I also have the book of mindfulness exercises. I will be continuing the daily gratitudes, you decide if you want to.


O Outside. Lovely place. Get out there as often as possible, soak up any available daylight (it is really sunlight, I promise, even if it doesn't feel like it). Enjoy those invigorating breezes (imagine you are on a tropical island, it's all a question of degree). Helps to boost your immune system.


N No Spend Days. Aim for 15. If you made it in February, March is easy because you have days on which to spend. If you didn't quite make it, believe you can do it this time and plan to do so. If you do not follow the NSD target as you have another way that works for you, carry on. The original idea of NSDs is to avoid 'popping into' the shops for one or two things and coming out with a basket load. If you are disciplined enough to buy only what is on your list (ys or yellow sticker goods are exempt, provided it is something you will use or a treat you would only buy at a greatly reduced price). Medical necessities (including hospital parking), ys goodies (as long as nothing else is purchased) and filling up with petrol (again as long as it is from a set petrol budget – or diesel- and nothing else is purchsed) will not lose you a NSD. Unfortunately chocolate is not a medical necessity.
My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
NST Feb No 1 No Debt No mortgage
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Replies

  • edited 26 February 2017 at 12:56PM
    mothernerdmothernerd Forumite
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    edited 26 February 2017 at 12:56PM
    Turtle Back Story http://smileys.emoticonsonly.com/emoticons/t/turtle-28.gif There was a kingdom of tall towers where the financiers lived. They lured wild turtles with gifts of loans and magic cards, making pets of them. When the hard times came the financiers cast off their pets and the turtles fell into the sewers, awash on a tide of debt.

    A wise and beautiful Kat rescued the turtles and taught them her ninja ways.Month by month, in a firm but kindly manner, she taught the turtles to exercise their bodies till they could negotiate the sewer, to use their will to resist the temptations of the kingdom, to plan and prepare, save their pennies and to give to those less fortunate.

    One day the wise Kat gathered the turtles to tell them she must leave them. She was to go on a quest to the Eastern lands. She had saved all her money (and a little honey) and sought new adventures and learning (and perhaps an owl to be her future companion).

    At first the turtles were afraid but wise and beautiful Kat reminded them of the lessons she had taught them (Always pay your debt first). They could now keep afloat on the sewer water and could help each other, and those who joined them along the way, to swim through to the tide of freedom and the beach of tranquility known as debt free day.

    So the brave little turtles set out, swimming against the tide of consumerism and became the
    NINJA SAVING TURTLES
    My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
    NST Feb No 1 No Debt No mortgage
  • edited 2 March 2017 at 1:08AM
    mothernerdmothernerd Forumite
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    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Debt-free and Proud!
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    edited 2 March 2017 at 1:08AM
    Reserved for contenders
    1 mothernerd
    2 misstara
    3 apple muncher
    4 Toni'sfriend
    5 greent
    6 Bobarella
    7 mrshubbard
    8 The Only Girl
    9 f0xh0les

    10 crazy_cat_lady
    11 Eager Elephant
    12 ChasingSunshine
    13 bizzie
    14 Lauralozzle
    15 abundant
    16 thriftylass
    17 Calling14
    18 XSpender
    19 ilovetea
    20 Fmess
    21 SkintTeacher
    22 SpekySquarehead
    23 2sonmum
    24 FurryBeastOz
    25 indigowarrior
    26 swimminginaseaofdebt
    27 Moll

    Honorary Cheerleader short_bird
    My mission in life is not only to survive,but to thrive and to do so with some Passion, some Compassion, some Humour and some Style.
    NST Feb No 1 No Debt No mortgage
  • misstaramisstara Forumite
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    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Thanks mothernerd, count me in :)
    Debt at LBM Jan 2014 £10458.09 Now £0
    New flat debt Jan 2017 £2302.75 Now £0
    Debt Feb 2020: Credit card - £607.09. Now £0
    Car - £4992.88. Now £3231.04 (35.3% paid)
    Emergency fund - £814.17/£1000. Car fund - £422.11/£1000.
    Flat deposit - £306.03/£15,000 (2% saved).
  • apple_muncherapple_muncher Forumite
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    10,000 Posts Seventh Anniversary Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Definitely in! Thank you mothernerd for another one of your inspiring and motivating challengs.
    NST April diamond #9; NSD 2; Ex 7

    Mortgage £300 ish (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143; 01/19: 18.275) MFWDate: very soonish
  • Toni'sfriendToni'sfriend Forumite
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    Me too, please.
    Have adventures. laugh a lot and always be kind.
  • greentgreent Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Thank you, mothernerd - I'm in for another month :)
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/11 £89873 01/13 £52546 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    Net sales 2021 £159.55/£500 Decluttering 2021: 370/1000
  • BobarellaBobarella Forumite
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    Savvy Shopper! I've been Money Tipped!
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    Mothernerd I have to say, you always do things properly. It really shines through how much effort you put into your posts, and challenges. This one is fab too! Thank you for being a great guiding light :) Bob
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe":D

    Debt neutral :) 27/03/17 from £40k:eek: in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
  • I'm in too :)
    1 debt vs 100 days -
    Debtfree by Xmas
    NST - 1/18 NSDs £54/£250 food 0/£60spends
    Debts - CC1-[STRIKE]£4438.89[/STRIKE] £4329.82 CC2-[STRIKE]4560.38[/STRIKE] £3672.52 CC3-[STRIKE]£10,326[/STRIKE]£10,155.85 CC4 - [STRIKE]£3286[/STRIKE]
  • Please may I join in again? It was nice to be back in February and loved the challenge. I love this Muddy March Marathon challenge, too.
    "There is Life AFTER DEBT."
    LBM 2009 Total Debt £49046.24 Debt Free as of 27/08/2015
    Trying to replenish 3-6 mos EF
  • f0xh0lesf0xh0les Forumite
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    Can I join too please.

    Muddy March reminds me of all the times the kids have had to sit on bin bags in the back of the car while they are driven home stripped down to their pants and covered in whatever bits of my, and DH's clothing we can spare for their tops. My kids could find mud in a desert. Not a particularly useful talent, but a talent nonetheless.

    Off to get the wellies out.
    MFW#65 April 21 = £85,999.99 next target £80k in December 2021
    E/F £17,000 but I still need a new roof and an extension and the loft boarding out.
    NSTurtle # 19 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢 🐢🐢🐢 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢
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