NST Penny Pinching GoSober Stoptober

edited 1 October 2018 at 3:45PM in Debt-free wannabe challenges
546 replies 37.7K views
thriftylassthriftylass Forumite
3.7K Posts
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
edited 1 October 2018 at 3:45PM in Debt-free wannabe challenges
NST Penny Pinching GoSober Stoptober Gobstopper

The cosy autumnal season has begun. The blankets and slippers have come out as well as the comforting cups of hot tea at night. But one thing will stay in the cupboard or even better the shops for me and DH – alcohol and cigarettes. I have made a fair few positive changes these last few months (going to the gym regularly again, eating healthy, found that intermittent fasting does me good, taking more me time etc) but those two vices still persist.

Hence, my husband and I decided to do Stoptober (stop smoking) and GoSober October (obvious).

So, there is a challenge for all of you. We unfortunately have rather nasty vices to get rid of but is there anything you could change to the positive or give up for October? Are you eating too much sugar, drinking too much pop, spending too much money in the haberdashery section or using the tumble dryer every day? Pick sth that either effects your health, finances or mental wellbeing. I’m sure most people can find one little thing. It takes at least 21 days to change a habit or form a new one, let’s tick one off in October. Don’t wait till Monday, next week, after half term, the new year. Start NOW.

Otherwise the usual turtle way applies: aim to have some fun along the way, provide the odd inspirational quote, offer help and advice, sympathise when things go wrong and celebrate our successes. Remember No Turtle Gets Left Behind.

Commit to the challenge, follow the rules to the best of your ability. The rules are all tools that will help you on your debt free journey, the more tools you utilise, the more you will save but if you are new, it can take a while to get up to speed with them all. Don't worry.

I have to admit I pinched some of following guidelines from a previous post as they were spot on.

Organise. Start as you mean to go on. Know the contents of your fridge, freezer and cupboards. Plan your meals around them. Cook from scratch. Don't buy anything you can make unless cost /time taken dictates otherwise. If you are new to turtle challenges or still have full cupboards you could try living from the cupboards.

Regular budget items should be set by 1st October. If you don't know how much you are spending on food or petrol, now is the time to find out. Question every purchase - need or want? Have you planned ahead for half term (if appropriate)? Most importantly, Pay To Your Debt Or savings First, Live off What Is Left.

No Spend Days. Aim for 20 (high target) or 15 (low). You will not lose an NSD for petrol included in petrol budget, medical expenses (you don't choose when to be ill but stocking up would be cheaper), yellow sticker purchases only (no additional full price items). For regular activities where fees are paid weekly (children's clubs, window cleaner) you can set aside the money for the month on a spend day and avoid losing a spend day each week.

Special exemption for the turtle who's family drink milk by the bucketload. Any requests for special exemptions will be considered (some turtles manage their money in other ways)

Improvise. Make do and mend with a creative twist. think of a substitute ingredient, how to make an old/broken piece of furniture last a little longer. Looking forward to reading your stories on this one.

Exercise Four times a week at least (20 minutes minimum but can be done 10 minutes at a time). Get outside in daylight as often as possible.

Christmas I know it’s a bit early to mention the C-word as Halloween hasn’t even passed yet (not that the shops mind). I started a gift list and started buying little things on the way to spread the cost and I know a few of you do this over the course of the year. I fyou don’t start now. Even if you don’t buy anything yet start planning to avoid the last minute dash.
You still have time to make presents but may need to buy materials (may be more time for edible gifts). Involve children in making gifts. Encourage them to have a toy clear out and pass on any that are no longer wanted to younger family members or charity (or sell to make a few pennies).

Finally Don't Be A Martyr For Christmas. If the works annual do is a chore (and an expensive one) opt out. Say you aren't going.
Some people have lovely families and love to gather together. Most of us have the odd awkward relative and some would try the patience of a saint. Don't let others take you for granted and don't feel obliged to welcome all and sundry.

If Christmas is a difficult time for you, take time out if you need it, treat yourself kindly .

Banned Takeaways, coffee shops, chippys, pie shops, vending machines, sandwich bars etc. exemption for turtls who budget for this from personal/ social spending or who have nowhere else to meet a friend. Dispensation for support for sick friends.

Extra Income or Extra time for the time poor Overtime, surveys, second jobs, craftsales at Christmas fairs (Bunny tales - and tails - always welcome). Or, get up earlier to have time to organise your day before the rest of the house hold gets in the way. Find time wasting activities, replace them with more efficient one, learn to say NO.

Report in, daily if possible (I know some people have access problems). Sometimes people slink off if they have strayed but you will not feel better until you tell your fellow turtles about it.


THE Challenge will run from 00.00 on 1st October until 00.00 on 31st October.
NST September
NSD 6/20 NDD 7/22 spends £180/500
Exercise 5/22
CC Debt £1013 £700
DFD 12/21 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 92300 (11/19) 80779 (08/21)


This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Mortgage rates

What can you (or should you) do?

MSE News

Train strikes

Your refund rights explained

MSE News