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2020 Frugal Living Challenge

edited 11 December 2019 at 11:25AM in Debt-free Wannabe Challenges
1.5K replies 147.6K views
FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
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edited 11 December 2019 at 11:25AM in Debt-free Wannabe Challenges
Welcome to the all new 2020 Frugal Living Challenge

Join us here for year 13 of the Frugaldom challenge on MSE

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 this post in full and if you have any questions, feel free to message me or ask in the forum.

This is an adaptation of the original NYK/Frugaldom 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been running here on MSE for several years, although these particular money challenges began back in the 90's, elsewhere. We have 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.

If you would like to use a simple spreadsheet for calculating your annual expenditure, you are welcome to download a free copy of the original one HERE Simply overwrite the initial monthly amounts and the totals will auto-calculate. From then, it is a simple case of deducting (use the minus sign in front of the amounts) all your outgoings as the year progresses. It's worth while playing about with it to alter headings to suit your personal lifestyle. I've included a couple of extra columns for things like rent/mortgage & council tax and misc/debt payments.

Some have already achieved debt freedom and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay debt free. Others are still tackling their debts and living a frugal life in an attempt to reach their debt-free and/or mortgage-free day. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us and share your journey.

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

The 2019 Challenge

The 2018 Challenge

The 2017 Challenge

The 2016 Challenge

The 2015 Challenge

The 2014 Challenge

The 2013 Challenge

The 2012 Challenge

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

How it all began - Saving to buy a house without a mortgage 2007 Challenge

The original interest beater challenge

The original £1000 in 100 days challenge

The original free hobbies thread

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, sustainable 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 cash back 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
Recognise the differences between needs from wants

Spend within your means
Set a proper budget
Quit expensive bad habits
Houseshare
Get a lodger
Shop via cash-back sites and always price compare
Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them
Stockpile & bulk buy bargains that you use
Batch cooking
Make the most of charity shops
Join freebie or waste awareness and recycling associations
LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
Bartering
Grow your own herbs, fruit & veg
Preserving & winemaking
Breadmaking & home baking
Card & gift making
Order splitting/sharng for better discounts & reduced delivery costs
Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
Online trading - auctions, stores, social media pages
etc, etc, etc...

Monitoring and revising the budget is part of a good frugal living plan. Gifts & cards could all to be homemade, livestock needs to pay its own keep, anything else needs to be cash neutral.
[purplesignup][/purplesignup]
If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.

GOOD LUCK IN 2020
I reserve the right NOT to spend:
The less I spend, the more I can afford!
Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise and saving to build eco-cabins! :D
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Replies

  • edited 27 November 2019 at 9:02PM
    FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
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    edited 27 November 2019 at 9:02PM
    Here we go, all the rules and 'about' stuff that you need to know before setting off on your frugal journey through 2020

    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/afford wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December. 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 and saving to build eco-cabins! :D
  • edited 27 November 2019 at 9:02PM
    FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    edited 27 November 2019 at 9:02PM
    Let's be prepared for 2020... join me for the next big frugal living challenge. :) My personal budget for the cost of living remains unchanged but please remember that is simply to cover the COST OF LIVING.

    Your budget is personal to you - Your guaranteed annual income is what you have to budget, so start by adding up all the absolute essentials like rent, mortgage, debt repayments, work expenses and deduct the total from your annual income. What you have left is your frugal living budget for running your household and paying absolutely everything else. If you end up with a negative number then we're all here to help you turn those numbers around as quickly as possible so the goal of debt freedom becomes achievable.

    I focus purely on the needs and not the wants throughout the challenge. I'm self employed, not in receipt of any benefits and debt free, working on a not-for-profit / social enterprise basis.

    Perhaps some of you remember the Frugaleur, frugal entrepreneur, EEK or Cyberdosh challenges etc... these are still going, but the challenge here is purely about affording to live within our own means and have some fun doing that. :)

    THERE IS NO 2020 CHALLENGER LIST - FEEL FREE TO JOIN US ANYTIME
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise and saving to build eco-cabins! :D
  • nannygladysnannygladys Forumite
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    Hi Frugaldom
    Please put me down for 2020, now Im back in the frugal fold again I want to make it my way of life for the foreseeable future, theres too much waste going on and Im sure I can improve on things in my household.
    Nannyg
    Frugal challenge 2020
    Sealed pot 13 no.31
    Emergency fund 296.76/1000 - slowly increasing!
    NST Sept: No.18 NSD 15/15
  • nannygladysnannygladys Forumite
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    I have been charting my yearly bills, so I can now budget better for them in 2020 as I have worked out Im running short this year. Also Im going to make sure I make the best choices with bills I can control, and now Im eating a lot better I can grow more of the food I actually eat on the lottie!! I think the other thing I can have a go with is keeping spreadsheets with different catorgories so I can chart spending on everything else, so I have December to get these in place, I will ask the help of dd, as she works on and creates spreadsheets for a living and so hopefully can teach me a bit!! not use to these sort of things, usually use a book but then mislay it etc etc.
    Making a list is a start!
    Nannyg
    Frugal challenge 2020
    Sealed pot 13 no.31
    Emergency fund 296.76/1000 - slowly increasing!
    NST Sept: No.18 NSD 15/15
  • BetharooniBetharooni Forumite
    212 posts
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    Hi Frugaldom

    I’d like to sign up for the 2020 challenge. Have not been posting but have been lurking, and am aiming to sort out my budget for next year over the next couple of weeks. Am looking forward to what I can achieve in 2020!
    Save £15K in 2020 #6 £ £11,949.43/£15,000
    Make £2020 in 2020 #11 £1,178.10/£2,020
    Saving for House Deposit £4,191.09/£40,000
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #300 £700/£1,000
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • edited 6 December 2019 at 3:40PM
    FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
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    edited 6 December 2019 at 3:40PM
    Hi Frugaldom
    Please put me down for 2020...

    Welcome back! :D I hope you don't mean that too literally as we don't want to start with vet call-outs for having anything or anybody put down. :rotfl:

    There is a link to a very basic, simple to use spreadsheet in the first posts. DD should be able to explain it and adapt it to suit your personal budget. All the very best with everything and especially your lottie & home grown produce! We still have hens and ducks and I manage quite succesfully to swap eggs for a variety of other produce. The new orchards are slowly taking shape and the herb gardens are progressing well but I am still falling well short of homegrown veg. To be honest, on the ground that we have, it's less expensive to buy what I need, even paying premium prices in the local village store.

    Welcome, Betharooni! Every step in the right direction is a success in this challenge so good luck for 2020 :D
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise and saving to build eco-cabins! :D
  • nannygladysnannygladys Forumite
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    Ha ha!!!
    I could do with going into hibernation when it gets too cold though!!!
    I wish I could keep a few hens at the lottie but we are not allowed and Im not sure my neighbours at home would be impressed!!
    I think Im going to invest in a small chest freezer next year, if I can fit it in somewhere, as I could grow more and freeze instead of just eating everything as it becomes ready!!! I also like to give dds some veggies too and Im sure they would probably prefer frozen than fresh.
    Nannyg
    Frugal challenge 2020
    Sealed pot 13 no.31
    Emergency fund 296.76/1000 - slowly increasing!
    NST Sept: No.18 NSD 15/15
  • nothrtbrknnothrtbrkn Forumite
    1 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Looking for new challenges to take part in for 2020! Count me in :)
  • amber03amber03 Forumite
    881 posts
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    I'm in. DH retiring on NYE, we will be comfortable financially but will still have to watch the pennies as you never know what is around the corner.
    :j Debtfree and and staying that way.:j
    £1000 Emergency fund No.112 £178.00
  • Dear Santa - I mean Frugldom - please put me on your list. I will try to be as good as this year maybe even better. I'm sure this thread is how I have stayed off the naughty list. :D

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