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  • FIRST POST
    • cw18
    • By cw18 1st Dec 10, 9:08 PM
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    cw18
    Frugal Living 2011 - the preparation stage
    • #1
    • 1st Dec 10, 9:08 PM
    Frugal Living 2011 - the preparation stage 1st Dec 10 at 9:08 PM
    My intention for this thread is that it is used by anyone wanting to take part in the 2011 challenge (those who've previously taken part, or anyone new - all are welcome ) to get ready for January 1st

    For me, this last month of 2010 will be spent doing final tweaks to my budgets for 2011 - and will be based around actual expenditure in 2009 and 2010, as I have full records for those two calendar years.

    What people include/exclude varies. The main exclusion seems to be the cost of housing (be that rent or mortgage), but it really is down to the individual on how they want to keep their own books

    The key thing is that all of your outgoings (including those you exclude and any debt repayments) add up to no more than your incoming money........ failure to ensure this is the case means you're going to be getting (further) into debt rather than coming out of it or building up a savings pot.

    And that's another difference between challenge participants.....

    Some may do this to enable them to pay off debts faster, while others are doing it to build up savings (possibly to buy a home, possibly for a dream holiday, possibly - in at least one case - so they can/could start their own business, or possibly 'just' so they have something to fall back on should things get tougher)

    There is no set bottom line you should be aiming for, and participants all have their own personal budgets. As long as each participant is happy with his/her own budget, then no-one else is going to judge them on how high/low that budget is.

    This challenge is NOT a competition to see who can live on the least amount of money, either as a household or on a per person basis.

    This challenge IS about ensuring we only spend what we can afford/are comfortable with spending, and we share hints and tips to help others reduce spends in 'problem' areas.

    ================================================== ======

    As many are aware, this challenge was started up by (and run for several years by) Frugaldom

    You can find the original thread for the last quarter of 2010 here


    I always found the following (in the header of each of the previous threads) to be a useful reminder as to what the challenge was/is about, so have chosen to quote it here

    IMPORTANT.
    Please respect others' lifestyles and beliefs. We are not here to judge, we are here to support. Thank you

    The 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 & 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, not WANTS.

    Living on a budget = living within our means.
    Frugal = thrifty, living without waste

    I have a spreadsheet I compiled for keeping track of all my spends, and a lot of other people on the challenge - and also a lot of "lurkers" - asked for a copy to help them out. I was more than happy to share with anyone who wanted it, and still am.

    There were a few 'bugs' found at the start of 2010, but hopefully those are now all ironed out - and I've updated it to run for 2011 (there's one formula in it that's date based). If you'd like to take a look at it (no obligation to use it) you can find the info on where to download it from here
    Last edited by cw18; 29-12-2010 at 9:18 AM.
    Cheryl
Page 18
  • itsallinthemind
    xnatalie81x mine never worked either, but cash was paid to him(I'm a carer and awiting payment still). Apparently he was destined for greater things, due to change the world, working did not fufill him spiritually. Serious Jesus complex.

    I have just got my IS through, had nothing except store cupboard bits and co-op vouchers of £7. I coped fine, over three weeks. My Mum always has had a good store cupboard/freezer full(I have tiny one unfortunately) and I can't thank her enough for that, we would have been in serious trouble on just child benefit! I will be better off this year by miles, but saving 6-7k for my eldest/holiday is going to be harsh!

    I'm pretty good with food on the cheap and hiding veggies(eldest) but am AWFUL at bread, even with bread mixes! Either under or over knead :/ I'd love to work out how to do pasta bake from dry pasta though, my children stuff that down them!

    I have £55 to spend at thompson and morgan...want veggies/salads only, we eat TONS. Can't decide whether to get plugs or seeds/what's easy/what I have time for etc. I am so naive with that side of things! Such a lot of money, so I keep looking and not deciding as I do not want to waste a penny!

    I have tried most things value, no issues with it, mainly I prefer the taste! But value pasta seems to stay so firm even if I boil the hell out of it. Must be me! Shame as we use a lot more pasta than other carbs as sometimes I need dinner in a hurry/whilst doing other things, if my eldest is being challenging.

    I have the basics of OS as I was raised that way. But I know I can do much better, not just cash wise, but getting a better quality for that cash. If I can get this GYO underway, I dare say it will help massively. Our diet the last 3 weeks has been great by a lot of peoples standards, but not mine.

    Sorry for going on and on and on!!!
    Last edited by itsallinthemind; 28-12-2010 at 5:07 PM.
  • Marru
    Ok I have now budget. It is completely pulled out of thin air as I have just moved and don't know how this house behaves when it comes to utilities costs. I have excluded my rent, council tax, car, my study expenses, child care, DD's school uniform and loan payments.

    So this is what is left:

    Electricity -120
    Gas -360
    Water -240
    Broadband -120
    Landline -180
    Mobile -120
    Memberships -15
    DD Saturday school -70
    Food -1300
    Toiletries -100
    Clothes & shoes -400
    Haircuts -150
    Household -100
    Cards and gifts -100
    Fitness -300
    Days out with DD -240
    Other -85
    In total £4,000.- gulp....

    ETA: ops forgot TV licence which is 12.37 per month and might go up in March so that wipes out my other and brings clothes and shoes down
    Last edited by Marru; 28-12-2010 at 5:26 PM.
    "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."


    • cw18
    • By cw18 28th Dec 10, 5:31 PM
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    cw18
    ETA: ops forgot TV licence which is 12.37 per month and might go up in March so that wipes out my other and brings clothes and shoes down
    Originally posted by Marru
    No it won't go up (or shouldn't anyway) - the government have frozen it for a few years
    Cheryl
  • 10canjul
    Newbie
    Hi I'm new to these forums but like the look of this one. Reading the post have a lot of planning to do over next week to work out budget ect. So any advice would be welcomed
  • Marru
    Oh good , anyway if I can stick with this budget I should be able to throw £4k towards my loan
    "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."


    • cw18
    • By cw18 28th Dec 10, 6:04 PM
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    cw18
    Hi I'm new to these forums but like the look of this one. Reading the post have a lot of planning to do over next week to work out budget ect. So any advice would be welcomed
    Originally posted by 10canjul
    Start by making a list of where your money goes, then try and figure out what you need/want to be spending on each of those categories next year.

    If you opt to include things like council tax, then this is a 'need to spend' that you can't do anything about to change the amount. Things like insurance are a 'need to spend' that you have some control over as you can shop around. Gas/Electricity are also 'need to spend' categories you have some control over (ie. switch supplier and/or reduce use).

    Groceries is clearly a 'need to spend' category, but should be one you have a lot more control over. So have a good think about what you're currently spending, and then about what you'd like to be spending (which for most us is probably lower than the first figure )

    Things like clothes are 'want to spends', but you should still try and come up with a figure you don't want to exceed (and realistically think you have a chance of staying within)
    Cheryl
    • grandma247
    • By grandma247 28th Dec 10, 6:24 PM
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    grandma247
    hello Marru
  • Marru
    Hello!!

    Hope you are well
    "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."


    • grandma247
    • By grandma247 28th Dec 10, 6:42 PM
    • 2,391 Posts
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    grandma247
    Yes I am. I hope you are feeling ok too now. I had a little peep at your diary? the other day. Things seem to be better for you now.
  • jo70mo
    Ok, found this thread thanks to elly68 and have been lurking but now decided to join. will try and work out my budget by weekend - GULP.
    Jo x
    “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
    - Howard Thurman
  • Marru
    Yes I am. I hope you are feeling ok too now. I had a little peep at your diary? the other day. Things seem to be better for you now.
    Originally posted by grandma247
    Yes thanks, as long as I think I am in control it is ok hence needing this challenge. Working on my spreadsheet now
    Last edited by Marru; 28-12-2010 at 7:37 PM.
    "Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."


    • Aril
    • By Aril 28th Dec 10, 7:13 PM
    • 1,880 Posts
    • 16,730 Thanks
    Aril
    Hello
    I haven't been anywhere near the shops yet but have booked holidays to take advantage of the 2010 prices. Will do a stock up of the basics tomorrow at Sainsburys to replenish after Christmas
    I've started decluttering again- some has been put aside for a jumble sale next month and some has gone via freecycle. I've also discovered some projects to keep me busy and away from my purse I've done all my mending jobs, taken the buttons off some clothes that are not good enough to pass on and made hankies out of the back of a white cotton pillow case that had a huge rent in the front.
    We're still finishing off the Christmas leftovers- tonight the leftover pork was blitzed up with some stuffing mix to make burgers and served up with the remaining unused veg and the apple sauce on the side. Tomorrow I shall use the 4 remaining wrinkly parsnips with the carrots to make another vat of soup. Absolutely nowt wasted
    Arilx
    PS For those of you wondering I believe [please correct me if I'm wrong Cheryl] that the challenge operates on a fairly flexible basis. I will once again track my spending which makes me much more mindful of what I spend and also more willing to look at different options. I work to a rough budget as I am fortunate to have some leeway but if my job goes then I will definitely devise a set one.
    Last edited by Aril; 28-12-2010 at 7:18 PM.
    Aiming for a life of elegant frugality wearing a new-to-me silk shirt rather than one of hair!

    Not Buying It 2016
  • xnatalie81x
    xnatalie81x mine never worked either, but cash was paid to him(I'm a carer and awiting payment still). Apparently he was destined for greater things, due to change the world, working did not fufill him spiritually. Serious Jesus complex.

    Sorry for going on and on and on!!!
    Originally posted by itsallinthemind
    lol - sounds similar but my ex wanted to work for himself, hated being told what to do blah blah but tried his own business and ended up owing his mum over 20k plus he has his inheriatance on top of that when she sold her flat what i would have done with 30k............. as you can imagine, when i started my own business in Jan and it was successful immediately - he got very jealous.

    Veg growing is fun. What you get depends on the space you have, time etc etc. Some things are always easier from plug (for me peppers! I am rubbish at peppers from seed lol) but tomatoes are easy peasy. I grow loads of them as we use loads. I freeze them whole and uncooked and then make chopped tomatoes when needed. I have a chest freezer, a normal freezer and a small freezer attached to my fridge - it is filled with reduced price rolls/crumpets/ciabatta/mince and Home grown veg (much more 2011 tho!)

    I like value pasta. I do cook it for ages but i am going to look at the huge packs from makro. Also you can buy 10kg bags rice near me in tesco.......... will be looking into that too. I do need more cooking stuff as the dipshit wont give most of our stuff back STILL! I bought a silver metal tray thing from makro (catering one) - a baking dish type thing and it is BRILLIANT! easy to clean and serve from. Want to buy more

    Grabbit board has a thing for zooplus £6.00 off and free delivery - pet stuff. Just ordered 2kg bag JW food for pup - 99p (usually 7.50 bag_ add that to medicanimal saving last mth (saved 75p on second bag) and i have enough dog food till march - total cost for 3mths food 15.24 delivered you can also get toys n treats n stuff so may be a good gift for a pet lover.........
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
  • LilacPixie
    I really needd to join this and keep with it for all of 2011. i'm ue baby number 3 in the next 7 ish weeks. No idea on budget but as our HH income will drop about £1200 PM when i'm on mat leave it will need to be mega frugal.

    Oh and we have bought a bigger house so no idea on the running costs yet.
    MF aim 10th December 2020
    MFW 2012 no86 OP 0/2000
    • Blairweech
    • By Blairweech 28th Dec 10, 10:32 PM
    • 1,379 Posts
    • 16,273 Thanks
    Blairweech
    There is a thread on HUKD saying that redcurrant/blackcurrant bushes/spring bulbs/onion and asparagus sets are currently 10p in Focus...not sure if it is store specific though, have not been down to my local focus to check
    We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment
    • pollsdolls
    • By pollsdolls 28th Dec 10, 11:07 PM
    • 2,893 Posts
    • 17,676 Thanks
    pollsdolls
    What a great idea OP. Well done
    ~ What goes around comes around ~
    • patentgirl
    • By patentgirl 29th Dec 10, 6:58 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 12,313 Thanks
    patentgirl
    I havent had yet chance to work out my budget as had family staying since xmas eve, popped on quickly now to see how everyone going will pop back soon with total only thing i seem to be struggling with is food total I spend normally about £75 pw which would be £3,900 before i start adding anything else you all seem to spend alot less than that over the year any tips please before I finalise total my main problem is work full time no shops near work I seem to miss all whoospie bargains I do cook from scratch no processed if I can help it
    Blairweech thanks for link about focus need to stock up for our allotment
    February grocery challenge £200
  • itsallinthemind
    I have a chest freezer, a normal freezer and a small freezer attached to my fridge - it is filled with reduced price rolls/crumpets/ciabatta/mince and Home grown veg (much more 2011 tho!)

    I like value pasta. I do cook it for ages but i am going to look at the huge packs from makro.

    I bought a silver metal tray thing from makro (catering one) - a baking dish type thing and it is BRILLIANT! easy to clean and serve from. Want to buy more

    Grabbit board has a thing for zooplus £6.00 off
    Originally posted by xnatalie81x
    Thanks for the reply-loads of info!

    I have a half size freezer attached to the fridge here, I seriously need to look at a chest freezer for co-op whoopsies and batch cooking. I only fill with meat currently. Although the damn thing would need to go in my bedroom

    I still have half a bag, I'll try again later. I did find it really filling in a pasta bake though, that filling I fell asleep on the sofa at 9pm

    I could kick myself, I have just bought new cheapy trays. You mean the aluminium ones yes? If so they are great, can scourer them with a silver scourer and never need replacing!

    Ordering cheapy cat bed, if my LL says yes(asking him once been here a year/finances settled) great-if not I have a cat mad mate, totally cat mad!

    Right, going to stop dithering and get my T&M order done pronto!

    Thanks again
    • the_cat
    • By the_cat 29th Dec 10, 8:41 AM
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    • 11,317 Thanks
    the_cat
    Well now Christmas is properly over, I can't wait for the last few days of this year to be over so that we can start on the challenge. I have resisted the sales, except for a couple of saucepans and baking trays which will be needed to replace the tatty,scratched grot which is losing it's non-stick stuff. I figure that can't be all that good for you so a purchase was essential

    For anyone who has some freezer space, a scout for whoopsies would be a definate help in the next few evenings. I know that it is well known that Christmas Eve is good for bargains, but TBH I always find much,much more and much cheaper in the few days after Christmas. The meats etc are normally dated for a few days after Christmas so that is when the majority come to the end of their dates

    I have been for the last 2 nights and have gained an EMBARRASING amount of stuff. Enough fruit/veg to last 10 days at least (all at 9p)
    Packs of duck,chicken,lamb,mince,fish etc etc all at between 9p and 80p(for joints )

    I'm going to have to restack the freezers today to wedge it all in. Perhaps take some out of its packaging and freezer bag it..... you get the picture

    Anyway waffled enough for now
    • cw18
    • By cw18 29th Dec 10, 9:10 AM
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    cw18
    SPREADSHEET(s) AVAILABLE - I hope

    I've just tweaked both versions of the spreadsheet for use in 2011
    I've also updated the Instructions page on them in case anyone wants to add in more regular payment details (in the hope this will enable you to do this yourself - but if the instructions aren't clear enough please let me know and I'll see if I can 'talk' you through it any better, with a view to updating those instructions at a later date)

    The version for Excel 2007 is complete and can be used immediately
    You can download this version here

    But when I save in 'backwards compatible' mode (to get the 97-2003 version, which I believe can also be used by those using Open Office) the file size explodes - and exceeds the maximum G00gle Docs will allow me to upload as a single file. As such I've had to delete all the forumlas from 11 of the 12 'Grocery' pages, but have added special notes into the Instructions page of this version to tell you how (and when) to put them back - it's a pretty simple case of 'copy and paste', just takes a little bit of time.
    This version can be found here

    Any problems accessing or downloading these (or running on your spreadsheet package - especially if you're on Open Office) please let me know, and I'll see if I can get a download up and running for you


    If anyone has problems with it constantly telling you it's "read only" (even after you've done a 'save as'), please see the helpful hint from itsallinthemind here
    Last edited by cw18; 14-01-2011 at 10:38 AM.
    Cheryl
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