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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 1st Jan 10, 8:12 AM
    • 6,147Posts
    • 54,340Thanks
    Frugaldom
    FRUGAL LIVING CHALLENGE 2010, part 1. (Living on £4,000 a year)
    • #1
    • 1st Jan 10, 8:12 AM
    FRUGAL LIVING CHALLENGE 2010, part 1. (Living on £4,000 a year) 1st Jan 10 at 8:12 AM
    This is the follow up thread to the 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been renamed and adapted to allow a more diverse range of budgets, depending on individual circumstances. The following links will take you to all the previous challenge threads.

    Introduction to 2010 Frugal Living Challenge
    Part 1 - January to March 2010
    Part 2 - April to June 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

    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 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
    Spend within your means
    Set a proper budget
    Houseshare
    Get a lodger
    Shop via cashback sites but always price compare,
    Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them,
    Stockpile & bulk buy
    Batch cooking,
    Make the most of charity shops,
    Join Freecycle or other similar waste awareness and recycling associations,
    LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
    bartering
    Grow your own herbs, fruit & veg,
    Preserving & winemaking
    Card & gift making
    Order splitting for better discounts & shared postal costs,
    Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
    Free scratchcards,
    Matched betting,
    Free online bingo,
    eBid and eBay trading
    etc, etc, etc...

    Sample Budget
    Groceries £900.00
    Toiletries £35.00
    Heat & power £900.00
    Internet £216.00
    Mobiles £20.00
    Telephone £140.00
    Clothing & footwear £40.00
    Travel £240.00
    Household Insurance £42.50
    Council Tax £935.00
    TOTAL £3,468.50
    Monitoring and revising the budget is part of frugal living plan. Gifts & cards could all to be homemade, livestock needs to pay its own keep, anything else needs to be cash neutral.

    HANDY LINKS:
    (I am neither endorsing nor recommending any of the links provided here, members of our extended frugal community have simply found them to contain helpful information.)

    Approved Food - amazing bargains if you don't mind short dates or past sell by – save a fortune whilst saving it from landfill!
    Bite Card - 20% off food at train stations (ideal for regular travellers)
    Budgetbrain - MSE's free to use budget analysis tool - BRILLIANT!
    Carrot recipes - loads of ways to use up those carrots
    CASHBACK - The official MSE list of sites offering the best cashback deals
    Cheryl's FREE spreadsheet - how to download & use it free
    Complete (MSE) cooking collection - Loads and loads and loads of recipes
    Cookingbynumbers - using up food you have in stock, free to use
    Crafting for Christmas - homemade presents
    Eggs, eggs, eggs - My '100 things to do with eggs' list
    Electricity & Gas savings - monitor your electricity & gas with the MoneySaving Carbon Club
    Flannel Cake making - unusual gifts
    Food Bargains - Discounted food, short dated and past 'BBE' dates.
    Foraging & Preserving - free foods, when, where, what to do with them
    Free 2010 OS MSE calendar - download and print
    Free crafts ideas - how to make papier mache banks etc
    Freecycle - don't bin it, rehome it.
    Freegle - Originally Freecycle in UK
    Gift Baskets & Hampers - an index to the MSE relevant threads
    Gifts in a jar - you don't need a canner for these
    Greenfingered money saving - Gardening & growing your own food
    Grocery bargains - Supermarket price reduction times
    Hunger Site - Charity site where every click counts
    i-Measure - log your meter readings and try to reduce your carbon footprint
    Laundry Gloop and loads of other frugal cleaning related 'recipes'
    Leftovers - don't bin them, get creative, make another meal.
    LETS - Local Exchange Trading Schemes and alternative currencies within communities
    Martin's mad moneysaver ads - a surprising new addition to the site - advertising offers!
    Martin's current offers & discount codes - updated daily
    Menu Planning - hundreds of options and suggestions
    Nutrition and diet info, an excellent thread - thanks to Weezl74
    Old Style indexed collection - Indexed collection of links, hints and tips for anything old style, moneysaving and frugal.
    Preparing for winter the frugal way
    Recipes part 1 - thanks to Rosieben on the Grocery Challenge
    Recipes part 2 - thanks, again, to Rosieben
    Remoska discussion - everything you need to know about Remoska ovens
    Rural Moneysaving Hunt - official MSE discussion
    Selling on eBid - decluttering and recycling for cash with no listing fees
    Snowman Soup - always a favourite with frugallers during the festive season
    Soapnuts - The frugal, eco-friendly alternative to soap powder or detergents (free samples)
    Soapnuts thread on MSE - discuss, ask questions here
    Spending Diary - excellent free resource for recording your spends
    Start a cottage industry - the official MSE discussion
    Veg Planner - free printable vegetable planting guide/calendar from the RHS
    Weezl74's 50p per person per day eating healthily thread
    Weezl74's frugal recipe testing thread - Phase 1
    Will Power & Billy Can - part 1, part 2, part 3
    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 wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December 2010. The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone.
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 31-03-2010 at 9:29 PM. Reason: Updating links
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
Page 3
    • winterfrost
    • By winterfrost 1st Jan 10, 12:38 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    winterfrost
    Can I (Winterfrost) join this challenge for £3,500?

    I won't be including rent, council tax or some monthly DDs to charities, pet insurance etc. or my bus pass, but will be including any money I take out and spend. So, this total will include bills, food, clothes, going out and any other expenses.
    GC: December: £145?/£120; January: £125.70/£120; February: £163.22/£120; March £113.94/£120; April £DOOM; May £Gave up; June £DOOM; July £160.78/£108; August £7.65/£200
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2010: member 780
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 1st Jan 10, 12:41 PM
    • 2,794 Posts
    • 28,270 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Wishing everyone the best of luck for frugal living in 2010. My budget for the year was an eye opener. I am going to be positive and be more aware of where my money is going.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2019
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST A Gentle Jog Through July
  • savingfortravel
    HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!

    Really looking forward to this challenge and wish everyone the best of luck.

    Thanks Nyk for all you do to support us.

    I hope you all had a great time last night. We watched fireworks, disco danced and did a conga up the street..not bad considering my parents are in their 70s!

    Stayed over and treated family to home made New Years Day brunch. Still feeling full up so will only need something small later.
    Came home with a couple of sausages, bread, bottle of buzz fizz. Also mum gave us brussell sprouts, couple of carrots and huge pack of toilet rolls.

    Just pottering for the rest of the dayÖbeautiful sunshine outside

    SFT
    Frugal Living 2010 member MFW by 2014 Was 88,000 now £46,877.90 Grocery Budget for Dec-April=£173.72/£244 (Groc Budget 2010 from Ebay/Voucher savings/Quidco -If we can do it will save our £980 GC budget) Now living the dream -in our tiny country cottage-all thanks to MS forums. x 39 2 go
    Stockpile Savings: £89.72 Voucher savings £8
    • Glad
    • By Glad 1st Jan 10, 1:06 PM
    • 17,957 Posts
    • 39,913 Thanks
    Glad
    Hi and Happy New Year to you all

    I've just read through the previous thread and the first thing to strike me is what a lovely supportive group of people you are

    I really need some help to live more frugally now, I split with my husband 6 months ago so just me and my two teens now, house is for sale and when I downsize I know things will be easier.

    We already do a weekly mealplan, all meat is from local butcher and as much as we can is bought from local market, usually Tesco for anything else. We take it in turns to cook and most meals are cooked from scratch.

    My fridge and store cupboards are bulging at the moment and I'm hoping I can do a supersave this month by utilising all those stores to save on my shopping bills. Would it be ok to list the contents here and ask for a little help with menus?
    I'm a Board Guide on the Money Savers Arms, Discussion Time, Wales, Competitions, Marriage Relationships & Families, Health and Pet Care boards. However, please do remember, board guides don't read every post. if you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with reportable posts). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    Compers please read the Comping Guide
    • stitching witch
    • By stitching witch 1st Jan 10, 1:08 PM
    • 1,236 Posts
    • 8,253 Thanks
    stitching witch
    Okay, now I'm worried! I've spent the last three hours going over and over the budget.

    I am going to go for £6000, but this doesn't include rent, Council Tax and Water Rates as these are out of my control. It doesn't include debt repayments either. In fact, I'm amazed at how little it does cover as I haven't included luxury things like books, clothes, gifts or a contingency fund. I just don't know how you lot do it!!

    The even scarier thing is that if I include rent etc and debt repayments it comes to £16,000 and my projected income is £11,400
    Making magic with fabric

    Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
    • debtmess
    • By debtmess 1st Jan 10, 1:10 PM
    • 698 Posts
    • 3,045 Thanks
    debtmess
    Happy new year to all xx

    thanks to nyk for letting me join back in on this after i went last year (new username x)

    looking forward to getting back on the wagon in 2010 as i kinda slipped up big time with mine last year and end figures was a good 2k over what id originally set myself

    have got 4 large notebooks with me ready for the 4 parts of this year, just need to set a realistic amount once kiddies in bed and ive sat down and worked out what im including in my personal challenge

    looking forward to being a bigger part of it all this year
    Debt free

    Married 15/02/14
    • Aril
    • By Aril 1st Jan 10, 1:25 PM
    • 1,880 Posts
    • 16,730 Thanks
    Aril
    Happy New Year all fellow frugallers

    We stayed in last night and shared a bottle of vino and a rather large packet of crisps. I had a friend over all afternoon so it was good to catch up there.
    I'm making good use of being at home today to catch up on lots of jobs- have finished my list now so am chilling.
    Have been through all my cupboards etc and meal planned around that so it should be a small shop tomorrow. I was trying to think up ways of using up our potatoes as the small person really isn't a fan. Leek and potato soup was an obvious one except no leeks so substituted onions instead. Enough for today's lunch and tomorrow's. Jolly tasty too! This evening we're having a chickpea curry made with the leftover sauce from our takeaway that we treated ourselves to before Christmas.
    There's been lots of sorting out and decluttering going on in the Aril household today. Hours of frugal fun
    Arilx

    Aiming for a life of elegant frugality wearing a new-to-me silk shirt rather than one of hair!

    Not Buying It 2016
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 1st Jan 10, 1:31 PM
    • 6,147 Posts
    • 54,340 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Frugal Living 2010
    Just a quick 'pop online' to check on how everyone is settling into their new virtual challenge home and to say welcome to more newbies. I#ve listed all the names, I think, up to 'WinterFrost'. Cheers, and thank you for joining us in our quest from frugaldom and, in some cases, a self-sufficientish lifestyle.

    Clootie dumpling still boiling away nicely and we've been next door to first foot the neighbours. Not being very conventional, I took half a dozen duck eggs along with homemade shortbread, which wasn't yet cooled , and a bottle of homemade elderflower champagne. Came home with a chunk of fruit & walnut cake and some bananas for loaf making, plus I have a little bottle of SM's homemade blackberry gin that she brought in last night. Frugal 2010 here we come, with some lovely neighbourly bartering done for the start of this brand New Year.

    Off to prep the veg and get the steak pie into the oven. I THINK everything's under control here. We're having elderflower champagne and I have a bottle of red wine, courtesy of another nearby neighbour. A wee shot of malt and a cracker with pate will make the ideal aperitif.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Brighton belle
    • By Brighton belle 1st Jan 10, 1:53 PM
    • 5,138 Posts
    • 25,423 Thanks
    Brighton belle
    Okay, now I'm worried! I've spent the last three hours going over and over the budget.

    I am going to go for £6000, but this doesn't include rent, Council Tax and Water Rates as these are out of my control. It doesn't include debt repayments either. In fact, I'm amazed at how little it does cover as I haven't included luxury things like books, clothes, gifts or a contingency fund. I just don't know how you lot do it!!

    The even scarier thing is that if I include rent etc and debt repayments it comes to £16,000 and my projected income is £11,400
    Originally posted by stitching witch
    You have still made a good start stitching, getting it all down on paper shows you the reality of the situation and only from there can you really take control. And many here living on less have honed their skills over several years so don't be overwhelmed.
    Having listed all your categories, now see which ones might be honeable.

    Rosie -aeb had triplets in Sept! Great to see you popping in aeb, hope you & tribe doing ok, particulrly at this time of the year. Congrats on the doors.

    I'm starting off the new year as I ended the old: paper shredding (huge backlog) and ditching clutter ready form dump/charity shop run on Monday.OH at work.

    Having a treat of steaks form our butcher for tonights dinner.
    I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once
  • jtb2412
    Afternoon everyone and Happy New Year. I hope you all had lots of fun and frivolity last night

    A quiet night in here playing games with the children and watching TV. I had to pop out at 1am and pick up DD from a party so it wasn't a very early night for us (i'm usually in bed by 10 ).

    I spent yesterday finalising finances etc and decided to change utility suppliers which will save me approx £300 per year (signed up for DD after much umming and aahing which I know makes sense rather than a quarterly bill). I should also get £62 cashback from Q***co (yet to be paid so I'll not count it until it hits the bank).

    Also reviewed our S*y TV, internet and phone and have decided to go with S*y for all 3 which will save us a massive £26 per month . Another £30 cashback due for this too. We also got £10 per month off our TV subscription for 6 months for taking the full package, so another £60 saved .

    With the approx increase in WFTC once I give up work I've already managed to find £2516 of my £4K earnings - not to be sniffed at and makes me feel even happier about handing in my notice on Monday .

    I've also found out that it looks like we're NOT going to lose the allotment after all - I need to confirm things but apparently the local council voted against the road building, so unless the developers can find about £10m (which is highly unlikely) then we're all set for a good couple of years growing .

    The year has definitely started off on a very positive note.

    NYK I'm going to try the clootie (sp?) dumpling in a couple of weeks, sounds delicious !

    CW huge thanks for the spreadsheet. I've been shopping this morning (food and a few 75% reduced presents for the year ahead) and I've had great fun filling it out (DH slightly worried about my ooohs and aaahhs while sitting on the computer ).

    Regarding the pressies (my one thing that I'm trying to cut down on), I managed to get 16 at Mr S today for the total price of £38.50 (original price was £115.50 so a massive saving ). Now if I can only do that for the rest of them I'll be laughing !

    Food shop came in under budget for this week and I stuck to my list ridgedly. Will be doing storecupboard challenge for the next few weeks to try and free up some space/use up all odds and ends.

    Right I've probably bored half of you to death so I'm going to go and play with my 'present' spreadsheet for a bit while I have another glass of red (last day before I get back on the diet so I'm making the most of it ).

    TTFN ........ will check in later xx
    Weight loss to date 1st 11.5lb
    • cw18
    • By cw18 1st Jan 10, 2:17 PM
    • 8,077 Posts
    • 86,061 Thanks
    cw18
    CW huge thanks for the spreadsheet. I've been shopping this morning (food and a few 75% reduced presents for the year ahead) and I've had great fun filling it out (DH slightly worried about my ooohs and aaahhs while sitting on the computer ).
    Originally posted by jtb2412
    I refuse to accept any responsibilty for causing DH's (or OH's or partners in general) to go off in a sulk, thinking you prefer to spend time with the computer than them

    Glad to hear you're enjoying using it though
    Cheryl
  • ChinaTea
    Happy New Year

    Intended having a quiet lazy day today but my neighbours freezer gave up on Christmas eve so we went to the sales. Called in at MrT on the way home and picked up 10 bottles white vinegar for 36p a bottle. Was pleased as everytime I've been to MrA the shelf has been empty. Neighbour gave me petrol money and bought coffee so spent just 3.60 and this should last me the rest of the year with what I already have in. So I was really excited that I could start on my beautiful spreadsheet and see it work for real.

    So now have to find somewhere to store it so could end up rearranging cupboards. Shouldn't be anymore spend this week or several weeks for anything other than catfood. Have enough food to feed an army and am going to use this up before buying more.

    After I'd done my budget and thought it odd that I would have 3000 left over realised that I have actually lost £15 per week income that I hadn't factored in so this drastically reduces the surplus.

    Right off to sort a cupboard or two and must remember to eat ( quite often forget).
  • lingojingo
    How about this for good vibes to get the new year off to a good start - playing farmv*lle on f***book, I have just attained the rank of Frugal Farmer

    CW thank you so much for the spreadsheet, I've sorted my budget and am going for 8k to include everything except the mortgage. Mind you, just had to rejig it as I hadn't allowed anything for clothes this could have been really as I'm planning to lose a lot of weight this year, so hopefully nothing will fit!

  • weezl74
    just know that this time last year i had debt (4 figure i think) and now i have a 4 figure amount of savings:d.
    Originally posted by ceridwen

    Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz
    Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
    • Kerfuffle
    • By Kerfuffle 1st Jan 10, 3:23 PM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 11,554 Thanks
    Kerfuffle
    Hi CW- thank you for the spreadsheet. So speedily too! I will have a play around with it once I've figured 'stuff' out.

    Thanks again.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 12 #58
    2019 - The Year of the Shopping Ban.
    No wants, just needs.
    24011.00/6484.24
    150lbs/152.6
    • slm6002
    • By slm6002 1st Jan 10, 3:25 PM
    • 1,807 Posts
    • 4,860 Thanks
    slm6002
    me too thanks CW - I am currently working my way through it x
    Me,OH, DD 13, DS 11, DD 8
    DFW Nerd 1103 Debt Free 04/18
  • pink_numbers

    have got 4 large notebooks with me ready for the 4 parts of this year, just need to set a realistic amount once kiddies in bed and ive sat down and worked out what im including in my personal challenge
    Originally posted by debtmess
    May I be nosey and ask what you are going to write in them?

    I'm always curious of how other people keep track!

    Thanks


    • Skint Lynne
    • By Skint Lynne 1st Jan 10, 3:35 PM
    • 1,357 Posts
    • 11,182 Thanks
    Skint Lynne
    Good afternoon everyone,

    I've had a 'fairly' lazy day, got up and prepped the steak and kidney pud (complete with string BB), and I put it in the slow. Apparently, this is a good method for steaming, so I was told on OS pages. It should be ready around 6.30 I think/hope:rolleyes:.

    I then had to pick up the sisters and brother3 from brother 2's house after their shindig. One of the sisters was not at all well, been there done that!

    DH is feeling delicate today as well after coming to bed at 5.30, I had been there from just after 1am, I am just not into partying hard anymore. He had better eat this pudding he has moaned about for so long, or there will be trouble afoot!

    No spending today, probably DD's have come out of the bank but I have not checked.

    I have decided to put £100 in my purse every week, after it is done, that is it, or if I have any left, I will put it into an envelope and save it up for emergencies, so today is the first day I will do this.

    I hope everyone is having a wonderful day and good luck for the year. xx
    • mooomin
    • By mooomin 1st Jan 10, 3:39 PM
    • 13,655 Posts
    • 134,514 Thanks
    mooomin
    How about this for good vibes to get the new year off to a good start - playing farmv*lle on f***book, I have just attained the rank of Frugal Farmer
    Originally posted by lingojingo
    I've been using the day off to plant & harvest crops with short growing times that I normally can't get done when I'm working during the week

    I've not just been playing on FB though - I've done washing and dishes and taken the Christmas cards down. I'm going to cut them up for tags etc while watching Dr Who I also plan to inventory the toiletries today and will be aiming not to buy any more until I'm about to run out (Which doesn't mean that I have three tubes of toothpaste etc and have found a good deal!)
    Comping again


    Wins this year: - two night trip to Belgium, £100 Gett taxi credit, tickets to Newcastle game, FIFA 2016 for PS4, stitch markers, Cumberstitching book
    • trex170104
    • By trex170104 1st Jan 10, 3:53 PM
    • 123 Posts
    • 1,031 Thanks
    trex170104
    It's funny how we read names, 'cos I always read it as a 'different spelling' of "trecks" (as in walking journey) - probably 'cos DH was a keen hill walker
    Originally posted by cw18
    Ha ha I do LOVE walking but it is actually my initial T, and my surname Rex, plus our wedding date 17/01/04!
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