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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 18th Dec 12, 10:36 AM
    • 6,147Posts
    • 54,317Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2013 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 18th Dec 12, 10:36 AM
    2013 Frugal Living Challenge 18th Dec 12 at 10:36 AM
    Frugaldom's Frugal Living Challenge

    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 posts 1 and 2 in full and check out the HANDY LINKS section.

    To help avoid clogging up this very fast-moving thread, please private message Frugaldom to have your name added to the challenger list.

    NB: THIS IS AN ADAPTED VERSION OF THE ORIGINAL CHALLENGE, SPECIFICALLY FOR MSE FORUM USERS

    This is an adaptation of Frugaldom's 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been running here on MSE for the past 5 years, but the actual challenge began several years previously, elsewhere. It has 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.

    Some have achieved their debt free status and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay debt free. Others are still pursuing that dream. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us for 2013 and share your journey as you give debts the heave-ho once and for all.


    Edited in - the MSE version of the 2014 Frugal Living Challenge is HERE

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

    The 2013 Challenge - this one

    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


    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 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 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...

    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 - Some 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
    Complete (MSE) cooking collection - Loads and loads and loads of recipes
    Coupon thread on MSE - For coupons, money off and discounts
    Crafting for Christmas - homemade presents
    Eggs, eggs, eggs - Frugaldom's '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 crafts ideas - how to make papier mache banks etc
    Freecycle - don't bin it, rehome it
    Freegle - Originally Freecycle in UK
    FREE Spreadsheet - link to Cheryl's (CW18) budget spreadsheet
    Frugaldom - Home of this challenge
    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
    Homemade Rhubarb Champagne - quick, cheap and easy
    How to make a sealed pot - saving all your spare change in papier mache banks
    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
    My FREE spreadsheet - where to download from
    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
    ROSSPA - Cheap groceries & fresh produce direct to your door.
    Rural Moneysaving Hunt - official MSE discussion
    Selling on eBid - decluttering and recycling for cash with no listing fees
    Slow Cooker Recipes - on MSE
    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 2013 The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone and these will be updated accordingly.
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 22-12-2013 at 10:23 AM. Reason: Preparing for 2014 challenge
    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 2
    • Tiglath
    • By Tiglath 24th Dec 12, 6:15 AM
    • 3,570 Posts
    • 11,681 Thanks
    Tiglath
    I'd like to join please. Aside from paying off masses towards debt including the mortgage, my budget is looking like £12k for the year. That's being very frugal with food, but the cats are a huge expense - about £300/month including insurance. DH won't agree to ditch Sky or get cheaper broadband, so there's not a lot else I can cut from fixed expenses, although I'll be ditching my mobile contract in May for PAYG. I'm not including anything on clothes/haircut/social life because those aren't really things I do. I'll be cooking from scratch, taking lunch into work and growing some veg. It's really a continuation of plans I've put into motion the past 3 months; I've finished tweaking them, now it's time to live them out.
    "Save £12k in 2019" #120 - £51.653.08/£60k
  • ostrichnomore
    I'm joining as I need to get into a regular savings habit and I also want to cut down on some of my 'less necessary' expenditure. That spreadsheet is brilliant, thanks. I don't have any rent/bills expenses on there as although I pay a share towards them it comes out directly from business I run with ex (it's his house too) so I've just worked out what to do with my actual income into bank account each month.
    Don't normally spend as much on that as clothes but I'm doing well dieting and all my trousers are falling off! So I'm going to hit the sales in Jan and also probably (I hope) need to buy some more stuff again in another 6 months.
    Cigarettes, ouch, going to give up again next year once I've finished dieting so hope to be well under budget there. I know I could reduce the budget in some areas but it's been a crap 2012 and I deserve a few nice times in 2013! I'm determined not to go over on anything though.
    Mobile Phone 150.00
    'new life' savings 6200.00
    Hairdresser 120.00
    Mags/books/treats 150.00
    Leisure/hobbies 500.00
    Presents 350.00
    Breakdown Cover 120.00
    Cigarettes 1046.00
    Holiday savings 500.00
    gym 228.00
    clothes + shoes 200.00
    parking 416.00
    kw equipment 50.00
    Drink 200.00
    Groceries 1300.00
    Toiletries/Cleaning 120.00
    lunches 150.00
    misc 200.00
    I am a long term poster using an alter ego for debts and anything where I might mention relationship problems or ex. I hope you understand
    [CENTER]LBM 08/03/11. Debts Family member £1600, HMRC NI £324.AA 137.45. Halifax credit card (debt sold to Arrow Global)673.49Mystery CCJ £252 Santander overdraft £239 £0 .
    • hollysmum22
    • By hollysmum22 26th Dec 12, 11:06 AM
    • 144 Posts
    • 970 Thanks
    hollysmum22
    could i join please x
    princess moo born 25/11/2009
    Sealed Pot Challenge # 1895 20p Savers Club 2013 # 60
    Save £5k in 2013' challenge £0/£5000 #047
    Baby Fund Challenge £0/£1.500


    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 26th Dec 12, 2:21 PM
    • 10,585 Posts
    • 54,635 Thanks
    Mooloo
    During 2012 I spent more money then I would like to admit to myself never mind anyone else, on paying for the useless grown up children of mine.! I was in a good place at the start of the year, and by the summer I had saved nearly £1500 I think. But I ended up with it all gone, and the twins and DS are on a stupid JSA sanction, again for missing an appointment, (No bus money to get there, and now NO BENEFITS FOR 3 MONTHS!!) And as they live on thier own, how do you expect them to live? Muggins here.
    Well I have said I cannot do it anymore. Not because I dont want to, but I just cannot.
    How they will live???? God alone knows.
    Twin1 seems to be coping a little better, but still during the year I have had to sort out rent arrears, council tax arrears etc, due to benefits being messed around.
    Twin2, the cost has been into several hundreds towards the end of this year after her money was sanctioned, and her rent is now around £1,000 in arrears.
    DS was paying off his debts, via my bank accounts, but since his sanctioning in November. I have been paying his bills, at some £134 a month, not to mention al the extra money that they have all had for Electric, Food shopping and Gas at times. Oh and busfairs.

    IF i was not helping them, I would have achieved my Goals, and had a nest egg started.
    IF I keep doing the spread sheets, then perhaps I will be reminded not to Pay out anything on them.
    So here goes for 2013 back on a budget, and aim to live on around £9,000 (Figures will need looking at and tweaking etc and will do that in the first few days of the new year when I have more time).
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • natnat13
    • By natnat13 26th Dec 12, 3:06 PM
    • 608 Posts
    • 7,652 Thanks
    natnat13
    Arrh Mooloo thats really hard, we would all do anything for our kids but maybe it is time for some tough love! Good luck x
    Mum, student, worker, dog mum, partner.
    Keen to live a healthly lifestyle and save money
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 26th Dec 12, 3:16 PM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...merry christmas, could i please be put onthe list for next year....i will have a think about our budget and post it later

    thankyou tessa
    onwards and upwards
    • couldsavemore
    • By couldsavemore 26th Dec 12, 5:43 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 2,470 Thanks
    couldsavemore
    I would like to join in please . Im not sure yet about figures but will add them when I can.
    We are are a family of 3 ,me my OH and DD. plus 1 dog. we seriously need to cut down on everything but unfortunately my OH is not on-board at moment but hoping he will change when he sees the benefit.
    You can if you think you can .
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 27th Dec 12, 11:39 AM
    • 15,688 Posts
    • 54,014 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    Hope you don't mind Frugaldom, I nicked your budget as an outline, edited it and confused the life out of myself.

    All totals are monthly,

    Rent = 750
    Mobile = 30
    Electricity = included in rent
    Telephone & Internet = included in rent
    TV = included in rent
    Car insurance = included in rent
    Council Tax = included in rent


    Transport Costs = 200 (petrol and budget for car fixing)
    Groceries = 150
    Toiletries/treatments =100(v bad skin)

    Footwear & Clothing and Gifts = ?? (am clueless I generally spend this out of my spending money from my second job) (which I haven't included!!!)

    Household Pets = 120 (insurance for puppies and savings for gp vets)

    debts= 221 per month min. (but want to pay more.)

    Monthly total = 1571

    1571 X 12 = 18,852

    I think I am going to end up with a budget of 20 grand! which doesn't seem vaguely frugal. I need to think some more.

    Oh dear!
    Last edited by Buffythedebtslayer; 27-12-2012 at 3:29 PM.
    Sealed Pot 12 - 008, 365, 1p a day, 1%, 100 days, Saving to be out of debt!
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 27th Dec 12, 1:59 PM
    • 10,585 Posts
    • 54,635 Thanks
    Mooloo
    My first attempt is bringing me in at around £10,500.! I want it too be around £9,000 or less but it will mean drastic changes. So i will have to have a good life balance thought.
    (Without paying for the kids at all will be a miracle and they are not included.).
    As I am on my ESA, Tax credits, Child benefit, and the Guardianship allowance. I am currently relying on the system, which as we all know is going to change. I am I fear in Rent arrears due to a problem earlier in around two years ago, and my HB is not paid in full. I was in credit until september, I think it was. But havent had a review for a while, (Or done my own, and I think that I will now owe them a few hundred pounds.) I will check in the new year.
    I am expecting a visitor today, so I better tidy up.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Island_mum
    • By Island_mum 27th Dec 12, 2:03 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 586 Thanks
    Island_mum
    Hello
    I would like to join (am new to MSE) as I would like to save as much as possible in 2013 but I'm not sure if I'm right for this thread - I live in the Channel Islands where everything is so expensive. I'm not sure whether I'm best to just watch as I doubt I'll have much to impart :-S
  • kittiej
    Thanks for the add Frugaldom

    Hi to everyone
    Sealed pot challenge member number 18
    Karma - the consequences of ones acts.
    "It's OK to falter otherwise how will you know what success feels like?"
    1 debt v 100 days £2000
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 27th Dec 12, 5:19 PM
    • 15,688 Posts
    • 54,014 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    Hope you don't mind Frugaldom, I nicked your budget as an outline, edited it and confused the life out of myself.

    All totals are monthly,

    Rent = 750
    Mobile = 30
    Electricity = included in rent
    Telephone & Internet = included in rent
    TV = included in rent
    Car insurance = included in rent
    Council Tax = included in rent


    Transport Costs = 200 (petrol and budget for car fixing)
    Groceries = 150
    Toiletries/treatments =100(v bad skin)

    Footwear & Clothing and Gifts = ?? (am clueless I generally spend this out of my spending money from my second job) (which I haven't included!!!)

    Household Pets = 120 (insurance for puppies and savings for gp vets)

    debts= 221 per month min. (but want to pay more.)

    Monthly total = 1571

    1571 X 12 = 18,852

    I think I am going to end up with a budget of 20 grand! which doesn't seem vaguely frugal. I need to think some more.

    Oh dear!
    Originally posted by Buffythedebtslayer
    Ok so having thought, considered lost the plot and had a bath I made a decision.

    Although you may not want me here! I am going to have a budget of 24,000 pounds for the year.

    This will include all debts all bills and living expenses.

    Essentially I can't deal with complicated, I have given myself a budget of 2000 a month.

    My expenses vary - sometimes I need more petrol or pet food or vets or the car needs fixing etc or I am on holiday or I don't work as much.I know everyone has this but I have real trouble in budgeting and kinda of want it all sorted out and done without having to think about it. So if I have a basic figure and work from that each month it will be straightforward for me anyway.

    I don't intend to spend 2000 pounds each month but will shall see. I really aim to have most of it off the debt.

    God I am tired.

    xx
    Sealed Pot 12 - 008, 365, 1p a day, 1%, 100 days, Saving to be out of debt!
    • freedom2011
    • By freedom2011 27th Dec 12, 5:44 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 1,108 Thanks
    freedom2011
    During 2012 I spent more money then I would like to admit to myself never mind anyone else, on paying for the useless grown up children of mine.! I was in a good place at the start of the year, and by the summer I had saved nearly £1500 I think. But I ended up with it all gone.
    Originally posted by Mooloo

    Mooloo, what a tough year you have had. Stay strong. We are all here for you. Sounds like there are an awful lot of us who need this thread & the support it will give.
    Frugal Challenge £9000
    Grocery Challenge £tba pm £
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 27th Dec 12, 5:55 PM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    thankyou for adding me to the list...i have resisted the urge to go to the sales today so that is a good start for the frugal challenge....just got to keep it uo next year

    tess
    onwards and upwards
  • xnatalie81x
    Hello I used to do this challenge a while ago and still follow it now although more strictly now and my situation has changed quite a bit but id like to join you all as I see a lot of familiar names! Will pm frugaldom now and post my budget later although I do write my income and budget 4monthly due to the nature of my income and changing outgoings
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
  • xnatalie81x
    Ok here's my budget for jan-April
    Car - 150 mth (mot/insurance/tax/repairs)
    Kids activities - 30 mth (daughter does ballet, school trips etc)
    Toiletries - 10 mth (all washing, cleaning etc)
    Petrol - 100 mth (work, school, shopping etc)
    Food - 220 mth (me plus 4 kids and from Jan 3/4 will be having a school dinner everyday that I pay for!)
    Bday/Xmas - 40 mth
    Other - 16 mth

    Max 566 mth (which will be the same for the entire year but may be apportioned differently each 4mthly period)

    Not included: rent, debt repayments and ni contributions

    I save whatever is left.
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
    • couldsavemore
    • By couldsavemore 28th Dec 12, 5:59 AM
    • 264 Posts
    • 2,470 Thanks
    couldsavemore
    looking forward to all my challenges just not sure how to get started. I have Sunday planned for going through paperwork and doing spreadsheets for budgets etc.
    I need to do inventory of fridge/ freezer/cupboards and meal plan for month then I can do shopping list. but after all that what next.

    any thoughts anyone please
    You can if you think you can .
  • xnatalie81x
    Couldsavemore that looks like a very good place to start have fun
    DFW since JAN 2009 - 2014 will be the year i finally clear debts Just to see which month )))

    One adult + 4 children + dog
    • *Jellie*
    • By *Jellie* 28th Dec 12, 9:15 AM
    • 2,934 Posts
    • 13,648 Thanks
    *Jellie*
    I'd love to join in again. I'm trying to live more frugally. I haven't done a budget yet but will continue to try and live a more frugal lifestyle including trying to get gift giving to money neutral and making or refashioning all my clothes. Hopefully this year I'll have more luck with my veg growing.
    Last edited by *Jellie*; 28-12-2012 at 6:45 PM.
    2019 fashion on a ration 0/66 coupons
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 28th Dec 12, 2:44 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    debbiedeejay
    Hello All - sorry have been awol for a while but only down to not having any Internet at home for Aaggggeees but now up and running so please could you add me to 2013 Frugal challenge?

    Have to dash off though - so much emails and reading to catch up on,at least I have done post Christmas tidy up downstairs today! woohoo!Catch you all soon
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 £57.20/£100,CCC 2013 £68.67/£100 ,CCC 2014 £94.32/£100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan £154.14/£180;Feb £103.49/£180;Mar 117.63/£160
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