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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,972Posts
    • 51,973Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge 14th Dec 17 at 2:12 AM
    Join us here for year 11 of the Frugaldom challenge on MSE

    The Frugal Living Challenge 2018

    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 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.

    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 !!!8211; keep it clean please). Discussion Time is for discussion of current issues (read Martin!!!8217;s description).

    If you post a topic that does not relate to the board it!!!8217;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.

    If you haven!!!8217;t already, join the forum to reply!

    GOOD LUCK IN 2018
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 29-12-2017 at 10:54 PM. Reason: updating
    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
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 20th Dec 17, 1:14 PM
    • 9,704 Posts
    • 47,468 Thanks
    Mooloo
    My funds transferred so I have my first £1,000 in my Retirement Fund.
    I am waiting for my holiday to be finished and then I will be setting up my new accounts note book etc. I am determined to make the dreams come true!
    I haven!!!8217;t been using my credit cards as well as I should have, and have ended up with some debts being on 18% Apr so my aim in January is to target the smallest debt first and then snowball for the rest of the year.
    I am going to take a peak at the budget now while I wait for my little girl to be collected. Any time from now until, not sure as Twin is travelling up from Kent.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 20th Dec 17, 1:34 PM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 12,438 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hi everyone, found new diary that I thought I'd lost and also a couple of unused notebooks that I can use for budgets and shopping so sorted without buying any. I can only play with it until January 1st as I have my dd and family staying with me until then but I have been cutting down buying Xmas food etc so hopefully not too many leftovers and food to throw away!
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 20th Dec 17, 4:23 PM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,973 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Hi fruguys and gals, glad to see everyone getting prepared for the new challenge, whether it's with spending diaries, spreadsheets or old school notebooks. There's a link in post one where you can download the original spreadsheet, for anyone looking, otherwise message Cheryl (CW18) for a more detailed one.

    All the new names will be added to the challenger list tonight, just let me know if I accidentally miss your name.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • cw18
    • By cw18 20th Dec 17, 5:46 PM
    • 7,958 Posts
    • 85,303 Thanks
    cw18
    I havenít been using my credit cards as well as I should have, and have ended up with some debts being on 18% Apr so my aim in January is to target the smallest debt first and then snowball for the rest of the year.
    Originally posted by Mooloo
    Is the smallest debt the one on the highest interest rate?
    Cheryl
    Groceries : May £11.97 / £120 Apr £137.78 / £100 Mar £99.55 / £100.Feb £85.02 / £80.Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £446.47 / £1200

    • gien
    • By gien 20th Dec 17, 6:13 PM
    • 1,590 Posts
    • 15,139 Thanks
    gien
    I!!!8217;d like to sign up please - I did follow the thread last year but didn!!!8217;t post very much. We were all very chaotic last year and I!!!8217;m hoping that this year will be better in that repspect. I start a new job in January which is good, it!!!8217;s not shifts but my husband has yet to find his new position sp we need to be a bit careful.
    We still have one daughter at homein high school and two older boys who are in University. We support them financially for this so that!!!8217;s another reason to watch the pennies. Although I want to cut down financially I also have another aim to buy a lot fo my stuff from local shops and suppliers - this means it won!!!8217;t be as cheap as goign to The hard discounters but I really want to support my community.
    I!!!8217;ll try and sort out a budget in the new year after christmas is done and dusted....
    Trying to keep in budget.

    2270
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 20th Dec 17, 6:34 PM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,973 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Does everyone use Topcashback? If so, they have been offering extra bonus payments and there's another gone on for today - if you buy a topgiftcard before midnight, there's an extra £2.50 cashback - ideal if you are planning on spending cash in any of the listed outlets as you're saving more than you would be leaving the cash in the bank for next to no interest.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Saver-upper
    • By Saver-upper 20th Dec 17, 10:59 PM
    • 1,750 Posts
    • 13,264 Thanks
    Saver-upper
    Oh my!
    I have been following this thread for a couple of days,and I am well-jealous of being able to live on £4000 a year.That would be fantastic..I am not even sure how I could adapt this challenge to suit our family (of 6,with 4 children age 8-15.).
    I will spend time looking through past threads,but has anyone adapted this challenge to suit their family better (eg,aim to live on £8000/year-I guess that sounds like alot on a £4000p/a thread,but at the moment I estimate my share of our living costs are about £1110/month )?
    Well done to you all-I am very impressed.
    Last edited by Saver-upper; 20-12-2017 at 11:03 PM.
    SPC #155 x 7.SPC7=£751.10 SPC8=£651.04 SPC9=£843.00 SPC10=£872.76
    Pinecone £301,Valued Opinions £10.50





    • cw18
    • By cw18 20th Dec 17, 11:16 PM
    • 7,958 Posts
    • 85,303 Thanks
    cw18
    I've regularly had a budget of £10k-£12k (excluding any rent/mortgage, but including council tax), and I live alone.

    The main criteria is that your budgetted outgoings are less than you expect to get coming in. That leaves money to clear debts quicker or build up a savings pot for emergencies.
    Cheryl
    Groceries : May £11.97 / £120 Apr £137.78 / £100 Mar £99.55 / £100.Feb £85.02 / £80.Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £446.47 / £1200

    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 21st Dec 17, 7:35 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,168 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Happy Solstice!!

    Busy day yesterday...finished all the shopping for the year and precooked most of tonight's dinner we're having black bean spaghetti with a porcini cream sauce and pomegranate, pecan, date and maple salad for starters; chickpea, sage and vegan chorizo tarfillette with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for main and a chocolate orange cake for dessert. On Saturday, I'll cook again for our weekend celebration and then we'll have a few days of leftovers ahead!!

    Tomorrow is the real beginning of this challenge for me so I have cleared the cc this morning and I'm putting it into hibernation!! I've have no reason to spend anything at all for the next 10 days at least so that's my first mini-challenge....spend free till 2018!

    I need to look at my broadband supplier over the holidays...the company I was with sold out and the new company are just not cheap so I'm hoping to save a little bit more there budgets will be done on Monday so will post them once the have been done.

    Happy frugalling
    15 Month Challenge: House - £2161/£15000; Mortgage - £300/£19000 ; Jan Spends: Food £93.52/£300; Petrol £0/£300; Persie £0/ £300
    MFW No. 167 £300/ £15000
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 21st Dec 17, 7:46 AM
    • 9,704 Posts
    • 47,468 Thanks
    Mooloo
    Is the smallest debt the one on the highest interest rate?
    Originally posted by cw18
    Yes it is. Itís with Santander.
    So I am aiming to clear that one first. But even if it wasnít I find clearing off the smallest debt and then transferring the payment on to the next one etc helps me psychologically. It also gives me a quick win, which makes me feel better.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • debtaghh
    • By debtaghh 21st Dec 17, 3:03 PM
    • 1,223 Posts
    • 4,625 Thanks
    debtaghh
    Hi,

    I would like to join but am just wondering a few things. My dh uses the car to travel the work so am I right I!!!8217;m assuming I won!!!8217;t include fuel? I pay about £900 in minimums in debt so assume I won!!!8217;t include this? Can I only include the following or is that cheating:

    Gas/electricity
    Mobiles
    Tv licence, Internet, Sky , phone
    Groceries
    Clothes
    School trips/books
    Entertainment
    Other

    I won!!!8217;t include presents as I!!!8217;m a family of 5 so think will be even harder if I have to include this.

    What if you have a problem with your car or you need to replace a household item?

    I see someone else has mentioned can we increase it to more than £4K? I need to be frugal due to increases in our outgoings but £4K won!!!8217;t work for our size family

    Sorry for all the questions.
    Last edited by debtaghh; 21-12-2017 at 3:16 PM.
    Debt 16th October 2017: Cc £49,987- family £37,561: total debt £87549

    Current debt: Cc £44,810 , Family £ 39,417 total debt £84,227

    Frugal living challenge # 10- £8000 presents/ food/ entertainment/clothes/shoes/haircuts
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 21st Dec 17, 5:44 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hi,

    I would like to join but am just wondering a few things. My dh uses the car to travel the work so am I right Iím assuming I wonít include fuel? I pay about £900 in minimums in debt so assume I wonít include this? Can I only include the following or is that cheating:

    Gas/electricity
    Mobiles
    Tv licence, Internet, Sky , phone
    Groceries
    Clothes
    School trips/books
    Entertainment
    Other

    I wonít include presents as Iím a family of 5 so think will be even harder if I have to include this.

    What if you have a problem with your car or you need to replace a household item?

    I see someone else has mentioned can we increase it to more than £4K? I need to be frugal due to increases in our outgoings but £4K wonít work for our size family

    Sorry for all the questions.
    Originally posted by debtaghh
    I can't speak for anyone else, but I feel that the challenge can be adapted to a person's individual needs, and up to them what they include or do not include.

    I am going through my spending diary spreadsheets from this year so that I can work out my budgets for next year.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 21st Dec 17, 6:51 PM
    • 347 Posts
    • 938 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    I'd like to join you all
    Hello.

    I hope to join you all in 2018 .

    I originally hoped to save 10k by the end of the year. I'm now aiming for 15-20k by the end of next year. If we have a completely no spend year apart from bills (which is unlikely with 3 kids.) we should be able to save around 17k not including overtime I may be able to get. So the aim is to save 15-20k by December. I should have 2k saved by the end of this year. So it will be on top of this.

    We are aiming for a no spend year. Ie if it's not essential we don't buy it... Here goes. !
    • cw18
    • By cw18 21st Dec 17, 7:01 PM
    • 7,958 Posts
    • 85,303 Thanks
    cw18
    My dh uses the car to travel the work so am I right Iím assuming I wonít include fuel?
    Originally posted by debtaghh
    It's your challenge, so you can include / exclude what you want. The key thing is to make a choice and stick to it, and not be spending more (included and excluded) than you have coming in.

    Unlike Frugladom I include Council Tax, even though it's a bill I can't do anything about.

    And I include all my travel expenses - even the cost of driving / getting buses to work. It would be easy enough to exclude buses when I commute that way, but splitting the car expenses between personal and work related was just too much hassle - and the money all comes out of the same income, so I also find it easier not to have to effectively reduce my available income by the amount of payments I'm not including in my budget.
    Cheryl
    Groceries : May £11.97 / £120 Apr £137.78 / £100 Mar £99.55 / £100.Feb £85.02 / £80.Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £446.47 / £1200

    • Fizzyisbusy
    • By Fizzyisbusy 21st Dec 17, 10:21 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    Fizzyisbusy
    Count me in! Hoping to not fall back into debt !!!128522;
    • MoneysavingmadGem
    • By MoneysavingmadGem 21st Dec 17, 11:37 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    MoneysavingmadGem
    Hi

    Just found this thread id love to join in.

    My life is changing drastically, I am going to be living on my own in a little bedsit, picking keys up Jan 5th. Used my savings to pay 6months rent up front so hoping to get grips with budget and being even more frugal than I have been in the past. (Find it difficult when living with the ex husband! As we had different views on money)

    Want to try to put savings back and knock a good amount off of the credit card I have.

    Just changed my car to a little cheap run around £30 a year for tax and full tank (£35) does 400 miles so thats my first stage of frugal living! Lol

    Plus the bike will come out now im living back in the town.
    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 22nd Dec 17, 12:05 AM
    • 5,343 Posts
    • 55,181 Thanks
    lynnejk
    Evening all and welcome to all the new frugalers

    My funds transferred so I have my first £1,000 in my Retirement Fund.
    I am waiting for my holiday to be finished and then I will be setting up my new accounts note book etc. I am determined to make the dreams come true!
    I haven!!!8217;t been using my credit cards as well as I should have, and have ended up with some debts being on 18% Apr so my aim in January is to target the smallest debt first and then snowball for the rest of the year.
    I am going to take a peak at the budget now while I wait for my little girl to be collected. Any time from now until, not sure as Twin is travelling up from Kent.
    Originally posted by Mooloo
    I was just wondering if it would be better to use your £1000 to pay off some/all of your debts, as at 18% interest it's costing far more than you'll be making on your savings ? Just an idea.

    Oh my!
    I have been following this thread for a couple of days,and I am well-jealous of being able to live on £4000 a year.That would be fantastic..I am not even sure how I could adapt this challenge to suit our family (of 6,with 4 children age 8-15.).
    I will spend time looking through past threads,but has anyone adapted this challenge to suit their family better (eg,aim to live on £8000/year-I guess that sounds like alot on a £4000p/a thread,but at the moment I estimate my share of our living costs are about £1110/month )?
    Well done to you all-I am very impressed
    Originally posted by Saver-upper
    We are just a couple but live in rented accommodation, only have electric heating and do not have access to a garden/allotment. We also need to run a car for DH. It just isn't possible for us to live on £4000 a year so I think you need to look at what you have to spend and reduce other spends where you can.

    I do wish we were able to have a more frugal life-style, but do the best I can and I like to include everything I spend in my yearly budget as it seems more helpful.

    I think it's more about getting into the mind-set of being as frugal as you can, setting a realistic budget and trying to stay within it - and yes I budget for holidays and savings.
    Lx
    £10day.2014=3213/2015=3421/2016=3238/2017=2702/2018=498..APR=12.03/300
    GrocC.2014=2162/2015=2083/2016=218/2017=1996/2018=450..APR=17.13/200
    Bulk buy.......APR=233.76
    GC.NSD..2015=216/2016=213/2017=229/2018=39..APR=03/15
    SPC130x61..2014=1178/2015=1287/2016=4616/2017=3843
    OS WL= -2/8 ......CC =00......Savings = £13,140
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 22nd Dec 17, 12:40 AM
    • 1,154 Posts
    • 12,438 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hi everyone, just waiting for my dd and family to arrive their plane touches down about one am so they should be here about 2.30am.
    Not sure how Xmas will pan out money wise but I have withdrawn a certain amount and won't be spending anymore, so I can now get down to making a budget.
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • Miss D Meanour
    • By Miss D Meanour 22nd Dec 17, 9:49 AM
    • 113 Posts
    • 805 Thanks
    Miss D Meanour
    Hi there,

    I'd love to join for 2018.

    I've spent this year focused on over paying the mortgage and not adding anymore to my 0% card balances. I now want to really get to grips with only using and buying what I need.

    Take care
    Miss DM
    LBM- June 2009 - 15 year plan started, Dec 2016 - half way there
    SPC - 11 #574 - £500 ........ Xmas 2018 - #11: £90 / £365.
    CCCC 2018 #14 - £0 / £140 ....... PAYDBX 2018 #23: £1,245.16 / £7,000
    Frugal Living - #37 .......... MFW2018 - #2: £3,049.05 / £8,000

    No matter how far you go, you always take yourself with you
    • PlaysNicely
    • By PlaysNicely 22nd Dec 17, 1:32 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 535 Thanks
    PlaysNicely
    Aiming to do better in 2018


    I've been part of this before but as an observer mainly ... I'd really like to join in for 2018 if I may? This year's been a bit mad and, on reflection, some changes and new ways of thinking are needed for 2018.

    I tried a DF diary earlier this year, but feel this thread (across the years) is the one I visit more often than anything, so if it's OK for me to settle in and focus on the frugal finances here?
    Already taking on board the Frugaldom approach: specifically thinking of next year as an annual expense instead of what we need monthly is already making a big difference to affordability and the way we're looking at things.

    Will work it all out and bob back with background & budget once the busy days are over, just wanted to get signed up and wish you all happy, frugal festivities. PN x
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