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    • 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 30
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 13th Feb 18, 8:32 AM
    • 165 Posts
    • 1,793 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    Oh booger! Boiler packed in ( why does it only happen in the winter!), sorted now but the bill will make a dent in the emergency fund; thank goodness we have one!! Otherwise all going to plan.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 13th Feb 18, 10:57 AM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,973 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Frugaldom - please tell me more about these soap nuts and laundry gloop - with 3 smalls and a messy husband laundry stuff is one of my biggest expenses
    Originally posted by spudsmum
    .... Copy/pasted from an old post...

    Homemade laundry 'gloop' as it is called, is easy to make. I use the following recipe for my LAUNDRY 'GLOOP' and this gets diluted to between 5 and 7 litres, depending on what's being washed.

    1 bar of soap, grated
    1 cup of washing soda (or Soda crystals)
    1 litre water
    A few drops of essential oil (if required)
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • spudsmum
    • By spudsmum 13th Feb 18, 1:40 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 1,300 Thanks
    spudsmum
    .... Copy/pasted from an old post...

    Homemade laundry 'gloop' as it is called, is easy to make. I use the following recipe for my LAUNDRY 'GLOOP' and this gets diluted to between 5 and 7 litres, depending on what's being washed.

    1 bar of soap, grated
    1 cup of washing soda (or Soda crystals)
    1 litre water
    A few drops of essential oil (if required)
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    Thanks so much for this Frugaldom will give it a go - the twins go through so many clothes we have to do about 10 loads a week. I spend loads on wash powder that doesn't really get the clothes clean so then need to spend more on stain removers etc - would make a massive difference to my budget if I could find a viable alternative
    Total debts £21050! now £19977 . 1% challenge £812.50/£15000 (5.42%) Total money squirrelled away/NOT wasted in 2018 £2067.31 frugal budget 2018 £2996/£3800 Aiming for debt free at 40 - only 27 months to go!
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 13th Feb 18, 3:25 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    sinkorswim2018
    evuka - the 6 month supply of loo roll is from Amaz*n,. It's recycled from Ren*va. 84 rolls for 19.99 delivered.
    February spend so far £401 (13.2.18) / £800 January spend :£794.91. Budget for month £800.
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2018 £398.36/£3320.38.
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 13th Feb 18, 4:44 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    sinkorswim2018
    Just totted up my numbers. Was a little nervous as I had a mini service/oil change on the 1st, had bought a Barbour jacket and John Rochet boots from fleabay, had a facial and a hair colour (at the local college) and bought D*minis pizza for starving teenagers one evening ( using my NHS discount). That along with all my spends totals £401, and it's the middle of the month tomorrow (glad it's a short month). My month started off expensive, so if I can get through this weekend (visiting my daughter at uni, and buying lunch I presume) without going crazy I should be okay. Valentine's won't cost anything because we just split up!!!55357;!!!56838;, but unfortunately I bought a card.
    Hoping to come in under budget for Feb.
    February spend so far £401 (13.2.18) / £800 January spend :£794.91. Budget for month £800.
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2018 £398.36/£3320.38.
    • LittleGingerFox
    • By LittleGingerFox 13th Feb 18, 9:35 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    LittleGingerFox
    Evening everyone. I hope you are all still well. I am very excited to say I have paid off my first credit card yesterday and started on the second (and last) one. My frugalness is spurred on by all of you so thank you so much for your help and inspiring posts. £1642 paid off in just over a month, with thanks from the tax rebate in January's wage. Thanks again everyone. Debt free is now looking 100% possible this year x
    CC2-Total paid in March £1560.12/ Max credit card amount £6747.03/ £5098 to go!
    • Fizzyisbusy
    • By Fizzyisbusy 14th Feb 18, 9:13 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    Fizzyisbusy
    February
    Good morning all!

    Havenít posted much but Iíve been away visiting family. Sounds like it should be frugal but never is once youíve paid fuel costs and of course, for a family meal out! I donít often see them, so itís nice to spoil them a little bit!

    This month is slightly better than last, though youngest son has needed help with life problems at college....so money, in other words!

    As I said last month, Iíve discovered January and February are my super expensive months, so I now know I have to start savings from March incorporating this knowledge! Funnily enough the food shopping is frugal so am doing well with that at least!

    Loving reading your stories and inspiring thoughts and ideas!

    Fizzyisbusy !!!128522;
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,973 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Toilet Rolls
    evuka - the 6 month supply of loo roll is from Amaz*n,. It's recycled from Ren*va. 84 rolls for 19.99 delivered.
    Originally posted by sinkorswim2018
    That's a good price for loo rolls. I often watch out for the deals in the local shops and try to keep to under 25p per decent roll, plus keep a pack of the cheap stuff for emergencies. I usually buy through Groupon via topcashback but we have a £5 off £20 spend for Wowcher, so may stock up from there.

    Spudsmum, play about wih the recipe for the laundry stuff until you get a consistency you like. If you end o do cool washes, run a hot wash through the machine every so often to keep all the pipes clear. I used to put the gloop in tha machine in one of the free landry balls but now just dissolve it in enough warm water to pour it into the drawer as liquid.

    Sinkorswim, sorry to hear about the break up, it's never a good time but just before Valentine's day can't be easy.

    Little Ginger Fox Well done!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Feb 18, 9:33 AM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,973 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    On the topic of greeting cards and the eternal quest for zero waste, I opt for paper free whenever possible and never send B/day or Christmas cards. Some folks think I'm some sort of tree hugger, others think I'm mean and miserable, but nobody saves every card forever, so they ultimately end up binned, burned, buried or otherwise. For really special occasions I would make a personalised card.

    This is in keeping with my own challenge budget, so please don't think it is any sort of criticism of those who choose to buy. Our spending is what keeps society ticking and people in jobs, after all.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Feb 18, 9:55 AM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,973 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Apologies to anyone who dislikes me adding links, please just ask me to remove this rather than report me, if you feel it inappropriate. This is a link to a very old blog post covering all the homemade cleaning products that we've challenged ourselves to use as part of this challenge - homemade laundry and cleaning products
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 14th Feb 18, 5:55 PM
    • 15,163 Posts
    • 49,909 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    why the heck would anyone mind you adding links??????????

    The boards have been well weird lately.

    The rabbits both need dentals and the Guinea pig had an op. Emergency fund has all but gone.

    My brother in law is seriously ill. Everything here sucks (and I know you shouldn't say that but that is it)
    Frugal Living Challenge, Pound a Day challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge Debt 4990 (March)
    • shish100
    • By shish100 14th Feb 18, 5:59 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 294 Thanks
    shish100
    Tonight's valentine's treat is a raid on the freezer, I have found some southern fried chicken! I'm going to make a nasi lemak with it (coconut rice, and on the side - peanuts, cucumber, anchovies). It's nice Indonesian that isn't too hard to recreate.

    I think OH is getting more on board with frugalling! He is seeing the benefits as both of our cars needed new brake discs
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 14th Feb 18, 6:26 PM
    • 2,310 Posts
    • 22,386 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Buffythedebtslayer - Sending you hugs.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST May 2018: May the odds be ever in your favour! NSD 16/19
    • shish100
    • By shish100 14th Feb 18, 6:34 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 294 Thanks
    shish100
    Sending you big hugs Buffythedebtslayer.
    • spudsmum
    • By spudsmum 14th Feb 18, 6:50 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 1,300 Thanks
    spudsmum
    Apologies to anyone who dislikes me adding links, please just ask me to remove this rather than report me, if you feel it inappropriate. This is a link to a very old blog post covering all the homemade cleaning products that we've challenged ourselves to use as part of this challenge - homemade laundry and cleaning products
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    That link is really interesting thanks. Must put done time aside to experiment with homemade cleaning products.
    Total debts £21050! now £19977 . 1% challenge £812.50/£15000 (5.42%) Total money squirrelled away/NOT wasted in 2018 £2067.31 frugal budget 2018 £2996/£3800 Aiming for debt free at 40 - only 27 months to go!
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 14th Feb 18, 8:37 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 3,708 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    Hi all quick question.
    My children are being adopted this year and I wont see them again until they are 18 most likely. I want to buy them a goodbye gift each. Is it it okay if I leave that out of the planned spending?
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 3/19
    • spudsmum
    • By spudsmum 14th Feb 18, 11:10 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 1,300 Thanks
    spudsmum
    Hi from Portugal - still warm here but cloudy.

    Having a lovely time and spending a lot of time sleeping (a combination of very young children and shift working genetally means we get little sleep and survive on pure adrenaline for long periods of time) so hoping to come back quite refreshed.

    Frugaldom I've not bought cards for years as I think its a waste such a lot of time, money and effort then they just get thrown away. Only exception is my in laws who get upset if they dont get a proper card - they do keep them all though so I dont mind as much. The smalls make cards for us for birthdays and mothers/fathers day. No valentines nonsense or tat here for me and DH either - we make sure we show our feelings throughout the year, we dont need a special day for that.

    Buffythedebtslayer bless you - hope things improve soon

    Indigo I really feel for you - I really dont think anyone would frown upon you for buying your children gifts in those circumstances.

    I'm really interested in these loo rolls - i buy the cheapest of the cheap - smartprice or similar but do sometines wonder if its false economy as we probably use more. Mind you a few times DH has come back from the shops with the good branded stuff and I've been reluctant to use it as its felt slightly like I'm wiping my bum on pound notes.

    On the frugal front, my spend up to now has been Ä190 - Ä30 on wifi, the rest mostly on drinks and snacks and on the local bus - pushing these prams up the many hills here gets old very quickly. I dont think thats too bad for five days holiday - hoping we can get through the last two days with minimal spends. We brought Ä500 with us so hoping we can bring a good chunk of that back

    Had emails today to say I've been cashed out £5 from swagbucks and £10 from panelbase. DH has also not used his petrol allowance (£30) this week so thats another £45 I have ready and waiting for debt repayment when i get home - almost makes the thought of coming back to the freezing cold bearable.
    Total debts £21050! now £19977 . 1% challenge £812.50/£15000 (5.42%) Total money squirrelled away/NOT wasted in 2018 £2067.31 frugal budget 2018 £2996/£3800 Aiming for debt free at 40 - only 27 months to go!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 15th Feb 18, 3:28 PM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,973 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    why the heck would anyone mind you adding links??????????

    I don't know, but I tend to get reported whenever I do

    The boards have been well weird lately.

    The rabbits both need dentals and the Guinea pig had an op. Emergency fund has all but gone.

    My brother in law is seriously ill. Everything here sucks (and I know you shouldn't say that but that is it)
    Originally posted by Buffythedebtslayer
    Sorry to hear the negatives are trying to outweigh the positives, Buffy, it's always a bad time of the year without having to deal with stuff like that. I hope your BiL's health can improve soon.

    I've been making a couple more planters from milk cartons today so I can get a few seeds sown. If anyone spots the Aldi fruit tree offers, please let me know, as I haven't seen them listed yet and I thought it was usually February.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 15th Feb 18, 3:48 PM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,973 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Hi all quick question.
    My children are being adopted this year and I wont see them again until they are 18 most likely. I want to buy them a goodbye gift each. Is it it okay if I leave that out of the planned spending?
    Originally posted by indigowarrior
    The point of frugal living is so we can afford other things and I think special gifts for children definitely qualify as other things. (I'm guessing you are a foster carer) If the children are taking good memories with them then anything else is a huge bonus, so I hope you find something really, really special for them.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 15th Feb 18, 3:58 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 3,708 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    Hi Frugaldom. I am not a foster carer. I am a birth mum.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 3/19
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