Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 10th Dec 13, 11:13 AM
    • 6,147Posts
    • 54,318Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2014 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 10th Dec 13, 11:13 AM
    2014 Frugal Living Challenge 10th Dec 13 at 11:13 AM

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers




    The Frugal Living Challenge 2014



    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 check out the HANDY LINKS section. If you have any questions, feel free to message me.

    This is an adaptation of the '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.

    Some have already achieved their debt free status 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 teach their debt-free and/or mortgage-free day. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us for 2014 and share your journey.

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


    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
    Recognise the differences between needs from wants

    Spend within your means
    Set a proper budget
    Quit expensive habits
    Houseshare
    Get a lodger
    Shop via cashback sites and 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
    Beadmaking & home baking
    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.


    Quote:
    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
    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 2014 The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone and these will be updated accordingly.
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 19-09-2014 at 10:50 AM.
    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
    • sweetpea26
    • By sweetpea26 11th Dec 13, 6:17 AM
    • 762 Posts
    • 5,543 Thanks
    sweetpea26
    Hi there

    Count me in too please. I know I can save more and live a more simple life. Thanks for a great thread.
    Weight Loss Declutter Goal 45lbs 5 /45 40 lbs to goal weight!

    2019 Clutter Free Challenge 91 / 250 bags donated /recycled / Disposed of ...and any other tat I no longer need
    7 large pieces of furniture are now gone !

    Weight Loss Declutter Goal 45lbs 5 / 45
    • BlueDaisy
    • By BlueDaisy 11th Dec 13, 7:09 AM
    • 265 Posts
    • 1,898 Thanks
    BlueDaisy
    I'm joining this one too please. Thanks for posting all the links, I'll read through them all and take my inspiration from there. We always start the year being super frugal in January but I'd like to continue for as long as possible. Mortgage free and early retirement - the sooner the better please

    Stash Busting Challenge Made 16 / 50 (Get blimmin' organised!)
    MFiT - T3 #158 76920 66962 reduce to 57K by Dec 2015 - MFD Dec 2022
    Mar AFD 9/18
    • findingmyfeet
    • By findingmyfeet 11th Dec 13, 7:44 AM
    • 494 Posts
    • 5,666 Thanks
    findingmyfeet
    good morning everyone

    i would like to join in this challenge too please. did try it once before about four years or so ago managed fine the first four months then life went pear shaped and i fell off the wagon.

    No debts but we would like to get as much saved as possible in the next few years so my DH can retire at 65 and not have to slave until he drops . also have our sons wedding this year and would like to help out with a contribution to that too.

    so i'm off now to start sorting papers, getting organised and try to get my head around a sensible sustainable budget. may require tea and cakes to ease the shock.
    sealed pot member no :435 2011- 306.68 2012-304.36 2013- 387.44 2014 - 441.43 482.30
    • 23rdspiral
    • By 23rdspiral 11th Dec 13, 8:38 AM
    • 1,927 Posts
    • 12,619 Thanks
    23rdspiral
    I'm glad to have found this challenge again - is it me or does it move around MSE?

    I was a challenger on a previous incarnation of this thread back in 2011, and it really helped. 2012 was very busy, 2013 has been very stressful and now I find myself with changing circumstances which mean i should get back to being on top of every penny.

    I learnt a lot in 2011 from the great people here and have continued with the sensible ways, but think i could do with reverting to being positively frugal!

    I still have the great Spreadsheet of Wonder (from CW?) and am wondering if there will be a 2014 update?
    I've scrolled back a few pages on the 2013 challenge and it's nice to see some familiar names
    Relax, Breathe, Love 2014 Challenges:Cross Stitch Cafe Challenger 23. Frugal Living Challenger. No buying cleaning products. I used MSE advice to reduce my car insurance from 550 to 325!! & paid it off in full!!!
  • Habibiboo

    Hi may I join up too please? I really got into reading your 2013 thread and your blog Frugaldom aand would love to be a part of this to keep on the straight and narrow!
    Our goals are to be mortgage free sooner rather than later as OH is a bit older and I'm a bit poorly. We both work but can't see us keeping our same earrning capacity for long, so we need to be as frugal as we can and blitz the mortgage.
    We do have scope for greater self-sufficiency - 2014 will be the year of the raised beds. We do already have 3 chickens but one doesn't understand the concept of free-ranging,she appears to have confused it with free-loading! Bless her!
    Lovely to meet you all and thanks Frugaldom.
    Stash busting 2014 45 / 60 (balls of yarn)!
    2014 Sealed Pot #2136 ?/500
    House: Decluttering 322 / 365
    Original mortgage 149,000117,750;112,500 MFW 2014#69 GOAL 1: 109 K April GOAL 2: 103 K by Sept GOAL 3: < 100k by end of 2014 MF goal: Nov 2020 - 4 years early
  • National Debtline
    Great thread - and no doubt will be incredibly useful, empowering and enlightening to a significant number of our clients (and to me also!). I'll certainly be sure to point folks in this direction.

    Best wishes,

    David @ NDL.
    We work as money advisers for National Debtline and have specific permission from MSE to post to try to help those in debt. Read more information on National Debtline in MSE's Debt Problems: What to do and where to get help guide. If you find you're struggling with debt and need further help try our online advice tool My Money Steps
    • lantanna
    • By lantanna 11th Dec 13, 9:00 AM
    • 2,608 Posts
    • 19,837 Thanks
    lantanna
    I'm in, my debts are getting lower but my spending is getting higher again - so I need a little tug on the reins.


    Also I would like to get some savings behind me and learn to live a bit more frugally! I need to get into the spirit now as Christmas is a dangerous time for me to be out spending !


    Looking forward to the challenge, all the tips and advice.
    2019, A year of saving, getting healthy again and turning 40
    2793.67/184 debt cleared in 2019 #5o
    GC Feb 170 / 169.43
    • lantanna
    • By lantanna 11th Dec 13, 9:23 AM
    • 2,608 Posts
    • 19,837 Thanks
    lantanna
    Well, just thought I would jot some things down here that I am already doing - any comments welcome how I can up the anti for 2014!


    Buy my novels from the charity shops or Amazon second hand - I get through a lot!


    I have just recently started buying 2nd hand clothes from Ebay!


    I've lost a lot of weight and have a ton of clothes to sell but thinking now isn't really the best time to be selling with all the sales etc and maybe February would be a better time as January never great as everybody skinto?


    Make most of my own food from scratch - links in to my diet anyway!


    Things I do need to tackle in 2014 is reducing my heating bill and cutting down or stopping (ahem!) smoking !


    I make my lunch for work and have to use my car as where I go is not accessible by public transport!


    Can't wait to read all the tips and stories on this thread - quite excited about it really!
    2019, A year of saving, getting healthy again and turning 40
    2793.67/184 debt cleared in 2019 #5o
    GC Feb 170 / 169.43
  • agreenmess
    Hello is it possible to join? I am already quite frugal and love the idea of a self-sufficient lifestyle. We are currently saving for a down deposit and as it goes, it’s quite bad, so I really need a kick up the bum to make me move forward and save as much as humanly possible!!!
    Nessy x
    House Deposit - 0 /20,000
    Weight Loss - .5lbs
  • Clurbur85
    Can I join too please? I am back after an MSE break and I am determined to make some great progress in 2014. This thread sounds perfect for me. I already do a lot of frugal things, so I am sure I have some tips to share too!
    Total debt: 16,161.03;
    Amount paid: 6,528.03 (40%);
    Amount left to pay: 9,633.
    Weight to lose: 140lb
    Amount lost:
    84lb (60%);
    Amount left to lose: 56lb

  • tokicat
    Please count me in I have subscribed to the thread. Need to shave 6k off our debts in 2014. Will be starting this now for damage limitation in Dec..
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 2014 #204 Target 100

    Making Big Financial Changes
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 11th Dec 13, 2:39 PM
    • 861 Posts
    • 9,053 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    Well, just thought I would jot some things down here that I am already doing - any comments welcome how I can up the anti for 2014!


    Buy my novels from the charity shops or Amazon second hand - I get through a lot!
    Could you borrow them from the library instead or only buy ones you know you'll read more than once!

    I have just recently started buying 2nd hand clothes from Ebay!
    You can get some great bargains on new clothes too!

    I've lost a lot of weight and have a ton of clothes to sell but thinking now isn't really the best time to be selling with all the sales etc and maybe February would be a better time as January never great as everybody skinto?


    Make most of my own food from scratch - links in to my diet anyway!


    Things I do need to tackle in 2014 is reducing my heating bill and cutting down or stopping (ahem!) smoking !


    I make my lunch for work and have to use my car as where I go is not accessible by public transport!


    Can't wait to read all the tips and stories on this thread - quite excited about it really!
    Originally posted by lantanna
    I've added my thoughts in red above
    SPC #148 2014-25 2015-5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2019
    Jan 396.91/400, Feb /400
    • Lina T
    • By Lina T 11th Dec 13, 3:13 PM
    • 231 Posts
    • 1,582 Thanks
    Lina T
    Yay a 2014 thread! I'd love to join in too please

    I'm not in debt (apart from 100 overdraft) but I'm saving up for a house deposit and need to curb the spending drastically. I'm planning to buy my first house (with a mortgage) mid-2014 so it will be the first year I have to deal with things like food budgets, house bills etc. I'll be spending a lot of time on MSE!
    • Lina T
    • By Lina T 11th Dec 13, 3:30 PM
    • 231 Posts
    • 1,582 Thanks
    Lina T
    Well, just thought I would jot some things down here that I am already doing - any comments welcome how I can up the anti for 2014!


    Buy my novels from the charity shops or Amazon second hand - I get through a lot!
    Originally posted by lantanna
    I buy my books with the Amazon vouchers I earn through Swagbucks, I get a about 5 a week might be worth doing!
    • threepenny bit
    • By threepenny bit 11th Dec 13, 3:33 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 1,832 Thanks
    threepenny bit
    I would like to join please as I am attempting to be debt free from loans & cards by end of 2014.
    Fashion on a ration 5/66 used.

    Save $2019 in my savings account during 2019 - 37/2019
    Work on selling items and decluttering
  • daisystar
    I would LOVE to join please!! I've had a browse through the 2013 thread and as I'm aiming to clear 44K of debt by the end of 2015 I could do with a longer challenge to keep me on the straight and narrow!


    I shall endeavour to sort out amounts for the year asap. Also, if anyone has any super spreadsheets they would love to share from previous years that would be just marvellous and most appreciated :-)
    Debt Oct '13 - 44,076 41,578 5.7% cleared
    • Money Tree Faerie
    • By Money Tree Faerie 11th Dec 13, 8:16 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 415 Thanks
    Money Tree Faerie
    I'll be popping by to keep myself motivated. I was due to be debt-free this month but unfortunately had to use my credit card again to pay for essentials. I am hoping to find new ways to reduce spending (preferably ones that don't involve washing dishes in cold water...).
    Super-fun-frugal
    • sammey90
    • By sammey90 11th Dec 13, 8:42 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 695 Thanks
    sammey90
    Me too!

    Need a blooming good kick up the bum, so here goes
    Oh for Goodness' Sake!! Here we go again
    Total debt 4,839.51 (Still adding it up though )
    Now : 4, 759.81
  • Habibiboo


    Buy my novels from the charity shops or Amazon second hand - I get through a lot!
    !
    Originally posted by lantanna

    Lantanna, do you have a Kindle?

    If so, I use this site regularly as it has daily updates of all kindle books available for free on Amazon.

    http://www.dailyfreebooks.co.uk/

    Ok, so some of them are dreadful, particularly some of the non-fiction, but some of the novels are OK and it's a good way to discover new novel writers without parting with your cash!

    I bought my mum (a "traditional book"stalwart) a Kindle a couple of years ago for Christmas, set her up with this site and she hasn't looked back since - the one thing she loves more than a good read is a lovely freebie!

    If not, as Mrs. Cheshire said, making friends with your local library is a very good move - plus the more of us that use these local facilities, the less likely the government are likely to close them down too, so it's win-win!

    Good luck with your aims for 2014!
    Stash busting 2014 45 / 60 (balls of yarn)!
    2014 Sealed Pot #2136 ?/500
    House: Decluttering 322 / 365
    Original mortgage 149,000117,750;112,500 MFW 2014#69 GOAL 1: 109 K April GOAL 2: 103 K by Sept GOAL 3: < 100k by end of 2014 MF goal: Nov 2020 - 4 years early
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 11th Dec 13, 9:13 PM
    • 7,267 Posts
    • 35,723 Thanks
    brizzledfw
    Hi everyone

    Have subscribed and looking forward to a frugal 2014

    Thanks daisystar for leading me here
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    Winter 17/18 Savings Rate Goal: 25% [October 30%]
    Declutter 60 items before 31.03.18 9/60 ** LSDs Target 10 for March 03/10 **AFDs 10/15 ** Sales/TCB Target 2018 25/500 NSDs Target 10 for March 02/10 Trying to be a Frugalista
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,001Posts Today

7,827Users online

Martin's Twitter