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

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    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 3
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 11th Dec 13, 9:19 PM
    • 861 Posts
    • 9,053 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    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...).
    Originally posted by Money Tree Faerie
    What things do you feel your over spending on?
    SPC #148 2014-25 2015-5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2019
    Jan 396.91/400, Feb /400
  • stphr
    Been lingering around mse for months now finally decided to join and give this challenge a go! Main main problem is when I have cash in my pocket it starts burning a hole...need to learn to say no! Got overdraft 1k to pay off here it goes x
    • allie23
    • By allie23 12th Dec 13, 5:33 AM
    • 1,336 Posts
    • 14,594 Thanks
    allie23
    Yaaay, the 2014 thread is open. Thanks Frugaldom for setting this up. I will keep posting over on the 2013 thread until the end of the month.
    February 2019 Grocery Challenge
    Frugal Living Challenge 2019
    Save 12k in 2019 - Challenger No 69 - 13,310/40,000
    • LolaLemon
    • By LolaLemon 12th Dec 13, 8:35 AM
    • 957 Posts
    • 7,312 Thanks
    LolaLemon
    Thanks Frugaldom for setting this brand new shiney thread up Looking forward to all the new chat be back in January to catch up with you all
    Living Simply, not simply living.
    Cheap Christmas '15

    Frugal Living for fifth year running. (2010-2015)

    Weight Loss - 5b/55lb
    Books Read 2015- 7/30
    • Soundgirlrocks
    • By Soundgirlrocks 12th Dec 13, 9:53 AM
    • 632 Posts
    • 949 Thanks
    Soundgirlrocks
    I'd like to sign up too, I'm going to get a big bill for some essential repair work to my flat soon and I want to boost my saving and pay off the loan for the kitchen (0% deal but would still like it gone!)
    • shiningfaery
    • By shiningfaery 12th Dec 13, 9:57 AM
    • 217 Posts
    • 1,759 Thanks
    shiningfaery
    Hi everyone

    I am going to join in for 2014, there is too much money wasted in my house on silly things that are bought either as spur of moment for instance a PC, desk and chair bought so that I could work from home before I had found out about the job in question or decided to go for it and as a result wasnt going to work for me and now have a 300 ornament sitting in my 3rd bedroom.
    We are also quite lazy on busy days when it comes to food. We can spend 100+ quite easily on takeaways when the cupboards and freezer are full.
    I am needing motivation to be more frugal and sensible and save money rather than spend it.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 12th Dec 13, 10:03 AM
    • 6,147 Posts
    • 54,322 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Pursuing and maintaining debt free status
    Good morning to all you lovely wannabe and wannastay debt free pursuers. I've been working on my own budget and can confirm that it will be staying at the 4,000 mark, as per previous years. Rather than repeat what has been said on several other posts here is the link to a copy of how I assess the household budget.


    For me, it is just as important to remain debt free after achieving it, so my budget remains unchanged, although the lifestyle does adapt accordingly. I mean, I fitted three short breaks into my 2013 challenge and managed to succeed in achieving at least three of my long-term ambitions:
    1. Climb to the summit of Ben Nevis
    2. Walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
    3. Visit the Giant's Causeway
    2014 is looking very exciting already, with a whole host of new moneysavers joining us both here and on the Frugaldom forums. If anyone is blogging about their journey, let me know so I can link to you from my frugalblog.co.uk
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • icontinuetodream
    • By icontinuetodream 12th Dec 13, 10:19 AM
    • 985 Posts
    • 6,606 Thanks
    icontinuetodream
    count me in!!! I have been tinkering at the edges of frugal living for some time now....however, having recently become unemployed through redundancy, I know that I can no longer play at it, I have to do it for real!!!
    Mortgage 12.12.12 55842 12.12.13 42716 14.12.14 28837 13.12.15 25913
    Mortgage OP 50/600 House Fund 420/5000
    • allie23
    • By allie23 12th Dec 13, 12:21 PM
    • 1,336 Posts
    • 14,594 Thanks
    allie23
    Good morning to all you lovely wannabe and wannastay debt free pursuers. I've been working on my own budget and can confirm that it will be staying at the 4,000 mark, as per previous years. Rather than repeat what has been said on several other posts here is the link to a copy of how I assess the household budget.


    For me, it is just as important to remain debt free after achieving it, so my budget remains unchanged, although the lifestyle does adapt accordingly. I mean, I fitted three short breaks into my 2013 challenge and managed to succeed in achieving at least three of my long-term ambitions:
    1. Climb to the summit of Ben Nevis
    2. Walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
    3. Visit the Giant's Causeway
    2014 is looking very exciting already, with a whole host of new moneysavers joining us both here and on the Frugaldom forums. If anyone is blogging about their journey, let me know so I can link to you from my frugalblog.co.uk
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    Thankd for the link to your blog frugaldom, it is really useful to see. Well done on achieving those three long term ambitions they look really exciting.
    February 2019 Grocery Challenge
    Frugal Living Challenge 2019
    Save 12k in 2019 - Challenger No 69 - 13,310/40,000
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 12th Dec 13, 12:30 PM
    • 861 Posts
    • 9,053 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    Good morning to all you lovely wannabe and wannastay debt free pursuers. I've been working on my own budget and can confirm that it will be staying at the 4,000 mark, as per previous years. Rather than repeat what has been said on several other posts here is the link to a copy of how I assess the household budget.


    For me, it is just as important to remain debt free after achieving it, so my budget remains unchanged, although the lifestyle does adapt accordingly. I mean, I fitted three short breaks into my 2013 challenge and managed to succeed in achieving at least three of my long-term ambitions:
    1. Climb to the summit of Ben Nevis
    2. Walk across the Carrick-a-Rede Bridge
    3. Visit the Giant's Causeway
    2014 is looking very exciting already, with a whole host of new moneysavers joining us both here and on the Frugaldom forums. If anyone is blogging about their journey, let me know so I can link to you from my frugalblog.co.uk
    Originally posted by Frugaldom
    What are your ambitions for this year? I'm lucky to have visited the 2nd two of your list.
    SPC #148 2014-25 2015-5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2019
    Jan 396.91/400, Feb /400
    • mum2one
    • By mum2one 12th Dec 13, 12:32 PM
    • 16,154 Posts
    • 60,024 Thanks
    mum2one
    Add me in DD goes to secondary school in Sept 14, so more money for trips and uniforms - as well as holiday of lifetime... x
    Tackling the debt free life one day at a time xx
    RIP Dad, - Always love you, - He was 1 in a million xx
    • Money Tree Faerie
    • By Money Tree Faerie 12th Dec 13, 12:48 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 415 Thanks
    Money Tree Faerie
    What things do you feel your over spending on?
    Originally posted by Mrs Cheshire
    I wish I was doing some serious over-spending but it's probably just lack of money. Sometimes I treat myself to chocolate, a 3.49 film on Bl!nkbox or a big juicy mango if I need cheering up. I know I shouldn't...but sometimes you just have to.
    Super-fun-frugal
  • alwaysaprincess
    Count me in! This was going to be my plan for 2014 and it will brilliant to know others are on the same journey for support. :
    • Munchin
    • By Munchin 13th Dec 13, 7:54 AM
    • 2,621 Posts
    • 8,533 Thanks
    Munchin
    Hi all - I would love to join. I cleared my debt this year but I've lost focus now and have started to fritter - this should keep me on the straight and narrow
    • marleybones
    • By marleybones 13th Dec 13, 8:48 AM
    • 55 Posts
    • 35 Thanks
    marleybones
    Count me in for this. Just 2k left to pay off and maybe save for a holiday for the first time in 6 years.
    • charlies-aunt
    • By charlies-aunt 13th Dec 13, 8:42 PM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 13,511 Thanks
    charlies-aunt
    Please can I join in too? I have a debt of just over 3k that I have been trying to pay off for the last two years that I need to get cleared and since I can't increase my income, I need to decrease my outgoings to make a big dent in this
    The best things in life aren't things


    2017 Grocery challenge 110.00 per week/ 5720 a year






  • flamingo747
    I'd like to join! Neither dh or I have a job atm (he starts a new job at the end of Jan) so we won't have anything other than benefits til he gets a full pay packet in march we've got about 2,100 on his cc (mine is used for shopping but paid in full each month). Our main aim is to get frugally through the next few months without going further into debt. Our biggest issues are takeaways and junk food from the supermarkets!
    • thepennyfarthings
    • By thepennyfarthings 13th Dec 13, 9:52 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 452 Thanks
    thepennyfarthings
    Hi,
    I would love to join. We have experienced a couple of setbacks this year leaving us with a mountain of debt We really need to get on top of this before the situation gets out of hand
    . Determined to have a brilliant 2014 Count me in!
    tpf
    • sweetpea26
    • By sweetpea26 14th Dec 13, 7:32 AM
    • 762 Posts
    • 5,543 Thanks
    sweetpea26
    Its great to read everyones plans and reasons for change. I can be squeaky frugal and then be wasteful ... its not a good trait. This is a big birthday year for me and I want to continue with changes already started plus most importantly stop wasting money.

    I signed up for a supermarket delivery for a period of time and I now know that this is not a good idea so when this runs out I will not be renewing. You have to spend over 40 and I know there are times when I could get reduced items or other bargains at other stores.

    So now am back to meal planning and using a list. Saw an offer for toilet rolls in a local small supermarket yesterday and was so tempted to buy them but I have toilet roll and I do not need them

    The best thing to do is to stay out of shops full stop.
    Only buy what you need when you need it and if you spot a bargain along the way have the money there for it.

    I see big changes this incoming year in what I am earning through bits and pieces so will have to find other ways to save money and earn it too.

    Great thread thank you frugaldom.
    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
    • sweetpea26
    • By sweetpea26 14th Dec 13, 7:36 AM
    • 762 Posts
    • 5,543 Thanks
    sweetpea26
    Also meant to say that I live near some meat production plants so I am going to visit them once a month to stock up on chicken and meat.

    Will have to work out the monthly requirement plus a bit left over in case others call to eat with us. So need to run my freezer down.

    Also intend to bake my own bread I make homemade pizza from scratch so hopfefully I won't find it too daunting.

    I do need to bulk cook more to avoid those times when temptation to buy something already made raises its head.

    All the best to everyone.
    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
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