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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 10th Dec 13, 11:13 AM
    • 6,147Posts
    • 54,320Thanks
    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 5
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 15th Dec 13, 8:32 AM
    • 16,738 Posts
    • 143,403 Thanks
    JackieO
    Thanks Mrs Cheshire!

    On a frugal note I had some dodgy celery and leeks in the fridge, I would normally chuck them out but i made a really tasty casserole with some reduced diced pork, homemade chicken stock from last month (frozen) and a 1 bag of stew veg. It was delish! And cost about 3.50, feeding 6 of us.
    Originally posted by helencal80
    Well done Helen that's brilliant stuff.Its amazing what you can make out of almost anything isn't it.I use up all the past-its best veg in soups or casseroles.Yesterday I even used the trimmed stalks from some mushrooms to help pad out a curry made from the cooked stripped chicken leg my DD had given me to take home.She had a large chicken for dinner on Thursday night as my brother and her family had a pre-christmas meal together before he went home to France and as there were 6 of them plus us 2 there was enough left overs for her to make a leek and chicken pie for Friday night and a spare left over leg -quarter for me.I was going to have it witha salad but decided to make a small curry with it.I ended up with two take-awy boxes of chicken & veg curry that have gone into my freezer,so two free meals made from odds and ends in the fridge

    I love concocting meals out of odds and ends.When my children were small back in the 1970s we always had odds and s*ds pie on a Thursday .It was usually a savoury pastry (easy-peasy to make with flour,soft marg and a small amount of grated cheese and a few mixed herbs) case baked 'blind'then filled with what ever there was in the fridge to use up
    a couple of chopped cooked sausages,diced onion, a rasher or two of streaky bacon cooked to a crisp,any left over veg or even a small tin of baked beans spread on top then topped with mashed potato and grated cheese ,chuck it back in the oven about 160c until browned on top and serve with any green veg,cabbage or carrots & sweetcorn and its a filling meal and stretches two sausages into a meal for the four of us

    Quiches back in the days before supermarkets were just basically egg and bacon pie.almost the same with a baked blind pastry case filled with some streaky bacon (Morrisons do a 500gms of bacon bits for 81p,thats an awful lot of chopped up bacon) a couple of eggs a splash on milk and poured into the case and cooked until set.Costs pennies to make and tastes far nicer than those ready-made ones from the SM.It will slice up when cold for picnics,with salad for lunch or even go into school/work lunch boxes instead of sandwiches.
    I do like to try and make stuff as much as possible myself and there is very little sold ready-made that I can't make cheaper and tastier at home, as you have found out yourself .Well done on your meal for 6 for under 4.00
    Last edited by JackieO; 15-12-2013 at 8:34 AM.
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • Suziebabe
    • By Suziebabe 15th Dec 13, 8:47 AM
    • 292 Posts
    • 1,499 Thanks
    Suziebabe
    Count me in please! Our debt-free date is way off in 2019, but by getting our act together I worked out I could bring that in to mid-2016, but I know we'll need the encouragement to stay on track

    Plus I love the idea of having a lower-impact lifestyle, of being less dependent on the big corporations - not to mention that if we can actually do this, pay off the debts and stick to it, I can reduce my hours at work and get some life back
    LBM Aug 2013, Total Debt 31,992.06 Current Debt 21,852.05 - 31% paid back - Debt Free Date March 2019
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 15th Dec 13, 9:34 AM
    • 8,477 Posts
    • 50,039 Thanks
    Goldiegirl
    I'm already enjoying reading people's varied reasons for wanting to do this challenge. We are all at various stages of our lives, with different goals, but we will all be able to help and encourage each other.


    I've never been wildly profligate, but I've never been ultra frugal either. I know there's areas where I can spend less, but which won't have a impact on my lifestyle, so that's where I'll start. Then I'd move on to see where other compromises could be made. There may be things that I wouldn't be willing to give up (i.e. some wants), but as long as I can afford them on my projected retirement income, that's going to be fine.


    I'll looking at this as gradual improvement over the year. If I do too much too soon, I don't think it'll be sustainable. If things are done slowly, I think there'll more chance of any changes being long term.


    I'm looking at figures etc at the moment, I'll post more at the end of the month, so I'll know exactly where I need to start in January
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • teabody
    • By teabody 15th Dec 13, 10:11 AM
    • 204 Posts
    • 772 Thanks
    teabody
    Hi,
    Please count me in too! I have an outstanding mortgage of around 89,000 which I would like to reduce quickly! I also have 2 other mortgages on houses we rent out totalling approx 165,000! Although these are covered by rent, ideally that money could be income ....I'm a stay at home mom with a 3 year old and 5 year and currently studying while my husband is self employed therefore reduced mortgages would make us a little more secure! Until childcare costs forced me to leave work I had a really well paid job and although we are not wasteful, we did not have to be as frugal. Not only that but I hate wastefulness....sadly due to this I am a bit of a hoarder so I also need to sort that out but one step at a time.
    So far, I have managed to be frugal with xmas. My children are young and are lucky to be treated to new things all year round so their presents this year have been carefully selected from charity shops, ebay and used sites. I have managed to buy things I could never have afforded brand new and kept the cost down. Also, i have not bought loads of xmas cards as usual that cost an absolute bomb. I purchased some in the sales last year instead. Our xmas turkey i got free with vouchers that i gained during this years childcare and i have also starting selling my hoardings online.

    My main aim is to sort meal planning out and feel like we have plenty of stocked food for less!

    Good luck to you all, have a fabulous xmas and a frugal new year!
    • slowlyfading
    • By slowlyfading 15th Dec 13, 11:30 AM
    • 13,034 Posts
    • 75,211 Thanks
    slowlyfading
    I'll be back again this year
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr Seuss
    Personal Finance Blogger / June NSD - 2 / In pursuit of FIRE
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 15th Dec 13, 12:02 PM
    • 10,588 Posts
    • 54,656 Thanks
    Mooloo
    think its time for me to get back to basics and join again. The income is due to drop by whstvI used to live on in a year. How did I manage Eek.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
  • helencal80
    Well done Helen that's brilliant stuff.Its amazing what you can make out of almost anything isn't it.I use up all the past-its best veg in soups or casseroles.Yesterday I even used the trimmed stalks from some mushrooms to help pad out a curry made from the cooked stripped chicken leg my DD had given me to take home.She had a large chicken for dinner on Thursday night as my brother and her family had a pre-christmas meal together before he went home to France and as there were 6 of them plus us 2 there was enough left overs for her to make a leek and chicken pie for Friday night and a spare left over leg -quarter for me.I was going to have it witha salad but decided to make a small curry with it.I ended up with two take-awy boxes of chicken & veg curry that have gone into my freezer,so two free meals made from odds and ends in the fridge

    I love concocting meals out of odds and ends.When my children were small back in the 1970s we always had odds and s*ds pie on a Thursday .It was usually a savoury pastry (easy-peasy to make with flour,soft marg and a small amount of grated cheese and a few mixed herbs) case baked 'blind'then filled with what ever there was in the fridge to use up
    a couple of chopped cooked sausages,diced onion, a rasher or two of streaky bacon cooked to a crisp,any left over veg or even a small tin of baked beans spread on top then topped with mashed potato and grated cheese ,chuck it back in the oven about 160c until browned on top and serve with any green veg,cabbage or carrots & sweetcorn and its a filling meal and stretches two sausages into a meal for the four of us

    Quiches back in the days before supermarkets were just basically egg and bacon pie.almost the same with a baked blind pastry case filled with some streaky bacon (Morrisons do a 500gms of bacon bits for 81p,thats an awful lot of chopped up bacon) a couple of eggs a splash on milk and poured into the case and cooked until set.Costs pennies to make and tastes far nicer than those ready-made ones from the SM.It will slice up when cold for picnics,with salad for lunch or even go into school/work lunch boxes instead of sandwiches.
    I do like to try and make stuff as much as possible myself and there is very little sold ready-made that I can't make cheaper and tastier at home, as you have found out yourself .Well done on your meal for 6 for under 4.00
    Originally posted by JackieO
    JackieO - I always use mushroom stalks now, they taste exactly the same as the rest of the mushroom, I don't know why I wasted them for years! I am currently raiding my fridge for stuff I can stick in an odds and s*ds pie, thanks for the idea.
    LBM Dec 2013 ~ DFD Sept 2016! Paid 45/19588 = 0.22% Crazy Clothes Challenge: 0/300 Sealed Pot Challenge 7: #207 365 in 365 days - 2014: #35 8/365 Drop 26lbs in 26 weeks: 0/26 Janus Illusion #20: Food 83/340 SFD 2/20 FB 0/5 Choc 0/0 20p savers #22: x9 50p savers #22: x3 2 savers #49 Grocery Challenge: JAN 83/340
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 15th Dec 13, 12:13 PM
    • 6,147 Posts
    • 54,320 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Fast moving thread - please highlight my name in bold or else PM me if it's something I need to see, otherwise I'll miss it during my brief visits.


    Welcome to all our newcomers! The thread will slow down once the new challenge is fully underway, so relax and have frugal fun.


    Cooltrikerchick 2 things - First, wow! 2 bags of sugar for 1.50 is awesome, it is 1.40 per bag here! Secondly, please don't ever try feeding cats dog food. It's safe enough to feed dogs cat food but not the other way around, as the ingredients and nutrient levels are completely different. Just thought I'd mention to help save you any vets' bills in the long run in the event you saw a fab dog food offer.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
  • ALM2013
    Count me in please. With the last pay of the year next week, all my money will be going on spending money for my holiday in February. So from January I can save for my future. Each month I will be withdrawing 330 and hopefully this will do my fuel and spending money. I have bills but I'm not including them in this. I also have another holiday but I can't include that.
    330 x 12 = 3960! Massive challenge. But il give it a go!
    Credit Card -1267.78 Loans -19359.67
    Save 6000 in 2014 Challenge 0,000 / 6000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 138 | Virtual Pot Challenge 123
    LBM 16/12/13 - 21,897.18 | Today = 20627.45
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 15th Dec 13, 1:30 PM
    • 2,675 Posts
    • 18,338 Thanks
    parsniphead
    I'm still working on my figures but have been thinking about how I can save money.

    I have onions and garlic in the garden already and a plan to ill the rest of the space with as much as possible. I used to have an allotment but the ground was awful and the poisoning of other peoples crops started so gave it up recently. Th space I have at the bottom of the garden is about the same size so I should be able to get lots of stuff in there.

    I also have loads of fabric in the stash so clothes for the next year will be ok.

    My heating is the most problematic at the moment as I only have single glazing but the savings will go towards that eventually. Lots of layers are good though.

    Need to carry on with the figures so I can see how low I can go.
    My mini challenge: pay off MBNA by 31/08/18. 502/502 100% (paid off 30/06/18 - 2 months early )

    Pay of all debt by xmas 2019 #09 - 0/ 8471 %
  • Just_be
    Count me in A first timer for this challenge. Managed to become debt free a few years ago but through living beyond my means- I find myself in debt once again. Ready to take on this challenge whole heartedly! Debt free April 2015 if not before!
    Managed to save 20% of house deposit target
  • Just_be
    I am ready for the 2014 challenge! First timer with a debt free day in April 2015, if not sooner!
    Managed to save 20% of house deposit target
  • nikki2002-2008
    I want to do this as I am now a student and my incomes halves but I want to be totally debt free by the end of 2014 I also want to be able to go camping for the summer for the week I am determined to do this. I got a bargain in Tesco huge packs of minced beef were reduced to 2 but then I took the 3 of them to the till and they were on the 3 for 10 and another 2 was taken off for 3 packs for 4, I love mince as it's so versatile. Freezer is fit to bursting now so January will be so cheap as I have more than enough meat.
    Mum 6043.19/43.19 0.71% paid
    Dwp 710/20 2.82% paid
    OD 2000 loan 1500 VC paid CO 470
    HP 1020/681 64.8% paid
    Total 12033.19/1034.19 8.59% paid
    • meg72
    • By meg72 15th Dec 13, 3:25 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    JackieO - I always use mushroom stalks now, they taste exactly the same as the rest of the mushroom, I don't know why I wasted them for years! I am currently raiding my fridge for stuff I can stick in an odds and s*ds pie, thanks for the idea.
    Originally posted by helencal80
    It never occurred to me that people don't use the stalks until a neighbour gave me a bagful to put in the compost, I didn't ,I used them. I take out the stalks when I buy mushrooms as they keep longer that way but always use them. I try if I can to pick up reduced, sometimes on the market I have got a 3lb punnet for a pound, they dry beautifully, I am lucky that I have a dehydrator, but even before I got it I found just putting in a paper bag and hanging up worked. you can make a bag out of a sheet of copy paper. They keep for yonks dried and are useful for spaghetti bolo, soup, stew etc
    Slimming World at target
    • COOLTRIKERCHICK
    • By COOLTRIKERCHICK 15th Dec 13, 3:43 PM
    • 10,419 Posts
    • 58,340 Thanks
    COOLTRIKERCHICK
    Fast moving thread - please highlight my name in bold or else PM me if it's something I need to see, otherwise I'll miss it during my brief visits.


    Welcome to all our newcomers! The thread will slow down once the new challenge is fully underway, so relax and have frugal fun.


    Cooltrikerchick 2 things - First, wow! 2 bags of sugar for 1.50 is awesome, it is 1.40 per bag here! Secondly, please don't ever try feeding cats dog food. It's safe enough to feed dogs cat food but not the other way around, as the ingredients and nutrient levels are completely different. Just thought I'd mention to help save you any vets' bills in the long run in the event you saw a fab dog food offer.
    Originally posted by Frugaldom

    its the different protein levels that are different for cats and dogs... Cats need a higher protein level, its ok to feed tinned dog food to cats, as long as its part of a mixed diet... but agree not good to be fed solely on its own... comparing tinned cat food with fresh, fresh is more economical, as you only get a low % of meat in a tin of pet food... I did feed my cats on soley fresh meat/fish etc, but the cats would grab a piece of meat and run off with it around the house....lol.... so now when Ibuy them a yellow stickered tray of liver/heart etc, they are firmly locked in the kitchen until it is all eaten...




    Does anyone know how long a bag/sack of flour will keep for?


    Even though I really do need to be super frugal in 2014, I do want to try and buy some stuff from local or independent suppliers..
    Work to live= not live to work
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 15th Dec 13, 4:29 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 13,697 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hello everybody
    I cant wait to get started so I'm taking some steps already. I have done my main shop for the big day without using my sealed pot money so I'm planning to use that for food in January, mind you it's only 47
    pounds so that's frugal challenge number one!
    Other things are making loads of homemade soup and not sending Xmas cards to people at work and neighbours
    Baby steps!
    Nannyg
  • SarahB1989
    Count me in... Graduating this summer after 6 years and the pennies aren't projected to stretch until my first paycheck at the rate I'm going! Planning to take my budget for food and 'entertainment' (nights out etc) out in cash at the start of each month so if there's nothing left I can't spend it. Know that buying snacks and coffee whilst I'm out is my biggest waste of money (at least correctable waste - reckon we could cut heating bills etc but living in a shared house means this isn't up to me). Budget is 3k for 8 months (will change once I have a salary).
    • savesummore
    • By savesummore 15th Dec 13, 5:22 PM
    • 943 Posts
    • 11,411 Thanks
    savesummore
    Hi Everyone

    Can anyone point me in the direction of the budget planner that ive seen mentioned in previous yrs?

    need to have a sit down and work out a budget
    O/S weight loss 2.5 /10lbs (11st 8.0- 08.02)
  • modern millie
    Evening all, I think this challenge could be what I'm looking for....

    We are debt free, but on a low and uncertain income. I looked at projected income and outgoings for 2014 a couple of days ago, and gave myself a shock!

    OH and I are mid 50s, so 10 years or so to retirement, have some savings but keep dipping in for major expenses which is not good as we are not currently saving for pensions.

    Our amount to live on after essential bills I have projected as 6400 for two adults, cat and DD when home from Uni. Plans include:

    Grow more veg! we have plenty of garden so no excuse!

    Aim to finance my personal spends - haircuts, coffees with friends etc - from crafting sales - very small scale atm.

    Shop around for insurances this year - have let this go for a year or two.

    Barter where possible! bit anxious about this one but I like the principle.

    We need a new ch boiler next year, I am hoping to at least part finance it through next year's income.

    Will read back through last year's thread, and watch this one with interest.
    • skint_chick
    • By skint_chick 15th Dec 13, 6:35 PM
    • 771 Posts
    • 5,627 Thanks
    skint_chick
    Hello, I' back in again for the 5th year, I got seriously off track last year with having to do some major home repairs and improvements and I went part time at work to allow me to go back to university part time, which has another few months to go - although I'm hoping for a further 3 years funding which would rule out working at all from September. So I have 15,322 to try and shift, half of it on an interest free credit card until June, 5k of a personal loan due to finish July 2015 and some to my dad which is interest free.

    I spend a lot of last year working on making us almost self sufficient in vegetables and living a simpler life. I only bought clothes to replace ones that wore out, got most of my toiletries as birthday and Christmas gifts and the majority of eating out was mystery shopping. We now only have one car, OH changed his job to be close enough to walk and I walk to work when it's warmer. We only took a short break to Germany this year instead of our usual 3/4 holidays and next year any trips will be study related or visiting family.

    I'd love to have all the debts paid by the end of the year and think if I put more effort into reducing the grocery bills we could actually do this with overtime, mystery shopping money and craft sales.
    "I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better." Paul Theroux
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