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    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 10th Dec 13, 11:13 AM
    • 6,138Posts
    • 54,192Thanks
    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

    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
    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
    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.

    (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:


    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.


    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 1
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 10th Dec 13, 11:17 AM
    • 6,138 Posts
    • 54,192 Thanks
    • #2
    • 10th Dec 13, 11:17 AM
    Challenge Updates
    • #2
    • 10th Dec 13, 11:17 AM
    At the moment, there is no challenger list. Anyone can join or leave this challenge whenever they like, come and go as you please.

    It's all about budgeting to within a penny and stretching those finances to get as much as possible for your money. I will use this post for updates and additions throughout 2014.

    Good luck to all who choose to take part and thank you for joining Frugaldom.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • nat21luv
    • By nat21luv 10th Dec 13, 11:17 AM
    • 3,364 Posts
    • 27,395 Thanks
    • #3
    • 10th Dec 13, 11:17 AM
    • #3
    • 10th Dec 13, 11:17 AM
    subscribing this year! I half heartedly joined in this year but next year im in for the long haul
    £12k in 2019 #=
    £30k by Jan 2020= £% £10 a day = £366.23 / £500

    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 10th Dec 13, 11:23 AM
    • 6,138 Posts
    • 54,192 Thanks
    • #4
    • 10th Dec 13, 11:23 AM
    • #4
    • 10th Dec 13, 11:23 AM
    Thanks for joining us and good luck with 2014!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • First_Trouble
    • By First_Trouble 10th Dec 13, 1:02 PM
    • 974 Posts
    • 3,141 Thanks
    • #5
    • 10th Dec 13, 1:02 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Dec 13, 1:02 PM
    I would like to sign up for 2014 please desperately want to get rid of all my debt. Currently have a debt free month set to January 2015 but would love to pay it off sooner if I can.
    That voice in your head that says you canít do this is a LIAR!

    Debt Free - January 2021
    • WantToBeSE
    • By WantToBeSE 10th Dec 13, 1:11 PM
    • 6,778 Posts
    • 30,548 Thanks
    • #6
    • 10th Dec 13, 1:11 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Dec 13, 1:11 PM
    I would like to join this please I am already debt free and am desperate to move house as i have the neighbours from HELL. In order to move, i must save save save as much as possible!
    3/6 month emergency fund challenge #20
    PODBX17 #122

    Debt Free Diary

    Total debt:
    14/01/2017 £6247.89
    24/02/17 £5623.17

    Estimated DFD Jan 2018
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 10th Dec 13, 1:30 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    • #7
    • 10th Dec 13, 1:30 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Dec 13, 1:30 PM
    I would love to join as well my debt free date is in 2015 but I want it gone by the end of 2014
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 10th Dec 13, 3:14 PM
    • 861 Posts
    • 9,053 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    • #8
    • 10th Dec 13, 3:14 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Dec 13, 3:14 PM
    I'm subscribing, new to this debt free journey so need to be as tight as possible with the funds!
    SPC #148 2014-£25 2015-£5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2019
    Jan £396.91/£400, Feb £/£400
    • araminta
    • By araminta 10th Dec 13, 5:38 PM
    • 218 Posts
    • 1,019 Thanks
    • #9
    • 10th Dec 13, 5:38 PM
    Count me in
    • #9
    • 10th Dec 13, 5:38 PM
    Hi all, I am aiming to become debt free by 2014 so this challenge is exactly what I need.
    DMP Nov 09 £25,851.93 DMP June14 £0 100% paid
    Target DFD 31st Dec 2014 DFD 7th June 2014
    VSP no 118 £153.25 Weekly Savings Challenge #12 £276/£1378 PAYD by Xmas 2014 #095 8,500/8,500 = 100% paid #22 £365 in 365 days 168/365
    • roxykitten
    • By roxykitten 10th Dec 13, 6:10 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 118 Thanks
    me please! I have been lurking for a few months but I need to get involved! Next year is a big year for my household, we are having major work done to the house and its going to cost a lot meaning we need to seriously tighten our belts so im in
    • diplodocus22
    • By diplodocus22 10th Dec 13, 6:37 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 36 Thanks
    Include me please as a first timer.Need to keep on track.
    Thank you.
    • ska1982
    • By ska1982 10th Dec 13, 6:50 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 199 Thanks
    Totally in
    CC 2771 1419
    • cottage_retreatist
    • By cottage_retreatist 10th Dec 13, 6:59 PM
    • 843 Posts
    • 2,931 Thanks
    Can I join please? I've been watching the thread and already do quite a few of the things listed but I think this challenge would seriously keep me on track!!!!!

    Thank you!
    Cottage_retreatist xxx
    Debts @ LBM (May 2013): £25,250.27 | Debt Free: May 2015
    • strandedinaber
    • By strandedinaber 10th Dec 13, 7:34 PM
    • 188 Posts
    • 1,212 Thanks
    Can I join please? One of my challenges next year though is to buy all the groceries locally or from online ethical companies (I don't have a garden or a suitable windowsill, otherwise I would love to grow what I can myself). So I will probably be spending more than I would be if I was yellow stickering, but my ultimate goal is to figure out how to live ethically within my means, so I'm okay with that.
    Grocery Challenge January: £15.67/£120
    #47 £2 Savers: £6/£200
    #167 £1k Emergency Fund: £377.22/£1000
    #52 £2016 in 2016: £27.50/£2016
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 10th Dec 13, 7:38 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 13,684 Thanks
    Hello everyone, I would like to join in if I may, I have given myself a date of Jan 2015 to be debt free by and I reckon the best way of doing this is to embrace a frugal lifestyle, from food to clothes so I will work out a household budget between now and Jan 1st and post it later, I will have to work out yearly bills etc and see how I can manage on less.

    So here's to being frugal.
    • skintwellie
    • By skintwellie 10th Dec 13, 8:27 PM
    • 89 Posts
    • 855 Thanks
    I am signing up to 2014 - didn't do to badly during 2013 until last few months!!!

    Determined to save to go on the trip of a lifetime in 2015 to see my grandchildren in NZ. Therefore I'm reading all the different challenges as well!!!

    Here's to a truly MSE 2014 everyone. x
    • Pixie5740
    • By Pixie5740 10th Dec 13, 8:40 PM
    • 13,750 Posts
    • 19,902 Thanks
    I'm going to sign up for this challenge. I'm not in debt but I'm saving for a house deposit, after years of living in flats I would like a detached house and that's going to cost me.

    It's not so much that I spend money, more that I tend to haemorrhage it.
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 10th Dec 13, 8:54 PM
    • 8,472 Posts
    • 50,025 Thanks
    Yes please I would like to join, to help with my plans for early retirement.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • fedupandskint
    • By fedupandskint 11th Dec 13, 5:26 AM
    • 10,351 Posts
    • 97,525 Thanks
    I would like to join in with this challenge. I have a debt free date of 2017 if I take out a loan to pay off my long term loan.

    I am saving up instead to pay it off as soon as I can and will be cutting back in 2014 to scrape more money into my savings account for this. I am also starting a new lower paid job, which I'm looking forward to, although this will bring its own challenge.

    Good luck everyone!
    final unsecured debt to repay currently £8333
    Proud to be Dealing With my Debt
    DFW Nerd 1154 Long Haul 155
    • speakingofart
    • By speakingofart 11th Dec 13, 5:51 AM
    • 355 Posts
    • 3,897 Thanks
    Count me in please! Having spent 2013 sorting out my career (well, giving up one I hated and starting a new one which I don't anyway) I now need to spend 2014 paying off my debt and building up some savings. The links look like a great place to start......
    Proud to be debt free September 2014.

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