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    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 26th Dec 15, 4:36 PM
    • 6,137Posts
    • 54,182Thanks
    2016 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 26th Dec 15, 4:36 PM
    2016 Frugal Living Challenge 26th Dec 15 at 4:36 PM
    Join us here for year 9 of our MSE Frugaldom challenge

    The Frugal Living Challenge 2016

    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 NYK/Frugaldom 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge. It has been running here on MSE for several years, although these particular money challenges began back in the 90's, elsewhere. We have seen many changes over the years, so this version is a catalogue of diaries charting the progress of 'debt free wannabe' money savers.

    Your budget is personal to you, it should fit with your personal financial situation.

    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 2015 Challenge is at (I am still unable to link to text on here)

    The 2014 Challenge is at (for some reason I am no longer able to link to the text)

    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 cash back sites and earning whatever it takes to become self sufficient in managing the cost of living without incurring debt.

    For some it is initially about clearing debt, for others it's about increasing savings, buying property, becoming stay at home mums or paying off the mortgage early. Some choose the lifestyle on ethical grounds. Above all, this is a fun and supportive way to manage your budget so you have control of your own cost of living. It's about NEEDS and not WANTS.

    Living on a budget = living within our means.
    Frugal = thrifty, living without waste

    Ideas to help you achieve and/or maintain debt free living
    Recognise the differences between needs from wants

    Spend within your means
    Set a proper budget
    Quit expensive habits
    Get a lodger
    Shop via cash-back sites and always price compare
    Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them
    Stockpile & bulk buy bargains
    Batch cooking
    Make the most of charity shops
    Join freebie or waste awareness and recycling associations
    LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
    Grow your own herbs, fruit & veg
    Preserving & winemaking
    Breadmaking & home baking
    Card & gift making
    Order splitting for better discounts & shared postal costs
    Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
    Online trading - auctions, stores, social media pages
    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.

    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 Ė keep it clean please). Discussion Time is for discussion of current issues (read Martinís description).

    If you post a topic that does not relate to the board itís posted on it will be moved to a more relevant MoneySaving board or to Discussion Time/The MoneySavers Arms.

    This challenge is about paying for needs so we can afford to live debt free and save for/afford wants. It runs from 1st January to 31st December. The links will give you an idea of how previous challenges have gone and these will be updated accordingly.

    If you havenít already, join the forum to reply!
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 28-12-2016 at 3:51 PM. Reason: Updating links to begin 2017 challenge
    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 26th Dec 15, 4:37 PM
    • 6,137 Posts
    • 54,182 Thanks
    • #2
    • 26th Dec 15, 4:37 PM
    • #2
    • 26th Dec 15, 4:37 PM
    Handy moneysavers' links can be found here


    My budget is same as usual - £4000 for groceries, utilities, heat, light, clothing, TV, insurance and council tax. No mortgage or rent to pay so everything else goes into renovations, pension planning and the new Frugaldom project etc.
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 28-12-2015 at 9:33 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!
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 26th Dec 15, 5:00 PM
    • 4,735 Posts
    • 41,418 Thanks
    • #3
    • 26th Dec 15, 5:00 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Dec 15, 5:00 PM
    I'm definitely in for 2016 - determined to stay debt free.
    NST May #18 nsd = 11 1 debt vs 100 days #5 £553/£553 Pay all your debt by Xmas '19 #56: £997.60/£5750
    • luckystarr
    • By luckystarr 26th Dec 15, 5:07 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 2,695 Thanks
    • #4
    • 26th Dec 15, 5:07 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Dec 15, 5:07 PM
    Please can you sign me up for 2016 I am going to get rid of this debt !!! ... Thank you
    • devonsaver83
    • By devonsaver83 26th Dec 15, 6:26 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 125 Thanks
    • #5
    • 26th Dec 15, 6:26 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Dec 15, 6:26 PM
    Sign me up please have a wedding to pay for next year so need to be as frugal us possible (luckily most of wedding is paid for, another £1000 to pay for then done, which I want to try and include in my £5000 budget!) Can be done I am sure using all the tips on here!! X
    Ready for Frugal challenge 2016
    • allie23
    • By allie23 26th Dec 15, 7:39 PM
    • 1,336 Posts
    • 14,589 Thanks
    • #6
    • 26th Dec 15, 7:39 PM
    • #6
    • 26th Dec 15, 7:39 PM
    Thanks for setting up the new thread for 2016 Frugaldom. I am in again for 2016 - this is one of my favourite threads. I am now debt free but hoping to save money by being more frugal particularly now that we are down to one wage.

    My one extravagance this year will be a holiday abroad - the first in around 12 years.
    February 2019 Grocery Challenge
    Frugal Living Challenge 2019
    Save £12k in 2019 - Challenger No 69 - £13,310/£40,000
    • thepollydoll
    • By thepollydoll 26th Dec 15, 8:27 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    • #7
    • 26th Dec 15, 8:27 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Dec 15, 8:27 PM
    Can I please be signed up to this? Really need to tackle our debt situation!
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 26th Dec 15, 8:43 PM
    • 2,658 Posts
    • 18,157 Thanks
    • #8
    • 26th Dec 15, 8:43 PM
    • #8
    • 26th Dec 15, 8:43 PM
    I'm definitely up for the full year. Thanks for running the challenge Frugaldom.

    I will be back with projected figures soon.......I'm still working on them.
    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 %
    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 26th Dec 15, 9:12 PM
    • 5,343 Posts
    • 55,198 Thanks
    • #9
    • 26th Dec 15, 9:12 PM
    • #9
    • 26th Dec 15, 9:12 PM
    Hiya everyone

    I'm in for 2016.

    Trying to save so we can retire in a couple of years.

    Definitely need to set and keep to budget this year, so will be sitting down this week to sort it all out.

    We will still have our holidays though, as DH works so hard and deserves them, but will try to keep all the costs down - there and everywhere else.

    Good luck everyone with this challenge
    Bulk buy.......APR=233.76
    OS WL= -2/8 ......CC =00......Savings = £13,140
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 26th Dec 15, 10:01 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 13,684 Thanks
    Count me in please will work on it over the next few days, as I'm retired I need to watch the pennies especially as I also would like to visit my dd this year, who lives abroad.
    Budgeting again, must try harder!!
    Sealed pot challenge no.31
    Frugal challenge 2019
    • The Only Girl
    • By The Only Girl 26th Dec 15, 10:31 PM
    • 868 Posts
    • 7,429 Thanks
    The Only Girl
    Please count me in too. I am determined to stay debt free and build up a healthy emergency fund, and start with bits and pieces that need renovating in the house and in the garden.
    "There is Life AFTER DEBT."
    LBM 2009 Total Debt £49046.24 Debt Free as of 27/08/2015
    Trying to replenish 3-6 mos EF
    • sugar23
    • By sugar23 27th Dec 15, 2:35 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    Hi I'd like to join you please

    Thank-you for the thread

    Will be sorted finances out over the coming days and working out where I can cut back
    Debt free before Xmas 17 #69
    Cc 3500 / 200
    Cat 1040 / 40
    Car 2592 / 217
    Total 7132 / 457 + taxcredits 81.14p/ 30
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 27th Dec 15, 10:48 AM
    • 10,540 Posts
    • 54,167 Thanks
    I shall be trying to claw back my spending, as being so busy at the shop it has spiralled upwards.
    I don't know how often I will post, but I will be going back to basics.
    I am away from home for a few days, so Christmas Eve I was going through the fridge and freezing things etc so as not to waste so much. Ran out of space so I experimented and "canned" three jars of carrots using my stockpile of glass jars and the pressure cooker.
    I made a pear and apple crumble using up damaged fruit, and took that with me to my daughter for Christmas Day.
    I did try to dry some tangerine segments but I don't think I managed it properly and ended up leaving them still in the bottom of the oven when I had to switch it off and go out. ( so I expect they may end up in the food waste bin after all!
    So I am back to learn again, and use up my huge stock of Approved Foods goodies that I have.
    My Frugal start to 2016 is to use up my stocks, clear out my Freezer under the stairs, and eventually replace only with menu planned goodies rather then random stuff I have bought in the passed and not used. So I expect some strange meals for January and possibly into February. In the fridge freezer I have some 52 chicken breasts after ordering from Muscle Foods.
    Actually they are so big that one would really be enough between DGD and me for our main meals.
    I also acquired a lot of 1/3 pt milk cartons, about 24 so I froze a lot of them as they were getting to best by date. I figure if I defrost one over night each day we will not have to buy milk for a little while either.
    I am low on Butter/spread though so that would probably be my first purchase.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 27th Dec 15, 11:08 AM
    • 15,625 Posts
    • 53,582 Thanks
    I am in! Was excited to see the thread up!

    I have to save as much as possible. Either for travel or a house.

    My budget is fairly simple!

    Monthly plan

    Rent (including bills) = 800
    Savings = 600
    Insurance = 100
    Spending = 500

    so my "live on" budget is 500 X 12 = 6000

    I have 300 saved for the car insurance but may need to borrow extra to pay for that.

    In theory,

    the 600 savings are split between Isa (untouchable) and an emergency fund (till it is at 2000) which i can borrow from if necessary - but the aim of this challenge is to not touch the savings and to spend as little as possible of the 500 pounds.

    The quicker I get the emergency fund up the quicker I can leave my job.
    Sealed Pot 12 - 008, 365, 1p a day, 1%, 100 days, Saving to be out of debt!
    • Ches
    • By Ches 27th Dec 15, 12:51 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 10,371 Thanks
    May I join please. My budget for 2016 in £500 a month to include all spending over and above the utility bills/holidays/long term savings. So £6k for the year.
    Mortgage and Debt free but need to increase savings pot.
    • madmaxtheyorkie
    • By madmaxtheyorkie 27th Dec 15, 1:30 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Help please
    How do I get these updates by email please.
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 27th Dec 15, 2:37 PM
    • 4,840 Posts
    • 58,642 Thanks
    How do I get these updates by email please.
    Originally posted by madmaxtheyorkie
    Just click on thread tools which is just above where frugaldom has posted X

    I'm in this year , for me it's about tackling debt , I am determined that this year we will become debt free
    • ancientmum
    • By ancientmum 27th Dec 15, 2:45 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 1,577 Thanks
    Good afternoon,
    Please can I join. I already try to live frugally but will need to take things up a notch this year. I will work out my budget in the next few days
    • Dia Pita
    • By Dia Pita 27th Dec 15, 2:57 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Dia Pita
    Please count me in, as I plan to retire from work in October 2016 I need to make sure I can manage on less before I take the plunge.

    After household bills, plan to live on no more than £600 pm, this includes food, transport and clothes.

    Debt Free Aug 15 Mortgage Free Aug 16
    Early retirement 1/10/ 2016.

    • Lolly88
    • By Lolly88 27th Dec 15, 3:18 PM
    • 318 Posts
    • 840 Thanks
    I'd like to join please, my goal is to save as much as possible towards a house deposit. I did well with saving last year but still frittered away money on pointless things so hopefully this challenge will help me with that. I'm aiming to spend a maximum of £400 a month after essential costs.

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