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    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 25th Feb 17, 7:40 PM
    • 2,365Posts
    • 24,584Thanks
    NST Muddy March Marathon
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:40 PM
    NST Muddy March Marathon 25th Feb 17 at 7:40 PM

    Inspired by the Zumba Twins (my niece and her wife) who completed a 10k mud run in aid of their local hospice last month and in despair at the impossibility of following Captain abundant's Winter Voyage, I have decided that in March we will run a
    Muddy March Marathon.

    M March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, they say. However March is a lot more varied than that and usually manages to throw a bit of everything at us. So it is, in life, and on our debt free journey. Some months we sail through, accumulating NSDs, knocking chunks off our debts. Others we struggle, barely recovering from one setback before the next hits us. This March, we will be adopting the American Indian mantra
    !!!8220;Live in the Spirit of the Season!!!8221;

    Whatever the weather throws at us (or life or debt free journey) we will embrace it, enjoy the challenge, celebrate and commiserate with each other. We will relish any signs of Spring approaching but will also splash through the puddles (or slush), fizzle through the fog and giggle at the gales. The March Challenge runs from 1st March to midnight on the 31st March.

    U Use it or Lose it is our second theme for the month. Both words have many conotations so from using what we have in the cupboard, reusing something for a repair, putting skills we have to good use and losing (rehoming/ selling/ giving to the charity shop for it to find someone who loves it) any unwanted/ needed possessions (captain abundant advised us to look through out wardrobes last month) and turn them into cash or return them to productive life. We are all short of space (and time and money) so each day I will try to give a helpful example and welcome you to add your own. Useful ways of making the most of what we have and using what we have wisely.

    D Debt Free Date Do you know yours? How much should you be paying towards your debt or savings each month to reach your target. Mine was always a bit vague !!!8211; basically !!!8220;When I sell the house!!!8221;. When that was done, I paid for mum's (and mine? Help !!!8211; she's already deciding where 'we' will go on holiday) much needed bungalow and paid all my debts. Going forward, not having the burden of two sets of household bills is a great improvement. I have a very modest income but it is sufficient.

    D Debt or Savings First An important turtle rule, instigated by our original leader Ninja Saving Kat*. Anything left after debt (savings) payments and other regular outgoings (dd for utilities, council tax, rent or mortgage) is for you to live on (food, petrol or bus fares to get to work, 'extras'). If it is not enough, how will you bridge the gap !!!8211; extra income or cutting back, phones, tvs, alcohol and 'classes' are all choices. If your budget is tight, how do these extras compare to your need to get rid of your debt/ buy a house/ retire early? I am not suggesting that you forgo fun. Turtles love fun. We love free fun best of all. But when you have a serious debt problem you need to look at your past choices and how you go forward. * See turtle back story at post 2

    Y You will set all your BUDGETS before the start of the month. You are in control of your money, the money (or spending is not in control of you). (I want to sing 'You're not the boss of me' from Malcolm in the Middle). Food, travel (petrol, public transport, maintenance), any kids clubs (this can be put into a separate 'purse' or 'envelope' at the start of the month and will then not affect your NSDs. All regular outgoings including 'personal' spending money.

    M Monitor Your Goals. Misstara encouraged us to set goals at the beginning of the year and Captain abundant asked us to check them last month. As we enter a new month, we should do so again. Are you reaching your current goals? If you are meeting your current target(s) easily then maybe it is time to move forward a step and stretch yourself? If it isn't happening, you need to revisit your goals, revise your first step (better to do 10 minutes exercise a day rather than fail to get to the gym, repeatedly). Identify any snags/ obstacles and work out how to overcome them. * BHF suggestions on setting goals and keeping on target in post 15(as suggested by Captain abundant). New comers feel welcome to think about and post your own goals for the year.

    A Avoid takeaways, canteens (unless bargainaceous subsidised ones), vending machines, costalot coffee and all their ilk. Take your lunch to work (from home) every day and where possible take your own food or snacks for hospital appointments (if travelling or out at meal times), cinema visits, days out. Some turtles allow themselves some purchases from this section (budgetted for as a special treat). If you are stuck and have to purchase, try to support a local cause or cafe (ie 'friends' cafe), rather than a chain. The rule is there because small spends ('only a drink')like this can add up to a large amount over the year !!!8211; see Martin's demotivator and making your own lunches (and meals at home from scratch) can give huge financial benefits as well as being healthier (no hidden sugar, fat, additives).

    R Remember those in Need. Donate to your local food bank or charity of your choice. Money, goods or time. Remember the numerous charity shops when clearing your house !!!8211; your unwanted item could be just what someone needs. Apologies to those with children whose schools are constantly demanding 'donations' (especially making you pay through the nose for uniform and then charging you for your children not wearing it).

    C Cupboard audit (+ fridge and freezer), Meal Planning and Cooking from Scratch are all great aids to saving money. What do you have in, what can you make with it, what do you need to buy. Again several turtles are full of ideas for recipes, special diets, how to use that bag of whatever that has been sitting at the back of the cupboard since the year dot. We can even get children to eat veg. Save time by knowing what you are going to cook or cook at weekends and days off and have hm ready meals.

    H HELP and Advice are always available. If you don't understand something, need clarification or are just drowning in despair, just yell. The turtle gang will respond.

    M Mistakes. We all make them. We all slip up, forget things, go off the rails. One slip is not a failure, do not write off the month. Get yourself back on track as soon as possible. Don't be afraid to ask for help or ideas for how to solve a particular problem

    A Avoid temptation. Retailers want your money. You do not have to give it to them. They have all sorts of tricks to get you to spend. Be wary. Product xyz will not transform your life. Focus on what you want to achieve. What is a need and what is a 'want'? Who or what is driving that 'want'. Check your mood (applies to eating things you shouldn't as well). Are you sad, fed up, angry, bored. Think about that feeling (all feelings are valid). Will that purchase (or comestible) solve the problem? How else can you deal with it or make yourself feel better?

    R Repairs Every little helps. Last month I was congrtatulated on being able to sew/ alter my own clothes. It's a skill I am glad to have (largely self-taught although surrounded by sewers). However something as simple as knowing how to sew on a button can help. Would you throw out a blouse (which cost you £30? - sorry I only know charity shop prices) because a button fell off? Many people do. Fix something in your house or wardrobe this month and feel good about it. The days are getting longer. Make a list of small household jobs and repairs that need doing (even tidying 'that' drawer which never gets sorted). Start with the things you can do yourself for little or no cost.

    A Attend regularly. Daily posting is recommended. If you can't face posting (usually when we have done something wrong) carry on reading. We mostly confess after a day or two and the turtles will help you aviod the 'mistake' in future.

    T Try to follow the rules. Turtle rules are tough (and can be confusing at first). You sign up to the rules and should try your best to follow them all. No turtle is ever left behind. Think of the rules as woodworking tools. A hammer (something we can all use?) knocks nails into things/ joins things together, sometimes a bit crudely. Think about saws (all different types for different jobs), chisels and planes and different fixings (screws, nuts and bolts). Think about the fine furniture you could make if you could use all those tools properly.

    Turtle rules are like those tools. Some are simple and effective !!!8211; if you avoid shops (and the internet) like the plague, you will save money. Some are more subtle, may require skill in applying, take longer to fully utilise but he more rules you use, regularly, the easier it becomes to reach your target.

    H Health. Another important facet of the turtle gang. I promised you a marathon, we will be getting down and dirty with lots of sweaty lycra (optional) exercise. Lots of turtles have weight loss as a goal and for that we need to look at food intake and getting moving. Healthy eating I am going to be boring and say eat your veg. Very few of us are getting enough. Healthy exercise check your existing target and step it up 5 days a week. Do a bit more (extra class/ add to the length of your walk or run/ do more at home). Mental Health lots of us are suffering setbacks, low moods and stress. I will not be setting weekly mini-challenges this month but I have seen a 21 day wellness exercise which I might quote and I also have the book of mindfulness exercises. I will be continuing the daily gratitudes, you decide if you want to.

    O Outside. Lovely place. Get out there as often as possible, soak up any available daylight (it is really sunlight, I promise, even if it doesn't feel like it). Enjoy those invigorating breezes (imagine you are on a tropical island, it's all a question of degree). Helps to boost your immune system.

    N No Spend Days. Aim for 15. If you made it in February, March is easy because you have days on which to spend. If you didn't quite make it, believe you can do it this time and plan to do so. If you do not follow the NSD target as you have another way that works for you, carry on. The original idea of NSDs is to avoid 'popping into' the shops for one or two things and coming out with a basket load. If you are disciplined enough to buy only what is on your list (ys or yellow sticker goods are exempt, provided it is something you will use or a treat you would only buy at a greatly reduced price). Medical necessities (including hospital parking), ys goodies (as long as nothing else is purchased) and filling up with petrol (again as long as it is from a set petrol budget !!!8211; or diesel- and nothing else is purchsed) will not lose you a NSD. Unfortunately chocolate is not a medical necessity.
    Last edited by mothernerd; 26-02-2017 at 12:21 PM.
    This year I will be fierce
    NST May #13 SFD 9/19 Food £122.13/£120 Travel £11.70/£15 Ent £3.44/£30 (+ £20 membership fee)
    No Debt No mortgage
Page 19
    • ChasingSunshine
    • By ChasingSunshine 15th Mar 17, 7:21 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 993 Thanks
    SFD but have lost track of how many overall. Little bit of a wasted evening here but finally made a dent in the mountain of clean clothes that needed sorting and claimed back my furniture as well as made some banana bread to tackle the sugar craving.

    Have coffee planned for tomorrow at a friends house (very MSE).

    Today am grateful for a colleague bringing his baby in to visit at work, really cheered up the office this morning, some lovely sunshine and for having only one day left at work until holidays.
    • SkintTeacher
    • By SkintTeacher 15th Mar 17, 7:57 PM
    • 333 Posts
    • 1,902 Thanks
    nsd 10
    Grateful for the fantastic weather, a hard training session, the fact it is exactly a month to my wedding!
    Was feeling a bit blue earlier (no reason that I could see bit back to my normal self this evening)
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 15th Mar 17, 8:40 PM
    • 3,509 Posts
    • 30,027 Thanks
    Thanks for the free pass mothernerd - I really do hate gardening (so much that I pay a man to keep it tidy for me which is just about the least mse thing I do) so won't be joining in there. I can arrange a coffee date with bestie though
    Today much better than yesterday thank goodness, although I do feel quite zombie like at the moment. It's all work and not much else at the moment...
    I am grateful for good colleagues and supportive friends.
    And my crochet which really helps me to wind down.
    DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 15th Mar 17, 8:50 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 3,704 Thanks
    I dont have a garden at all. We do have communal bit but it is very well cared for.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 3/19
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 15th Mar 17, 9:01 PM
    • 2,365 Posts
    • 24,584 Thanks
    Quick check in. Caught up with (and in) sewing last night until the early hours, whilst watching old episodes of Taggart (with Mark McManus).

    Eyes a bit sore this am.

    Lovely crafts session - chimneys, windows, doors for fairy houses for two participants plus a butterfly picture with added menagerie for the blind girl. Fell asleep on the bed when I got home and going back to sleep asap.

    Bins in, washing in, shopping postponed.

    Today I am grateful for seeing a ladybird, for more interesting local activities, for doing all that I had to do, if not all I would have liked to do.
    This year I will be fierce
    NST May #13 SFD 9/19 Food £122.13/£120 Travel £11.70/£15 Ent £3.44/£30 (+ £20 membership fee)
    No Debt No mortgage
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 15th Mar 17, 9:13 PM
    • 4,352 Posts
    • 24,674 Thanks
    Woohoo - another NSD - taking me to 6 so far.

    Thanks for the mention mothernerd - I love to grow things whether that is for prettiness or to eat. I love being outside in the fresh air.
    I grow my main veg on my allotment but the more precious stuff like peas, French beans and tomatoes I grow in the vegetable patch at the top of the garden.

    At the moment on the allotment I am just cutting back bramble and now the ground is dryer I will start to dig more beds and also turn over the used beds from last year and think about what I am going to plant.
    I know some people have planted seeds already but I think it is too early still and from looking at facebook groups most people's seedlings have gone all leggy.

    I will skip the coffee meeting this week as I was out 3 times last week and that was naughty!!

    Today I am grateful for:
    1. The lovely weather (at 6.15 it was misty but by 7 it was lovely and bright)
    2. Goose eggs (my geese have started to lay and I had one for tea)
    3. Being able to help my parents with a Tax Credits problem.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 15th Mar 17, 9:25 PM
    • 10,472 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    Thank you Greent virtual support is just as important!!

    Mothernerd You made me laugh
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 15th Mar 17, 9:27 PM
    • 10,472 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    Quick check in. Caught up with (and in) sewing last night until the early hours, whilst watching old episodes of Taggart (with Mark McManus).

    Eyes a bit sore this am.

    Lovely crafts session - chimneys, windows, doors for fairy houses for two participants plus a butterfly picture with added menagerie for the blind girl. Fell asleep on the bed when I got home and going back to sleep asap.

    Bins in, washing in, shopping postponed.

    Today I am grateful for seeing a ladybird, for more interesting local activities, for doing all that I had to do, if not all I would have liked to do.
    Originally posted by mothernerd
    Funny enough I only said to DH this week that David Tenant (swoon) is channeling Taggart in Broadchurch this season. The brusque shouts of 'Millar' etc etc. NB he's not very swoony in that role.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • thriftylass
    • By thriftylass 15th Mar 17, 10:11 PM
    • 3,307 Posts
    • 27,081 Thanks
    Hello, was meant to start in the conservatory tonight but did a top up shop instead to tie us over to Sat including food for the dinner on Sat when we invited friends over. Also did some more diy planning to de-eighties-fy our bedroom without spending a fortune. So fat my budget for redecorating has been about £100 per room (paper, paint, shelves, accessories) and i stuck to it. Might up it to 200as we also need bedside tables and lamps. Unless i can gumtree etc. Started stripping the wallpaper. Might take Mo off when OH is away with work and the kids are in school etc to get going with the bedroom diy.
    NST May
    SFD6/20 spends 294/400
    Exercise 4/15
    Debt - all 0% 1010 to go from 5290
    DFD 5/2018 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 104915 (02/18) OP 0
    • Fmess
    • By Fmess 15th Mar 17, 10:19 PM
    • 2,702 Posts
    • 25,895 Thanks
    Not a spendy day, bought chocolate, ate loads and put on a pound at weigh in, oh well
    LBM = 07/09/13 Debt = £13339 (100% cleared)
    New Car and Roof Debt £0/£19033
    DecNST #2 SFD 13/15 Food 105/120 Personal 380/350 Petrol 80.01/80
    • abundant1972
    • By abundant1972 15th Mar 17, 10:24 PM
    • 1,227 Posts
    • 9,215 Thanks

    Today I am grateful for:
    • A day off to chill
    • For having food in my cupboards and never going hungry
    • For a better relationship with my housemate
    Today = NSD number 8

    Use it or lose it : Garden - Live in a houseshare and flat mate owns/manages the garden. I do have some houseplants that need some TLC desperately, so will get on that

    Well-being : Don't complain - I'll try not to.

    Ask do I 'want' or 'need' this before I spend
    Follow your heart & be true to yourself always
    Help To Buy ISA = £6046.13. EF = £2500/£4500
    NST : NSD=0/18 : Food & Spends=£0/£200.00
    Exercise : Joe Wicks 90 Day SSS Plan!
    • swimminginaseaofdebt
    • By swimminginaseaofdebt 15th Mar 17, 10:32 PM
    • 737 Posts
    • 4,219 Thanks
    Evening all

    Walked back from the little one's sensory class today, a good 1 hour 20 mins exercise chalked up

    Have read a bit more of my library book today, not as much as I'd have liked though, and I got an email to say a reservation I'd made for another one is now ready to collect. I've 7 days to pick it up before it gets passed along somewhere else.

    Did a few surveys and ate a slice of my lasagna I made earlier this month.

    Tomorrow I may drop off my unused nappies at the food bank as the person who emailed me saying they'd take them hasn't confirmed collection/delivery. Hate it when people waste other people's time!

    My computer also seems to have deleted my budget spreadsheet for March. Blooming annoying but I'll just need to keep on top of my banking online to ensure I stay on track.

    I asked my 8 month old if we should go stalk Chris Hemsworth whilst he's shooting Avengers in Scotland and he just cackled at me lol.
    Pay all debt off by Christmas 2018 #150 - £895.62/£2018
    SPC11 #564
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 16th Mar 17, 8:55 AM
    • 1,913 Posts
    • 15,372 Thanks
    Good morning all,

    Yesterday I had football which was meant to spoil my NSD but I forgot my wallet. So yesterday was another NSD and I'll pay double next week!

    No plans to spend today or tomorrow either so I should get a good run of NSD's. Today is my 4th in a row.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 16th Mar 17, 9:37 AM
    • 510 Posts
    • 3,704 Thanks
    Morning all
    Earned £5 amazon voucher from swagbucks and I popped it straight on to my amazon account. Aiming to pay 2018 in just vouchers.
    Today is no spend day.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 3/19
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 16th Mar 17, 9:47 AM
    • 2,365 Posts
    • 24,584 Thanks
    Day 16 (half way there)
    Use It or Lose It
    Charity Shops.
    I love them. I used to buy most of my clothing from them (harder once you get to a certain size - less choice). I have done the rounds looking for specific things - DS3 loved badminton and I found 4 bats and a net (one bat had to be bought from the cash for goods shop) and DS2 needed the text of a particular shakespeare play and I found a university level one that had the full text and lots of notes on 'themes' etc - that was a real bargain as our bookshop had closed by then and the bus fare alone would have been over £5.

    I get my candles from them and have bought several new or part-used craft kits - we wouldn't have paid full price for the candle-making kit. It's also my first port of call for 'fancy' toiletries when I need a bit of pampering.

    We always had a 'charity bag' on the go and I would take it a bd donate when it was full (now I find the big red wheelie bin in the library useful as I can drop off odd items as I find them).

    I would like to see greater specialisation between the charity shops. When I went to clear up my brother's house, I found one shop stocked pieces of material plus reclaimed buttons and zips - I have bought these occasionally from our shops but it has been a 'promotion' not consistent.
    (The buttons were metallic ones to use on DS3's cosplay outfits).

    I've also volunteered to work in one, but never heard back. I know some of you have had off putting experiences but the majority of volunteers have been polite and helpful.

    Day 16 Wellness
    Go the entire day without complaining.

    The only person you should try to be better then ... is the person you were yesterday.

    Catch up later turtles.
    This year I will be fierce
    NST May #13 SFD 9/19 Food £122.13/£120 Travel £11.70/£15 Ent £3.44/£30 (+ £20 membership fee)
    No Debt No mortgage
    • Calling14
    • By Calling14 16th Mar 17, 2:15 PM
    • 2,702 Posts
    • 19,749 Thanks
    Happy Thursday folks.

    Well back in work today. Kept out of shops so today is a SFD!!!!!!!!!
    Resisted large chocolate buttons - well done me.

    Put some pearl barley with sweet potato and parsnips in the slow cooker for tea , defrosted some sausages to go with it. - last time it was yummy.

    Need to work on my fitness levels as last week done nothing. Tempted again by getting a fitbit, dd just got one. Don't think I compete with my other dd in Oz who just sent a pic of her screen average is 24000 steps a day. eek.
    Looked at couch to 5k, not sure my knee would cope with running or my bra, now being a F cup topple over.

    Grateful for
    Washing and drying my bathroom mat yesterday - so fluffy now. Usually takes forever to dry but it was boiling here yesterday.
    Debt reduced by 75 pounds today
    A house I love.
    LBM 13039 1.1.13 Start 2018 £5552 NOW £3112
    EEK house repairs pushed it back up end of last yr

    PAYDBX 2018 #16 £2440/£5552 DFD 12/18
    Fund #9 £220/£1,000
    1 x 100 days challenge

    • Jo Blogs
    • By Jo Blogs 16th Mar 17, 2:54 PM
    • 730 Posts
    • 2,597 Thanks
    Jo Blogs
    Good afternoon everyone

    Well done with the NSD's / SFD's

    Hope everyone has a great day!
    Saved Nitty Gritty £7440.75 [149%] / £5000-[Sep] £58.44 for the 'Save 12k in 2017' #157
    2017 Womble #35 £3463.27 Sept NSDs 4/15CCCChl 9/12 months
    Sept PPChl#002 Pts 71
    • greent
    • By greent 16th Mar 17, 4:51 PM
    • 7,008 Posts
    • 71,548 Thanks
    Another SFD here, but I failed to go to Zumba (have done something to my left set of quads but was going to go easy) as I was absorbed in paperwork and failed to notice the time until the class had already started As a result of said paperwork, very few steps have been done today.

    Today's thankfulness
    * roller-ing the muscle appears to be helping
    * I have been in the mood for above paperwork (although have found lots of niggly issues)
    * it hasn't rained (although much chillier than yesterday)

    Tired, whinging children here - and I have them at home for an inset day tomorrow, so am struggling to be thankful at the moment (I love them dearly, but they do try my patience at a time like this)

    Calling - lots of good sports bras for larger busts - shock absorbers really work and go up to an F. Can also get something called a boo band (or something like that) from amaz0n etc which is a band you wear above your bust over a sports bra to further stop the jiggle.
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £877.49/£4000
    Net sales 2018 £491.03/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) £13869.38/£18694.38
    • Calling14
    • By Calling14 16th Mar 17, 6:36 PM
    • 2,702 Posts
    • 19,749 Thanks
    Thanks greent - will get a sports bra as even walking uncomfortable with wired one
    LBM 13039 1.1.13 Start 2018 £5552 NOW £3112
    EEK house repairs pushed it back up end of last yr

    PAYDBX 2018 #16 £2440/£5552 DFD 12/18
    Fund #9 £220/£1,000
    1 x 100 days challenge

    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 16th Mar 17, 8:13 PM
    • 10,472 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    Hi All

    Just watching a bit of Shop Well for Less, wow....It's amazing how far some people go. My gratitude for the day would have to be that I am glad I can live on a shoestring! Obviously in good company on this thread

    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
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