Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • thriftylass
    • By thriftylass 29th Aug 17, 3:16 PM
    • 3,330Posts
    • 27,278Thanks
    NST Super September Scrimping challenge
    • #1
    • 29th Aug 17, 3:16 PM
    NST Super September Scrimping challenge 29th Aug 17 at 3:16 PM
    A warm and fuzzy autumnal welcome to the NST Super September Scrimping challenge, for newbies and seasoned debt busters alike.

    (Don!!!8217;t want the following to sound too harsh but I need it this month)

    September means for many getting back into the swing of new school and work routines. Also, the colder months are looming and we should maybe consider starting to get ready for winter and the festivities or at least start a wee bit of forward planning.

    The whole idea of this challenge is for you to start looking to where you WANT to be, consider why you aren!!!8217;t at that point and start realising what is going WRONG. And also, I need you to help me because when I have people to answer to I won!!!8217;t spend anything!

    Seriously though !!!8211; you can!!!8217;t save for a house if you have debt. You can!!!8217;t have a new kitchen if you can!!!8217;t afford the food to put in it!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;. you need to get a debt free day graved in stone and start aiming for it. Enough is enough. Christmas is but 16 weeks away !!!8211; are you ready for that little charmer?

    So again, I!!!8217;d like to go back to basics and a few stricter rules back form NinjasavingKat!!!8217;s days.

    These are the rules!!!8230;.. clear and simple!

    *This challenge starts on the 1st September at 00:01 and closes on the 30th September at 00:00.

    *Try and check in once a day with your progress !

    *Get a little notebook that you can fit in your bag, or a slip of paper! Write down everything you spend - good and bad!!

    *You will aim for 18 SFDs!(Spend Free Days). If purchases of !!!8220;yellow sticker delights!!!8221; are made without full price items this is an SFD. Medication and normal monthly DD!!!8217;s or CC payments are exempt and you may class these days as SFD!!!8217;s also.

    *Pay you debts and bills first, budget to live off what is left!

    *You must decide on a budget for food now. This must be stuck to rigidly until the last day of the month ! Consider how much you REALLY need to feed your family, make meal plans, limit snacking with the kids or tell them !!!8220;when it!!!8217;s gone that!!!8217;s it until next week!!!8221;. Mine is £350.

    *Try and eat everything in your cupboards and freezer BEFORE buying any more. Money spent each week will be for essentials !!!8211; bread, milk and fruit & veg before buying more. Get right down to the bottom of that chest freezer, get out those nearly out of date packets of rice. Stop stock piling for Armageddon and wasting money. I don!!!8217;t care if you are prepping for visitors or a !!!8220;just in case!!!8221; situation! (note to mainly myself: STOP SPENDING SO MUCH ON FOOD!) I need to defrost my freezer and clean my fridge so this rule will help

    *You must bring your lunch to work every day. No coffee shops, no work canteen, no cafes, no sandwiches !!!8211; NOTHING. You will waste SO many precious £££!!!8217;s when something better can be created at home. If you think it doesn!!!8217;t matter and I won!!!8217;t find out !!!8211; you are right. But you are cheating yourself.

    *Plot the course of your social life now before the beginning of September. Make sure you have a budget planned for meals that can!!!8217;t be wormed out of and birthdays etc. Money placed aside for holidays can be classed as !!!8220;no spend days!!!8221; !!!8211; anything over the budget will ruin that SFD!! Cancel something you really don!!!8217;t want to go to !!!8211;you HAVE to start making sacrifices now.

    *Decide on your DFD!!!!8211; when do you want to start doing what you want to do???

    *You will accomplish some sort of exercise per week, 3 sessions of 20 minutes anyway you want. Walk someone!!!8217;s pooch, walk to work, walk around your block 5 times!!!8230; anything!

    *Beauty spends are not allowed to exceed £10. That includes you boys as well. Use up all that you have in the house BEFORE spending anything more on beauty bits !!!8211; seriously how many body moisturisers do you need ladies?

    *Make time for yourself this month. Even if it!!!8217;s only 10 minutes a day do something for yourself whether that is going for a walk, having a bath with loads of bubbles or sitting outside with a drink !!!8211; we need to make the most of the evenings.

    *Keep the heating off as long as possible, put a jumper on etc. We live in the north of Scotland in an 80s bungalow with metal windows. So it might be a challenge

    That!!!8217;s it!!!8230; think you can keep up?

    1. thriftylass
    2. apple muncher
    3. greent
    4. DawnW
    5. determined new ms
    6. Calling14
    7. jojitsui
    8. misstara
    9. f0xh0les
    10. Tempus01
    11. 1LuckyLady
    12. cybertortoise
    13. dizzyblnd
    14. mothernerd
    15. Shakey87
    16. clippy_girl
    17. Fmess
    18. stoplurking
    19. ChasingSunshine
    20. Eager_Elephant
    21. Tjzdazz
    22. Kerry Woman
    23. FurryBeastOz
    24. Buffethedebtslayer
    25. bizzie
    26. squanderscouse
    27. Sun Addict
    28. LD_13
    29. NelliePie
    30. vintagebrighton
    31. indigowarrior
    32. crazy_cat_lady
    33. LollyPop0312
    34. foxgloves
    35. redofromstart
    36. Lauralozzle
    37. Abundant
    38. ooitsme
    39. threepenny bit

    This Forum tip was included in's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 13-09-2017 at 9:13 AM.
    NST June
    SFD 10/20 spends 677/480
    Exercise 11/20
    Debt - all 0% 1015 to go from 5290
    DFD 5/2018 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 103541 (05/18) OP 0
Page 34
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 30th Sep 17, 12:21 PM
    • 6,857 Posts
    • 40,185 Thanks
    determined new ms
    oh no last day of the month and had to buy a washing machine - so that's been a bed, a whole exhaust car emergency to the tune of £300 and now a WM! Oh well, glad we have an emergency fund and looking forward to replenishing over the coming months!

    oh I had to put the heating on yesterday as we have a damp problem in our bedroom. Neighbour came and looked at it and did a fix so hopefully that's all that's needed....
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling 2017 £3016.55/Roadkill £8.73
    Wombling 2018 £145.73/RK £0.04
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 30th Sep 17, 1:20 PM
    • 2,431 Posts
    • 25,364 Thanks
    determined new ms if you had had to buy it tomorrow, it would have spoiled October and discouraged you straigt out of the gate.
    This year I will be fierce
    NST Jun #1 SFD 7/10 Food £116.70/£120 Travel 14.50/£15 Ent/diy £15/£30 may buy clothes?
    No Debt No mortgage
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 30th Sep 17, 2:40 PM
    • 7,364 Posts
    • 55,478 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Thank you thrifty for September.

    Managed 20 NSDs; food spending down slightly on last month; LTW every work day; no beauty spends; 1 cousins reunion; time for self is an ongoing project; exercise was ok when I was well enough; the heating has remained off.
    NST June Odyssey #20; NSD 11/15; Ex 9/20 ; craft / (69); remove 54 (433)
    2018 Pay off: £2110; 2
    018 sell

    Mortgage £21,033 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • f0xh0les
    • By f0xh0les 30th Sep 17, 3:53 PM
    • 1,473 Posts
    • 12,236 Thanks
    NSD still on 17.
    Spoilt by the kids needing to go into town to buy DH's birthday presents. They spent their own money for once!! And banked whatever cheques they had. But I paid £1 for an hour's parking so sodded up my 18th NSD. Boo.

    Thanks Thrifty for September.

    See you on the other side for October
    MFW START DATE May 16 £118,340 : Oct17 - £109,495.00Dec17 £108,800Jan 18 £108,392.98 March 18 £108,504.72April £108,099May £106,999
    June 105,999.99
    NEXT GOAL is sub £105k before JulyMortgage-free wannabe 2018 #65
    • Fmess
    • By Fmess 30th Sep 17, 5:09 PM
    • 2,710 Posts
    • 25,986 Thanks
    Thanks for the challenge thrifty

    This week has been blighted by illness, tiredness and too much work so managed 14 SFDs.

    Today isn't as I've bought the monthly food shop, petrol, dog food, paid for the bathroom floor, bought a pair of cheap jeans and brought my first Christmas present.

    See you in October turtles
    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
    • greent
    • By greent 30th Sep 17, 5:52 PM
    • 7,073 Posts
    • 72,072 Thanks
    And the end has arrived!
    SFDs - Ended on 13/18. Did some of Oct's spends today so will revisit &r revise Oct budgets. Been a spendy month with an unexpected new fridge freezer required, 2 x MOt + car services (total £700 for the 2 with small bits of work/ service parts) and a new shower (£540 - and that doesn't include the enclosure, which we will be buying in Oct... - have found one, just need to check with plumber it will be ok)

    Extra monies/ debt repayment - Transferred £85 to kitchen fund from working a Saturday morning in Sep. An ok month overall for adding to kitchen and made OPs to BTL - but fridge freezer and new shower have been put on 0% CC.

    Food - running total £435.70/ £450. - which takes into account today's spends of £40 Around £50 + spent on stuff for DD's uni return too, so was a good month

    Eating up/ using up stuff - Yep. Loads of this in Sept. Will continue it in Oct. Lots of spaces appearing - some good but some will need to be replaced.

    Lunches taken - N/a today. Boys had packed lunch every day for school. I had 2 naughty lunches (included in my grocery spends above, so budgets not blown)

    Social life - Didn't go on planned meal out with friends - that is happening next weekend. Had takeaway for last weekend meal together as family of 6. Had afternoon tea - but that was a freebie.

    Exercise - Poor month

    Beauty - £4.73/ £10 - £2 on me, £2.73 on DD

    Time for self - Several books read

    Heating off - yep. No need as yet.

    *some bargains
    * a decent lie in this morning
    * cups of tea
    * getting most of the washing *mostly* dry

    Thanks, thrifty! I have really enjoyed Oct

    See you all in Oct
    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) £1068.37/£4000
    Net sales 2018 £519.32/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) £18459.38/£18918.90
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 30th Sep 17, 6:47 PM
    • 2,342 Posts
    • 22,720 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Day 30

    SFDs – Managed to get 18/18. Today was a spend day – food shopping.

    Food – Made mistake along the way adding it up during the month. Added the totals up today that were in my notebook plus today’s food spend and it comes to £140.52/£150. So I am under my budget for the month which I am happy about. Kept all general and food spends in the notebook.

    Lunches taken - Brought in on the days I worked.

    Social life – Went to the local theatre to see a play which was already paid for last month. Enjoyed it and luckily got there in time for the start.

    Exercise – Did 20 minutes walk whenever I worked.

    Beauty – Only brought toothpaste in bulk from an ethical company – cost £34.72. Should last a year. Did have a 20% discount code.

    Time for self – Managed to read a few books(after quite a while of not reading – helps me get through the day and with my depression/anxiety) and found time to rest/chill.

    Heating off – Had to turn it on for my elderly Mum.

    Enjoyed doing this challenge this month. Thanks thrifty for the challenge.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST June 2018 A June Odessey(Staycation) NSD 10/20
    • FurryBeastOz
    • By FurryBeastOz 30th Sep 17, 7:44 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 15,845 Thanks
    Epic fail on most areas. I managed to read most days, but that was it.

    I only 7 NSD’s. Linked to my poor lunches no coffee shops disaster.

    Food per se I was well under budget, because I was filling up on chocolate crap and not eating at home. On the up side, I’ve used up a lot of freezer bits feeding DH.

    Socially it was as planned.

    Exercise - less said the better. I’ve put on a stone.

    Beauty - I did indulge a bit with my ‘treats’ fund. But within what I budgeted.

    Time for self - yes and no. I did a lot of sitting around watching TV, but it hasn’t made me feel better and my sleep patterns are all over the place.

    Heating - been on most of the month, but very low if that helps.

    All in all I’m not in a great place. Roll on October.
    Goals - Weight loss 6/26lb at 22nd Jan 18
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 30th Sep 17, 8:19 PM
    • 2,431 Posts
    • 25,364 Thanks
    Thanks for the challenge thrifty. As usual ny shortcomings are my own. Lost track but I am pretty sure I went over budget but I have managed to nudge my health up a notch or two. my sleeping pattern is hopeless but I feel more together and have succeeded in pushing my boundaries and got things done when I was exhausted or by keep chipping away at things that needed to be done.

    Today has been spendy and not at all as expected which was supposed to be quiet and mostly stay home. At 9am mum rang to say she did not get to the Church heritage exhibition (on local pits - 25 years since the last of ours closed) but would like to go this morning. I got ready, went for the taxi, went to collect mum - she was still inside the house but I had told her not to come further than she was okay with as it was wet and slippy.

    Spent a couple of hours at the exhibition, mum got to chat with a few old friends and we contributed to the 'memories' book. We were asked if any family members had worked in the mines. My uncle did briefly, one of mum's aunts was a Pit Brew lass (surface workers sorting coal after women and children were banned from working underground).

    I wrote about my cousin whose father was killed down the mine (usual accidents not one of the disasters) before she was 2 years old, leaving her mother Marion a widow at the age of 19 - not sure about that as I worked it out by comparing respective ages of 3 generations, but no-one is going to contradict me. Marion subsequently married my uncle but insisted that he leave the pit.

    I also wrote about helping as a voluntary advice worker during the miner's strike - if I am going to be history, I will have it recorded properly. There was lots of information about various disasters from the massive Pretoria disaster 4 miles away (344 men and boys killed on 21 December 1910, the largest disaster in the Lancashire coal field and the third largest in Britain) right up to the most recent at Golborne (3 miles in the other direction) when 10 men died in March 1979.

    Came back from there and went straight to the library (gallery upstairs) to meet best buddy, discussed some of the books on display and went round the photographic exhibition "All Roads Lead To Wigan Pier". It is 80 years since Orwell's Road to Wigan Pier was published. These are contemporary photos but linked to excerpts from the book.

    A photo of Steph, Lidl manager and Food bank Co-ordinator is accompanied by "The world is a raft sailing through space with, potentially, plenty of provisions for everybody, the idea that we must all co-operate and see to it that everyone does his fair share of the workand gets his fair share of the provisions seems so".

    Told best buddy about the mining exhibition, again. He wanted to go but also wanted to go to buy meat in Bury. I have seen an internet video of the man he was talking about so I was persuaded that I should go too and we would meet again at the side of the library at 2.30pm.

    So home, quick meal, found bags and money and off we went. Decided in the end to share a £50 pack between us (chiken fillets, chicken drumsticks, full chicken, chicken chunks with chopped chillies, sausages, bacon, gammon, small gammon joint, steaks, burgers, sausages, meatballs,mince, pork steaks, chops and duck eggs) with a large beef joint thrown in for free (my half is larger than any I've bought in the last 3 years). I will ahve to work out some method for incorporating these bulk purchases into my regular budget but am thinking it should be enough to last 3 months and it makes a change from cooking bacon and frozen chicken which is all I've dared buy recently. On the downside, we were queuing for an hour and it isn't a large shop - about half that time we were under an awning (small garage with open ends). At least we didn't get wet.

    So I have divided it all and he is coming for his half tomorrow. Think I will also put together an order for fabric and threads I want for making Christmas/ ne home presents and will look at the jewellery I saw earlier in the week. If I see anything suitable to wear at DS1's wedding I will buy it and put it to one side (use the money mum gives me for Christmas to pay for it).

    Arm is still aching (I need to treat it gently for a few days and let it recover properly) so I have taken 2 serious painkillers hoping they don't make me drowsy.

    Today I am grateful for meat bargains, lots of heritage and culture and meeting lots of friendly people.
    Last edited by mothernerd; 30-09-2017 at 8:22 PM.
    This year I will be fierce
    NST Jun #1 SFD 7/10 Food £116.70/£120 Travel 14.50/£15 Ent/diy £15/£30 may buy clothes?
    No Debt No mortgage
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 30th Sep 17, 8:29 PM
    • 7,364 Posts
    • 55,478 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Awesome meat purchases, mothernerd!
    NST June Odyssey #20; NSD 11/15; Ex 9/20 ; craft / (69); remove 54 (433)
    2018 Pay off: £2110; 2
    018 sell

    Mortgage £21,033 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • f0xh0les
    • By f0xh0les 30th Sep 17, 8:35 PM
    • 1,473 Posts
    • 12,236 Thanks
    Epic fail on most areas. I managed to read most days, but that was it.

    All in all I’m not in a great place. Roll on October.
    Originally posted by FurryBeastOz

    To misquote, Tomorrow is another month!

    Sorry it went wrong.
    MFW START DATE May 16 £118,340 : Oct17 - £109,495.00Dec17 £108,800Jan 18 £108,392.98 March 18 £108,504.72April £108,099May £106,999
    June 105,999.99
    NEXT GOAL is sub £105k before JulyMortgage-free wannabe 2018 #65
    • bizzie
    • By bizzie 30th Sep 17, 11:57 PM
    • 164 Posts
    • 1,971 Thanks
    Final check in 30/30
    NSD 15/18 so close and yet so far....
    Food & spends budgets were over for the month but for the year coming in on target.
    Thank you for running the month thriftylass now heading over to October.
    Groceries 93.24/300.00 Personal Spend /100.00
    NST June #25 NSD 11/15 @16/06/18
    Goals for 2018: Balance in
    Self: Health: Wealth :
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 4th Oct 17, 9:33 PM
    • 4,403 Posts
    • 25,210 Thanks
    *Try and check in once a day with your progress ! - Will try. Failed

    *! Write down everything you spend – I have YNAB to keep me on the straight and narrow!! Did this

    *You will aim for 18 SFDs! – Gulp…will do!! Managed 16

    *Budget to live off what is left! – Need to do my usual monthly money shuffle and that should leave me with £50 spending money for the month – need to pay £30 deposit for hen do next year. Spent all my wages within the first week on bills and other things, had to pay 2 deposits as a girl has dropped out and I put the whole group deposit on my credit card.

    *Budget for food - £350. This is for 3.5 of us (DS at Uni but currently home for summer and won’t return until late September. DD starting a school where she can have 3 meals a day so they should help reduce it in future. Managed this.

    *Try and eat everything in your cupboards and freezer BEFORE buying any more. – The cupboards are starting to look bare so may need to do a largish shop later this month. Did a medium shop and now the cupboards are bare again.

    *Lunch to work every day. – Luckily(?) as I am intolerant to loads of stuff I can rarely buy lunch out. Lunch was either from home or from the supermarket (but no ready made sandwiches or takeaways)

    *Plot the course of your social life – will allow £20 for meal out with bestie which will happen sometime this month. Met bestie and spent £20.

    *Decide on your DFD!– my debt is on 0% as defaulted a few years ago and there just seems no rush to pay it off. Was hoping to clear £3k of debt this year – have cleared about £900 so far so need to get my butt into gear. Not getting anywhere close to this, my income doesn’t seem to stretch.

    *Some sort of exercise per week, - dogs are walked twice a day for 20-30mins each time Did this every day.

    *Beauty spends are not allowed to exceed £10. – eyebrow wax is £10 (£8 for wax and £2 tip) Just the eyebrow wax

    *Make time for yourself this month – I take 30 – 45mins each evening after work to have a cup of coffee and read the paper, its so lovely to do as previously I have rarely taken time for myself. Did this everyday

    *Keep the heating off - our house is pretty well insulated so we should be ok for September. No heating on in September.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,564Posts Today

9,149Users online

Martin's Twitter