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    • misstara
    • By misstara 28th Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    • 2,763Posts
    • 19,576Thanks
    Bonfires and fireworks - NST November challenge
    • #1
    • 28th Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    Bonfires and fireworks - NST November challenge 28th Oct 17 at 6:43 PM
    Welcome to the November NST challenge. November is probably one of my favourite months of the year - I love being all cosied up in warm clothes, all the leaves coming off the trees, the anticipation of Christmas coming up and even the dark nights, however, I know that many people dread this time of year so part of this challenge is to do with looking after your mental health.

    November is a good time to have a bit of clear out and have a bonfire. I'm not asking you to actually have a bonfire but have a look through and see if there's anything that can be ebayed or put to the charity shop. November is also bonfire night. Most local councils put on a fireworks display so if you can, go along to watch.

    November rules
    NSDs- set your own NSD target of over 12. As usual, household bills, medical expenses, budgeted travel expenses and ys items are exempt as long as that's all you spend.
    Organise - set your budgets now, pay to your debt/savings first. Organise any social things now, try and keep them low cost or free if possible. Look at your food budget, is there any savings to be made?
    Value for money - for all your purchases during November, I want you to ask yourself if you are getting value for your money. Look round for better deals, can you get it cheaper elsewhere?
    Exercise - I know the weather is getting colder and miserable but try to get outdoors for a bit each day even if just for 10 minutes. If you already do quite a lot of exercise, try something different. Go a different route when out walking/running or try a different gym class.
    Mental health - think of all the things you do to keep good mental health or strategies you have in place to combat poor mental health. As the long nights draw in, it can have an impact so try and do something daily to keep good mental health.
    Be Christmas ready - in October mothernerd encouraged us to get organised for Christmas so hopefully most of you are already pretty organised but for those you aren't (me!), start organising now. Plan who you are buying for, what you're buying and the budget. Can you add a few items of food to your weekly shop to spread the cost?
    Eat well - at this time of year, I tend to eat more stodgy food and there's always yummy snacks to be had so this month I'm going to make a conscious effort to eat better. If you already do this, pick another area to work on this month.
    Report - post daily if you can with a list of three things that you are grateful for.
    Last edited by misstara; 28-10-2017 at 9:55 PM.
    Debt at LBM Jan 2014 £10458.09 Now £0
    New flat debt Jan 2017 £2302.75 Now £726.18 (68.5% paid)
    Car debt Nov 2017 £797.68 Now £499.01 (37.4% paid) + monthly payments £146.82 6/60
    Emergency fund - £0/£1000. Car fund - £0/£1000.
    Mini Targets in June
    Exercise target - 3/16. Groceries target £93.68/£175. NSD target 7/20.
Page 2
    • IrisViolet
    • By IrisViolet 29th Oct 17, 1:32 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 1,849 Thanks
    Can I join please?
    Going to aim for 15 NSD.
    Need to cut back massively.
    I've been clearing put to charity shops and ebay/ selling sites as im trying to minimise and live a more simple life in general . Christmas is planned but not all bought. We have agreed with certain family not to do presents - So we only have our four children to buy for and our parents. Also teachers I will get token gifts for so need to think about this.
    We are doing mostly second hand.
    Budget is done. Apart from a night in London at the end of the month (my birthday gift of DH) imnaimjng to spend very very little.
    • x_raphael_xx
    • By x_raphael_xx 29th Oct 17, 6:17 PM
    • 3,550 Posts
    • 18,511 Thanks
    Woo! I am BACK and in with the Nov challenge!

    I was missing all Oct cos we moved into our new home, had no internet while they set it up my new fibre (amazing btw, both me & bf can download and watch youtube at the same time now).
    My money was all over the place as we've had little niggles that needed sorting with the new place (nets & curtains, pups bedroom decorating(we've finished it today) furniture to buy etc etc) I thought it would just be easier to start afresh with a new month.

    So here I am!!
    Debt Free as of 17/01/2009 Turtle Power!!
    May NSD's - 13/19 / Lose weight 7.8 lbs / 50 lbs
    EF Challenger #36 £139.93/£1800
    • x_raphael_xx
    • By x_raphael_xx 29th Oct 17, 7:05 PM
    • 3,550 Posts
    • 18,511 Thanks
    November is a good time to have a bit of clear out and have a bonfire. I'm not asking you to actually have a bonfire but have a look through and see if there's anything that can be ebayed or put to the charity shop. I do have some bits and pieces I've been meaning to sell for a while, I need a push to get them listed on ebay or just donate them.
    November is also bonfire night. Most local councils put on a fireworks display so if you can, go along to watch. We have a bonfire & fireworks night here, but I've never really been too interested in fireworks, plus I'll be in work early the next morning. I'll compromise and maybe have 'bangers' and mash for tea

    November rules
    NSDs- Bfs turn to buy the groceries this month, so I should be able to get a high target. I'm going to aim for 25! The only thing I know I need to spend is fixing a window catch and getting a doggy door installed.
    Organise - I have budgets for xmas presents, keeping fit (boxing and PT) and money set aside to finish my tattoo. So apart from those and the door installation I'm planning to spend nothing this month.
    Value for money - No spends on me, only xmas presents. I have a limited budget and most of my presents planned.
    Exercise - I've lost a total of 24lbs since January, I was hoping to be a bit further along but I can't be disapointed with my achievements so far I've moved from the Obese catagory to just Overweight, I'm 6lbs away from my 30lb mini target, and my body fat % has gone down from 41.6% to 35.6% .
    I'm 2 weeks into an 8 week run plan, and I've only missed 2 sessions (one cos I was still sore from a PT session & didn't want to push it, and one today cos I'm sick) so I want to keep up with this plan. Plus I go boxing once a week, gym when I can and have the occassional PT session.

    Mental health - Keeping fit and losing weight is keeping me happy right now, so that's what I'm focusing on.
    Be Christmas ready - I have a couple of people I'm still working out presents for, but I'm getting there. I need to focus on getting ideas on the final few, and possibly start to purchase.
    Eat well - I'm not doing too badly here, I weigh in on a Wednesday morning, so generally have a treaty dinner, something a little more calorific or fatty. It gives me something to look forward to all week.
    I need to look at my lunches thou, I spent months just eating soups, and when I got sick of those I started eating pot noodles. I like something quick and easy, but pot noodles are around 400 calories a pop, so I'm looking for some alternatives.
    Report - My gratitiude today is that I'm back on track
    Debt Free as of 17/01/2009 Turtle Power!!
    May NSD's - 13/19 / Lose weight 7.8 lbs / 50 lbs
    EF Challenger #36 £139.93/£1800
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 29th Oct 17, 8:27 PM
    • 5,828 Posts
    • 38,468 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Please add me to the list of challengers. October wasn't my best MSE month due to holiday so I want to get back on the wagon for November. Thanks misstara
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £296.07
    Debt £2400
    June 4 NSDs 4 AFDs
    Weight loss 0.5/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
    • mummylewis
    • By mummylewis 29th Oct 17, 9:31 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 824 Thanks
    Please can i join misstara? I didnt do brilliantly in october, hoping to improve in November!

    Money Saving since 2016 and determined to be debt free by 2020.
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 29th Oct 17, 10:39 PM
    • 2,253 Posts
    • 10,971 Thanks
    Baileys Babe
    misstara Please count me in, thanks.
    • mummylewis
    • By mummylewis 30th Oct 17, 7:00 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 824 Thanks
    November rules
    NSDs- I'm going to try for 15 again, last month was a bit weird and only managed about 8 but got my head screwed on now.
    Organise - whilst I was spendy last month we did sort out our overdrafts and have saved a little. When there's a month or twos emergency money saved then we'll chuck every thing at the loan to get rid asap. Budgets £60 per week groceries, £20 per week petrol.
    Value for money - i love looking for good deals so this rule is great. Got a few things left to get for Xmas. Helps my DH works for a brill high street retailer with a hefty discount card that gets a good hammering this time of year
    Exercise - i struggle for time for classes but I'll make efforts to get some extra in.
    Mental health - i hate the dark nights, especially if I've had a heavy office day (underground so has no windows) so a lot of the time I see very little day light. Makes me tired and grumpy. I will force myself to do fun little things to stay good.
    Be Christmas ready - need to buy for DM and MIL, make for FIL and make little things for a bunch of people (doing baubles this year). Couple bits left to get for DH too. We have budgeted for this though so all good. Xmas good were only feeding the 3 of us so shouldn't cost the earth.
    Eat well - definately slipping into the 'it's cold, I want a baileys/port in the evening' still taking good lunches to work though.
    Report- pre November gratitude isctgat DH got up with DD at half 4 this morning, giving me another 2 hours kip
    Money Saving since 2016 and determined to be debt free by 2020.
    • DebtFreeDuo
    • By DebtFreeDuo 30th Oct 17, 8:10 AM
    • 814 Posts
    • 4,182 Thanks
    Count me in again, will go over my targets later on.
    Debt free by Christmas 2018 #004: 2565.82/7445.69
    £2018 in 2018 #25: 674.21/2018
    SPC 586
    • fruitloop04
    • By fruitloop04 30th Oct 17, 8:34 AM
    • 158 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    Can I join this please? I tried last month and failed completely but I am determined to see it through this month! Thanks!
    16.08.2017 CC 1 - £2050 £1,500 CC 2 - £1766.82 £1406 Emergency savings: £1250/£6000
    Mortgage - April 2017 £153,000 £149,954
    Debt free by xmas: 1070.86/1500
    (Non Mortgage) Debt Free Date: August 2018
    • Pauper1
    • By Pauper1 30th Oct 17, 8:53 AM
    • 318 Posts
    • 2,561 Thanks
    I'd like to join please. I only found the October challenge at the end of the month but it really helped me. The mental health aspect will be just what I need at the moment (struggling). Thank you!
    DMP start 1st May 2014 - £11,554.25 £39,349.41 Original DFD from Stepchange 6th Sept 2039... Now aiming for Summer 2021
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 30th Oct 17, 9:54 AM
    • 1,293 Posts
    • 12,602 Thanks
    November rules

    NSDs- Aiming for 12 as we are going to Amsterdam for 5 days. Hopefully might manage a few more

    Organise!- Money for bills, etc is all accounted for. A bit of a tight month this month (isnít it always?}

    Value for money!- I must confess to being a dedicated deal hunter.

    Exercise!- Holiday might help with the walking but Iíve been a total failure at this lately

    Mental health!-I really have to stop worrying about things that I really donít have to worry about. If anyone has any advice on how to do this Iíd be very grateful Ė Iíve been doing it all my life.

    Be Christmas ready!- Just about sorted. Just a few quite easy things to buy. Need to think about Christmas lunch. Just the two (or possibly three of us) so not a big task really. Have to be really strict and not buy too much.

    Eat well!- Still lots of food in the freezer. Most of it can make healthy meals. Iíll just have to try to be bit more inventive. Awful lot of apple pie and rhubarb crumble in there though.

    Report!- Will try
    • laurenh1
    • By laurenh1 30th Oct 17, 4:08 PM
    • 490 Posts
    • 5,158 Thanks
    Hi all,

    Excited for this challenge. Going to aim for 16 NSDs. Got a lot on and I think Id struggle with 20. Dont want to set it so high I can't achieve it then feel disheartened.

    Already looking for cheap or free days out this month will be great to see what others come up with!

    Fantastic to look at our mental health. This time of year can be tough for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Especially if finances are tight!

    Doing my proper budget tonight and starting to consider annual expenses for next year (holidays Christmas etc) they wont actually be budgeted for until jan but trying to look at what ive spent this year on big expenses so I can prepare for next years and hopefullt make some improvements!

    Good luck Lovely people!!
    • thriftylass
    • By thriftylass 30th Oct 17, 4:46 PM
    • 3,329 Posts
    • 27,277 Thanks
    NSDs- my target will be 20, that gives me 2 spend days a week, big shop and top up.
    Organise - budgets set, one night out on the 3rd, over to friends on the 11th, weekend at friends at the 24th.
    Value for money - no excuses anymore not to go to Aldi/lidl (Tesco is closer)
    Exercise - Got a thing going with my colleagues where we drag each other over to the gym 5 days a week
    Mental health - DIY projects and crafting is good for my mental health, will make sure I get some done
    Be Christmas ready - will start buying ingredients for HM gifts and think about xmas dinner (invited to SIL/BIL but will be too busy for us and they never start!!! cooking till 5). That'll come out of a separate budget but I will still try and keep it to spend days.
    Eat well - need to reign my crisp and sweetie intake in.

    I try not to hit the shops till Sat now.

    Well, that's the plan at least.
    NST June
    SFD 7/20 spends 526/480
    Exercise 9/20
    Debt - all 0% 1015 to go from 5290
    DFD 5/2018 Mortgage 109343 (04/17) 103541 (05/18) OP 0
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 30th Oct 17, 6:18 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    After a few months out of being a NST, i would like to rejoin.

    At this current moment in time I am unemployed, so saving is not just important, it is essential.

    November rules
    - 15 NSDs for me
    Organise - No real budget, just DON'T USE CREDIT!
    Value for money - Relatively good at this, but will have the mindset of not taking the first offer until I have explored all deals first.
    Exercise - Ah yes, this has escaped me. Other than long walks I haven't done anything since...July.
    Mental health - My mental health is my primary focus now, and I will look after it.
    Be Christmas ready - Just purchased half of the presents today, saving over 120 quid on the order using vouchers.
    Eat well - I definitely eat more stodge, but will try and be sensible.
    Report - Must remember to post my gratitudes.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Timetopullmysocksup
    • By Timetopullmysocksup 30th Oct 17, 6:24 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Hello everyone, can I kindly join in? As you can see by my username it is time to pull my socks up and get my shizz in order. I realised the elastic had gone on my socks 2 months ago and in the spirit of money saving I need to mend them and pull em up.
    I have more or less sorted out what I need to do and have implemented a lot of changes already and after reading a lot of diaries and threads on here I know joining in and not doing it alone will help massively.

    NSDs- gonna go for 18, keeps me in line for my Friday long life shop, my Sunday fresh shop and 1 days emergency forgot shop.
    Organise - everything is budgeted and I have forecast the next 3 months, there shouldn't be any surprises (famous last words)
    Value for money - I am no longer supermarket loyal and getting more value for money.
    Exercise - If I dont get my fat !!! in the gym by the end of the month I am cancelling my gym membership. Im 2 stone over where I'm happy so I must sort it out and treat it as part of this whole journey.
    Mental health - I am a pretty happy, smiley person but occasionally I get down and I need to work on coming out of the slump a bit quicker than usual as I am not productive when I'm in a funk.
    Be Christmas ready - This will be my focus this month but unlike other years it will be seriously cut back and strictly monitored. I do this thing 2 weeks before Christmas where I think no one has enough and basically go out and start again, thus doubling any previous notion of a budget.
    Eat well - I always take my lunch to work and have a minimum of 3 portions of fruit and 3 portions of veg a day. Its the cheese monster I have to slay.

    • greent
    • By greent 30th Oct 17, 6:37 PM
    • 7,073 Posts
    • 72,072 Thanks
    My targets for this month:

    Clear Out - have some of DS3's toys to list on flebay in the run up to Xmas. Will also see if I can find anything else to go

    NSDs - will monitor these (but am not too fussy about these as long as budgets are ok - find NSDs hard in run up to Xmas as I look for things online/ find deals.

    Organise - set your budgets now, pay to your debt/savings first. Organise any social things now, try and keep them low cost or free if possible. Look at your food budget, is there any savings to be made? - All my CCs paid in full at weekend. OH will pay his at start of month. £250 tfr to car account at start of month. Extra monies (cashback etc) will be transferred to kitchen fund. Current account 'save the change' round ups will be transferred to BTL mtge. Will OP BTL mtge when rent received, but less than normal, as 2 bills are due this month.
    Food - £400
    Fuel (me) - £65
    Social - £150 (includes any takeaways we may have and we are visiting DD at uni, so will include a meal for her and her bf in this)
    Toiletries - £10
    Clothes - £100
    Gifts - not setting a budget, just monitoring (as any I buy this month means less to buy next )

    Value for money - for all your purchases during November, I want you to ask yourself if you are getting value for your money. Look round for better deals, can you get it cheaper elsewhere? - I usually do this

    Exercise - Should achieve outdoor target most weekdays due to school run. Will aim for 3x/ week other exercise, depending upon foot/ ankle (turned over on it 3 weeks ago tomorrow and it is still sore and with limited movement)

    Mental health - I do struggle more at this time of year. Eating well, time for self, candles, getting out in the daylight/ sun when possible and exercise help me - and decent sleep!

    Be Christmas ready - will aim to have all my lists sorted by end of this week and buy more presents throughout Nov. Will also ensure birthdays from now - end Jan are also included

    Eat well - will combine this with ensuring we are using up. New kitchen fit is just under 3 months away - but I know that time will fly (esp with Xmas/ NY) so I want to ensure pantry stocks are used up as much as poss before then.

    Report/ Gratitudes - ok
    Last edited by greent; 31-10-2017 at 10:09 AM.
    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
    • DebtFreeDuo
    • By DebtFreeDuo 30th Oct 17, 7:27 PM
    • 814 Posts
    • 4,182 Thanks
    I like the taking care of our mental health part, over this last month I have been learning a lot about myself and its been quite a difficult month for me. Time to get focused on a number of areas for me in November.

    November rules

    NSDs - I found 15 very easy last month, its lucky that I got them all in before half term though otherwise I would have failed. I want to be able to say I'm going to aim for 20 but I'm going to set my target at 18 so that in my mind it is still realistic and not completely out of reach.
    Organise - Food budget again will be £100, I went over this slightly in October but it was still a big improvement on previous months. This is the only budget that I am going to set for myself as it is the only one I really struggle with, everything else is covered and no real possible savings to be made.
    Value for money - I already do this with every single purchase I make so will carry on doing so.
    Exercise - Here I am again going to set targets for cycling and hitting 10k steps per day, will go for 10 cycling days and 20 10k step days.
    Mental health - I think by keeping my focus on my goals this month then that will work wonders for me, hitting my step goals will mean getting out in the fresh air or hitting the treadmill which are both great for my mind, going to set a goal for my studying too, keeping on top of that will also really give me a boost as it has been really getting me down recently.
    Be Christmas ready - I'm already very prepared, got over half of my presents already bought and wrapped so I'm not going to put much focus here.
    Eat well - I'm going to change this area to focus on my studies as this is currently more of a priority and I don't want to try and focus on too many areas, therefore this will become Study for minimum of 1 hour per day and will aim for every single except for 1 day each week so will set it at 25.
    Report - Will try to do this, I need to write in more often about what I am grateful for as I didn't do this very much in October.

    Clear out - This is another area that will help my mental health, I have tons of stuff to eBay so I am going to set myself a target of listing 30 things on eBay, this means one per day but also gives me the flexibility to make up for missed days.
    Debt free by Christmas 2018 #004: 2565.82/7445.69
    £2018 in 2018 #25: 674.21/2018
    SPC 586
    • Robi90
    • By Robi90 30th Oct 17, 9:36 PM
    • 46 Posts
    • 227 Thanks
    Can I join please?

    - I'd like to aim for 16 ideally
    Organise - Everything is budgeted for and I've already made my monthly credit card payment towards my debt.
    Value for money - Main purchase will be my mum's birthday present and I'll try and be mindful of other purchases as well.
    Exercise - Just joined quite a low cost pay as you go gym which opens on the 6th so I'll be making use of this
    Mental health - In addition to exercising will just make sure I get enough sleep, practice mindfulness etc.
    Be Christmas ready -Don't really have many people to buy for except family members and office Secret Santa - already agreed with friends we wouldn't do presents. Have already got a small Christmas fund for gifts and Christmas meals
    Eat well - Will make sure I plan my meals appropriately for lunches.
    Aiming to be debt free by 31/12/2018

    No Buying Unnecessary Toiletries April 2018
    1 debt vs 100 days chapter 29
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2018
    Frugal Living 2018
    • misstara
    • By misstara 30th Oct 17, 11:05 PM
    • 2,763 Posts
    • 19,576 Thanks
    I've numbered everyone up to here (hopefully, give me a shout if I've missed you).

    NSDs - I'm going to aim for 18 in November

    Organise - my budgets are set, food at £150 again which I completely failed at in October so need to meal plan properly. We've got quite a few social things on this month and my pay hasn't really stretched to any kind of social budget so any extra shifts I pick up with 2nd job will go to this. So far planned is a meal out with a friend, coffee out with another friend, the theatre with my gran (free as my gran treated us to the tickets) and going to see the fireworks (also free as long as I steer OH away from the burger van ).

    Value for money - generally do this anyway

    Exercise - going to aim for 8 runs again but will vary my route instead of my usual one. Will also aim for one gym class a week

    Mental health - try to get more sleep, eating better, exercise

    Be Christmas ready - not made any plans for this so really need to start thinking properly. I put aside money all year in a credit union account which I can access from 1st November so the money is sorted at least.

    Eat well - plan to make lots of nice soups for lunches and try out some new recipes. No snacking!

    Report - often get really busy and don't post for a few days but will try to check in daily

    Happy Halloween for tomorrow and see everyone on Wednesday
    Debt at LBM Jan 2014 £10458.09 Now £0
    New flat debt Jan 2017 £2302.75 Now £726.18 (68.5% paid)
    Car debt Nov 2017 £797.68 Now £499.01 (37.4% paid) + monthly payments £146.82 6/60
    Emergency fund - £0/£1000. Car fund - £0/£1000.
    Mini Targets in June
    Exercise target - 3/16. Groceries target £93.68/£175. NSD target 7/20.
    • laurenh1
    • By laurenh1 31st Oct 17, 7:51 AM
    • 490 Posts
    • 5,158 Thanks
    Will be looking at budgets today and getting those in place. Just waiting for MOT results so I know where I stand.

    clubcard vouchers have been released, I have boosted them to pay for tea out on Sunday before our fire work display but will look at days out across the month later!
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