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    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,982Posts
    • 52,051Thanks
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge 14th Dec 17 at 2:12 AM
    Join us here for year 11 of the Frugaldom challenge on MSE

    The Frugal Living Challenge 2018

    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 if you have any questions, feel free to message me or ask in the forum.

    This is an adaptation of the original 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.

    If you would like to use a simple spreadsheet for calculating your annual expenditure, you are welcome to download a free copy of the original one HERE Simply overwrite the initial monthly amounts and the totals will auto-calculate. From then, it is a simple case of deducting (use the minus sign in front of the amounts) all your outgoings as the year progresses. It's worth while playing about with it to alter headings to suit your personal lifestyle. I've included a couple of extra columns for things like rent/mortgage & council tax and misc/debt payments.

    Some have already achieved debt freedom 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 reach their debt-free and/or mortgage-free day. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us and share your journey.

    The following links will take you to previous MSE versions of our challenge:

    The 2017 Challenge

    The 2016 Challenge

    The 2015 Challenge

    The 2014 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

    How it all began - Saving to buy a house without a mortgage 2007 Challenge

    The original interest beater challenge

    The original £1000 in 100 days challenge

    The original free hobbies thread

    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, sustainable 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 bad 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 that you use
    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/sharng for better discounts & reduced delivery costs
    Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
    Online trading - auctions, stores, social media pages
    etc, etc, etc...

    Monitoring and revising the budget is part of a good 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 !!!8211; keep it clean please). Discussion Time is for discussion of current issues (read Martin!!!8217;s description).

    If you post a topic that does not relate to the board it!!!8217;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/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 haven!!!8217;t already, join the forum to reply!

    GOOD LUCK IN 2018
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 29-12-2017 at 10:54 PM. Reason: updating
    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 13
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 6th Jan 18, 9:31 AM
    • 1,964 Posts
    • 17,822 Thanks

    Chicken pie for tea tonight!! I'm so excited. I already had the filling made and in the freezer and the pastry is ready made (I've got out of making it successfully and have it so rarely...but , yes, I know )

    This week has been a very low spend for me, helped by not taking my purse out. Just a birthday card and posting it for my mum and the cinema trip earlier in the week.
    I'll have to put some fuel in the car, probably £20 and get some bananas and mayo. That should be the total of my spending this week.

    I need to update my accounts. I found an old copy of MS money that I'm using. This year is very much a 'see what you actually spend' year as I've taken my eye off the ball. I've not racked up loads of debt but I've spent money when I should/could've saved it.

    SinkorSwim I take my breakfast to work. Weetabix and the instant porridge satchets (golden syrup..yum!) and just alternate them. I have them in my drawer and then just bring in a banana to go with it.

    I'm also going to be doing housework, laundry, house admin and other organisational things to set me up for the week ahead. I like knowing I'm in control of all that.
    Pay off Debt by Christmas 2018 #59
    £13,406.26/ £8,699.39
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • Pipsmum
    • By Pipsmum 6th Jan 18, 10:10 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 236 Thanks
    Good morning all
    First week back at work done, and although it was only four days, and not too hectic, I've not done too badly. I've taken lunch from home every day, mainly HM soups, took in drinks, some HM cake, and my water bottle that I refil from the tap - no coffee or snacks bought, and money still in my purse. Dinners have been from the freezer and stores -I have actually remembered to take something out of the freezer each night to defrost in the fridge for dinner! (My normal routine would be to forget, and then call into the SM on the way home to buy something, and always come out with additional bits and pieces). So I'm feeling quite pleased with progress.
    I'm not plannign to go out today, so another NSD, so I'm off no to put dinner in the SC, then take down Christmas and but it back in the loft, and give the house a good clean - it will be good to get back to normal again.
    Wishing everyone a fabulously frugal weekend.
    Last edited by Pipsmum; 06-01-2018 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Rubbish spelling!
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 6th Jan 18, 10:21 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    So I'm £18 up today! Forgotten that I'd ordered a toaster from Amazon in December, and after I missed delivery and they wanted me to pick it up I found one cheaper for £10 from Asda so I cancelled. Got am email today saying the refund been made. It's gone back onto my credit card so I won't use it as an excuse to spend more.
    Chicken pie FrankieM? Mmm, might make a turkey crumble with my.left over turkey. Pipsmum, well done for remembering to get the stuff of.the freezer, I'll have to do that tomorrow with my lamb.

    I live minutes away Aldi -I can feel your envy from here - one of the best things about my house move.
    I'm going to stop buying veg in until.I've planned what I'm having as I've seen too much unused veg go in the bin. Means I'll have less NSD days bit less waste and overall spend.
    February spend so far £401 (13.2.18) / £800 January spend :£794.91. Budget for month £800.
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2018 £398.36/£3320.38.
    • bustiblondilocks
    • By bustiblondilocks 6th Jan 18, 4:45 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 238 Thanks
    Whoohooo two no spend days in a row! Quite pleased with myself.
    Shredder arrived today... So looking forward to purging the clutter
    Year to date spend on non bills: £171.69
    Year to date debt:£12500

    Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking!
    Mary Poppins
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 6th Jan 18, 5:05 PM
    • 5,057 Posts
    • 39,924 Thanks

    Chicken pie for tea tonight!! I'm so excited. I already had the filling made and in the freezer and the pastry is ready made (I've got out of making it successfully and have it so rarely...but , yes, I know )
    Originally posted by FrankieM
    I honestly wouldn't feel guilty about buying pastry if you hardly ever have it Frankie. Even the ingredients cost something, and the pastry itself isn't expensive. I always make my own shortcrust pastry as I find it easy, have been doing it for years, and to be honest mine is better than bought. I do buy puff / flaky pastry and filo on the rare occasions I need / want those though, as they are far too much faffing about!
    NSDs for June 10 / 10
    Groceries / cleaning / toiletries / pet food etc £227.30 / £250
    Fuel 99.95 / £100

    • gien
    • By gien 6th Jan 18, 6:50 PM
    • 1,612 Posts
    • 15,383 Thanks
    NSD here but only because I am in bed poorly! Will catch up when the lurgy passes
    Trying to keep in budget.

    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 6th Jan 18, 7:44 PM
    • 15,178 Posts
    • 50,240 Thanks

    I bought some cable ties from Amazon. I am desperate to make a rabbit cage. I did order a run but cancelled that and instead have bought the base (7.95) and going to re use things I have to make it tomorrow. They won't be shut in much, just in the mornings so I can get ready without falling over them. I am quite looking forward to making it.

    I spent 30 quid in the pet shop. Food, treats and some new toys for the furries large (ish) and small. I try to do a lot of enrichment activities with them and now have a good supply of things to do.

    Need to go finish putting the book shelf together. ugh.
    Frugal Living Challenge, Pound a Day challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge Debt 4990 (March)
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 6th Jan 18, 10:05 PM
    • 1,173 Posts
    • 12,639 Thanks
    Hi everyone
    Cheshire: I don't frugal on my coffee!!! I'm a bit fussy about it so don't deny myself, I don't mind down sizing on most things but not my coffee!!!
    Spent £2.70 today so the total on food for January so far is £15.61 and treats £2.89, so not bad. I had more leftovers for dinner and poached eggs on toast for lunch, so will look in freezer and cupboards for tomorrow's meals, and make enough for a couple of days.
    On the frugalling front I have a towel that I'm going to cut down and make into cleaning clothes and a very small hand cloth and I've had a bit of a sort out in the craft room so I have an idea what I can make before I have to buy anymore wool or material.
    Hoping to sleep tonight as last night I only managed a couple of hours I'm not normally like this so I'm hoping it's just a matter of getting back to normal after Xmas.
    Anyway I'm off for a bit of a lurk, so I'll catch up tomorrow
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 6th Jan 18, 10:44 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    ouch, £44.42 spent on text books that my daughter announced she needs. :[
    February spend so far £401 (13.2.18) / £800 January spend :£794.91. Budget for month £800.
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2018 £398.36/£3320.38.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 7th Jan 18, 12:48 AM
    • 5,982 Posts
    • 52,051 Thanks
    My dry-run of no spending days ended this morning while I was in the village - I popped into the store for milk, so that's £1.59. The savings took a bit of a hit when I paid my tax and insurance bill but I did win £25 on the Premium Bonds, which is where I save anything I don't want to inadvertently spend!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Miss D Meanour
    • By Miss D Meanour 7th Jan 18, 6:21 AM
    • 115 Posts
    • 813 Thanks
    Miss D Meanour
    Well the end of the first week in January has arrived and I've done 4 NSDs - 5 if today works out as planned. I bought balloons and ribbon mid-week for a leaving do at work, which was expected BUT yesterday I went to get milk and squash for the weekly tea & coffee morning and came out with unnecessary stuff for me. Less than £10 spent on frifferies but still annoyed. I know better then to go shopping hungry! My will power turns its back and leaves the building.

    I've been looking at my finances for the year and trying to decide what I need to focus on. I think that what will work best for me is to get a month ahead of my bills and to do the same with the non-monthly bills and expenditures. Like many of you here, I also don't want to waste anything. So rather than setting a frugal budget goal, I'm going to make these three intentions my goals and use a frugal living approach to achieve them. If I use what I have first, be it food or toiletries or notepads and pens, challenge any discretionary spending and bring my own food and drink to work - I think I should reach them.

    I know this is a little vague and my inner personal development coach (previous job) is telling me to get more specific, but I think in need to get through January and February (family stuff) first. So maybe I'll try for something more specific Q2.

    I'm really enjoying checking in and reading how everyone is getting on. And yes I'm dead envious of anyone with an Aldi near by.

    Hope you all have a peaceful Sunday.
    Miss DM
    LBM- June 2009 - 15 year plan started, Dec 2016 - half way there
    SPC - 11 #574 - £500 ........ Xmas 2018 - #11: £182 / £365.
    CCCC 2018 #14 - £0 / £140 ....... PAYDBX 2018 #23: £3,187.35 / £7,000
    Frugal Living - #37 .......... MFW2018 - #2: £3,049.05 / £8,000

    No matter how far you go, you always take yourself with you
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 7th Jan 18, 9:07 AM
    • 1,964 Posts
    • 17,822 Thanks

    My chicken pie was a great success, even with ready made pasty...lolol

    I don't feel guilty about it..I'm just aware of the word 'frugal' Anyway, as I said yesterday, I think this is more about being aware of what I'm spending and getting back into the life style habit of that at this point.

    So, I spent yesterday updating addresses. I moved in September and while I did a couple then, I kept putting off doing anymore cause it takes so long...and guess really does!

    Today is house cleaning, getting some washing on, picking up a bit of shopping etc. It does mean putting a bra on and leaving the house, but needs must!

    Will catch you all later. Have a lovely day. xx
    Pay off Debt by Christmas 2018 #59
    £13,406.26/ £8,699.39
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • Frugalsazzle
    • By Frugalsazzle 7th Jan 18, 10:13 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Hi all

    Please can I join this challenge. I've been reading posts and I admire everyone's determination!!

    I have a bit of debt to clear on the cc and a loan I took out for house improvements. So ideally 2018 will see me clear all this off, get some savings behind me and hopefully take my family on a summer holiday.

    The last 6 months have been tight for us as I'm on maternity leave but due to return end of this month so can start paying off the cc.

    So far this month I have managed 2 NSD they are harder than expected to be honest. Today should be a NSD (fingers crossed) plan to cook a dinner with things already in but tomorrow will need to go shops so a few bits. We have workmen here and they drink so much tea and thought I'd treat them to some biscuits as they work in stupid weather conditions bless them! Also need to pay for my 3 year olds school dinners for the week so that's £10! She won't have packed lunch as she likes to sit with her friends when eating school dinner and I won't deprive her of that! Plus nice hot meal for her whilst it's freezing cold.

    Right then off to prep dinner!! Hope you all have a lovely relaxing spend free Sunday!!

    • debtaghh
    • By debtaghh 7th Jan 18, 4:32 PM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 4,808 Thanks
    Iím on my 3rd nsd and currently enjoying frugal life. Iíve stayed home all weekend and played board games and watched movies.
    Debt 16th October 2017: Cc £49,987- family £37,561: total debt £87549

    Current debt: Cc £43,953 , Family £ 39,264 total debt £83,217

    Frugal living challenge # 10- £8000 presents/ food/ entertainment/clothes/shoes/haircuts
    • Treasurequeen
    • By Treasurequeen 7th Jan 18, 6:44 PM
    • 346 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    My budget for this year is £8650.00 for absolutely everything. I will be left with £3472.57 a year. My 2nd NSD today. A very productive day today I've gone through all my cupboards doing an inventory of what needs to be eaten first. I'm trying to use up what I have in, instead of buying more food I don't need.

    I had to buy two rape alarms for my mum and friend due to a person I know has been raped in the same village as me. Safety first but I managed to use my cash back and survey money to pay for them. I'm happy to know we are safe with our alarms.
    The £1000 emergency fund challenge #223
    Pay for birthdays and Christmas 2018 with surveys #17
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge #44
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2018~ 11 #40
    £2 saver club
    • angela110660
    • By angela110660 7th Jan 18, 6:59 PM
    • 762 Posts
    • 1,962 Thanks
    Had 3 NSD last week and took lunch on the 3 days of work so pleased about that. Parked car for free then walked 15mins to train station each day I worked. We ate turkey curry and spag bol out of freezer last week too plus naans for curry. Used 3 free Cineworld tickets from our Lloyds bank acct deal to see Star Wars on NYE which was brilliant.
    Did spend £14 today at Card Factory on 16 cards to last me till April. Majority of them were family cards so more special and to be honest- alot cheaper than if I bought cards at the local card shop/post office/supermarket so very happy and they came out of the monthly birthday budget too. Glad I bothered to make up my list as saved lots of dosh and avoiding stress of missing a birthday.
    Free films - 2009: saw 7 films. 2010 saw 7 films. 2011 saw 7 films. 2012 saw 5 films;2013 saw 7 films; 2014 and 2015 saw 1 in each. Nothing since!
    • bustiblondilocks
    • By bustiblondilocks 7th Jan 18, 7:25 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 238 Thanks
    Spent this morning...just 2 hours... intensively decluttering my bathroom.
    I've cleared the cupboards and got rid of them! I decanted the part bottles of shampoo and conditioner and bubble bath into the biggest bottle of each one and got full ones left over too. I've binned (to recycling) 25 now empty bottles!!! I've found I have 17 tubes of toothpaste and enough shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and toilet roll to last the rest of the year. Whilst I'm quite pleased that I can now save on that part of the shopping list I'm mad at myself for hoarding so much to start with. Consoling myself with having paid lower prices than they will be now.
    Another no spend day today! Well, bought petrol but that's in the bills budget so accounted for already. Going to bed happy and eager to blitz rest of the house
    Year to date spend on non bills: £171.69
    Year to date debt:£12500

    Practically perfect people never permit sentiment to muddle their thinking!
    Mary Poppins
    • LittleGingerFox
    • By LittleGingerFox 7th Jan 18, 9:04 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    Total of 6 NSDs in total this year. It feels so silly to be so proud of myself for that but I cannot wait to see what my monthly save will actually be. I hope to be able to clear one CC on February's payday. I'm so impatient! I want to get there already! !!!55357;!!!56834; I'm being very adventurous with the store cupboard now (which I am still loving) and I'm still liking porridge and cinnamon and/or the packet of dried fruits and seeds I got from Lidl months ago which I never used! I have had a few hungry evenings after dinner as I was strict with the amount I wanted to take to work the next day for lunch. I'm not skipping meals because I am so poor but I'm interested to see if there will be any weight loss aswell !!!55357;!!!56833;!!!55358;!!!56617; I'm going home on Thursday so I'll be being well fed by parents and friends. A friend is cooking dinner tomorrow night so that's good!
    Keep going everybody- you're all so inspirational. I'm just as excited to hear all your monthly savings aswell xx
    CC2-Total paid in March £1560.12/ Max credit card amount £6747.03/ £5098 to go!
    • cw18
    • By cw18 7th Jan 18, 9:18 PM
    • 7,964 Posts
    • 85,324 Thanks
    I've found I have 17 tubes of toothpaste and enough shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath and toilet roll to last the rest of the year. Whilst I'm quite pleased that I can now save on that part of the shopping list I'm mad at myself for hoarding so much to start with.
    Originally posted by bustiblondilocks
    I did an inventory of most of my unopened toiletries on Tuesday, and discovered I have 10 tubes of toothpaste, 2 bottles of shampoo (one is 1.3 litres, and I have another of those at least half full), 2 bottles of conditioner (including a 1.3 litre one), 5 bottles of handwash, 26 bars of soap (plus some small novelty ones), 4 soap infused sponges (each lasts me around 6 months worth of showers!), and 9 bottles of shower gel. I then have several of most of those items part used which I still need to add to my inventory

    I intentionally have enough toilet roll to last me the year, as I always stock up when a specific brand is on offer in Costc0 (at which point I get it for less than the cost of supermarket own brand). When it comes up I always buy if I have less than 12 months supply in stock.
    Groceries : May £11.97 / £120 Apr £137.78 / £100 Mar £99.55 / £100.Feb £85.02 / £80.Jan £112.15 / £130. Annual £446.47 / £1200

    • Moll
    • By Moll 7th Jan 18, 9:23 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 1,578 Thanks
    . Used 3 free Cineworld tickets from our Lloyds bank acct deal to see Star Wars on NYE which was brilliant.

    weve just moved over to Lloyds bank . do you have to have anything special ( bank account ) to get deals ?
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