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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,979Posts
    • 52,029Thanks
    Frugaldom
    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

    IMPORTANT
    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
    Houseshare
    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
    Bartering
    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:


    KEEPING THREADS ON-TOPIC

    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.


    KEEPING TOPICS RELEVANT TO THE BOARD

    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 14
    • Moll
    • By Moll 7th Jan 18, 9:28 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    Moll
    ive been following this thread , I live frugally USUALLY.as a way of life , but have gone off the rails big time , Determined to get back on track NOW . Doing inventories tomorrow , and keeping a check on EVERYTHING as from today .............. I know we are part way through January, but im still starting at the beginning of the year . wish me luck , hopefully ill have ideas to help others too ,
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 8th Jan 18, 6:58 AM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 22,414 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Reporting in to own up to my not very frugal weekend... Really cross with myself, but can't change it now. Still have the flu, and not had an appetite for a week. Thought I was hungry, so I ordered a Chinese. I was not hungry...! The food did me for Saturday, and oh and me for Sunday, so it could've been worse I suppose. Then I did my weekly shop with oh's help. Total weekend spend was £47.83.

    Back to work today even though not completely well again, so hoping not to spend anything, unless I get the stamps that were on my list for Saturday. Will be taking food so no need to buy that.

    Have a good day everyone.

    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 8th Jan 18, 8:23 AM
    • 9,771 Posts
    • 47,854 Thanks
    Mooloo
    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
    Originally posted by bustiblondilocks
    I had a blitz on Thursday morning of the bathroom as every cupboard and surface was full of stuff!
    So I put everything in a laundry basket to start with.
    Then I only put one bottle of the things we needed that day in a tub on the windowsill.
    One shelf has my new pretty bottles I received for Christmas. But I donít intend to open them until I have sorted out my basket. As I have a hoarding tendency I find it difficult to throw away anything.
    But even I think that I have too many old open jars and lotions.
    I am going to empty the cupboard tonight.
    The aim is to only put in the full new things. Then I am hoping that I will be brave enough to throw out some of the older ones etc. I say some rather than all, because I know me!
    But I may get braver once I start.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Kerreh
    • By Kerreh 8th Jan 18, 1:28 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    Kerreh
    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
    Originally posted by bustiblondilocks
    Are you my twin? I'm a terror for Boots 'offers'... I've been weaning myself over the past few years but fell foul of an organix shampoo offer in ... November 2016! I still have 10 bottles of shampoo and conditioner in use so no need to buy anytime soon!

    Almost had a non spend weekend but needed compost to plant bulbs I already had. A downside to being on my own that I hadn't realised until I was stood in the garden centre - they had 125l of compost for £6.00 but could I lift it? Could I heck. So ended up buying 3 x 20l bags at £8.49 BUT I made a loaf at the weekend, some pitta breads last night for work lunches and did a menu which showed I can eat 'out of the freezer' for the next 31 days

    Aim of 2018 which adopting a more frugal approach will help with:
    Clear credit card
    Pay for and go on holiday
    Save £3k
    • Moll
    • By Moll 8th Jan 18, 4:35 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    Moll
    wow what a frugal day . I take my elderly Dad to a place for his dinner once a month ( Really its so the old people get others to talk to ) I love going with him . everyone is so nice , Anyway today was a belated "Christmas dinner" as the real one had to be cancelled last month due to the snow in our area. So they did it today instead ,,,,,,,,, a LOT of food was left un used and they asked me if I could use it ( They know im frugal and try and use everything , or know people to give and share with ) Usually its just carrots and peas etc left over,,,which I use in a stew the next day , ,today however it was ALSORTS ,for starters ( And im not exaggerating ) there must have been about £20 worth of beef . Sliced up , I couldn't believe it , but they said they wouldn't use it , and would be glad if I could ? it was still warm when I brought it home , Would this be ok to freeze when cold? I know I can freeze it , but does it still taste ok when its thawed out ? ive never done this so help and advice needed on that one , It is a huge amount wrapped in foil at the moment . On top of that I was given a whole caterers size trifle !!! Now ive shared this out with umpteen people . Im so pleased about that as this is people who give me lots of fruit and veg when in season , so it was lovely to be able to give back , and give them something nice , Everyone was pleased with the unexpected home made trifle for tea. On another topic,,,,,,,i needed new slippers , Was hoping Santa would bring me some , but I think he forgot , I had a couple of £s worth of Love to shop vouchers that id earned doing a survey , and got some BEAUTIFUL slippers ( I like sparkles and these were lovely ) from Peacocks , £2 in the after Christmas sale , just had the one pair , and in my size , yayyyyyy and I payed with vouchers , so the only money spent was for my dinner which was a planned spend , never expecting to get all the extras ,
    Last edited by Moll; 08-01-2018 at 4:44 PM.
    • Kerreh
    • By Kerreh 8th Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    Kerreh
    ... Would this be ok to freeze when cold? I know I can freeze it , but does it still taste ok when its thawed out ? ive never done this so help and advice needed on that one ...
    Originally posted by Moll
    I do this all the time and it's fine I normally defrost it overnight and then pop it in some tinfoil to heat up in the oven... it's lovely. Just need to not keep it in the freezer TOO long as it may get all frostbitten.
    • Moll
    • By Moll 8th Jan 18, 5:49 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    Moll
    I do this all the time and it's fine I normally defrost it overnight and then pop it in some tinfoil to heat up in the oven... it's lovely. Just need to not keep it in the freezer TOO long as it may get all frostbitten.
    Originally posted by Kerreh



    thanks Kerreh x
    • cw18
    • By cw18 8th Jan 18, 6:08 PM
    • 7,964 Posts
    • 85,324 Thanks
    cw18
    I reheat it on top of the veg in the top layer of my steamer having defrosted it first - but only put it in for the last 5 minutes or so. When we had a Mr M in the town I used to clear them out of roast beef if it was on a good end of day reduction, bring it home, and freeze in portions. It a fantastic way of doing roast dinner for 1
    Cheryl
    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 8th Jan 18, 8:02 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    Moll
    Forgot to tell you . also at the meal today , theyd decorated the tables with rolls of fancy Christmas paper ( But it was paper that you could use for any occasion , ) some tables had gold, others had red , foil type , they was binning it after the tables were being put away .soooooooooo I rolled the rest up and brought it home , shouldn't need to buy wrapping paper for birthday gifts all year ( it was really nice paper )
    • Unicorn101
    • By Unicorn101 8th Jan 18, 8:12 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    Unicorn101
    Journey so far: Paid off credit card using some savings so not paying interest. Have used the spreadsheet and produced a detailed monthly budget (thanks for this it was a massive help) and set up envelopes of allowed spends for the remainder of the month. Today was second NSD in a row. I can do this!
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 8th Jan 18, 9:50 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    sinkorswim2018
    Hi.
    Yesterday was £10.80 spent in Aldi, got all the ingredients I needed make a nice dinner and several meals for work. Got a lot for my money and didn't buy anything I didn't need. Today was £10 to my daughter, this covers 2 bus fares and 2 lunches. I made a packet porridge at work and ate my premade meals. No extra spends. Still have some grenade meals left. Might go to cinema tomorrow using meerkat 2 fir 1 and gift cards.
    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.
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 8th Jan 18, 10:05 PM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 22,414 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Yay! I've managed to not spend any money today!! It helped that I left my purse at home!!

    I took a cup a soup to work for lunch today, but ended up bringing it home as I was given some meatballs and pasta for lunch, which is double savings as far as I'm concerned!!

    I'm feeling much better now, although work was hard (felt like a hamster in a wheel..!). Now my frugality is more resolved. I was told I may need to buy hot drinks on my trip tomorrow, but I'm just going to take some bottles of water.

    Have sorted out some things today. My aim is to declutter at least 10 things a day. Hoping, as others have said, that being less cluttered will help me to be more frugal. I'll get there!

    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • Anniee88
    • By Anniee88 8th Jan 18, 11:04 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    Anniee88
    Hello! I am late to the party but hoping I can join in. I will be looking for inspiration from you lovely people. I work part time with a husband and 2 kids 2 and 7. The youngest is always with me so I find it hard to cook everything from scratch (especially being hanging post night shift 2 days of the week) but going to try harder to batch cook this year and switch most of my shopping to Aldi. I do love Aldi and Lidl but it!!!8217;s the convinence of getting everything I want in Sainsbury!!!8217;s rather than doing them both when I don!!!8217;t have much time and I!!!8217;ve really gone off food lately, struggling to know what to buy, not keen on meat at the moment- eating lots of fish. Anyone know the best veg for a vegetable curry?

    Anyway been reading through a few pages. I!!!8217;ll try to pop back every few days to keep me going.
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 9th Jan 18, 12:04 AM
    • 1,166 Posts
    • 12,572 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hi everyone
    Not so frugal today as I have been shopping, but didn't spend too much and everything was needed but I will update it when I have looked my receipts out.
    Made a huge pan of soup yesterday so had that for tea as I was out for lunch.
    And not much else really, so I'll say good night and post tomorrow
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 9th Jan 18, 7:31 AM
    • 42 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    sinkorswim2018
    Anniee88, I like butternut squash and cauliflower in a veg curry as they don't go to mush and they take on the flavours We'll, chick peas are good for bulking it out are cheap...tasty too.
    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.
    • simplelivingislandlife
    • By simplelivingislandlife 9th Jan 18, 8:54 AM
    • 32 Posts
    • 355 Thanks
    simplelivingislandlife
    Morning! Super Icy and Cold here, wish we had working heating, sigh!

    I've been reading along and everyone is so motivational so much so I've been ticking along nicely, excited to start this on the 25th but I haven't been spending which is great. I even stopped myself from buying wool by asking myself if I seriously need it! I know this probably doesn't sound like a major thing but for me it is. I adore my knitting/spinning and it's a huge step in me moving into the right direction.
    Frugal Living Challenge, Household £0/5,000 Personal £0/3,000 Starting on the 25th Jan.
    January 2018 Grocery Challenge - £42.88/280 20p Savers - £5.20p Virtual Sealed Pot No. 14 - £19.04/£260 Mortgage Overpayments - £0/£1,200 Sealed Pot No 37
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 9th Jan 18, 8:59 AM
    • 5,979 Posts
    • 52,029 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Updates from Frugaldom
    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.
    Originally posted by FrankieM
    I definitely think that looking at frugal anything as being part of a self-awareness lifestyle is the best way to be.

    Hi all

    Please can I join this challenge. I've been reading posts and I admire everyone's determination!!
    Originally posted by Frugalsazzle
    Welcome to the challenge and good luck kickig those debts into oblivion quickly.

    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!
    Originally posted by LittleGingerFox
    Nope, not silly in the least! And on the weightloss subject, I do frugal February fitness challenge to shift all the extra gained over the festive period.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Frugalsazzle
    • By Frugalsazzle 9th Jan 18, 9:11 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    Frugalsazzle
    Oh nooo! I failed last nigh! I bought a pair of boots in the dune sale! They were half price ... so naughty. Back on track now no more treats! Must pay off credit card!!!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 9th Jan 18, 9:13 AM
    • 5,979 Posts
    • 52,029 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    ive been following this thread , I live frugally USUALLY.as a way of life , but have gone off the rails big time , Determined to get back on track NOW . Doing inventories tomorrow , and keeping a check on EVERYTHING as from today .............. I know we are part way through January, but im still starting at the beginning of the year . wish me luck , hopefully ill have ideas to help others too ,
    Originally posted by Moll
    Thanks for joining us - there is always roo for one more on the frugal bus.

    Journey so far: Paid off credit card using some savings so not paying interest. Have used the spreadsheet and produced a detailed monthly budget (thanks for this it was a massive help) and set up envelopes of allowed spends for the remainder of the month. Today was second NSD in a row. I can do this!
    Originally posted by Unicorn101
    Cingrtaulations on clearing off the credit card.

    Hello! I am late to the party but hoping I can join in. ... Anyone know the best veg for a vegetable curry?
    Originally posted by Anniee88
    Welcome to Frugaldom I quite often cheat on the vegetables in curry etc and just use frozen mixed veg. At 77p per kilo, it's about as cheap as I can get here and requires no prepping time.

    Day 9 and I haven't been shopping for anything other than a carton of milk. Still getting enough eggs fro the hens to do for ourselves and for selling the exras, so the cash from those gets marked into the spreadsheet and goes into my spare change tub. I'd to buy a cylinder of gas for the caravan and had to leave heating on in there, as it's been so cold that the water pipes are freezing. Roll on spring!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 9th Jan 18, 9:19 AM
    • 5,979 Posts
    • 52,029 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    I think all the names have been added to the challenger list in post 2 of page 1 - we now have 70 of us taking part in our 2018 challenge! Yeah!

    Frugal tip - save your clear polythene for using over seed pots, trays and tubs - it helps with a little bit of extra warmth and humidity and if the sun gets at them, things like salad leaves can grow all year round.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
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