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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,979Posts
    • 52,022Thanks
    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 15
    • Rosesandrainbows
    • By Rosesandrainbows 9th Jan 18, 4:37 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 313 Thanks
    Rosesandrainbows
    The days are flying by, I haven't done an update since Saturday but I can report that all is going well though.

    When I posted on Saturday I listed all my weekend jobs that I wanted to achieve. I managed to do them all so now the freezer is stocked up with pizza bases and crumbles. We have also been mainly keeping warm with the log fire to try and keep the energy bills down. The CH has been on for a couple of hours each day to keep the chill off first thing in the morning but I have gotten into the routine of stocking up the log baskets when its dry and light outside as I hate going out in the dark.

    There were no unplanned spends at the weekend and doing my shopping on a daily basis with a list has really kept the shopping bill to a minimum.

    Really enjoying this challenge at the moment and can already see how it will change the shape of our finances.
    • Anniee88
    • By Anniee88 9th Jan 18, 5:48 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    Anniee88
    No spend day for me we went to toddler group this morning and I managed to get the slow cooker on before we left. We had rustic lamb stew with crusty bread, I don!!!8217;t cook lamb much as it is quite expensive and not my favourite but I do love it slow cooked. Off to work tonight so I need to try and resist eating rubbish tomorrow when I!!!8217;m feeling low, we have left over soup in the fridge so will make myself eat it tomorrow with the small one and hope for another NSD
    • Moll
    • By Moll 9th Jan 18, 8:37 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    Moll
    An unplanned day today , because my dd has been ill . so its been all hands on deck to help her , I started the day by walking my 5 year old gd to school . so free exersize,,,,,,,wombled along the way but didn't find anything ,,,, picked her up after school and treated her to a Mc Donalds , I had a free coffee. so a small spend ,dd a lot better now after much needed sleep , Got a phone call from an overseas friend , to say she'd booked to come over to stay with us for 3 weeks 19th July . ( She comes every year ,,,has done for over 20 years so shes like family ) so my main frugal aim this year , is ,,,, 70 is our normal food budget for the week ( for 2 adults , but we get a lot of family strays drop in and get fed too ) but I end up paying for allsorts out of it , ( Meals out etc too ) but me and my friend take off for a couple of weeks travelling around when she comes , ( Cornwall and London for us this year ) . so my aim is to be as frugal as possible , and anything left out the 70 is going into a separate pot , and hopefuly ill have enough to pay for all the hotel costs this year and surprise her . I make my biggest money savings on food , I cook most things from scratch , batch cook a lot and can make a meal out of most things , Remember the meat I got from the dinner yesterday ,,,,,,its made umpteen meals already , cooked dinners / sandwiches/ and im batch cooking beef curry as I speak ( or type ) A friend told me she makes it with Mayflower Curry Mix , so I gave it a go Its only 1 a tub ( Like gravy granules) from B&M /. Homebargains . and its delicious , so nice that I decided to use more of the meat , and make another batch for the freezer , VERY easy recipe , just spray a pan add onions , courgettes, mushrooms , peppers , add the meat,,,,,,make up the curry mix and add that ,,,,,,and its done , It really is nice , and ill use it with rice , or on a jacket potatoe , or with chips etc , We wont have transport when away , and have to rely on public transport to get around , so any left over money will be put towards travel costs. My biggest expenditure ( For me ) believe it or not is postage stamps . My hobby is penpalling , I love to see a letter from a friend come though my letterbox , but postage is so high now , that its killing my hobby. So im always looking at ways to earn money to buy stamps . The postman helped me this morning , as he delivered 2 letters and neither stamp had been franked , so ill re use them //////yayy a freebie
    Last edited by Moll; 09-01-2018 at 9:48 PM.
    • Thrifty Taylor
    • By Thrifty Taylor 9th Jan 18, 10:21 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Thrifty Taylor
    Cheap stamps
    Have you heard of the Royal Mail Survey? If you have access to a computer /Internet on your phone, you can get free stamps every month! To do this, you have to register & record mail sent to you & things for you to post (most have stamps on the envelope, bit if it's a small box, you get reimbursed with Love to Shop vouchers). You do this for a 6 month period, often with a choice to continue. You also get chance to do the unaddressed mail survey, which lasts for 2-3 weeks & you receive a 5 Love to Shop voucher at the end. The free stamps you receive each month is a book of 4 large letter 1st class stamps & one book of 12 1st class stamps, so great to stock up for sending Christmas cards or posting items on Ebay, as they cost you nothing! Would be useful for your penal letters too!!
    • Moll
    • By Moll 9th Jan 18, 10:30 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    Moll
    [QUOTE=Thrifty Taylor;73692020]Have you heard of the Royal Mail Survey?




    Thankyou Thrifty Taylor , but im already a member of this , My 6 months has ended and all my stamps got used at Christmas , so a long time till I hopefully get added in again , around july/ august time, A shame I don't know anyone doing the survey and could maybe exchange with them for something they wanted , ( crafts etc ? )
    Last edited by Moll; 09-01-2018 at 10:58 PM.
    • cw18
    • By cw18 9th Jan 18, 10:37 PM
    • 7,964 Posts
    • 85,320 Thanks
    cw18
    The postman helped me this morning , as he delivered 2 letters and neither stamp had been franked , so ill re use them //////yayy a freebie
    Originally posted by Moll
    Which means that your postman isn't doing his job properly. If we get to a house with unfranked mail we're supposed to draw a line through the stamp in pen to stop it being reused.

    Reusing them has always been theft in my eyes (you're using a service you've not paid for), and causes the price of postage for everyone else to go up (the same way stealing from a supermarket pushes up the prices of shopping for everyone else). But I hate it even more now as it impacts my salary. Yes, I work for Royal Mail.


    Climbs down off soapbox.
    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

    • cw18
    • By cw18 9th Jan 18, 10:39 PM
    • 7,964 Posts
    • 85,320 Thanks
    cw18
    I did see several colleagues listing the Christmas Card and stamps we get from RM every year on eBay. They were selling for less than the face value of the stamps so I didn't list mine, but it could be worth looking for those. I now have 2 years worth of stamps (50 a year) totally unused as I use about 6 stamps a year and already had loads in stock.
    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 10th Jan 18, 8:04 AM
    • 208 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    Moll
    Which means that your postman isn't doing his job properly. If we get to a house with unfranked mail we're supposed to draw a line through the stamp in pen to stop it being reused.

    Reusing them has always been theft in my eyes


    Climbs down off soapbox.
    Originally posted by cw18

    Very sorry if ive offended you cw18 , that wasn't my intention , and im sure our postmen do thier job properly , I live in a rural place where we all know each other. and help each other , Our post people are lovely and have often said im keeping them in a job with the amount of post I have and send , and from previous comments from postie my guess is that the unfranked stamp was put through the door deliberately to help me out .but I wont mention any savings like this again as don't want to upset anyone , Just thought id share my good fortune of a freebie that day xx
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 10th Jan 18, 9:30 AM
    • 9,770 Posts
    • 47,846 Thanks
    Mooloo
    So today is look after Mum Day. Food shopping day, and also as it is my son!!!8217;s birthday tomorrow we are going out for Lunch at one of the local pubs.

    On the plus side I am happy that my shopping list is quite small.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Fizzyisbusy
    • By Fizzyisbusy 10th Jan 18, 9:54 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 121 Thanks
    Fizzyisbusy
    Expensive month!
    So, it turns out January is an expensive month in my world!
    This is when car tax renewal is, dogs and cats injections, and then my passport needed renewing before the end of the month AND my driving licence!

    Still, am doing well with other stuff, food etc . Its knocked my saving ideas on the head though as obviously I hadn't planned ahead for these things! But I guess I guess I know now and can start a savings plan going forward.

    I live very rurally in Scotland in the Cairngorms, so car use is high and of course can't just nip to Aldi and Lidl, they have to be planned trips in with something else.
    My cottage is small and rented but well insulated so cheap to heat and run thank goodness!

    This forum is really helpful and inspiring .

    Fizzyisbusy
    • Kerreh
    • By Kerreh 10th Jan 18, 2:16 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    Kerreh
    I never knew about surveys until read some threads on the forums... 2.48 made in my lunch hour.. every little helps right
    • Moll
    • By Moll 10th Jan 18, 2:20 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    Moll
    I never knew about surveys until read some threads on the forums... 2.48 made in my lunch hour.. every little helps right
    Originally posted by Kerreh

    im only doing Topcashback . can you recommend any surveys please
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 10th Jan 18, 4:04 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    sinkorswim2018
    So my last two days have involved spending more than I'd intended. I can see.where I could have spent less.and which was unavoidable. Yesterday my eldest at uni had a wobble and I ended up driving an hour and half to her and eating out, plus 8 on car park. The plus side is we ate at a Wetherspoons so it wasn't too expensive and she is okay now, so job done. Today's expensive mistake was forgetting my best friends birthday and sending flowers, same day delivery, so she will never know....ouch. I'll see that as a learning curve. On the plus side, I took some stuff back to the shops today so 33 credit.
    It's a bit like a diet really, mustn't give up when you go off plan. If I hadn't of bee trying to be frugal, these costly events would just of been on top of.my usual spending.
    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.
    • Kerreh
    • By Kerreh 10th Jan 18, 5:43 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    Kerreh
    im only doing Topcashback . can you recommend any surveys please
    Originally posted by Moll
    I'm probably not best for recommendations as I'm fairly new to this ... and I hope I'm not breaking any foum guidelines... but I've been using prolific
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 10th Jan 18, 6:37 PM
    • 1,166 Posts
    • 12,567 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hi everyone, walked everywhere, so frugal and exercise all in one, otherwise not done much. Oh I did buy my dgc4's birthday card and present but I cant put it on as her mom sometimes comes on to read!!
    Just off to cook some tea, mushroom omelette I think as I have plenty of eggs and some mushrooms to use up.
    Nannyg
    Mortgage free and debt free but only income is state pension so need to be frugal
    • Nonnadiluca
    • By Nonnadiluca 10th Jan 18, 7:02 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 1,849 Thanks
    Nonnadiluca
    Mushroom omelette here too NG.
    This challenge really concentrates the mind! I'm doing well - under budget so far for food and I hope to be in budget for 'other spends' even though I will have the annual house and contents insurance and SIL's birthday next week. Having shopped around for the insurance, I phoned my current provider and asked if there was any wriggle room on the renewal quote and got nearly 30 off, which brought it down to the lowest price I'd been quoted elsewhere. Result!
    • Moll
    • By Moll 10th Jan 18, 8:12 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    Moll
    Good day today, very conscious of all my spends since joining , Went to our local "Works" shop . They sell 10 cards for 1 . I had 2 love to shop vouchers which I can spend in there, so stocked up and got 20 cards and used the vouchers for payment . cards . mostly birthday but a couple of thankyou ones, they should keep me going quite a while ,
    Also recently it was our wedding anniversary , and my OH bought me a die cut machine for crafting, Today I found foil paper at 50p a roll in the after Christmas sales that will be ideal
    Last edited by Moll; 10-01-2018 at 8:45 PM.
    • Moll
    • By Moll 10th Jan 18, 8:56 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    Moll
    I'm probably not best for recommendations as I'm fairly new to this ... and I hope I'm not breaking any foum guidelines... but I've been using prolific
    Originally posted by Kerreh


    Kerreh ive never heard of it , but will give it a go , Thankyou for telling me about it x
    Last edited by Moll; 10-01-2018 at 9:02 PM.
    • Kerreh
    • By Kerreh 10th Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    Kerreh
    Tesco shop tonight... came in at just over 25 but this will last for at least the next 9 days by my estimates. It was only fresh stuff (my fridge looks like the harvest festival the amount of fruit, salad and veggies I have ) along with dairy, eggs and flour/sugar for baking. Not really counting it as a spend in terms of the budget though as got some Tesco saving stamps for christmas and used those so win win

    Also up to 9.21 on surveys
    Aim 1: Clear 1900 CC -> 1400/1900 | Aim 2: Pay for Holiday | Aim 3: Save 3k
    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 10th Jan 18, 11:09 PM
    • 5,343 Posts
    • 55,181 Thanks
    lynnejk
    So, it turns out January is an expensive month in my world!
    This is when car tax renewal is, dogs and cats injections, and then my passport needed renewing before the end of the month AND my driving licence!
    Originally posted by Fizzyisbusy
    Don't know if it will help but I write down all my yearly payments such as car tax, insurance, contents insurance etc, add 200 for extras, divide by twelve and put that away each month. That way the yearly 'stuff' is covered

    I'm only doing Topcashback . can you recommend any surveys please
    Originally posted by Moll
    If you look on the top line on the page (dark blue) on furthest right you will see 'INCOME'. Click on that and then click 'boost your income' (or something like that) and you will see 'top 25 surveys sites' on the list. It is very useful and full of tips as well.

    You could also pop over to the 'Make upto 10 a day in January' thread (just put that in the 'forum search' on the green line) and you will find a super thread full of surveys and lots of other ideas for making monies.

    HTH and good luck
    Lx
    10day.2014=3213/2015=3421/2016=3238/2017=2702/2018=498..APR=12.03/300
    GrocC.2014=2162/2015=2083/2016=218/2017=1996/2018=450..APR=17.13/200
    Bulk buy.......APR=233.76
    GC.NSD..2015=216/2016=213/2017=229/2018=39..APR=03/15
    SPC130x61..2014=1178/2015=1287/2016=4616/2017=3843
    OS WL= -2/8 ......CC =00......Savings = 13,140
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