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

Welcome to the MSE Forums

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

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,979Posts
    • 52,028Thanks
    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 27
    • evuka
    • By evuka 6th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
    • 115 Posts
    • 1,139 Thanks
    evuka
    Pipsmum, So sorry to hear your sad news, please accept my condolences.

    Friday-Monday were spending days for me, doing groceries and buying cat food (though we are almost out again, these cats eat me out of my budget sooo quickly!). Trying to alternate between tinned and dry food.

    Yesterday's Pint of Science evening with an astronaut was really good, it was well worth the 15 I spent on it.

    Today saw me submitting my termination for my lease and I have a viewing arranged for next week. A one bedroom mid-terrace house in the village where I used to live for 425 It is in the same street I used to live but the interior is different as the upstairs is closed - *taking mental note to double check for the reason and if it is safe enough* - and I've seen my previous place is still up for rent so that's also an option.

    ... to have my own bins... the greatest luxury I can currently imagine!

    Off to do some decluttering and cleaning but can't promise I won't be back!
    SwagBucks
    Make 10 a day challenge need to join again
    Sell 100 items 11/100
    GC: Jan 175.07/100
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018 823.65/8,965.88
    NSD: Jan 5/15 Feb 7/15
    • cw18
    • By cw18 6th Feb 18, 5:55 PM
    • 7,964 Posts
    • 85,324 Thanks
    cw18
    but the interior is different as the upstairs is closed - *taking mental note to double check for the reason and if it is safe enough* - and I've seen my previous place is still up for rent so that's also an option.
    Originally posted by evuka
    Not sure what you mean by "the upstairs is closed". That makes it sound like you won't have access to it, but surely the bedroom (and I assume bathroom) will be up there? Or is there a door on the staircase (either bottom or top - preferably bottom)? If so (and it would otherwise be an open plan staircase to the landing) I'd take it as a bonus as you're not heating the staircase and landing when you only want to heat the living room. My first house had stairs going up from the living room, and it was a nightmare getting the chill out of the living room as the heat all headed upstairs first!!!




    After almost 16 years with the same energy provider (could never find a saving big enough to make it worth switching - most were only about 30/year with companies I'd never heard of) , I've started the switch to someone else today. My fixed deal came to an end just over a week ago (actually missed the date) and they put me onto the cheapest they had at the time which puts my projected annual bill up by just over 190 a year That 12 month fixed tariff (which doesn't have any exit fees) closed at end of Jan, but the ones available now are more expensive again !!

    After doing a number of comparisons (using projected usage my current firm used for their quote, which probably isn't far out looking at bills for last 11 months) I've opted for a 12 month fixed tariff with a small company that's still relatively new, but is heavily into green energy which I like but have never been able to justify the cost of before. I could have had a tariff that was about 7.50/year more than the one I've been on for the last 12 months and is 100% green electricity, but I've opted for one which will cost 30/year more that my last as it also includes 10% green gas (it's still a lot cheaper than my current provider, and around what other 'unknown' companies were quoting - mostly with no green energy included). To go 10% green gas and 90% carbon offset as well as the 100% renewable electricity would have been an additional 47/year, and I couldn't really justify that at the moment. Switch should be complete by the end of this month, so fingers crossed it goes smoothly. No exit fees on any of their tariffs, so if I don't get on with them I can move again anyway......
    Last edited by cw18; 09-02-2018 at 7:46 PM.
    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

    • LittleGingerFox
    • By LittleGingerFox 6th Feb 18, 7:08 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    LittleGingerFox
    Evening all. Budget remains on track and I'm still really enjoying it. I have just paid an extra 500 off the credit card tonight whilst I still had some money in the account (to stop me looking at it with a heart-eye emoji face!) so thought I'd put it to good use. I will pay the balance on that credit card on this months pay day. Boom, one credit card down in two months. Just another credit card to go, wooooop! I have really enjoyed searching for coupons and using Checkout Smart for money back and freebies
    CC2-Total paid in March 1560.12/ Max credit card amount 6747.03/ 5098 to go!
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 6th Feb 18, 9:57 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 462 Thanks
    sinkorswim2018
    After the expense of an oil change/mini service on the 1st, I am pleased to report I am nearly on budget. The car still has 3/4 of a tank in and there's no big expenses coming up other than a six month supply of loo roll (important). 84 rolls for 20. Oh the glamour!
    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.
    • spudsmum
    • By spudsmum 6th Feb 18, 11:51 PM
    • 245 Posts
    • 1,413 Thanks
    spudsmum
    I have had not one but TWO NSD this week - largely due to being really poorly with a sickness bug and not wanting to go out but, every cloud has a silver lining and all that! With only two days to go until the end of my financial week I have over 30 in my purse and 50 in my envelope in the cupboard so I will definitely come in significantly under budget again this week

    Tomorrow will be a spendy day as eldest is at dentist again do I've promised to treat him to lunch and buy him a small gift if he manages to go through with it - he's terrified bless him but the work is essential and cant be put off so I'm not above a little bribery, At least though I already have accounted the money for it - without borrowing it from another pot or putting it on a cc.

    Next week will be interesting as we are on holiday - we have a few this year (booked and paid for pre LBM) they cant be cancelled but I've made a vow to save money where I can and do them as frugally as possible without making ourselves miserable. For probably the first time I have the spending money saved in a seperate account - hopefully wont need much as its All Inclusive so no food or drinks to worry about and any money leftover when we come home will go in the debt jar - another incentive to be careful.
    Total debts 21050! now 19834.47. 1% challenge 1015.00/15000 (6.76%) Total extra income made in 2018 2215.08 frugal budget 2018 4119/4800 Aiming for debt free at 40 - only 26 months to go!
    • Moll
    • By Moll 7th Feb 18, 1:46 AM
    • 211 Posts
    • 1,508 Thanks
    Moll
    [ I have just paid an extra 500 off the credit card tonight whilst I still had some money in the account I will pay the balance on that credit card on this months pay day. Boom, one credit card down in two months.



    Little Ginger Fox
    well done , you've done brilliant xxx
    • Pipsmum
    • By Pipsmum 7th Feb 18, 6:02 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 236 Thanks
    Pipsmum
    There have been some brilliant achievements shared so far, and such an inspiration to keep going on our journey.


    I have a slightly more unusual challenge this week - I have a turnip mountain in my kitchen, running short of ideas, but I refuse to let it go to waste! DH was given "some" turnips in exchange for some eggs. There were a lot! So we've been eating turnip with everything for the last few days. I made the biggest batch of soup, so that has been my lunch this week, but I did have to stash some of it in the freezer, as although it is nice, by day four its loosing it's appeal. If anyone has any good ideas (not a lot to work on, I know) I would be very grateful.


    Wishing you all a frugally good week.
    Last edited by Pipsmum; 07-02-2018 at 6:08 AM.
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 7th Feb 18, 7:41 AM
    • 5,050 Posts
    • 39,853 Thanks
    DawnW
    There have been some brilliant achievements shared so far, and such an inspiration to keep going on our journey.


    I have a slightly more unusual challenge this week - I have a turnip mountain in my kitchen, running short of ideas, but I refuse to let it go to waste! DH was given "some" turnips in exchange for some eggs. There were a lot! So we've been eating turnip with everything for the last few days. I made the biggest batch of soup, so that has been my lunch this week, but I did have to stash some of it in the freezer, as although it is nice, by day four its loosing it's appeal. If anyone has any good ideas (not a lot to work on, I know) I would be very grateful.


    Wishing you all a frugally good week.
    Originally posted by Pipsmum
    If it were me Pipsmum, I would simply peel and chop the turnips and freeze for another time. No need to blanch. You can use the frozen turnip for soup or whatever recipe you like, at a later date. That reminds me, I have a swede and a cabbage that need doing today!
    NSDs for June 7 / 10
    Groceries / cleaning / toiletries / pet food etc 136.68 / 250
    Fuel 50.01 / 100


    • claire1a
    • By claire1a 7th Feb 18, 8:05 AM
    • 99 Posts
    • 497 Thanks
    claire1a
    I really enjoy veg chips (such as butter but or swede), chop chosen veg into strips and bake in the oven. Harder veg usually need longer but just keep an eye on around the 20 min mark! Could you great it and add to bread mixture or Tom sauce to add extra veg... not sure if either of there are an option...
    No longer Debt free
    EF - 525.27/1000 New York 0/1500
    SCC- 3000 SL overpayment 2500 M+D - 4000
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 7th Feb 18, 8:48 AM
    • 5,979 Posts
    • 52,028 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Here's to all those under budget, paying down chunks of debt, finding bargains, switching energy suppliers and moving on in their quest for forever debt freedom!

    It's bitterly cold here but we're trying not to break the budget with the ridiculous heating costs! I often have to remind myself that times have changed and money values differ now from when I first set out on my 4k per year journey, but if I can make it to 2020 then my life ambition could be realised!

    I envisage Frugaldom as a countryside retreat for all frugalers where they can come and forage, grow, pick, make, bake, get creative and sample the good life for themselves without worrying about the costs Whether or not that ever happens remains to be seen, but that's my goal. Every year takes us one step closer, so the next 2 years are of major importance. Didn't manage to buy any woodland for the hoped-for forest garden but we are planting as many trees as possible and have been awarded another 420 by the Woodland Trust. I also hope to reach 100 trees in the new orchard this year.

    So... If anyone wants a free holiday in exchange for gardening, crafting, recycling, upcycling and frugal decorating, in all seriousness, just say.

    This week, I won two online auction items as the only bidder on 99p no reserve listings!
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 07-02-2018 at 8:51 AM.
    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 7th Feb 18, 8:55 AM
    • 5,979 Posts
    • 52,028 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Last year's apples are storing well in black bags outside... Yesterday I stewed another lot into crumble and the peels and cores have gone I to my next batch of apple cider vinegar. I just need to hope its warm enough in here for them to ferment.

    Next, I need to make a batch of laundry goop.
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 09-02-2018 at 8:48 AM.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 7th Feb 18, 10:58 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,169 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    I have been incredibly unfrugal so far this month...an impromptu weekend away has set me back a minimum of a month on my financial plans! However, it was fabulous and worth every penny really so I'm drawing a line under it and moving on

    This month is going to be scraping together what I can and minimising expenditure to offset the damage and putting in proper plans for the months ahead. I still have a couple of expensive weeks ahead with birthdays and family visits but I have a budget in mind for these and intend to hit the end of the month with this all paid for so that March seems less painful!!

    Hope everyone is keeping warm!
    15 Month Challenge: House - 2161/15000; Mortgage - 300/19000 ; Jan Spends: Food 93.52/300; Petrol 0/300; Persie 0/ 300
    MFW No. 167 300/ 15000
    • Moll
    • By Moll 7th Feb 18, 12:12 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 1,508 Thanks
    Moll
    I really enjoy veg chips (such as butter but or swede), chop chosen veg into strips and bake in the oven. Harder veg usually need longer but just keep an eye on around the 20 min mark! Could you great it and add to bread mixture or Tom sauce to add extra veg... not sure if either of there are an option...
    Originally posted by claire1a


    I do this too , but the harder veg I put in the microwave for a few minutes to soften them before the oven
    • SarahC74
    • By SarahC74 7th Feb 18, 5:01 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    SarahC74
    Hi all,

    Sorry for not posting very much. I have been lurking though and it's so motivating to hear how well everyone is doing. I've really focused on sticking within our budget in January, and we did it! The really shocking thing is the amount we could have be saving if we hadn't frittered money away over the last few years. Really so pleased to have found this thread and have my frugal hat back on!

    The key area I can make a difference is on groceries. I have so much stockpiled it's actually ridiculous when you look at it. But it means I have loads of hm freezer meals ready to go, rather than buying take-out or new meals when we don't need them. It's also been fun using up all the weird store cupboard things I've found: millet (finally through that!), wild rice, polenta, all good stuff but never used, until now!

    Thanks for being such an inspiration!
    Frugal living challenge:
    Overpay mortgage by 6,000 in 2018 594/6,000
    Spend less than 200pm on groceries 1/12 months complete
    NSD February: 5/28 so far!
    • SarahC74
    • By SarahC74 7th Feb 18, 5:04 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    SarahC74
    Re the turnip mountain PipsMum (sorry, can't work out how to quote the message), have you thought about mashing them as toppings, using them in place, or half and half with mashed potato? Lovely with a bit of cheese grilled on top at the last minute. Again, you can freeze as turnip mash.
    Frugal living challenge:
    Overpay mortgage by 6,000 in 2018 594/6,000
    Spend less than 200pm on groceries 1/12 months complete
    NSD February: 5/28 so far!
    • LittleGingerFox
    • By LittleGingerFox 7th Feb 18, 6:32 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    LittleGingerFox
    SarahC74 Good idea about the mashed turnip toppings- sounds yum!

    Moll- thank you! It hasn't even felt like hard work which is why I am kicking myself even more for just wasting money !!!55357;!!!56872; Ah well, we are all on the right track now
    CC2-Total paid in March 1560.12/ Max credit card amount 6747.03/ 5098 to go!
    • LittleGingerFox
    • By LittleGingerFox 7th Feb 18, 8:14 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    LittleGingerFox
    Frugaldom, me and my partner would definitely be up for helping you. It has long been my dream to own a few acres in Pembrokeshire and live off the land as much as is possible and I am lucky to have found a partner that wants the same. No doubt there is a lot we could learn from a 'helpful holiday'
    CC2-Total paid in March 1560.12/ Max credit card amount 6747.03/ 5098 to go!
    • Pipsmum
    • By Pipsmum 8th Feb 18, 7:29 AM
    • 19 Posts
    • 236 Thanks
    Pipsmum
    Reporting in from base camp on turnip mountain: Thank you for your suggestions. I just can't think why I have never considered vegetable chips Clarie1a, just thinking about them now, at 7 in the morning, and they sounds great. I'm loving the idea of the mash with a little cheese topping as well SarahC74 - I have some cooked mince mixture defrosting in the fridge for tonight, so I now have a plan. I will chop the rest and freeze over the next couple of days - I had got hung up with the idea of having to blanch a huge mound of the stuff, but now, it's just going straight into the freezer - thank you Dawn W.
    • Tanya12345
    • By Tanya12345 8th Feb 18, 7:26 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 413 Thanks
    Tanya12345
    Hi all, congrats to all who are keeping on, keeping on ! Few tricky days here, just life n all its bumps and lumps. Back to the notebooks and tracking every bean leaving the stronghold !! Took on 3 cockerels but they were particularly mean to our laying ladies, so yesterday they became supper ( apologies to the vegetarians here ). It made me very sad, and I have vowed to eat no more meat unless we produce it. Trying to be on the ball re freezer and larder stocks, shopping from the garden and freezer then the outside world !! Off to lottie and farmers market tomorrow, that should be another week sorted.
    Loving reading everyone's comments, what a journey - really appreciate the company, sometimes this frugal life can be a mite lonely xx
    Re configuring...
    Groceries 1
    Eek fund
    • spudsmum
    • By spudsmum 9th Feb 18, 12:24 AM
    • 245 Posts
    • 1,413 Thanks
    spudsmum
    Hi all,

    Crazy busy here - we go on holiday tomorrow and I still have a bazillion things to do. Mostly packed other than last minute bits but there doesnt look to be enough - one and a half suitcases between five of us - I have the uneasy feeling I've forgotten stuff.

    On to frugality - I'm very proud of myself again - I have come in 63.48 under budget for the week! Thats even with buying the eldest (and myself ) kfc and treating him to some new headphones for being brave at dentist - that cost me 27 in total so, but for that I could have saved 90 which is nearly 50% of my budget - something to aim for in the future (when he's not at dentist )

    Also had bits of money from skimming accounts, selling stuff online -( finally! ) a quidco payment and DH's antisocial hours payment and other bits and bobs. I have added some more to my emergency fund and some to entertainment budget and will pay another 54 off my credit card tomorrow (257 in 3 weeks)

    Totted up the amount of money in all my pots and virtual jars and I have broken the 1000 barrier (1024.99!) Thats all money I would have wasted/frittered away without realising in the past that I am now diverting towards specific goals. Cant believe I have accrued that much just since New year - its madness!
    Total debts 21050! now 19834.47. 1% challenge 1015.00/15000 (6.76%) Total extra income made in 2018 2215.08 frugal budget 2018 4119/4800 Aiming for debt free at 40 - only 26 months to go!
Welcome to our new Forum!

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

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,954Posts Today

8,472Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • We all knew we'd win in the end. Never in doubt! ....walks away whistling

  • Yeeesss. Phew. Wow. Uh. Oy yoy yoy

  • It's interesting that 80% of the crowd are young women... According to the close ups we keep seeing anyway.

  • Follow Martin