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    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,982Posts
    • 52,049Thanks
    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 28
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 9th Feb 18, 9:13 AM
    • 5,982 Posts
    • 52,049 Thanks
    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'
    Originally posted by LittleGingerFox
    Just say the word, all help is welcome, as is the chance to do some frugal meeting, greeting and socialising. It's fairly rural, so nowhere to spend any money but there's always something to do or see about here.
    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 Feb 18, 9:16 AM
    • 5,982 Posts
    • 52,049 Thanks
    Wow! Over 1000 saved this year so far! Well done Spudsmum... Here's to your clearing all the CCs soon! I still use mine regularly but pay in full every month - it accrues a to y bit cash back.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • evuka
    • By evuka 9th Feb 18, 12:46 PM
    • 115 Posts
    • 1,139 Thanks
    Depends really on whether you still like the coat, Evuka, and if it is a good state of repair. If you love it, and it is still almost as good as new, and comes up beautifully after it has been cleaned, I would say it is worth getting it done. If not, well, after 6 years, it probably doesn't owe you anything, does it
    Originally posted by DawnW
    Thanks Dawn for the insight, it looks nice after cleaning so I'm keeping it!

    The mutant chicken came up trumps again
    Originally posted by spudsmum
    your mutant chicken always gives me a laugh!

    allie23 hope you feel better!

    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!
    Originally posted by LittleGingerFox
    Congrats LittleGingerFox, that's an achievment!

    a six month supply of loo roll (important). 84 rolls for 20. Oh the glamour!
    Originally posted by sinkorswim2018
    Where do you order it from? I tried a 45-roll package but don't really like the TP so looking for some other type to try.

    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!
    Originally posted by spudsmum
    Wow spudsmum, you are rocking it!
    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
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 10th Feb 18, 10:53 AM
    • 5,982 Posts
    • 52,049 Thanks
    Keep up the good frugal work, people! Thos of you who are still posting on here are a real inspiration to others and I hope we can see a few more returnng soon. The 'oomph' seems to have gone already for some folks so let's hope their frugality hasn't left with it. Frugal(free)dom is an awesome place to be and provides an entire lifestyle for those who want to achieve and maintain freedom from debt. If I can do it on my meagre income then anyone can do it. Just ask.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 10th Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    • 5,057 Posts
    • 39,922 Thanks
    I must make the effort to post more I read every post, and am faithfully keeping my spreadsheet going, but tend to lurk rather than post. I was a bit confused by the rules initially, so am just bumbling along on the sidelines with my budgets

    I am finding the discipline of recording and budgeting all spending / bills (many thanks to Cheryl for a copy of her spreadsheet) extremely useful. It may be a bit different from what others are doing, but it really makes me think before I spend!

    I did succumb to a magazine this morning though , as a consolation prize for both an early morning walk in the rain and a rather unpleasant medical procedure at the end of it

    Many thanks for the thread, which I am sure many other people aside from regular posters are finding useful
    NSDs for June 10 / 10
    Groceries / cleaning / toiletries / pet food etc 227.30 / 250
    Fuel 99.95 / 100

    • bebelles
    • By bebelles 10th Feb 18, 12:22 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    Hello fellow frugal fans,
    Sorry some of you are going through a difficult time at the moment my thoughts are with you.

    I just wanted to point out something obvious and I am sure other people realised this long ago. But it's just dawning on me with tracking my spending and the change it attitude how much stuff I used to buy. As I look round my house, stuff bought on a whim, not used, confined to already overflowing cupboards. I used to buy so much stuff that I just didn't need.
    I used to spend time in shops just going for the sake of going without an actual need to buy anything or worse going into a shop for something and coming out with a bag full of stuff I even remember saying to staff on the tills when they asked did you find what you were looking for and saying well I didn't even know i needed these things! Don't get me wrong there is a pleasure in buying things, but also realising what you were doing and then not doing it is also worth a small pat on the back!
    I'm not saying I'm perfect and i have completely changed my ways but I'm certainly improving just having a greater awareness of what I'm doing.
    From tacking my spending though I certainly still spend far too much money socialising; mainly down the pub; so going to try and either look at alternative activities or at indulging a little less on the Pinot - that's still a work in progress!
    I've been freezing leftovers like a possessed woman with thoughts of future meals and lunches to take to work, I've also sold a few bits and bobs on eBay.
    I am going to have a bit of a stock take this weekend, and see what I have got in and more importantly what I can get rid of (either sell or donate).
    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend, look after each other
    Last edited by bebelles; 10-02-2018 at 12:25 PM.
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 10th Feb 18, 2:26 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,169 Thanks
    Finally finished the last of the mixed berry vodka so have used the remaining fruit to make a fruit spread

    I've decided that I am going to make a chocolate cake, use some of the spread to sandwich it together and finish it off with a white chocolate ganache.....I don't eat cake as a rule but I have house guests at the end of the week so it will be nice to have something to munch

    I've made the meal plans for the next four weeks...I've been unwell so my immune system is shot - with this in mind I am changing my diet a bit (it's been shocking this past few weeks) so may spend more on fruit and veg but am sticking to running down my current stockpile

    I'm going to plant some salad leaves tomorrow- I bought in my current supply and will have to for the next few weeks but won't be doing that for the rest of the year, there's no excuse really when it's so simple to grow. I'm also going to have a check on my wine situation- I have several that are in need of bottling ready for the summer and I want to have an estimate of how much I'd like to get done this year.

    Tomorrow I will cook my sushi and ramen and I'll sort the black beans and pineapple salsa ready for Mondays dinner - just the polenta to cook on the evening then as I'm having it soft.

    I'm going to put a moratorium on my credit card for a while and do everything cash - I think that it will help to make spending more real. This most recent fall off the wagon has made me realise that I don't value money as much as I should - especially as I've spent years without it so perhaps a bit of re-education wouldn't go amiss!
    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
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 10th Feb 18, 3:52 PM
    • 15,178 Posts
    • 50,237 Thanks
    Afternoon ladies and gents

    I haven't been posting much because my frugal ways have been a bit of a nightmare.

    I was doing okish - dentist was an expense I knew about. Then the car insurance came(760). And then I went back to the dentist. Another root canal. 437 (cheaper than old dentist) but that is me skint and my plan of not spending has taken a few knocks. My BIL has been ill and the need to do things quickly has meant some expense.

    I am off to assess the damage and "refrugal"
    Frugal Living Challenge, Pound a Day challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge Debt 4990 (March)
    • LittleGingerFox
    • By LittleGingerFox 10th Feb 18, 3:58 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    Both ebay and Gumtree have been a but useless for selling things.....I think everyone is feeling the penny pinch so can't buy things. I have bagged up some clothes and shoes that didn't sell to take to the charity shop either later or Monday. I am still in the process of gutting my room (currently in a flat share) and everything I haven't used this year (unbelievable to even have had something for that long and not used it) has been listed on Freecycle.
    I also found some great apps for cheap/ money back shopping. Checkout Smart and Shopmium. Free Nutella and cans of fruity wine alco-poppy things. Mmmmmmmm! Little treat
    I've joined in a little group who are picking up coins on the street and adding up the monthly total. Silly really but it might amount to something? I have found 5p so far.....fingers crossed for a 10p piece soon !!!55358;!!!56611; Raking it in!
    Its pouring down here and so its another no spend day. I have spent all my budget this month so the rest of the month has to be a no spend one. It might be tough.....but I think it will be liberating Good luck everyone, keep going!
    CC2-Total paid in March 1560.12/ Max credit card amount 6747.03/ 5098 to go!
    • shish100
    • By shish100 11th Feb 18, 8:46 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    Morning everyone,
    Apologies for being a bit quiet, we had some house-guests for a week, whilst they were having work done on the house. My monthly food budget took a big hit for being so early in the month (116 out of 200). On closer inspection it's not that bad once i actually stopped and looked at what I had bought - I was mainly making sure I had plenty of non-perishables, frozen veg, tins of beans and tomatoes, cereals etc

    One good thing about the house-guests, there were having a clear-out to get ready for the work and came round with lots of food from their cupboards. Which was gratefully received and helps offset the big shop.

    I did fall off the frugal wagon on Friday. My guests had gone, sad to see them go, and exhausted from helping them where needed with their work. So I treated me and OH to a takeaway and a bottle of wine.

    I have been very good with keeping up with my spreadsheet and tracking my spend. It is giving plenty of food for thought.

    My tasks this weekend:
    Re-evaluate my food cupboards and amend meal plans accordingly
    Tackle the guest room, clean and tidy it
    Put some items up on for auction, that I found whilst clearing the guest room for the guests.
    Read my library book
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 11th Feb 18, 9:39 AM
    • 1,964 Posts
    • 17,821 Thanks
    Hello Everyone

    Another quiet lurker here. Though to be fair, I'm only managing a forum visit on weekends and catching up then.

    My frugalling has been terrible. I'm disappointed with myself but because I'm making note of my spending I can see where it's going. Takeaways and snacks! Crazy!

    I've accrued but money that could have paid off my loan or been saved has been spent. I hadtaken food delivery apps off my phone and done a list of all the foods that I like to eat and don't mind cooking and so it's back to the drawing board.

    I was hoping that January would be my month of information gathering on my spending and February would be the start of the new frugal ways. But, it would seem not. I'm still learning things about myself and they aren't pretty. Still, no debt has been accrued but money that could have paid off my loan or been saved has been spent. What a waste.

    I'd never thought of myself as a spender but it would seem that I am.

    So, this weekend has been 2 spend days but I've got my fuel for the week and my weekly top up after doing my menu plan. My son is also home from uni so we went to the cinema and I also had a beauty treatment with one of my daughters, so some personal care. Both are much better ways of spending my money than takeaways and snack foods.

    I need to work on budgeting for the things that are important and that add depth to my life and eradicating the things that don't.
    Pay off Debt by Christmas 2018 #59
    13,406.26/ 8,699.39
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • evuka
    • By evuka 11th Feb 18, 10:15 AM
    • 115 Posts
    • 1,139 Thanks
    Not much going on here, had two NSDs and two LSDs this week, aiming for another no spend today.

    Have two flat-views booked for Monday, the little house in the village is gone. Next week is going to be about calling letting agencies to arrange viewings - kinda hard with two cats! -, sorting through my stuff and sell/donate whatever I don't need and start packing. I want to use up all my freezer's content and as much as I can from the pantry so I can move with less.

    Doctor told me to take a 30 mins walk everyday, possibly twice if I can make it so health-wise that's my plan for the coming week + increased veg and fruit intake.

    Frugal activity for today is making my laundry powder (and then wash laundry! )
    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
    • Sweetbriarrose
    • By Sweetbriarrose 11th Feb 18, 11:50 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 59 Thanks
    Hello everyone, I've been a lurker for years , I love reading your posts, I feel inspired by your ideas how to save money, to reuse and avoid waste.
    Frugaldom my oomph hasn't gone , I'm just not very confident about posting.
    • Sweetbriarrose
    • By Sweetbriarrose 11th Feb 18, 11:53 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 59 Thanks
    Forgot to say , I'm very frugal have to be on my income.
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 11th Feb 18, 12:07 PM
    • 15,178 Posts
    • 50,237 Thanks
    Sat last night and thought up 9 ways I could make some money over the next 8 months, selling my stuff, go back to tutoring, making cosies for pets to sell on ebay, plants to sell, sell teaching resources, various pet sitting services (available later in the year) and eventually offering a decluttering service for people. None of these will make me millions but they should make me aware of the money and time and get me a bit more busy and meeting people than I am now. And it will make some profit.

    Ideally I would like to save 900 pounds a month. Really my expenses go Rent (800) insurance (132) Audible (7.99) Office (7.99) (not sure I need that) and obviously paying for car insurance, Prime, car tax , rabbit insurance once a year.
    Frugal Living Challenge, Pound a Day challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge Debt 4990 (March)
    • shish100
    • By shish100 11th Feb 18, 3:15 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    A frugal success - I have successfully repaired my handbag .I used gorilla glue to hold the strap in place, it took some patience to keep from getting the glue everywhere, which is my usual trick!

    Buffythedebyslayer, when you say 'Office' you mean the computer software? There is a free alternative out there that is compatible with Microsoft. It is called 'Open Office' by Apache. I use and it is really good.
    • Moll
    • By Moll 11th Feb 18, 4:05 PM
    • 216 Posts
    • 1,578 Thanks
    im here. just been feeling a bit sorry for myself as the flu/ cold/ lurgy bug keeps lingering , and I want to be better NOW.
    but I have read everyones posts every day , and you are all keeping me inspired and raring to go ,
    Got a shock the other day , took GD to mc donalds , me and dh went too , all was starving , so ended up ordering for us all , then dh went and sat down with gd so cost ME over 12, I think DH must have seen my face ( He knows im saving for the holiday pot ) as 2 days later he gave it me back lol , ( It was his idea to go , if it was mine id have happily payed ) . DD had a bit of a catastrophe the other day , she phoned and said her freezer door had fell off entirely . !!! it was full too , turned out it was the fridge not freezer , so not quite so bad , and DH is handy , and managed to put new hinges/ brackets/ something ? on and fixed it . so all good again , I haven't been as frugal this week with being ill ,,,,,,,,in fact the other day I suggested we go out for dinner and id pay, as I couldn't be bothered to cook ,,,,,,,, it was 13 but well worth It , lovely home cooked meal for both of us , made me realise though how much I "Used" to spend on meals out and take aways , ive slashed my food bill with cooking from scratch all the time , and batch cooking . Don't get the wrong idea, DH pays for most things house/ car . council tax . etc etc , but I do the food for which we allocate 70 a week . . so that's where im trying to save for the holiday pot , Dad sent stew he'd made and home made bread so tea all sorted for today .

    Little Ginger Fox is the coin picking up group on here?????? that's sounds ideal for me , I need to exersize , walking is ideal , and this way its a fun way to exersize looking for pennies, I probably wont find much , but it would be fun looking

    My sales on our local facebook site are doing well , I aim for 10 a week , and "So far" ive hit my target and more every week , if everyone pays this week ive made 10.60 .
    good luck everyone in everything you are trying to achieve , x x
    Last edited by Moll; 11-02-2018 at 6:31 PM.
    • shabbychic12
    • By shabbychic12 11th Feb 18, 4:41 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    Just checking in to say l'm plodding along in fruggledom. It is tough but worth it. Doesn't help that l seem to hv the same bug as most and hv not felt myself for weeks so everything seems to take double the effort. Nearly half way through the month will do a quick review on my savings on the 18 then l will hv some idea if l'm on target.
    NST April 2018: April Fools Challenge
    2018 declutter and destress.
    2018 early retirement wannabe
    Save 12k in 2018 1182/12000
    28/week on wk13 (1 a day challenge)644
    All this saving l'm turning into my Dad
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 11th Feb 18, 5:07 PM
    • 596 Posts
    • 4,364 Thanks
    I realise that we are in February but I would like to join is it too late?
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge June No spend challenges: 10/15 House fund 250/2000
    Grocery Budget: 18.09/200
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 11th Feb 18, 6:32 PM
    • 2,352 Posts
    • 22,813 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    Still plodding along. Went back to temping work last week. Working in a school office. Was there before my Mum had the fall. Did find it hard going back. My Dad passed away and he is being cremated this week. Did not have much dealings with him, but am going to the service. Still doing decluttering in the flat which I am happy with the progress. Trying to only buy things when needed. Had to buy a new hairdryer as my other one went. Used a loyalty card to get another one so it was free. Have joined a social club so I can get out more often. Do enjoy the bingo there. It would have been my Mum's birthday this week so I am finding it hard. Will be visiting her graveside this week. Have put a deposit down for the gravestone. My brother and sister were involved in the decision of wording and design.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST June 2018 A June Odessey(Staycation) NSD 13/20
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