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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,973Posts
    • 51,982Thanks
    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 39
    • SuperMoose
    • By SuperMoose 2nd Mar 18, 8:27 PM
    • 97 Posts
    • 329 Thanks
    SuperMoose
    Does anyone else see a load of exclamation marks and numbers where I assume others have put smiley face type icons, or even in the middle of words (I assume special characters)?

    Only thing I can think of is that some people are posting from phones/tablets that aren't fully compatible with the forum? Or is it because I still use the old format forum (had a try with the new one but it didn't feel like "home" so I came back!) and the things being used show OK on the new format?
    Originally posted by cw18
    There's a thread here about it
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5788856
    Please put out food and water for the birds
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 2nd Mar 18, 8:58 PM
    • 15,170 Posts
    • 49,946 Thanks
    Buffythedebtslayer
    Hello Frugallists

    well, thus far 2018 has been expensive.

    2 lots of 437 for root canal (With more to come
    150 for a guinea pig operation (plus 90 and 132 just before Christmas)
    471 for rabbits dental (to be repeated in a bout a month)

    I had about 700 pounds left of the emergency fund when my car went kaput.

    I have borrowed the money. 5000. car, my next round of dental treatment and the rabbits' next dental.

    Plus some stuff for the garden I want to get done when Mum is away. I know it isn't very frugal but I can't get to work without a car and I cannot screw up my teeth any more. The loan has the option to over pay and I will do that starting from May. I have a tax rebate coming as well so I should be ok. I had planned to use part of the tax rebate for a holiday in the Summer - this is a full confession! I haven't been anywhere since 2011 and it is getting me down. I know none of this is very frugal but I will be doing everything I can to do it as cheaply as possible.

    Hope I am not too far out of the remit of the challenge.

    Take Care all

    Buffy
    Frugal Living Challenge, Pound a Day challenge, Sealed Pot Challenge Debt 4990 (March)
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 2nd Mar 18, 9:26 PM
    • 350 Posts
    • 940 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    ive just sat down for the evening, going to go and make a cup of tea and then im going to do a spread sheet. this month will be our trial month to work out what we really spend . next month will be a realistic budget for the rest of the year, id love to save another £13k before the year is finished but i also think this would be more-a-less impossible.
    we will see

    id need to make £360 extra a month to hit the £13k target
    Last edited by mumof3.12kindebt; 02-03-2018 at 9:59 PM.
    • Tanya12345
    • By Tanya12345 2nd Mar 18, 10:23 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    Tanya12345
    Yes I see them, on a post I put up - as well as others !! Sorry folks, makes it look like a keyboard has exploded in the middle of my saga ! Bit of a Luddite re the techie stuff so will prob just avoid those lovely smilies etc as can't work out what's wrong ! X
    Marching forward......
    Groceries 155.00/140:
    Eek fund
    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 2nd Mar 18, 11:21 PM
    • 5,343 Posts
    • 55,181 Thanks
    lynnejk
    Evening all

    The problem with the weird !55555 is so annoying. From reading across several threads it seems to be when people use the 'quick reply' on mobiles or something like that. Wish MSE would get it sorted soon.

    I've done my monthly budgets for February and am pleased to be slightly ahead of myself two months in

    We are off on a week's break to Valencia next Saturday to meet up with my DS who lives/works in Ibiza but is on his winter break atm. It's all paid for and we have a small budget for any extra spending whilst there. At least it'll be warmer than here

    Good luck with being frugal in March. Hope you're all staying safe and warm
    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
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 3rd Mar 18, 4:11 PM
    • 350 Posts
    • 940 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    having today and tomorrow off due to the snow. If I've worked it out right I'll be 1 shift down in wages, so hopefully I can get an extra shift at somepoint this month to break even.
    I've started a spreadsheet for this year's finances.
    Yesterday was a NSD today will be a NSD and hopefully tomorrow.
    I'll need to get fuel and electric Monday. I also need to look at switching my electric to a direct debit. Like the rest of my bills.
    I'm in work 4 days out of 7 this week.
    We have a had a chilled day. And I haven't really done anything other than play a board game with the eldest and do Lego with the two boys. and seen to the kids and ran a bath for myself.
    We are watching Mrs doubtfire tonight. Can't beat a family classic.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 3rd Mar 18, 6:29 PM
    • 5,973 Posts
    • 51,982 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Yes, I also see the crazy nunbers and ! marks, I thought it was because I'd tried to log in n my Kindle but they are still gere and I'm back on the laptop.

    Things here have been a little chaotic despite us not geting the snow. Temperatures plummeted so we were 3 days without water, relying on going to the river for water to flush toilet and having to stretch tap-filled, bottled water as far as possible. Thankfully, I was prepared and have filled bottles in stock most times but it got worse when the outlet drainpipes on the sinks froze solid and then the gale force winds (or something?) took out the electricity. So, my visiting stdent who arrived from Germany on Monday has been enduring a week of survival skills as well as learning about frugal living. This is, so far, most definitely a minimalist month.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 3rd Mar 18, 6:54 PM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 22,414 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Today marked my first spends of March. I did the weekly shop a day early as I have things to do tomorrow. I bought toiletries, pet food etc too, but the food part represents just under £1pppd, as long as I don't shop again until next Sunday. No plans to, anyway!

    There's a full night of telly-watching planned tonight, but I'm going to try and do bits during the adverts, such as tidying a side, washing up, putting some clothes away, etc. this way, I'll feel like I've relaxed as well as got things achieved.

    The upsetting part of this weekend is that I need to make two major purchases. The first is a new battery for my car, which completely died a couple of days ago. The second is much worse... I had a leak from my kitchen ceiling Thursday evening. Oh came round and stopped the leak, which was coming from the bath. He tried to fix the problem today, but unfortunately I'm going to need a new bath. The old one will take a lot of work to take out, as it is a jet/spa bath, so will require electrical work too. No idea how much it'll cost, but the botch job from before will require a proper professional, rather than us doing it!

    This will change my year's plans in terms of saving and paying things off. I'll know more when I've paid those bills.

    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
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 3rd Mar 18, 9:38 PM
    • 350 Posts
    • 940 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    ive just sat down for the evening, going to go and make a cup of tea and then im going to do a spread sheet. this month will be our trial month to work out what we really spend . next month will be a realistic budget for the rest of the year, id love to save another £13k before the year is finished but i also think this would be more-a-less impossible.
    we will see

    id need to make £360 extra a month to hit the £13k target
    Originally posted by mumof3.12kindebt

    we cant cut our budget back any further so i need to try and work out how to up our income by £360 every month or close to it
    • CosmicZebra
    • By CosmicZebra 3rd Mar 18, 10:35 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 318 Thanks
    CosmicZebra
    Checking in. Hope everyone surviving the cold... been double duvet weather here.
    Feb has some expensive one offs- mainly involving the dog. But I still managed to squirrel away £700 and overpay the mortgage by £250. Also overpaid Jan & March- will keep it up if I can.
    One thing I thought about was cards- I spend a fortune on these. Bought card stock, Washi tape and have made a couple. V easy and they look great. There are loads of ideas on Pinterest. March has a big £535 bill for Ds school trip, so I’m not sure how much I’ll save. Also, lost £75 of second job income this week because of the snow. We’ll see...
    enjoying reading everyone’s posts.
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 3rd Mar 18, 10:46 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 4,651 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Well, its snowed again here this evening, after it all started to thaw this morning. So tomorrow's plan is to stay in and do spreadsheets and lists for more money saving ideas and plans for next few months. Had a good cheap food shop today.... Veg, bacon, turkey steaks....that will last a week and everything else will be from freezer and cupboards.
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,430. almost 23% paid. Went SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... Building up slowly.
    Christmas '18 challenge... £22 /£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
    • spudsmum
    • By spudsmum 4th Mar 18, 10:07 AM
    • 226 Posts
    • 1,324 Thanks
    spudsmum
    Our snow has finally gone (for now!) and feels a little warmer, still blooming freezing but not bitter like it was midweek.

    Hope everyone is managing to stay safe and warm.

    Food shopping yesterday and came in a measly £1 under budget - really must try a bit harder with that! Noticed I was getting tempted to stray "off list" again and buy things that werent needed. But I suppose at least I've recognised it so can nip it in the bud before it becomes habit again.

    Trying to use up things from the store cupboard but really struggling for inspiration at the moment. On a positive, did manage to save £28.61 from last weeks budget and got paid £30 for dog sitting so, together with some money from online sales I managed to make another payment of £75 to my credit card. That £447 in the last two months so I'm quite proud of that. Already have £8 towards the next payment as cashed out from some surveys.

    Also my soapnuts arrived today so looking forward to trying those. No washing been done here today as DH has man flu (thats his saturday task) so will have to wait a bit longer.

    Next week may be slightly more frugal as I fear DH will want some time off work (and doesnt get sick pay for first 3 days off ) and his wages will already be short as he came home early a couple of days due to snow - obviously his safety is more important than any amount of money but will just have to juggle a bit more than usual.

    Still need to pay £30 cubs subscriptions on Monday as well and eldest son just presented me with a letter from school asking for school trip money. Two nights at an adventure centre for the bargain price of £375! Oh and they want it by the week after next - I'm sure some of these schools live in a dream world - I'm sure it cant just be me who would not just have that kind of money lying around?? He's not sure about going anyway as he doesnt want to leave me (awwww ) so hopefully he will decide he's not going and save me from having to make a hard decision.
    Total debts £21050! now £19834.47. 1% challenge £853.50/£15000 (5.7%) Total money squirrelled away/NOT wasted in 2018 £2067.31 frugal budget 2018 £2996/£3800 Aiming for debt free at 40 - only 27 months to go!
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 4th Mar 18, 11:00 AM
    • 517 Posts
    • 3,737 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    waves! Hello all. Back from my trip up north exhausted. I have decided to keep doing the frugal challenge but literally living off basics as I have decided to move up north in the next four months. I am saving every spare penny I have coming in (Come on quidco!!). I am also doing surveys to earn some extra cash. (£11) earned in 3 days isnt too shabby.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 4/19 Emergency Fund £4.30/£1000
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 4th Mar 18, 11:04 AM
    • 722 Posts
    • 4,651 Thanks
    ploppy57
    waves! Hello all. Back from my trip up north exhausted. I have decided to keep doing the frugal challenge but literally living off basics as I have decided to move up north in the next four months. I am saving every spare penny I have coming in (Come on quidco!!). I am also doing surveys to earn some extra cash. (£11) earned in 3 days isnt too shabby.
    Originally posted by indigowarrior
    Which survey sites to you use? I tried a few over the past but none of them seemed to pay out much. SB started off well and then always kept telling me I didn't qualify for the survey after about 5 minutes in.....
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,430. almost 23% paid. Went SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... Building up slowly.
    Christmas '18 challenge... £22 /£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 4th Mar 18, 11:06 AM
    • 517 Posts
    • 3,737 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    I use Swagbucks and Qmee. I feel doing surveys require a large amount of patience and it is easy to get frustrated.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 4/19 Emergency Fund £4.30/£1000
    • shabbychic12
    • By shabbychic12 4th Mar 18, 1:13 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    shabbychic12
    Well reading all the posts l can on this challenge must have affected my deep conscious because lve used up some potatoes that l would normally throw away- who knew you could freeze mash. Then l stewed some plums that were never going to rippen and then finally made some soup with the veg destined for the green bin. We may all be ill this week with my cooking but at least l'm being frugal lol.
    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
    • EmergencyNurse
    • By EmergencyNurse 4th Mar 18, 1:24 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    EmergencyNurse
    Hello everyone. I am on a mission live on a £50 monthly grocery budget. I think it's definitely possible do you?
    Debt March 2018 £27,596 DMP Start June 2018 Debt Free Date 2022
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 4th Mar 18, 3:36 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 4,651 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Hello everyone. I am on a mission live on a £50 monthly grocery budget. I think it's definitely possible do you?
    Originally posted by EmergencyNurse
    how many people are you feeding for £50? There are 2 of us and we currently spend about £15-25 per week, but I am sure I can get it down. This week has been really good and I only spent about £9 so far with a few more to spend on veg tomorrow, but the rest of our meals are from stuff we already have.
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,430. almost 23% paid. Went SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... Building up slowly.
    Christmas '18 challenge... £22 /£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
    • EmergencyNurse
    • By EmergencyNurse 4th Mar 18, 4:21 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    EmergencyNurse
    how many people are you feeding for £50? There are 2 of us and we currently spend about £15-25 per week, but I am sure I can get it down. This week has been really good and I only spent about £9 so far with a few more to spend on veg tomorrow, but the rest of our meals are from stuff we already have.
    Originally posted by ploppy57
    Its just to feed me. I did a monthly grocery shop online and only managed to spend £25.10, and the one luxury item i ordered to so I could qualify for delivery ended up being substituted!! My cupboards are full. I can do this!!!
    Debt March 2018 £27,596 DMP Start June 2018 Debt Free Date 2022
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 4th Mar 18, 4:28 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 4,651 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Its just to feed me. I did a monthly grocery shop online and only managed to spend £25.10, and the one luxury item i ordered to so I could qualify for delivery ended up being substituted!! My cupboards are full. I can do this!!!
    Originally posted by EmergencyNurse

    Gosh yes, you can do it if only feeding one of you...no problem. I find I have to shop at so many different places to get the bargains....£Stretcher for tinned salmon, kitchen roll, loo roll and few other bits. £Land for some bits, Lidl for others, the list goes on. I pop into Mr M's on my way home sometimes and if they have fish or meat reduced, I buy it and freeze it. But luckily they are all close together so can do it without spending extra on fuel.
    DMP March '15 £57,549. Now £44,430. almost 23% paid. Went SM Feb '18 to get DF sooner.
    Emergency fund #231... Building up slowly.
    Christmas '18 challenge... £22 /£300
    "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day"
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