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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 5,972Posts
    • 51,976Thanks
    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 41
    • EmergencyNurse
    • By EmergencyNurse 6th Mar 18, 8:27 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    EmergencyNurse
    I'm on No Spending Day 8
    Debt March 2018 27,596 DMP Start June 2018 Debt Free Date 2022
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 6th Mar 18, 10:12 PM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 22,414 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    I've had to spend 144 today, to get my car fixed. That's not as bad as it could have been, and I'm pleased about that. I have enough in my car account to not have to use my savings, but they'll be hit when I get the bath done...

    No unnecessary spends so far this month though, so pleased with that.

    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
    • hazelisok
    • By hazelisok 7th Mar 18, 5:07 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    hazelisok
    Field Agent
    I'm on No Spending Day 8
    Originally posted by EmergencyNurse
    Day 8 of no spending. You have a lot of determination.

    I wanted to recommend Field Agent app. They pay you for market research, like answering questions or taking photos or videos. A recent "mission" was to order a grocery delivery and give feedback. I was suspicious it sounded too good. But I did a video feedback of my experience with Sky TV and they promptly paid me 5 for it. And it makes me feel like a secret agent, which is fun.
    • EmergencyNurse
    • By EmergencyNurse 7th Mar 18, 4:26 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    EmergencyNurse
    Day 8 of no spending. You have a lot of determination.
    .
    Originally posted by hazelisok
    I wish I did, what it really is; is that...

    1. I've no longer got a car
    2. Too lazy to walk!
    3. Snow!
    Debt March 2018 27,596 DMP Start June 2018 Debt Free Date 2022
    • Tanya12345
    • By Tanya12345 7th Mar 18, 7:41 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    Tanya12345
    Hi Fruggles, spend today 27 in Morrisons ( within budget and on list ) smiley face....
    10.20 in sainsburys Eeek sad face..... There were bargains though so I'm hoping that I'll recoup some of that another week ! Still, hens are laying and my first attempt at sourdough bread , after the course last week, is rising in the kitchen so fingers crossed. Looking at all my gardening books to get tips on taking cuttings - would like to start new garden without spending a fortune !!
    Marching forward......
    Groceries 155.00/140:
    Eek fund
    • hazelisok
    • By hazelisok 8th Mar 18, 7:57 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 65 Thanks
    hazelisok
    Emergency Nurse - Oh dear. Well it's working on the saving money front. I hope you are not running out of food.
    • EmergencyNurse
    • By EmergencyNurse 8th Mar 18, 12:08 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 156 Thanks
    EmergencyNurse
    Emergency Nurse - Oh dear. Well it's working on the saving money front. I hope you are not running out of food.
    Originally posted by hazelisok
    I'm ok for food, I'm actually I'm eating more than normal cos I'm off work!!
    Debt March 2018 27,596 DMP Start June 2018 Debt Free Date 2022
    • Treasurequeen
    • By Treasurequeen 8th Mar 18, 2:37 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 3,646 Thanks
    Treasurequeen
    I got a letter through the post from my local council saying my rent has gone down and another letter from dwp saying my disability benefit has been increased. So I need to adjust my budgets. I have been searching for a tall bookcase for months now and on local gumtree I found a vintage one for 20 it needs a bit of love and care and a very good clean but its well made and is solid wood. So I've saved some money as I had a budget of up to 100. ive got my nans birthday this month but have a budget set, ive got fully stocked larder cupboard but need to do a fridge and freezer shop and then that should last me a month.
    The 1000 emergency fund challenge #223
    Pay for birthdays and Christmas 2018 with surveys #17
    2018 Frugal Living Challenge #44
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2018~ 11 #40
    2 saver club
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 8th Mar 18, 3:32 PM
    • 5,972 Posts
    • 51,976 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Good afternoon frugalers, I hope everyone has survived the worst of the latest batch of wintery weather. We were very lucky that it missed us, only the freezing conditions, lack of water, lack of drainage and power cuts to navigate. My student is now safely back in Germany afer her epic survival skills training in Scotland!

    The weather has been dry enough to get out and plant more hedges around Frugaldom - these are all for foraging berries, I've planted my onions sets and the garlic has grown up almost 10cm already. Garlic and onions are things I use a lot of, so it bodes well if I can grow plenty. Hens are laying fairly well, all things considered, so everytime guests arrive, I seem to be making pancakes! They don't mind, as they also get some.

    Only a few small spends so far this month but I am still holding out before doing a proper grocery shop. There is always so much food in the house and at the caravan that I don't think I would run out even if we were snowed in for a month!

    EmergencyNurse, you are doing well with your no spend days I hope you don't mind, but I have now added your name into our challengers' list in post 2 of this forum.

    I can now confirm that pasta with grated cheese, chopped pepperami and diced chicken will be made again - no cheese saice needed, I just added a little bit butter and a splash of milk. (The mini pepperamis were from App Foods at a riidiculusly low price, something like 1p per box and they've been lurking in the cupboard since last year because H doesn't like them! Now I have a way of using them up in pizza topping, quiche, pasta etc
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • shish100
    • By shish100 8th Mar 18, 6:37 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    shish100
    Have been foraging in the cupboards, tea consisted of an omelette with peppers, onion, cheese and ham. All were looking sorry for themselves, but it tasted delicious . Aiming to wait until the weekend to go shopping, with a strict list of items and errands.

    For Minimalist March,
    I have recycled all the old parish mags that seem to have made it in to random corners of the house.
    Been making a dent in the food in the cupboards
    Listed a couple of items on an auction site
    Started a pile for other things to list for auction
    Rummaged through my seeds to see what needs planting in the next couple of weeks

    I feel excited for the weekend - can't wait to get back in the garden properly.
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 9th Mar 18, 6:40 AM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 22,414 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Hi all,

    Really impressed with myself. I went ysing yesterday, in THREE shops. There were no good ys things, so I bought NOTHING. In any of them! I can't remember the last time I walked out of a sm without buying anything, and I did it three times yesterday!

    What's even better, is that because I didn't get anything, my first thought was is get a chippy tea, but then I had a stern chat with myself and went home and cooked something.

    I know I will mess up from time to time, but I really feel this year that I'm changing my mindset.

    So, as of yesterday, 8 days of March so far, 7 nsds for groceries, and only one spend otherwise, which was the new battery for the car! I'll take that for minimalist March!!

    In terms of decluttering, I've put out this week's and last week's bins, plus a couple that had been hanging around, I've done two of today's decluttering tasks, and I'm debating whether to do another one or have a cuppa before work... I don't know why I'm up and attam today, but im trying to take advantage of it!!

    PG x

    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
    • Kerreh
    • By Kerreh 9th Mar 18, 8:37 AM
    • 15 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    Kerreh
    How has it been over a month since a post? Still lurking just that the time seems to have run away with me... summary for Feb:

    February plans at the end of January were:
    • Meal plan for all of February
    • Stick to budget
    • Cut the grass! Silly eh... it's already starting to grow so I just need one good weekend day to get that done
    • Read more books and possibly pick up my cross stitch again


    So February Successes:
    • I meal planned
    • I've so far taken a packed lunch to work every working day of the year
    • I stuck to budget! I stuck to budget so much so that the day the snow hit was food shop day which resulted in three days stuck in the house with nothing but bread and two eggs. Repetitive but necessary as I was determined to hold out and get back into a supermarket for a proper (aka following the list) shop which I did on Monday.

    March Plans:
    • Meal Plan
    • Stick to budget
    • Completely clear the credit card
    • Pay for a new dining table chair (budgeted)
    • Cut the grass (snow permitting)
    • Lose a bit more weight (1.5 stone down from Jan 2nd so far)
    Aim 1: Clear 1900 CC -> 1400/1900 | Aim 2: Pay for Holiday | Aim 3: Save 3k
    • lynnejk
    • By lynnejk 9th Mar 18, 11:15 PM
    • 5,343 Posts
    • 55,181 Thanks
    lynnejk
    Still progressing well.

    Eating from food and freezer stocks over the last few weeks has certainly made a difference. One freezer now only about a quarter full and the shelves of stock in the pantry cupboard are reduced by a whole shelf

    Have only bought grocery twice this month (one day was just cereal and milk for DH as run out) - so seven NSDs

    We are off on a week's holibobs to Valencia tomorrow - bought and paid for before DH was made redundant. We meet up with my DS, who lives and works in Ibiza permanently, before he opens his bar again for the season starting for the Easter vacations. We run a separate budget for this so monies already saved.

    Hope you all have a great, frugal week and I'll 'see' you all on my return

    Hasta luego
    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
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 9th Mar 18, 11:20 PM
    • 2,313 Posts
    • 22,416 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    lynnejk - Hope you enjoy your time in Valencia.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST May 2018: May the odds be ever in your favour! NSD 18/19
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 10th Mar 18, 7:33 AM
    • 722 Posts
    • 4,650 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Hi all,

    Really impressed with myself. I went ysing yesterday, in THREE shops. There were no good ys things, so I bought NOTHING. In any of them! I can't remember the last time I walked out of a sm without buying anything, and I did it three times yesterday!

    What's even better, is that because I didn't get anything, my first thought was is get a chippy tea, but then I had a stern chat with myself and went home and cooked something.

    I know I will mess up from time to time, but I really feel this year that I'm changing my mindset.

    So, as of yesterday, 8 days of March so far, 7 nsds for groceries, and only one spend otherwise, which was the new battery for the car! I'll take that for minimalist March!!

    In terms of decluttering, I've put out this week's and last week's bins, plus a couple that had been hanging around, I've done two of today's decluttering tasks, and I'm debating whether to do another one or have a cuppa before work... I don't know why I'm up and attam today, but im trying to take advantage of it!!

    PG x

    PG x
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber

    Well done. Sometimes looking for YS's is so disheartening isn't it? Mr M's seem to have a lot of YS bread lately every time I go in...think somebody must be over ordering...
    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"
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 10th Mar 18, 7:35 AM
    • 722 Posts
    • 4,650 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Still progressing well.

    Eating from food and freezer stocks over the last few weeks has certainly made a difference. One freezer now only about a quarter full and the shelves of stock in the pantry cupboard are reduced by a whole shelf

    Have only bought grocery twice this month (one day was just cereal and milk for DH as run out) - so seven NSDs

    We are off on a week's holibobs to Valencia tomorrow - bought and paid for before DH was made redundant. We meet up with my DS, who lives and works in Ibiza permanently, before he opens his bar again for the season starting for the Easter vacations. We run a separate budget for this so monies already saved.

    Hope you all have a great, frugal week and I'll 'see' you all on my return

    Hasta luego
    Lx
    Originally posted by lynnejk
    Have a great time
    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"
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 10th Mar 18, 8:37 PM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 22,414 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Hi all,

    I had a spend yest and today. Not very much though. Yest was a few bits in a sm - after a really bad week I fancied bread and cheese for dinner. Then today I took the children to the r@nge so they could buy me some Mother's Day gifts. I of course ended up buying some bits - Jiffy bags to post items sold on fleabay, a yoghurt mix and a couple of other cheap bits. Not tempted to buy stuff I didn't need - eg I saw a travel mug, looked great, lush colour, metal on the inside, but I told myself I didn't need to buy it as I already have one that does the job, albeit not as pretty as the one I saw today. 7 saved, along with a bit of clutter!

    Not much more decluttering done today, because it was my friend's memorial service - sad times.

    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
    • Tanya12345
    • By Tanya12345 11th Mar 18, 9:22 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    Tanya12345
    Well done all,
    PennyG yup time passes so fast despite all our plans - hugs X
    Bad spends on the personal front, thank goodness for eek fund !!, but groceries doing well ! Unearthed Amazon vouchers so will try and stock up from their pantry, toilet rolls etc. Just got to keep juggling and squeezing every last penny from my purse ( reckon it's so thin it could double as 1 layer of skin !!) x
    Marching forward......
    Groceries 155.00/140:
    Eek fund
    • patentgirl
    • By patentgirl 12th Mar 18, 8:47 AM
    • 881 Posts
    • 12,229 Thanks
    patentgirl
    How has it been over a month since a post? Still lurking just that the time seems to have run away with me... summary for Feb:

    February plans at the end of January were:
    • Meal plan for all of February
    • Stick to budget
    • Cut the grass! Silly eh... it's already starting to grow so I just need one good weekend day to get that done
    • Read more books and possibly pick up my cross stitch again


    So February Successes:
    • I meal planned
    • I've so far taken a packed lunch to work every working day of the year
    • I stuck to budget! I stuck to budget so much so that the day the snow hit was food shop day which resulted in three days stuck in the house with nothing but bread and two eggs. Repetitive but necessary as I was determined to hold out and get back into a supermarket for a proper (aka following the list) shop which I did on Monday.

    March Plans:
    • Meal Plan
    • Stick to budget
    • Completely clear the credit card
    • Pay for a new dining table chair (budgeted)
    • Cut the grass (snow permitting)
    • Lose a bit more weight (1.5 stone down from Jan 2nd so far)
    Originally posted by Kerreh
    Well done on weight loss
    February grocery challenge 200
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 12th Mar 18, 4:34 PM
    • 511 Posts
    • 3,712 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    Sorry havent updated in a while.
    Have set up a scorched earth budget (Just 4 walls. Food, transport and rent) as my friend who I live with now wants his house back which is fair enough. (I am a lodger and have limited rights) so I am saving every spare penny I can.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 3/19
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