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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 42
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 12th Mar 18, 5:29 PM
    • 5,006 Posts
    • 39,478 Thanks
    DawnW
    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.
    Originally posted by indigowarrior
    Is it not worth your trying to get social housing Indigo? Has your local council got a Housing Options team? It may be called something else, but it is worth having a chat with them, especially as I think I saw on another thread that you are entitled to disability benefits? It is really difficult to get social housing round here, but apparently there is low demand for some types / categories of tenant. My brother recently got a 1 bed flat reserved for the over 55 age group after only a short wait due to this situation.


    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 12th Mar 18, 6:39 PM
    • 517 Posts
    • 3,737 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    Yes its my plan but, they wont help until I am on the streets. I have already contacted the council and the person I spoke to said I have to turn up to the office and present myself as homeless. I am trying to avoid that if I can. However, not having much luck at the moment.

    Yes I have been awarded Enhance Daily Living and Standard Mobility.

    I have applied to the social housing register but, unlikely to get high priority at the moment.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 4/19 Emergency Fund £4.30/£1000
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 12th Mar 18, 6:56 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 4,651 Thanks
    ploppy57
    Yes its my plan but, they wont help until I am on the streets. I have already contacted the council and the person I spoke to said I have to turn up to the office and present myself as homeless. I am trying to avoid that if I can. However, not having much luck at the moment.

    Yes I have been awarded Enhance Daily Living and Standard Mobility.

    I have applied to the social housing register but, unlikely to get high priority at the moment.
    Originally posted by indigowarrior
    What is the matter with our society? They need to be helping you before you become homeless. Surely if you can prove you are going to be made homeless, that should be sufficient..... This country never ceases to amaze me. Hope you manage to sort something out.
    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"
    • Moll
    • By Moll 12th Mar 18, 8:56 PM
    • 201 Posts
    • 1,445 Thanks
    Moll
    sorry I haven't been posting much , but I have read every post , and hats off to everyone , especially the ones in bad situations ( Hugs to you all ) you've all just got on with it , and done the best you can ,
    Ive not done so well on the savings front , purely because we had run out of so much stuff, so had to replenish , but only spent the minimum , no extras , stuck rigidly to my list , still using store cupboard and freezer stuff, and doing well with the meal planning , Had a few birthdays this month , kept everything as low as possible , and April is also a big birthday month , so already planning for that , Last week I had a measly £1.43 to put in the savings pot , but instead of beating myself up , I had a good talk to myself and agreed I HAD to buy essentials , and at least I had "Something " to put in , . This week im doing better , Need to sort more things to go on the bidding site, Ive GOT to buy stamps this week . ( Think I told you my hobby is penpalling ) keeps me sane to have a nice letter come through my letterbox instead of bills , but its rough when I have to buy stamps , postage is soooooo high , I have a birthday at the end of the month , so when im asked what I want ,,ill say stamps lol , my lot are used to my strange requests, Does anyone else feel like they are doing all the economy work in the household , Ive always been frugal , but DH will see something and just go out and buy it without any thought , sometimes on ebay , so doesn't even have to go out and shop . !! , Makes me so mad , ok im off my soapbox , thanks for letting me vent xxx
    • foggy froggy
    • By foggy froggy 12th Mar 18, 9:37 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    foggy froggy
    Haven't been doing very well with budgeting, finished last month way over and am already slightly over this month and there is still a lot of month left. But, instead of just burying my head in the sand like I used to do, I have collected all my receipts together and looked at what I have been buying and on what day. I've come to the conclusion that I need to be more organised and make some snacky foods at weekends that are ready to either eat the minute I get through the door or take max 20mins to heat up in oven. Now just need to think of a few healthy snacks and how to store them in my tiny kitchen. Have also managed to leave purse at home on few occasions which is helping with the no spending, now just need blinkers when doing food shopping. I write a list and add to it over couple of days, then go shopping after work when tired, hungry etc and buy loads of rubbish
    • cw18
    • By cw18 12th Mar 18, 10:06 PM
    • 7,959 Posts
    • 85,311 Thanks
    cw18
    What is the matter with our society? They need to be helping you before you become homeless. Surely if you can prove you are going to be made homeless, that should be sufficient..... This country never ceases to amaze me. Hope you manage to sort something out.
    Originally posted by ploppy57
    They live in the hope (and / or expectation) that the person / people making you homeless will have a change of heart and not carry through with the 'threat'. It's all too easy for people to say they're making you homeless to try and help you up the priority list when they wouldn't actually do so.

    At the start of 2005 I served my daughter with an eviction notice to help her application for a housing authority property, but it was accepted as she'd moved in just before having her second child (bringing child 1 with her) and her doing so had made the house overcrowded, was disrupting study time for my older son (GCSE year), and had meant my hubby had to get a temporary shift change from nights to days as he couldn't sleep while the toddler was running around the house (and that meant a drop in income). I definitely got the impression that without all those reasons they'd not have taken it seriously even back then.
    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

    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 12th Mar 18, 10:21 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,168 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Indigo- I worked in housing for years - by the sounds of things, you are currently living as an excluded occupier if your share a house with your landlord. Depending on the length of time there; conditions of going into the living arrangement; the reason for leaving your last 'settled' accommodation if the current arrangements don't classify as that; and the extent of your disability, you should qualify for social housing. They will take a number of other things into account too - pm me if you want some non-legal advice (I know housing law but am not legally trained nor qualified) as I'll need some details which are too personal for general publication
    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
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 12th Mar 18, 10:22 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,168 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Oh, forgot to mention that all councils have a homelessness prevention team who you can go to if you are threatened with homelessness in the next 28 days
    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
    • spudsmum
    • By spudsmum 13th Mar 18, 12:47 AM
    • 226 Posts
    • 1,324 Thanks
    spudsmum
    I've not been doing very well this week either! I've been reading all the posts but really struggling for motivation at the moment so not been posting.

    I gave myself a good talking to on Friday and managed to bring my weekly shopping in £15 under budget but then after that everything has just collapsed. The twins needed soms new clothes as theyve seriously outgrown everything so we had to head into town on Saturday - I went prepared with drinks and snack but with parking and lunch it still cost a fortune, then mother's day presents x 2 (got the kids to make the cards) and a mothers deal meal out arranged by MIL and I now have 28p to last til Thursday - probably not going to happen so faced with the possibility of being over my weekly budget for first time since LBM which I find really depressing.

    Also likely to struggle next week as DH's wages will be about 50% of usual due to his sick days then from that also have to buy food for the twins birthday tea party and ingredients to make a little cake and also pay the credit card and sort the last bit of holiday spending money for Easter and ..... Well you get the idea.

    So I'm having a little pity party here right now and really hoping i can find a way to get my mojo back.

    I also fell over earlier, not once but twice, so am nursing a badly bruised behind to add to my list of woes - just lost my footing in some mud and went down hard on my tailbone which I think has aggravated an old injury so its agony at the moment and sitting on a hot water bottle to try to ease the pain a bit. Was carrying my daughter the second time I fell so at least she is ok which is the main thing I guess.

    Oh and then when I got home soaking wet I went to microwave some soup to warm me up - no microwave! On further investigation no electric! Looks like some water has got into the electrics in the garage and tripped out the whole system. The only way I could restore electric to the house was to isolate and switch off the supply to the garage so I've no tumble drier and no power to my two outside freezers. I've managed to move sone food inside and cook off a few bits so hopefully we wont lose too much - luckily I was in the process of trying to use stuff up so there was no meat left or anything expensive in there which I would be gutted to lose so i need to be greatful for that but it will be a massive culture shock going from three freezers to one. At least until we can afford to oay an electrician to have a look which is not possible at present

    Well hopefully I've not depressed you all too much with that stream of misery - going to bed now and hoping to wake up to a better day tomorrw
    Last edited by spudsmum; 13-03-2018 at 12:53 AM.
    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!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 13th Mar 18, 8:23 AM
    • 5,973 Posts
    • 51,982 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Hello to all and well done for still being here! The end of this month sees the end of the first quarter so try looking at your budgets as a percentage of the entire year. By then, my annual budget of £4k should show a spend of approximately £1,000 but it won't be exact and there is plenty of time to catch up before this year's challenge ends.

    Indigowarrior, if you were near here I would offer you a place to stay! I hope you find somewhere suitable soon.

    Best wishes to all, especially those who need a boost right now. If budgets are testing you to the limit, remember this is a complete lifestyle choice, not a quick fix. It is also well worth every penny saved no matter how long you live like this. Once debt free, your life and everything in it is your own. Keep on frugaling.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 13th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
    • 517 Posts
    • 3,737 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    Hi Squirrelgirl I will send you a pm.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 4/19 Emergency Fund £4.30/£1000
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 13th Mar 18, 9:51 AM
    • 517 Posts
    • 3,737 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    @squirrelgirl.
    I am not sure it sent lol.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 4/19 Emergency Fund £4.30/£1000
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 14th Mar 18, 7:42 AM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,168 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Indigo, received and replied

    Well, I have no heating or hot water unfortunately, oil deliveries are taking 2 weeks due to the recent snow-in so we've run out!! it's really annoying as I haven't run out for years- normally it's a 2-3 day delivery time and in my infinite wisdom, it didn't occur to me that it would be different following a snow-in!! on the plus side, it's a good excuse to lay under the duvet, do not housework and watch dvds!!

    Spent money yesterday when I shouldn't have- work have started this book club thing so spent £44 on stuff for the grandbaby!! seriously, I need to stop...I just can't seem to see anything I think he'll like and not buy it!!! I can't continue with it when he's older as I don't want to end up with a spoilt, unappreciative, entitled brat as a grandbaby, but while he's little and clueless, it's hard to stop!!

    Anyhoo, planning on a duvet day now....just need to brave the cold to make a latte!!
    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
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 14th Mar 18, 2:39 PM
    • 517 Posts
    • 3,737 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    Oh no @squirrelgirl! Thank you for your help and enjoy the duvet day.
    I spent too much today. Had lunch at a cafe which cost £16.50. It was delicious but I do feel regretful
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 4/19 Emergency Fund £4.30/£1000
    • shish100
    • By shish100 14th Mar 18, 5:49 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 310 Thanks
    shish100
    Foggy froggy - For healthy snacks, I have 5 small snack size plastic pots that I fill with dried fruit,nuts and seeds. Then I healthy snack ready made for each working day. The key is to weigh/measure your portion properly as it they do have a few calories.

    Spudsmum - hope things pick up for you soon. Are the contents of you freezer covered under your house insurance? Depending on the excess is it worth claiming?

    SquirrelGirl - Sounds a perfect excuse for a duvet day! Enjoy your films.


    For Minimalmist March - I'm chipping away. Got £5 cashback for an old mobile, sold an item on an auction site and got a few others listed. I also managed after 3 years of persuasion and nagging to convince OH to bin an old broken and dusty suitcase. You do not know how happy I am right now

    I did have to buy lunch the other day - I didn't check my tin of soup had a ringpull, and no one in the office had a tinopener!! Oh well - should have made sure I cooked enough tea to have leftovers.
    • LittleGingerFox
    • By LittleGingerFox 14th Mar 18, 6:51 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 335 Thanks
    LittleGingerFox
    Hi everyone I'm not on here so much I'm sorry but I am still frugalling away. I have spent more this month but it has all been budgeted for so I'm not concerned. Me and my partner are still committed to frugal/ budget life so it has made everything easy. I am very grateful for that. I have also been ebaying everything and I've made over£200 this month which has gone straight onto the credit card. I have a "dave job" interview on Saturday so I'm going to try my very hardest as I really need to make super big payments on credit card. Some of my debt killing hunger has gone but the frugal lifestyle is normal and comfortable so I think I can carry on slaying this at payday. I'm also due some money back from my home insurance company for some fire damage repairs so whatever is left over after replenishing my £1000 emergency fund will go off credit card. I hope everyone is well - best of luck to y'all xx
    CC2-Total paid in March £1560.12/ Max credit card amount £6747.03/ £5098 to go!
    • Tanya12345
    • By Tanya12345 14th Mar 18, 9:17 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    Tanya12345
    Hi Fruggies, just bouncing in ! Spent today -feeling glum, supermarket seems sparsely stocked ( no space for bargains !) plus food is rocketing up in price ! Any canned pulses are rising in price each week, am now costing out dried goods - I saw on a US website the plan of cooking a whole batch and freezing in portion/ recipe sizes ( makes such good sense but I has never thought of it -duh!!).
    Perhaps it's just the winter blues, sure Spring is just around the corner - then who'll need the wretched supermarkets, forage, grow, scavenge and trade .
    Onwards and upwards my friends, we will overcome... Hugs to all xx
    Marching forward......
    Groceries 155.00/140:
    Eek fund
    • Tanya12345
    • By Tanya12345 15th Mar 18, 4:02 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 407 Thanks
    Tanya12345
    Hi Me again ! Having to do some serious juggling here !! Grocery budget has 38.30 in it, have just received vouchers from Morrisons with a min spend of £45.... If all the vouchers are redeemed it means potentially £8 in points/ vouchers....... At the mo my budget is per month so it means 'borrowing' from the eek fund or next months budget. Think I will have a juggle and take advantage of it as I can plan the list really carefully and stock up until the end of March.
    Am I being hoodwinked into spending more than I should ?
    Am I being careful/ frugal or just a victim of very clever marketing ?
    Spudsmum - hope things are looking up.
    Indigo warrior - hoping for positive things on your housing situation.
    Hugs to all xx
    Marching forward......
    Groceries 155.00/140:
    Eek fund
    • cw18
    • By cw18 15th Mar 18, 5:49 PM
    • 7,959 Posts
    • 85,311 Thanks
    cw18
    have just received vouchers from Morrisons with a min spend of £45.... If all the vouchers are redeemed it means potentially £8 in points/ vouchers....... At the mo my budget is per month so it means 'borrowing' from the eek fund or next months budget. Think I will have a juggle and take advantage of it as I can plan the list really carefully and stock up until the end of March.
    Am I being hoodwinked into spending more than I should ?
    Am I being careful/ frugal or just a victim of very clever marketing ?
    Originally posted by Tanya12345
    As long as you're not going to be going into debt to meet the spends and you stock up on items you'd have been buying over the next few weeks (when you'd have been spending that money anyway), then I'd go for it.

    The only store I get any such offers for these days is Icel@nd. I've recently completed one and need to spend the free £5 by this Sunday, but had already been planning for months to do a shop there this Saturday so that's fine. The one they sent before that I didn't do as I didn't have the freeer space to store what it would have bought me - and I won't buy things there that I can get cheaper at A!di just to meet the spend, as by doing so I'm already really wiping out the 'free' money. I did a couple last year which were at lower spend requirements, but the one I missed out on they'd lifted the amount I needed to spend which made it hard as a singleton on a budget even if I'd had space to store it all. This latest one was back at the lower limit. I'm now waiting to see what they do next time, but I'll be giving it a miss if they raise it back up again
    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

    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 15th Mar 18, 7:52 PM
    • 350 Posts
    • 940 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    we are plodding on but we must try harder.

    on the up side, i have some money to pay in the bank and once that goes in we have saved £4k towards our house fund.

    i've decided this christmas im going to buy as much as possible second hand for our children, buying new just seems wasteful

    oh we have also just moved over to black waste bins , and dont qualify for the bigger family size one, so we are going to have to be more careful from now on with what we are buying
    Last edited by mumof3.12kindebt; 15-03-2018 at 8:41 PM.
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