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    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 14th Dec 17, 2:12 AM
    • 6,110Posts
    • 53,865Thanks
    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 – keep it clean please). Discussion Time is for discussion of current issues (read Martin’s description).

    If you post a topic that does not relate to the board it’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’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 63
    • shish100
    • By shish100 3rd Aug 18, 5:38 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 476 Thanks
    Kerrywoman - your bucket list adventures sound great. must have been exciting going over the o2!
    Moll - I love Cornwall, your holiday sounds amazing.

    Just reviewing my spends trying to see where I have slipped up, and trying to recover.
    Thankfully I have still been using my spend tracker to see where the pennies go. I just momentarily took my eye of the ball. All it took it the past couple of weeks was ;some new walking boots, a trip to the fabric shop and an extra weekend away in the camper. I was going to eek another summer out of my boots, use up the fabric that I already own, and have a quiet weekend.

    I am going to recover from this set back. This weekend is a catch up with a friend - I'm using my national trust pass and taking a pic-nic.
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 4th Aug 18, 9:22 AM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks
    I managed to not sucumb to the takeaway last I've not spent there.

    I bought beer for 'Friday-night wine'night' and that's it....I miss snacks

    Anyway, nothing much on today, just pottering about and I'll be doing my first shop with cash so I'll see how that goes. Wish me luck!
    • Tanya12345
    • By Tanya12345 4th Aug 18, 9:37 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 477 Thanks
    FrankieM, think the sad face thing is a real heart tugger ! I always struggle with this and my default is to wade in and try and fix things - it takes a huge effort not to ! But I know that continuing to bail/ help out means our beloveds never have to face up and that is actually hindering their growth.
    Shish100, sounds like your back on track plan is a winner ! Will take a leaf out of your book, when I have a setback I'm prone to throwing my hands up in the air and deciding " it's not working/ what's the point" etc - then proceeding to really mess things up !! Will try to take a breath and avoid the drama queen performance !!
    Still packing..........

    On hold whilst moving
    Back soon budgeting
    • Moll
    • By Moll 4th Aug 18, 12:17 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 2,925 Thanks
    ill be gone again tomorrow for a week , meeting up with my American friend in London , Shes been in Glastonbury this week , and had a ROUGH time ,thats putting it mildly , Fell in Wells this morning ! got a hacking cough , but worst of all shes lost her credit card, Has anyone got any ideas on this one please. Her American credit card is like our old fashioned ones , it doesnt have a pin and not contactless, you just put it in then have to sign ,, shes checked and so far no one has used it ( Been missing 2 days now ) she went to the post office , used it there, came out of the post office had it in her hand , put everything in her bag, walked to the bus , re organised her bag on the bus ,and realised the card was missing , . caught a bus back and re traced her steps ,,,,,,,,,nothing , so reported it to the post office and the bus company
    Last edited by Moll; 04-08-2018 at 12:23 PM.
    • Moll
    • By Moll 4th Aug 18, 12:20 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 2,925 Thanks
    sorry my computer booted me off, no one has handed it in or found it yet, she has another credit card to use for money BUT the big problem , she bought her train ticket to meet me in london using that , and you have to put the card you used in the machine to retrieve your ticket AND she also bought her flight ticket back to America on it !!! so she didnt want to cancell it yet in case it was found , a bit of a dilema. shes put an 8 limit on it , so if anyone tried to buy something for more than 8 it would flag up. does anyone know if theres a way she can still get the train or air ticket
    Last edited by Moll; 04-08-2018 at 12:24 PM.
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 4th Aug 18, 12:51 PM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks
    Sorry moll I've got no idea. Is it worth her contacting the U.S Embassey and seeing if they can advise her?

    Tanya I think he scares himself about it all, but then yesterday he went to go and see a friend and celebrate her birthday. Haircut, shirt, train ticket. Not to mention the night out, so I think he's not that bothered...and in some ways having some income means that he has the money to do these things. Maybe he shold concentrate on that?

    I've done fuel and food shopping for the week and have 3 left for any 'top ups' I may need. It felt like a bigger shop than usual, but I'll see how it goes for the rest of the month.

    No snacks were bought...very sad, but I'm impressed with myself.
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 4th Aug 18, 8:52 PM
    • 2,670 Posts
    • 26,798 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    shish100 - Really enjoyed doing the things on my bucket list. There are 3 more things I want to do next year. First I must concentrate on decorating my flat. Want that done by the end of the year.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2019
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST February Frugality and Frolics NSD 15/20
    • Moll
    • By Moll 4th Aug 18, 10:04 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 2,925 Thanks
    well my friend has managed to sort the train ticket out ( still no credit card found ) but she phoned and the nice lady on the other end , has changed it so she can use any credit card to retrieve her train ticket . luckily she had more than one ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, so just got to sort the flight ticket, and shes phoning them when we get to London
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 6th Aug 18, 6:23 AM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks
    Glad somethings are getting sorted for your friend moll. Hopefully everyone will be just as helpful.

    Bought some hair dye yesterday and booked in an eyebrow wax for later in the week. TYhese are out of personal spends so don't affect the budget.

    I also met up with a friend at the local pub, she paid so another saving.

    I'm starting to think about how to spend my personal spending money on things that will be of benefit to me and help me towards my goals. Hence the eyebrow wax...I've also looked at going back to a couple of exercise classes a week that I did last year.

    I really need to start getting out of bed earlier and going for a walk in the morning. It seems I can wake up early but struggle to get myself out of bed.

    I also had a good old phone chat with a friend of mine, putting the world to rights. No matter how long it is between contact we always seem to be in a similar position/situation when we get in touch again. must be an age thing!
    • Treasurequeen
    • By Treasurequeen 6th Aug 18, 8:20 AM
    • 400 Posts
    • 4,461 Thanks
    That is great news moll that your friend was able to sort her train ticket.

    By spends have come in under budget for June and July. Around 100 left after each month. I have done a good shop last week which came to 43.00 and I now have a fully stocked freezer and cupboards. Will only need to get essentials this week and will need to do another shop at end of the month. So food budgets are on track. My biggest downfall is online auction shopping. But for July I have managed to bring the spending on it down. Will need to get flea treatment this month for my cat but that is in a separate budget I created for her.
    2019 Frugal Living Challenge
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2018~
    2 saver club 250.00
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 7th Aug 18, 6:12 AM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks

    NSD yesterday And lunch taken in.

    I can completely see why people buy their lunch. It's such a lot of work keeping on top of tea cooking and lunch making. I feel like all I do in the evening is food prep.

    My oven stopped working last night. I'm hoping it's just the fuse. I'll take a look, otherwise it's a call to the landlord.

    I also need tp post a dress I've sold so I may as weel take my purse in today and pick up some extra salad that I need. Then I can put it away again until the weekend!
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 7th Aug 18, 9:38 AM
    • 6,110 Posts
    • 53,865 Thanks
    Good luck taking purse with you, FrankieM. Hopefully it doesn't call out to you during any close envounters with retail premises.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 8th Aug 18, 6:21 AM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks
    I did buy some alcohol, okay and crisps but those are personal spends so not affecting the real budget.

    Woke up very tired this morning. I guess that's what happens when you have a few beers on a school night.

    My DD brought alot of leftover food home from work, cheese and salad and rolls and grapes, so I'm going to work through that for lunches for the rest of the week. I love a freebie
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 9th Aug 18, 6:39 AM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks

    It wasn't the fuse on the oven (unless I've done it wrong) so the landlord is coming out to have a look. He's away so it won't be until Sunday before he looks at it so I'll just have to adjust my meal plan til it's fixed.

    Meetings at work yesterday and today so buffets brought in for lunch. It's been nice to have a rest from lunch making for a couple of days.

    I also did a factory reset on my netbook yesterday to try and keep it in the land of the living for a while longer.
    The only info I saved before hand was budget related. It's amazing how much clutter you store online as well, that you can clear out.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 9th Aug 18, 9:42 AM
    • 6,110 Posts
    • 53,865 Thanks
    Good morning to all! There was a bit of a nip in the air here this morning when going to the pool for the (almost) daily free swim but we are sheltered by trees here, so the sunshine hasn't reached us yet. It's warm and breezy out of the shade.

    Yesterday was a 'pretend to be a tourist' day but spending was kept to below 5 for 2 of us even although we bought some planted herbs and books - most of the books were of the 'help yourself for free' type in the bookshop clearance boxes. En route home we stopped at our local stone circle to take some photos. Other than the cost of fuel, the day was very affordable, especially as we were having more leftovers for dinner.

    Frankie, I can definitely see a pattern in your posts and agree fully with you that it's a great idea to analyse any and all personal spending budgets, as these are what slowly eat into any possible future savings in the bank or can seriously delay the journey to debt freedom. I made the mistake of allowing myself a personal spending budget in the beginning, until I finally realised that there is no better personal possession than absolute financial freedom.

    Freebies are frugally fab!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 10th Aug 18, 6:44 AM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks
    I'm giving my self 12 months for debt repayment. I've got 11 months to go.

    It allows me to have a bit of a life but I will also have paid my 5 year car loan off in 2 years.

    I've also given myself 12 months to lose the weight , that's not going quite as well and I think that's definitely the area that needs the next lot of analysing ang and organisation!

    Still working my way through cheese, salad and bread. That's lunch today and I think I'll use it for tea as well in some way.
    It'll probably also see me through the weekend
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 10th Aug 18, 9:20 AM
    • 6,110 Posts
    • 53,865 Thanks
    I've also given myself 12 months to lose the weight , that's not going quite as well and I think that's definitely the area that needs the next lot of analysing ang and organisation!
    Originally posted by FrankieM
    I find reducing food intake and/or increasing rigorous exercise far more difficult than any spending reductions or increasing the savings. I think the whole 'middle-age spread' thing begins in the brain! Mine keeps telling me to eat more and exercise less.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 12th Aug 18, 9:35 AM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks
    Frugaldom I feel your pain. It was so much easier when I was younger, and when I was younger I spent so much time trying to lose weight when I was actually fine. Youth is wasted on the young!
    My plan is to work out a monthly weight loss amount and that's my target. It sounds weird when I try to explain it but it makes sense to me and I'm hoping the monthly weigh in will keep me focused but also take off the constant pressure that weighing all the time adds. Fingers crossed.

    A weekend of epiphanies for me which has my general mindset and focus.

    Time spent with a couple of my daughters, seeing grandchildren Spent some time with a friend at the pub and pottered around in the house and did some weeding in the front garden. It's looking very much like DS won't be doing the gardening, so I'll have to decided what to do sort out his half finished job. lol
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 15th Aug 18, 6:39 AM
    • 2,137 Posts
    • 19,713 Thanks

    It sometimes feels like this thread has turned into my personal diary! lolol

    I'm slowly getting through the veg in the fridge, so much so that I needed to pick a bit of salad yesterday.

    No other spending, though and I think I won't need to until shopping day.

    I'm still getting on with making lunches and cooking tea. I've got quite a routine with it so long may it last.

    DS asked if he could not pay board cause it's birthday next week....ummm, sure if you don't want to eat! That's a no then
    I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.
    • littlesimplelivingcottage
    • By littlesimplelivingcottage 15th Aug 18, 2:19 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 109 Thanks
    Hello, I know the year is almost finished but can I join in on this to keep my accountable? We've managed to get into a right little pickle and I'm going to need every spare penny to sort it out
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