Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 25th Feb 18, 2:49 PM
    • 7,277Posts
    • 54,783Thanks
    apple muncher
    NST March: Marching to a different beat
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 18, 2:49 PM
    NST March: Marching to a different beat 25th Feb 18 at 2:49 PM
    NST March: Marching to a different beat

    Join the NinjaSavingTurtles, named after our leader and inspiration NinjaSavingKat, and march to a different beat. Your own beat. No more following the crowd. No more keeping up with the Joneses. No more paying the banks extra money for the privilege of having borrowed from them.

    March. The month of daffodils and the arrival of Spring. The equinox and altering the clocks. Preparation for Easter. St Patrick’s day. Pi day. Spring cleaning. But, most importantly of all: MARCH MADNESS.

    What you will do with your money, your time and your energy this month will seem like madness to those who are still caught up in the maelstrom of consumerism. But Turtles are tough and stand proud against the ‘norm’. They swim against the tide. Turtles always take their lunch to work. They rack up NoSpendDays (NSDs) like they are going out of fashion. They eschew takeaways and big chain coffee shops. No vending machine has their fingerprints on it. They note down every single little spend in the notebook that would have to be surgically removed from their grip should they ever need hospital treatment. They look after themselves – financially, physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. They have BIG GOALS. They dream of FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). They read blogs by other frugalistas to gain more inspiration. They share the lows and highs on here, posting every day. They are grateful for what they have.

    The non-negotiables:
    • · The challenge runs from March 1st to March 31st
    • · For the striders: 18 NSDs; for the plodders: 15 NSDs (you can keep an NSD if the only thing you buy is fuel, medication, reduced items or paying for weekly or random activities [set the money aside for these at the start of the month])
    • · Set your budgets before the challenge starts (food, bills, travel, activities, repayments, holidays, treats, clothing, pets, savings)
    • · Be generous – there are many who are far worse off. Do not forget to give to your choice of charity.
    • · Note down every single spend in a notebook and analyse where the pennies go
    • · As ever, always take your lunch to work, and drink and snacks when out and about
    • · Pay towards your debt first! This is imperative. You have your debt free date in mind (You do, don’t you?!?!). So calculate how much you need to pay per month to reach it - and pay that first. Live off the rest. Simples.
    • · Plan. Look ahead to the month and what your commitments are. Are you working late and therefore unlikely to feel like cooking when you get home? Make sure you have a portion or two of homemade ready meals in the freezer.
    • · Check in every day.

    So onwards and upwards we march.
    Every step counts.
    We move with purpose.
    We know where we are heading.

    Who is with me?

    NST May #1; NSD 14/19 ; Ex 17/20 ; craft 3/30 (66); remove 31 (402)
    2018 Pay off: £1626; 2
    018 sell

    Mortgage £21,422 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
Page 19
    • Fmess
    • By Fmess 12th Mar 18, 10:25 PM
    • 2,702 Posts
    • 25,899 Thanks
    That is good news indigowarrior

    Today was SFD number 6. Took two dogs to the vets for vaccinations but counting it as medical as I dont have kids Ive just joined their pet club raphael for my eldest dog as hes about to have his second dental operation in a year and it gives me discount if Im in the club. Also they can give you the flea/worm treatment to take home so Im splitting it between the three dogs so theyll all get 4 treatments a year. It does mean another direct debit but the discounts outweigh the costs. I couldn!!!8217;t afford it for all of them though
    LBM = 07/09/13 Debt = £13339 (100% cleared)
    New Car and Roof Debt £0/£19033
    DecNST #2 SFD 13/15 Food 105/120 Personal 380/350 Petrol 80.01/80
    • bizzie
    • By bizzie 12th Mar 18, 11:01 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 1,885 Thanks
    Another uncharacteristic NSD so now @ 9/18.
    Weather was grotty so didn't venture out so have an extended list for town tomorrow.
    Dinner was a mix of leftovers and a trawl of the fridge/cupboard but all were fed without complaints.
    Groceries 240.32/300.00 Personal Spend 4.50/100.00
    NST May #22 NSD 13/19 @22/05/18
    Goals for 2018: Balance in
    Self: Health: Wealth :
    • Debtfreewannabme
    • By Debtfreewannabme 12th Mar 18, 11:02 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 771 Thanks
    Hello, 7/18 NSD. It's been a nice chilled day. Stuck to meal pland and DH took lunch to work. Grateful for : great family, an amazing DH and my beautiful kids.
    • sashanut
    • By sashanut 12th Mar 18, 11:30 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 25,855 Thanks
    No 15 checking in
    Hi all

    Yes Dolly84 my DD has had a run of bad luck lately, having just had the boiler replaced last week ......

    Funny day as got up, went back to bed, slept a bit more but then the rest of the day tends to be bit unproductive as still tired. Back & forth to the garage with DDs car - good news is they did a load of tests, bad news is they didn't find anything so still don't know what was - or is - wrong. Lovely local garage didn't even charge me either, so keeping my NSD intact..DD gone home so we don't have to get up so early tomorrow

    Decided that no-one else here is going to clear stuff out so did a fair bit on the landing - I was sick of falling over all the clutter. Now mostly cleared - and bonus, much safer. Won't get too much done tomorrow as CS day & my fellow worker is away for a month, so will be single handed I think.

    · For the striders: 8/18 NSDs

    · Set your budgets before the challenge starts - did a fair few spends, need to update spread sheet. Still need to do this.

    · Be generous ; will do

    · Note down Certainly need to do this, in order to get a handle on spending. Have noted down spends & will update. Not done yet.

    · As ever, will do

    · Pay towards your debt first! Do not have debt now but have been there before so am very wary. Do have a CC paid off in full every month. Hopefully now all the cloned cc charges have been refunded will make payment on this daily.

    · Plan. Will make list of places to go - need to have it in reserve for impromptu trips out. Still A WIP.

    Check in every day. Will do from now on
    New start JAN15 - NOT BUYING IT 2015 . Long haul DFW #145 : 2011 DEBTBUSTING : £5500 OD GONE, £2000 OD - GONE £93,610.30 cc & loan debt - GONE 27.6.14 FINALLY DEBT & MORTGAGE FREE
    • archwaysaver
    • By archwaysaver 13th Mar 18, 8:37 AM
    • 35 Posts
    • 312 Thanks
    Unplanned spend day yesterday when I found a deal for a £15 haircut (been needing one for months). Pleased with it overall but not good for my SD figures! Trying again today.
    Bring lunch to work March: 5/13
    NSD March: 6/18

    Goal by Sept 2019: £20,100
    So far: £3,749.89
    (tuition £1,920/4,100, cushion £456/1,000, dream £1,300.44/15,000)
    • laurenh1
    • By laurenh1 13th Mar 18, 8:56 AM
    • 469 Posts
    • 4,921 Thanks
    Good morning Turtles

    I hope you are all doing well!! Today is another NSD although I am a little lost on it as we have been so busy. Budgets a little all over the place because my brother owes me some cash as he didn't get paid on time ( I get it back this afternoon as he has since been paid) and I am still waiting on our refund from the loan company.

    I am actually (weirdly) trying to be more laid back about my bills and life in general. We are not in any debt and although budgets are tight we do have savings & hub thinks I am getting too intense about it all. He has even drawn up a rota for the house work so that it is shared more evenly between us both as he thinks I am taking too much on. I have agreed I will keep a record of what I am spending but only update my budget book and tally it all up on a Sunday night ready for the week ahead. this is not me saying I will be more lax about spending money Just that I need to be less intense about it. This isn't something that comes very easily to me. but I need to give it a go

    Stocked up yesterday on reduced to clear flowers in Tesco, all left over from Mothers day. I actually opted for 2 potted plants as they will last longer. Really chuffed as hub asked me if I wanted flowers for mothers day and I told him to wait until the day after as I knew they would be reduced!! Also got a load of breakfast bars for when we go to Paris. I am taking a brew kit as well so that we can sort our selves out in the morning. I have been warned food is very expensive and I would rather spend my money on nice evening meals and fun things like Ice cream than spending a fiver grabbing a slice of toast in the morning.

    Raphael I look at the clock and think I am being paid when I am away as well.
    I need to get my head down at work today as I felt very deflated last week and a bit "ugh" !!

    Hope you all have a wonderful day
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 13th Mar 18, 12:35 PM
    • 510 Posts
    • 3,708 Thanks
    Today is NSD.
    Feeling a bit washed out today. Was up at 5. Did a couple of surveys earned some pennies before I got out of bed. Tomorrow will be a spend day as I need a few bits and pieces.
    #545- SPC/ Frugal Living Challenge May NSD 3/19
    • LavenderBee
    • By LavenderBee 13th Mar 18, 1:05 PM
    • 266 Posts
    • 1,255 Thanks
    Right, today IS 7/18 - no false starts today! Still reeling about the cost of my pelvic support belt spend from yesterday. Been on waiting on a physio referral for 10 weeks now, spoken to 2 midwives, GP and hospital staff all to no avail; looking at private treatment

    Grateful for:
    I knocked up such a good homemade hummus with my dregs of tahini I'm seriously thinking of buying a jar so I can re-create it every week - there's a turnaround!
    • Calling14
    • By Calling14 13th Mar 18, 2:35 PM
    • 2,703 Posts
    • 19,750 Thanks
    Cmon turtles we need to get bouncy and back to good health. Munch on those vitamins.

    Well my week is totally mad now. Fitters are coming to fit my french doors on Thursday(which involves wall being cut), will hold off cooker delivery until Friday and cancel my hairdresser who comes to my house, would be quite funny sat with dust all around me.

    Need to move all my tubs off the patio tonight and clear dining room out in case I don't get a chance tomorrow. DD birthday.

    Wished my friend Happy Birthday this morning and it's not until Thursday. Was going to leave pressie on doorstep last night glad I didn't.

    Spent today, bought a ticket for a gig, hopefully no snow or fog in August, probably flooding! Last 3 events I booked haven't got to.

    Spent bit extra on way home back yesterday went to co op for their lovely ice cream so got another meal deal ends today. No Jam Roly poly left so got a strawberry cheesecake instead. hmm oops forgot the diet, be nice over Easter

    Tried to do lots of surveys this morning, they really are hard work , just drop you out after completed nearly all of it. Oh well it all adds up. Keep plodding away.

    SFD's still on 6/18,

    - good news

    Lavender bee
    - Hope you get treatment soon, sounds horrific

    Sun is out, roll on hometime
    LBM 13039 1.1.13 Start 2018 £5552 NOW £3112
    EEK house repairs pushed it back up end of last yr

    PAYDBX 2018 #16 £2440/£5552 DFD 12/18
    Fund #9 £220/£1,000
    1 x 100 days challenge

    • mummylewis
    • By mummylewis 13th Mar 18, 4:51 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 824 Thanks
    Hi turtles! (I very nearly typed squirrels, guess who's 2 yr old has been watching Hey Duggee this afternoon )

    On 6 NSDs, did a little shopping today, needed packed lunch stuff. Now have £25 left in groceries until 26th. Got a good stock though so will probably only need fresh fruit/veg.

    Having spaghetti bol from the freezer tonight that DH precooked last week.

    My petrol seems to be lasting longer than usual, still got £40 budget left which will fill the tank in a few days and last til payday.

    Grateful today for the sunshine, a little time to myself and my new budgeting notepad. Last week I did some serious forecasting and looked back at the new year aims and goals from the Dec/Jan threads. So far so good and on track to make a good debt this year!

    Have great evening turtles whatever you may be doing.

    Money Saving since 2016 and determined to be debt free by 2020.
    • mummylewis
    • By mummylewis 13th Mar 18, 4:52 PM
    • 86 Posts
    • 824 Thanks
    Haha, that at the end meant to say DENT, not debt! I'm not making new debt that's for sure!!
    Money Saving since 2016 and determined to be debt free by 2020.
    • Kerry Woman
    • By Kerry Woman 13th Mar 18, 7:50 PM
    • 2,310 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Kerry Woman
    NSD achieved 9/18.
    Took lunch to work. Read my book.
    Grateful for:
    Hearing the birds singing on way to and from work.
    Given a box of chocolates tonight from a neighbour who moved into the flat above me last month.
    Achieved quite a few things in work today.
    Chilling out this evening.
    Last edited by Kerry Woman; 13-03-2018 at 7:58 PM.
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    Mortgage free as of 1st August 2013
    NST May 2018: May the odds be ever in your favour! NSD 16/19
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 13th Mar 18, 8:10 PM
    • 7,277 Posts
    • 54,783 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Today I am grateful for my counsellor, for the buses running smoothly, for my kettlebell workout, for getting plenty of steps done, for dd absolutely loving her sch trip to an environmental centre (they all came back filthy and smiling!), for a good haircut (ot done since august), for a lovely friend giving me 8 tubs of soup as it had chili in and she didn't like it, for daffodils - I've only realised today that they don't close up at night like other flowers.
    NST May #1; NSD 14/19 ; Ex 17/20 ; craft 3/30 (66); remove 31 (402)
    2018 Pay off: £1626; 2
    018 sell

    Mortgage £21,422 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 13th Mar 18, 9:24 PM
    • 2,366 Posts
    • 24,608 Thanks
    Very spendy day for me, with a few minor frustrations but pleased with progress (although I left my house early this morning and only just returned, so apart from putting the bins out nowt done here).

    Walked to the doctor's with a detour on the way to hand deliver a birthday card from mum. Had my choice of two pleasant doctors (could have coped with nasty doctor after doing battle with the chemist shop yesterday - little madams were lying through their teeth). Opted for my favourite so only seven in the queue in front of me. Over an hour to read my book . Plus some very entertaining children in the waiting room including a toddler who wanted to wave bye bye to each person in there.

    New letter for physiotherapy, demonstrated present limitations of shoulder, got to take it straight round there (16 week waiting list), doctor said 8 out of 10 people experience improvements with physio - alternative is surgery.

    Tried to sort out the mess the chemist's delivery service has made with one of mum's tablets. Opted to collect prescription and pick medicine up myself rather than waiting to see if they deliver it or not. Lovely doctor.

    The chemist in the same building only had 6 tablets (that's one day's worth) and suggested I try elsewhere. Went to buy a drink whilst waiting for the little bus. Had taken water but had drunk 3 full cups in the doctor's waiting room. Cost £1.50 for horrible cola, so glad I decided against getting food.

    Topped up the phone at the bus stop (failed earlier). £10 from diy. Will get £20 free credit (expires after first month) but usually does for 3 months +.

    Bought an all day ticket and got off at the bus station (town centre but the shopping bit not the civic town centre where I live). Had a number of random items from different shops - meant to get it yesterday but was so tired from Sunday that I settled for a quick shop.

    Toothpaste was on 'better than half price' offer so bought 6 - special one to help heal the furry tongue and mouth ulcer problems. Went to the chemist. they hadn't got the tablets but could order it for tomorrow. May be in by 11.30am, otherwise late afternoon (committed myself to extra trip back to mum's). Another shop for soap (hyper allergenic/ no perfume/ no etc). Would have bought more if they had had all bran in stock.

    Card to replace one I have mislaid, magazine mum has been going on about (wanted the freebies) and into clothes shop but the coat I had seen had gone.

    Back to bus stop, ate a sandwich, phone told me I had done half my day's steps. Bus to SM at end of the line, still undecided as to whether it was going to be a large shop or a mini shop (might have been able to carry minimum bags either back to mum's or from the nearest stop to mum's (couldn't work out which way was least walking as I can cut through an estate).

    Biggish shop, got everything on mum's list plus extra which should mean nothing but bread and milk needed for weekend. Mine was heavily salad/ vegetable based, wraps and sandwich fillings (lots of eating on the hoof this week) and I spent £7 on a vegetable chopper (for those pesky onions - got 2 bags of reduced wonky onions). It has a nice ball shaped handle which I like - our old one had a little handle and if you chopped a lot, you ended up with it imprinted on your palm.

    Got a taxi to mum's. Put shopping away. Sat and worked out the bill (all went on mum's card). My share was £36.04 but mum wanted to give me £30 towards the cost of a new coat (my existing one is split around the shoulder seam and no longer meets across my front, it's 3rd hand and I have been wearing it for about 5 years - I have a lightweight rain thing with a hood for the summer months). She also paid for the bus ticket so we ended up even (no money changed hands).

    I have put the cost of 2 taxis on my travel expenditure (£3.60 and £2.50). Put the bins out, emptied a pack of toilet rolls into the bathroom storage and the rest in the kitchen cupboard and made tea for us both (bacon, eggs, tomatoes + mushrooms for me - mum had decided what we would have) whilst watching an interesting film.

    Based on true events. In the last days of the war, the Germans tried to take cases of French Impressionist paintings from Paris on a train. Over a hundred French railway workers (many of whom were killed) conspired to delay/ disrail the train at every stage - including altering many of the station names so the Germans thought they were going back to Germany whilst they had been diverted around France until the allies could reach Paris and take over.

    Today I am grateful for lovely doctors, helpful staff and taxi drivers (had to get DS3 to lend me the money for the last one as I only had £1.79 left in my pockets and purse), for a bright sunny day but luckily not warm enough for me to get sent out to paint fences, for stretching out the kinks in my back, for doing lots of steps.

    Edit - no diy budget this month, put toothpaste and phone top-up under entertainment for now.
    Last edited by mothernerd; 13-03-2018 at 9:28 PM.
    This year I will be fierce
    NST May #13 SFD 9/19 Food £122.13/£120 Travel £11.70/£15 Ent £22.44/£30 (+ £20 membership fee)
    No Debt No mortgage
    • Fmess
    • By Fmess 13th Mar 18, 9:47 PM
    • 2,702 Posts
    • 25,899 Thanks
    Evening all,

    Mothernerd your day make me feel tired, just by reading it.

    SFD number 7 today. Sorted out my Fitbit that wasn!!!8217;t syncing properly. Had a long day of lessons but all done now and tomorrow should be easier.
    LBM = 07/09/13 Debt = £13339 (100% cleared)
    New Car and Roof Debt £0/£19033
    DecNST #2 SFD 13/15 Food 105/120 Personal 380/350 Petrol 80.01/80
    • misstara
    • By misstara 13th Mar 18, 10:03 PM
    • 2,725 Posts
    • 19,314 Thanks
    A spendy day today on light bulbs, tonic water and ys flowers so still on 6/18 NSDs.

    Had a bit of a pamper evening - lit a nice candle, watched the bake off with a g&t and painted my nails
    Debt at LBM Jan 2014 £10458.09 Now £0
    New flat debt Jan 2017 £2302.75 Now £810.49 (64.8% paid)
    Car debt Nov 2017 £797.68 Now £542.46 (32% paid) + monthly payments £146.82 5/60
    Emergency fund - £36/£1000. Car fund - £0/£1000.
    Mini Targets in May
    Exercise target - 10/16. Groceries target £170.88/£200. NSD target 11/19.
    • Debtfreewannabme
    • By Debtfreewannabme 13th Mar 18, 11:07 PM
    • 103 Posts
    • 771 Thanks
    Evening all - day 8/18 NSDs ( I dont include debt repayments). We made some savings on our bills today ( DDs) so paid that straight to our last debt. We now have just 8% of our original 6.5k debt to pay off. Feeling very proud. Got our energy bill today. We were over 600 in credit so Ive requested £450 refund that should hit the bank within 10 days. This will go towards the last debt too then the balance will be a mere £50!! I'm going to try so hard to make that in savings and some facebook items for sale this month. So potentially we could be debt free in 2 weeks.
    Today I am grateful for the warm sun on my cheeks as I went for a walk, for my health and independance, for a job, for my DHs job and for our loving supportive family. I saw a young boy getting off the school bus this afternoon . It was clear he had a physical disability, he was out of breathe from walking a few steps but kept going. It hit me how fortunate I am to have my health and for there to be no barriers to me going where I wanted to go. It made me very thankful but also sad that there will always be those that are worse off than ourselves in so many different ways.
    • sashanut
    • By sashanut 13th Mar 18, 11:13 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 25,855 Thanks
    No 15 checking in
    Hi all

    Not an NSD as do some fresh food shopping on a Tuesday as it's my day for CS which has a small Lidl next door. Not much needed but then went to farm shop on way home, to get eggs. Don't trust DH to get them after his egg-tastic purchases. More fresh veg from there & good offer on a few groceries. Took a bag of stuff to CS but as ever brought some stuff home....

    Was very tired when I got back but then recovered enough to do some more clearing on 2nd landing. Little & often...think that will be the way to go forward. Have had some ideas about moving furniture around from bathroom to landings & vice versa, will see if I can enlist DHs help tomorrow. Morning only, as friend always comes round at 3pm by which time I'm ready for a sit down & a natter.

    Also did get a tiny bit of the path clearing done - it's stone but the grass has grown over it in places so you can hardly see it. As it's so wet the turf comes off easily, although not when a 7 stone dog is stood on it I find. Hey ho they mean well..

    · For the striders: 8/18 NSDs still

    · Set your budgets before the challenge starts - did a fair few spends, need to update spread sheet. Ongoing.

    · Be generous ; will do

    · Note down Certainly need to do this, in order to get a handle on spending. Have noted down spends & will update. Not done yet again.

    · As ever, will do

    · Pay towards your debt first! Do not have debt now but have been there before so am very wary. Do have a CC paid off in full every month. In clean up found £2 coin so it has gone into moneybox.

    · Plan. Will make list of places to go - need to have it in reserve for impromptu trips out. Still A WIP, but found another to add to the list. Also DD invited us to go to lunch at a place near her (and pay!!) on Friday.

    Check in every day. Will do from now on
    Last edited by sashanut; 13-03-2018 at 11:15 PM.
    New start JAN15 - NOT BUYING IT 2015 . Long haul DFW #145 : 2011 DEBTBUSTING : £5500 OD GONE, £2000 OD - GONE £93,610.30 cc & loan debt - GONE 27.6.14 FINALLY DEBT & MORTGAGE FREE
    • bizzie
    • By bizzie 13th Mar 18, 11:14 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 1,885 Thanks
    Visit to town and worked down my extended to do / shopping list. Stopped when I could carry no more. Choosing to take shopping bags rather than my trolley so I'm more selective in buying items as in I need them rather than want them.
    Will pick up outstanding items tomorrow after work, never know may find some ys items.
    Was hoping to put away the winter wardrobe this month but having seen the weather forecast won't rush to do it.
    Got plenty of veg so will be making a batch of soup for the weekend.
    Groceries 240.32/300.00 Personal Spend 4.50/100.00
    NST May #22 NSD 13/19 @22/05/18
    Goals for 2018: Balance in
    Self: Health: Wealth :
    • f0xh0les
    • By f0xh0les 14th Mar 18, 7:12 AM
    • 1,407 Posts
    • 11,533 Thanks
    NSD 9 yesterday.

    Need to buy crisps for lunchboxes today (kids must have got into the pantry at the weekend and I did not notice).

    Boo!,so that will take away today's NSD.

    Cleaning / tidying/ baking today
    MFW START DATE May 16 £118,340 : Oct17 - £109,495.00Dec17 £108,800Jan 18 £108,392.98 March 18 £108,504.72April £108,099May £106,999
    NEXT GOAL is sub £105k before JulyMortgage-free wannabe 2018 #65
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,700Posts Today

7,662Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line?

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin