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  • FIRST POST
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 27th Nov 19, 7:43 PM
    • 6,203Posts
    • 55,136Thanks
    Frugaldom
    2020 Frugal Living Challenge
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 19, 7:43 PM
    2020 Frugal Living Challenge 27th Nov 19 at 7:43 PM
    Welcome to the all new 2020 Frugal Living Challenge

    Join us here for year 13 of the Frugaldom challenge on MSE

    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 2019 Challenge

    The 2018 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.

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.

    GOOD LUCK IN 2020
    Last edited by MSE Molly; 11-12-2019 at 10:25 AM.
    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 20
    • BelleBaluu
    • By BelleBaluu 13th Jan 20, 7:42 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    BelleBaluu
    Morning all
    Enjoying reading through everyone’s posts! This thread and a couple of other challenges I’m also following are really helping to keep my motivated.
    I’m also doing the Grocery Challenge and have decided to put any savings I manage to make into my mortgage as an OP.
    Off to get ready for work, and look out the leftover soup I made for tea last night to take for lunch today.
    What other challenges are you taking part in?
    Happy frugaling everyone
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 13th Jan 20, 9:15 AM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 26,617 Thanks
    Siebrie
    I'm in a different situation - I have been lurking on these boards for a while. Recently I have moved from UK to a country where living costs are very high due to hubby's job.
    He did get a substantial pay rise, but I'm struggling to find work due to work permits etc - I don't live in Europe. All goods are imported and there are no discount grocery stores. Very little fresh local (cheap) produce is available. I'm looking for motivation to live as frugally as possible in the circumstances as our spending started to get out of control and we have got into a lot of debt very quickly. We are trying to reign spending in before it gets out of hand. I'm looking forward to reading ideas and then adapting them to the reality of where I am living!
    Originally posted by HoneyIShrunktheDebt

    There is a blog Myabundantlife07(dot)blogspot(dot)com by an Australian lady, who has to make it on a very low income (she cleans houses, her husband is parttime preacher and parttime bartender; they have two adult daughters now). She is very good and consistent in living carefully moneywise, and getting the maximum enjoyment from life. She is on a blog break at the moment due to a very sick family member, but all her old blogs are still accessible and I really get spurred on by her enthousiasm. There is a very good post from 3 September 2015 titled 'We are not poor!'.
    Wombabeluba 2020! € 19,15 = £ 16.37
    2019's wi-wa-wombles € 2.244,20 = £ 1,909.46
    Wombling to wealth 2018 € 972,97 = £ 879.54
    Still a womble 2017 #25 € 7.116,68 = £ 6,309.50
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 € 3.483,31 = £ 2,969.05
    • Elisheba
    • By Elisheba 13th Jan 20, 9:46 AM
    • 120 Posts
    • 997 Thanks
    Elisheba
    As I was putting on my makeup for work today I realised it had been exactly a week since the last time I'd put any on! Normally I'd wear makeup everyday, but I decided as a frugal adventure to only wear it for the office and when I'm doing something nice. I thought this would be about 2 makeup free days a week, but last week due to various work things I didn't have wear it at all after Monday. That's a few days more worth of makeup I've got now. Every little helps
    Consume less. Live more.
    • Crafty Lisa Hampshire
    • By Crafty Lisa Hampshire 13th Jan 20, 2:12 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 1,159 Thanks
    Crafty Lisa Hampshire
    Good to catch up with everyone again. Time for an update from me. I get a pay rise this month so I have put my pension contributions up a bit. I will see exactly what I take home when I get paid and if I can I may try and increase my contribution a fraction more. That is a target of mine to make sure I have a pension sufficient enough to live on. I have got a bit of time to go (I'm still in my 40s - just) but the earlier you contribute the better.


    Had a slight unplanned expense this weekend. I have been suffering from a sore knee since Christmas. Its an old squash injury which normally passes after a few days when it flares up but it is now coming up for two weeks and it was really painful on Saturday so I decided that I needed to invest in some flat boots instead of the heeled boots I normally wear. I didn't have any offers or anything but I decided I would pay the money for a decent pair that would last me years so I got a pair from Clarks that are Goretex with a 3 year guarantee on them. Hopefully this is a long term investment as I hate shopping for shoes and clothes generally.


    For the rest of the weekend I was frugal. I took my nephew for his swimming lesson and afterwards I always take him for a bite to eat as he is usually really hungry. This time I let him chose a cake and a drink and instead of buying myself something I just had a drink. As usual my nephew couldn't finish his cake so I ate what was left.


    My food shop was well within budget as well. Again I kept to my list and did not buy any luxuries. I had done a meal plan and instead of "buying" popcorn in a bag I already had some to make myself which I hadn't tried yet. However, this Saturday I made it and I was impressed how easy it was. I made too much so I put half of it in an air tight container and am using that for snacks in the week. Also bonus, no plastic packaging to worry about. I will be doing that again.


    I have also just renewed my household insurance. It has actually come down a bit with a different provider so that is a bit of a saving. I think that is all the big essential expenses now for another year. I have still got to pay off the rest of the holiday I have got booked but I am sure I can manage that in time.
    Lisa x
    Fashion on a Ration Challenge 2020 - 66 (+ 19 carried over) = 85 coupons/Spent 23.5 coupons
    Frugal Living Challenge 2020
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 13th Jan 20, 2:38 PM
    • 6,203 Posts
    • 55,136 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Do greenhouses need to be cleaned by a specialist? I'm worried now as I just cleaned mine with a mop and bucket and then some eco-friendly kitchen cleaner. Could I have harmed my plants? Advice would be really appreciated as I'm about to do it again this year once it's all cleared out of the old stuff from last year? TIA.
    Originally posted by miss empty piggy
    I'd class it as a luxury as you dn't need a specialist cleaner in to do your greenhouse - frugal living elsewhere, however, allows for some really nifty luxury bargains and helps keep frugal entrepreneurs in business.

    I repaired two dog toys today rather than chucking them. They don't squeak anymore but Littleydog was pleased to have her monkey back.
    Originally posted by Jazee
    I love this, too! Well done on toy repair.

    I'm in a different situation - I have been lurking on these boards for a while. Recently I have moved from UK to a country where living costs are very high due to hubby's job!
    Originally posted by HoneyIShrunktheDebt
    The first thing I would do would be to find out what is the most abundantly grown or produced foodstuffs locally and their cheapest source, then go from there. Food prices fluctuate constantly so our frugal diet adapts to fit in with whatever s in season or whatever is going out of fashion (or date) and reduced to clear. It's been pasta, rice, oats and lentil based here for some time with plenty of egg & flour combinations, plus fresh produce being whatever is in abundance.

    Almost the end of the first fortnight of 2020 and I have finally ended my spendfast. I'd to buy a cylinder of gas at the holiday park (£70), order animal feed and some fencing materials and then popped into the village store for bread and milk. That's were I fell for the reduced stickers sitting on the counter and ended up spending £6 instead of £3! (My 2020 grocery budget has been set at £100 per month for 2 and includes extras for any visitors who come to stay.)
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 13th Jan 20, 3:19 PM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 26,617 Thanks
    Siebrie
    "As usual my nephew couldn't finish his cake so I ate what was left."


    I am teaching my dds AND THEIR FRIENDS to eat neatly, and only put on their plate what they think they will eat; they can always add more later on. For instance: for dd1's birthday party, I asked what she and her friends would like to eat with their chips, and then prepared the chicken nuggets, fish fingers, beef burgers, etc. I presented this in a large dish in the middle of the table, and asked them to just take out one or two items, eat those, and only then take the next one. About half the dish was left, because they had full stomachs quickly. I kept some of those items for lunch and dinner the next day (cold beefburger on bread is fine), and had the rest for my own evening meal as they were watching a film.


    The year before, they had just put everything on their plates, mixed it with mayo and ketchup, and I had to throw it all away. I don't mind serving generously, but do expect (young) guests to eat neatly.
    Wombabeluba 2020! € 19,15 = £ 16.37
    2019's wi-wa-wombles € 2.244,20 = £ 1,909.46
    Wombling to wealth 2018 € 972,97 = £ 879.54
    Still a womble 2017 #25 € 7.116,68 = £ 6,309.50
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 € 3.483,31 = £ 2,969.05
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 13th Jan 20, 3:37 PM
    • 1,380 Posts
    • 14,932 Thanks
    nannygladys
    Hi everyone
    Been doing a little clothes shopping recently in the sales and managed to buy a couple of summer things that were pleasantly very cheap and fit/look really nice (I have lost weight and everything is too big and although I can alter some things to fit some you cant alter very well - Ive tried} so happy about that.
    I have spent on my CC and bought a couple of very unnecessary things but they make me very happy so I will stick with that, but I need to get paying them off quickly. I have also had my car insurance renewal and it although it has gone down a bit its still more than my dds car that is only a couple of years older and she is of course a lot younger than me!! so Im going to try and do a comparison to see if I can get it any cheaper, may have to ask dd to help as Im not very tech savvy, coming on here and playing YouTube is about my limit!!
    So dinner in slow cooker and heating is off and Im wrapped up warm, so I think its time I had another look at the budgets to see where more savings can be made. Its not easy but doable on such a small pension but sometimes I wish there was more!!!!
    Nannyg
    Frugal challenge 2020
    Sealed pot 13 no.31
    Emergency fund 190.41/1000
    NST no.14 sfd 8/16
    • Elisheba
    • By Elisheba 13th Jan 20, 7:10 PM
    • 120 Posts
    • 997 Thanks
    Elisheba
    I've just moved around the furniture in the living room, my theory being that hopefully now the radiator can heat the room rather that just the back of the sofa. Fingers crossed!
    Consume less. Live more.
    • Finally Solvent
    • By Finally Solvent 13th Jan 20, 7:36 PM
    • 215 Posts
    • 1,552 Thanks
    Finally Solvent
    I have also had my car insurance renewal and it although it has gone down a bit its still more than my dds car that is only a couple of years older and she is of course a lot younger than me!! so Im going to try and do a comparison to see if I can get it any cheaper

    ….. so I think its time I had another look at the budgets to see where more savings can be made. Its not easy but doable on such a small pension but sometimes I wish there was more!!!!
    Nannyg
    Originally posted by nannygladys
    My car insurance renewal date is looming too so I'll definitely be shopping around. With cashback and other things it's always cost-effective to switch providers. I'm very fickle when it comes to car insurers


    I've just switched my breakdown cover provider. I'm on a bit of a merry-go-round with the providers, taking advantage of cashback and 'new customer' offers each time. Gone with Green Flag this time who have an offer to halve the cost of the equivalent RAC/AA quote. I love all the machinations, it's great fun. I'm easily pleased


    Like you, I'm always trying to tweak my budgets to shave a smidgen off my outgoings. Good luck with yours
    Virtual Sealed Pot Challenge 2020 #6 £33.49/£500
    • DdraigGoch
    • By DdraigGoch 14th Jan 20, 2:23 AM
    • 720 Posts
    • 4,059 Thanks
    DdraigGoch
    Hello again, a fortnight in & though household agreements are generally more respectable, ie budget friendly, it's also the month when big expenses (insurances, car services, etc) hit and 2 lots of entertaining pluz 3 birthdaysand 2 long distance visits, so it's a bit awkward. Thankfully not so much on the money front as we can afford it this time but just feeling a bit silly having decided to be more sensible! At least decisions have been made and we'll just have to keep reminding one another.
    If you see me on here - shout at me to get off and go and get something useful done!!
    • jammy dodger
    • By jammy dodger 14th Jan 20, 1:10 PM
    • 1,133 Posts
    • 5,474 Thanks
    jammy dodger
    Jammys new adventure awaits
    good afternoon
    after lurking here since the begining of January i thought i would like to join the frugaleers here too if i may

    i have already joined the NSD thread and have been posting my endeavours and after reading very supportive posts here with some fab ideas for saving those ££s i thought it would be good to share here

    I have taken the monumental decision to retire early . I am lucky to have enough works pension coming to Pay off the last bit of my mortgage in May and provide me with a reduced but I feel adequate monthly income

    so time to take stock of my monthly outgoings and buy only what I need the NSD challenge is helping keep me on track and spend the time doing the things I love

    I am a keen cook and have a large garden and hope to keep chickens again and grow veggies (i used to have an allotment many moons ago but work got in the way of maintaining it
    I am an avid crafter too weaving and spinning and knitting being my main go to hobbies . I can bore you with that in subsequent posts

    Look forward to sharing an alternative way on living without the consumerism but with contentment

    JD
    Jan NSD 18/20
    • jammy dodger
    • By jammy dodger 14th Jan 20, 1:27 PM
    • 1,133 Posts
    • 5,474 Thanks
    jammy dodger
    I'd like to use bars of soap but I find they make the sink need cleaning sooner than handwash. Also they get all messy (the soft bits) even if you use a soap dish, is there a way round that?

    One tip I heard, maybe well known, is that bath stuff is often identical to shower gel and much cheaper per 100ml. I know, doesn't help with the plastic. My local handmade naturals shop lets you take back your bottle for a refill, lovely stuff too, no chemicals at all
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    carolinerunner have a google at making your own felted soap
    basically you cover your soap bar with fine layers of wool
    {which you can get from craft stores }and with agitation and a hot water it felts around the soap keeping the bar intact and acts as a pleasant exfoliation .I too hate soggy soap its great fun to make
    the felt will shrink around your shrinking bar of soap as you use it
    JD
    Jan NSD 18/20
    • Finally Solvent
    • By Finally Solvent 14th Jan 20, 2:16 PM
    • 215 Posts
    • 1,552 Thanks
    Finally Solvent
    carolinerunner have a google at making your own felted soap
    basically you cover your soap bar with fine layers of wool
    {which you can get from craft stores }and with agitation and a hot water it felts around the soap keeping the bar intact and acts as a pleasant exfoliation .I too hate soggy soap its great fun to make
    the felt will shrink around your shrinking bar of soap as you use it
    JD
    Originally posted by jammy dodger
    What a brilliant idea, especially the exfoliation aspect. I'll definitely be trying it
    Virtual Sealed Pot Challenge 2020 #6 £33.49/£500
    • Frugallife
    • By Frugallife 14th Jan 20, 6:47 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Frugallife
    I'll definitely be taking part in this challenge this year . I've started a diary on Debt Free Wannabe, and also signed up to WW2 Clothes Rationing challenge, and Make do, Mend and Minimise.

    I need to reduce debt, and have my eyes set on the big prize of a deposit for a house. I also just want to consume less though. We are all being told we need stuff, so we buy stuff, to keep other people rich, and it's polluting and poisoning the planet at the same time. It's utter madness.

    So this year its all about frugality for me. Make do and mend, reuse and recycle. How low can I go in terms of buying stuff? I'm really excited to see how I get on!

    And to the person on here who mentioned the severe lack of Xmas puddings in the post Christmas sales, I know! Where are they all? I love Xmas pudding!

    Someone also asked about toilet roll recommendations. You can get them for 0.33 per roll at Home Bargains and Lidl, but I've just seen on a bulk buying post that if you buy 135 on Groupon they come in at 0.26 a roll. At 0.07 a roll cheaper, that's £9.45 saving. It will probably take me 2 plus years to use all those loo rolls, but I can store them under my bed and thats a tenner I can spend on something that's not literally going down the drain
    Originally posted by Elisheba
    Thank you for the loo roll recommendation!
    • Frugallife
    • By Frugallife 14th Jan 20, 6:51 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Frugallife
    I chose Panda, mainly as its made from Bamboo and the wrapping is recyclable. To be personal - it is also soft and doesnt fall into pieces on use.

    I finally had it delievered on a day I told them I wasnt in but luckily my neighbour took it in for me
    Originally posted by sams247
    Thank you x
    • Sparkly Shoes
    • By Sparkly Shoes 14th Jan 20, 8:40 PM
    • 7 Posts
    • 126 Thanks
    Sparkly Shoes
    Have been reading along but haven’t posted for the last week - definitely not being as mindful, so have given myself a shake and a talking to!

    Budget is a bit in flux at the minute which is very unsettling but am trying to keep spending under control despite this. Will be able to make a proper budget out for February thankfully! Order will be restored!

    Filled the tank with petrol today and got a food delivery so pretty much set for the rest of the month. Absolutely no unnecessary spending if I can possibly help it.

    Plan for tomorrow is all meals from stores. Hoping for either no spend day or very low spend day!
    • Jazee
    • By Jazee 14th Jan 20, 9:47 PM
    • 5,805 Posts
    • 64,829 Thanks
    Jazee
    Spent £23.50 today on lunch out with a friend but it was booked before Xmas which is before I decided to go frugal and I hadn't seen this friend for months. Had a lovely time. I too will get order restored later this week when I'm paid.
    Spend less now, work less later.
    Savings thread #104 Jan £0/total £0/£3600
    • sinkorswim2018
    • By sinkorswim2018 14th Jan 20, 9:50 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 1,484 Thanks
    sinkorswim2018
    Carolinerunner I have a solution to your messy soap problem. Look up 'PERIWIN Soap Holder, Home Bathroom Magnetic Soap Holder Containe'
    on Amaz0n - sorry, couldn't do a link. I got one for a very small sink where there was room for neither a liquid or bar of soap.

    • miss empty piggy
    • By miss empty piggy 14th Jan 20, 10:40 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 7,425 Thanks
    miss empty piggy
    Definitely seeing the positives
    I've had a £10 win on the postcode lottery which has paid for this month's subscription which is excellent.

    Then HR at work let me know my exact salary and I realised that what I currently get paid is more than the job that I am about to apply for. I was actually really looking forward to the possibility of a change but there were other things also - less holidays and more travel costs so even though I think I'd really love the challenge and the change (been in current position for 13 years) I don't think that it was meant to be just yet.

    The main positive of today has been that I've had a 'win' while trying to sort a present out for my best friend's 50th birthday. As a few of our friendship group are turning 50 this year, we have organised a weekend away together so that it is a) good fun, and b) not overly expensive having to go on lots of nights out etc. However, even though my friend and I don't generally buy for each other I decided to get her something nice. I found a lovely framed quote that's relevant to us, and set about ordering it for approx £32. Once in my basket I noticed that the delivery cost was £49! Every option I tried they were all coming from USA. Eventually I found a digital download for £4.00, I printed it onto some lovely quality brown paper and put it into a lovely frame. It looks EXACTLY the same as the one I was about to spend £80 on! Feels like a win to me.
    DFW Nerd No: 600


    £193.07/£300. Jan grocery challenge 2020
    Pay all debts off by Xmas 2020 £125/£6k
    Wombling 2020 £9.64
    • sams247
    • By sams247 14th Jan 20, 11:18 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 3,308 Thanks
    sams247
    This frugal lark is expensive! I am cooking batch food, getting bulk buys home products, got some things from charity shops that I'm making into gifts. So.... in the future I'll be frugal city but this month seems spend spend! Even though I'm buying food at reduced rates and seeking bargains. I'm on target with my month budget but only just.....
    For those who believe, no proof in necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible
    £2 Savers Club #40 - £4
    20p Savers Club #3 - £3.20[B]
    £1 a day saving #51 - £15
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2020 #14 £.20.69/£100
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