Monday, 27 December 2010

To Spend or Not to Spend: Review of the 2010 Frugal Living Challenge Budget


Having no intentions of venturing anywhere near shops until after New Year, I've just done a complete review of my 2010 results from the Frugaldom 'Frugal Living' Challenge. I hope several more of you will consider joining us HERE for the 2011 challenge. We regularly compare notes, swap hints and tips about best deals and discuss both moneysaving and money making ideas . (You'll need to register a username and password but it's all free.)

My 2010 Frugal Living Challenge budget was set at £4,000 for the household of 3, excluding rent/council tax/water/work costs.

Of the above amount, £1,155 was allocated to groceries, made up of the following:

£1,095 for food related
£50 for toiletries
£10 for cleaning & laundry products

The final amount spent over the course of 2010 was £1,154.28

This means I have 72p left over from my 2010 groceries allowance - enough for 10 packs of saver brand instant custard, 10 jars of saver curry sauce or 2kg of flour that could make me 4 loaves of bread.

For the 2011 grocery challenge, I have allocated £1,150.00
It's £5 less than 2010, but I've allowed the customary £1 per person per day (£1095) for food etc and £55 for toiletries, laundry and cleaning products. I just hope that prices of things like toilet rolls don't escalate too quickly. I'm amazed that paper prices haven't been soaring, as there's so much in the media about wood and renewables - it has to push prices up somewhere along the lines!

The entire 2010 budget comprised the following:

Groceries etc - £1,155
Electricity - £1,190
Coal - £133
Logs - £210    (Total for heat, light, fuel = £1,533)
Internet - £175
Mobile - £20
Telephone - £160
TV licence - £142.50
Clothing and footwear - £75
Gifts - £450
Misc - £155
Travel - £85
Insurance - £45
Other - £4.50
TOTAL £4,000

As I write up this final review of the Frugaldom 2010 challenge budget, I have a grand total of £9.41 remaining from the original £4,000.00

On the other hand, Frugaldom also has 50+ hens, ducks and quail to feed, fruit and veg to grow and had some fairly expensive interior works carried out in the house, mainly the purchase and  installation of 'George', our multifuel stove. The 'Everything Else Kitty' (lovingly known as the 'EEK') had to be stretched to extremes over the past 12 months, but stretch it we did, to the point that there's even a small balance left over in that account, too.
The 'EEK' was started to pay for everything else that fell outside of the 'household' category. Everything that needed to be paid for had to be settled using sources other than regular, earned income - wages, if you're employed. Over the space of 12 months, Frugaldom managed to spend £2,938.31 on all these 'everything else' items. Being part of a cash neutral budget challenge, they all had to be paid for from somewhere. So here's how it was done:
Cashback  and vouchers - £518.59
Sales of hens, eggs  and other tradeable stock - £1,263.88
Gifts  and winnings - £863.75
Interest and small investments returns - £344.19
TOTAL: £2,990.41
I'm expecting another £30+ to arrive before the end of this week, which should take the balance on the 'EEK' to almost £85. I could have the best part of £100 remaining at the conclusion of my 2010 Frugaldom Challenge. I'm also well in credit with my LETS account, reflecting how much I was able to trade, barter or exchange throughout 2010. This included the building work when the stove was being installed in the kitchen. All of this has meant that I am now in a position to start my next challenge debt free and with the renewed hope of accruing some new savings. But, in the meantime...

To spend or not to spend, that is the question!

Frugaldom will be watching for best buys over the coming year as the balance remaining represents my profit from frugal living - I have SHONA PROPHETT!

Please feel free to ask any questions in the Frugaldom Forums


  1. Well done. Very inspiring. I love the 'EEK' way of paying for things :)

  2. 28th is interest payment day, so I was able to add a bit more to the 'EEK' and arrived at a final figure of £114.57 'profit' from a £4,000 annual household budget challenge. Hoping I can do much better than this in 2011 with 'Shona Prophett' at the budget helm.


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