My Moneysaving Experience Has Taught Me Well!
It's the time of year when we all need to start thinking ahead into the new year, especially if we need to tackle any debts, generate extra income or squirrel away some extra savings for something special.
|Scottish pounds - still in circulation|
Every year, I set a Frugal Living Challenge, based on the original concept known as 'The Scottish Pound'. The following is clipped from a 1999 newspaper and shows the beginnings of our first, ever, published grocery challenge. For the benefits of non-Scots, the word 'messages' basically mean groceries.
|NYK Media's first published grocery challenge from 1999|
The grocery budget has increased, somewhat, since 1999. Currently, the Frugaldom household grocery budget is set at £1 per person per day for all meals. In saying that, I have maintained the same overall annual budget for many, many years, so my £4,000 per year challenge is still the one I, personally, follow. Nowadays, I'm probably getting far more for my £4,000 because some luxury non-essentials cost much less.
Life experience (and a 1997/8 challenge) taught me that almost all things are possible within a budget, as long as we are realistic about wanting to achieve our goals and live well within our means. By following a few basic principles (and almost every trick in the book) I managed to clear my feet by 2007, but continued running the challenges, multiplying and diversifying them along the way.
I love trying to beat the banks, squeeze overhead costs and attempt what some consider to be impossible while stretching every single penny of my budget as far as is humanly possible! Year on year, we try to grow more, make more, save more, need less and waste less. The quest for self-sustainability is still as relevant now as it ever has been, in my opinion.
Some followers of NYK and Frugaldom have already achieved their debt free status and moved on in their worlds, while some now follow our challenges simply to help them remain free from debt. Others are still pursuing that dream. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us for 2014. Share your journey with like-minded others in the Frugal Forums.
Now we are approaching December 2013 and preparing to launch the 2014 Frugal Living Challenges, which will be hosted in the Frugal Forums. As usual, some will also be featured elsewhere in various guises. We do like to spice things up a bit now and again, so we incorporate mini challenges lasting anything from a few days to weeks or months.
The final monthly-challenge of this year is Decius Frugalus! For the entire month of December, we will be practicing our creative, moneysaving, frugal lifestyles with an attempt at zero-waste on cash, energy, food and fuel in an attempt to leap into the new year full of renewed hopes, dreams and ambitions.
They may take our money but - once achieved - they may never take our debt freedom!
In case you should ever run a little short of free reading material, the following links will take you to previous versions of this challenge that have run on the Moneysavingexpert.com website. It's a no holds barred look at reality in a virtual world:
Part 2 - April to June 2008
Part 3 - July to September 2008
Part 4 - October to December 2008
Part 2 - April to June 2009
Part 3 - July to September 2009
Part 4 - October to December 2009
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 2011
Part 2 - April to June 2011
Part 3 - July to December 2011
The 2012 Challenge