Vendetta Against Debt! It's that time of year again, the time when we are planning ahead for 2015, renewing our vigour for the on-going battle against debt, building up our forces to thwart needless spending and fight for the right to protect our own financial security. This is a war against waste - financial and otherwise. Join us in our quest for financial freedom.
Frugaldom is no fairytale fantasy of mythical castles, dragons and miracles. You play your own part in this quest for freedom.
This is an adaptation of the original 'Living on £4,000 for a Year' challenge, which has been running online since 2007. Some of the NYK challenges date back to the late 90's, so I do have a considerable amount of experience in balancing my own books, while living within my own means, always done on a budget that some consider to be impossible. Utter nonsense! It is entirely possible and is an achievement of which I am particularly proud. I can say with confidence that living free from debt while on a small income is 100% possible. You do, however, need to exercise will power and keep yourself focussed on your plans in order to achieve these otherwise impossible goals.
We have seen many changes over the years, so each stage in the development of our frugal living and working plans takes us a step closer to the good life and beyond. Your budget is personal to you, it should fit with your personal financial situation and it should be something you are happy to achieve. If you can achieve a point at which you spend less than you have coming in, then you are halfway there. Getting to the point that you are spending less than you are earning while also absolutely free from debt is the ultimate goal. You just need to believe it is possible and stick to your plan no matter what.
This challenge is not about self-deprivation or self-imposed poverty just for the sake of it, it is about providing genuine support for those who are prepared to take on the challenge of making a real difference to their own lives while sorting out their own difficult financial situations. Once the debts are gone and you are in full command of your own spending (or not spending, as the case may be), the world is your oyster. Whether you choose to invest, explore, plant a forest, see the world or lead a comfortable life knowing you are financially secure is entirely up to you.
Many former and current challengers have achieved debt freedom and now follow frugal lifestyles in order to stay free from debt while pursuing better lives without the entrapment of credit. Others are tackling debts, including mortgages, while following a frugal lifestyle in an attempt to reach their debt-free or mortgage-free day. Whichever stage you are at, feel free to join us for 2015 and share your journey.
You can join us free by registering a username at www.frugalforums.co.uk
2015 sees the return of the live NYK Chat room, complete with scheduled chats for the purposes of additional support, plus live question time. The new platform has been trialled over the past couple of months within the members' section of our host site at Scottishmultimedia.co.uk and it is hoped that the increased potential for even more real time interactivity can help many more people who want to embark on their own money journeys to financial freedom.
This challenge is about establishing your true cost of living, sticking to your budget, clearing debts (if you have any) 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 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 doing whatever it takes to become self sufficient in managing the cost of living without incurring debt.
For some it is about clearing debt, for others it's about increasing savings, buying property, becoming stay at home parents or paying off the mortgage early. Some choose the lifestyle on ethical grounds, others seek early retirement or self-sustainability. Above all, this is meant to be a fun and supportive way to manage a minimal budget so you have control of your own money.
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 habits
Houseshare or get a lodger
Shop via cashback sites and always price compare
Buy reduced items in stores only if you need them
Stockpile & bulk buy
Make the most of charity shops
Join Freecycle or other similar waste awareness and recycling associations
LETS trading - become active members of trading & exchange groups
Grow your own herbs, fruit & vegetable
Preserving & wine-making
Bread-making & home baking
Card & gift making
Order splitting for better discounts & shared postal costs
Landsharing, allotments & frugal garden systems
Making the most of freebies
Develop your on home-based business
eBid and eBay trading
Monitoring and revising a budget is part of any frugal living plan. Gifts & cards could all to be homemade, livestock needs to pay its own keep, anything else needs to be cash neutral and pets are like people in a household - they need to be budgeted for in a 'what if' manner.
If you would like to be in contact with like-minded others while stretching your money further than you ever thought possible, join us online and be prepared to take the frugal ride of your life.
Please respect others' lifestyles and beliefs. We are not here to judge, we are here to support.