Frugal Challenges

2013 New Year Resolutions and Frugal Challenges

Now into 2014, pursuing same:
  1. Live on £4,000 for the year (2013 will be year 7 for this and I'm confident that it can still be done.)
  2. Grocery Challenge - included within the above total - £1/person/day on food
  3. Frugaleur Challenge - Establish a new micro-business
  4. Get fitter, not fatter - always trying!
  5. Hand make gifts for friends and family
  6. Save all loose change (Sealed pot challenge now being run by SFT)
  7. Eco-renovate the house without incurring any debt - this is a 5-year challenge, started in 2011
  8. EEK - Everything Else Kitty - all other spending must be cost or cash neutral
  9. Do without a car - cycle, walk or lift share for the full year
  10. Tick off a few more items from the 'to do before 50' list. (Budget Bucket List)
In addition to the above:

Septimus Frugalus in September 2013
Octavius Frugalus in October 2013
Novus Frugalus in November 2013
Decius Frugalus in December 2013

The Frugaleur Challenge has been running for several years and is about starting with a minimum amount of investment and developing it into a profitable micro-business by way of crafting, working from home or creating a new cottage industry. This challenge developed over the years from our 1998/9 'shop-share' project for homeworkers.

The 'EEK' challenge has been running for several years now and entails collecting cashback, points, vouchers, discounts and extra income from decluttering, selling on eBid or eBay, selling surplus eggs, interest on savings (this part is a bit of a joke nowadays), winnings and spending any gift money wisely. It also represents the fact that the 'Everything Else Kitty' needs to literally pay for everything else not included in the annual challenge budget of £4,000. (EEK used to include the credit card shuffle, which later became known as 'stoozing', but we no longer entertain that as it's simply not worth the effort.)

Each of the challenges was listed in the old Frugaldom forums, where you could find daily updates from several of our challengers. Now, in 2014, we have brand new, easily remembered web address at and have just recently introduced our very own chat room for forum members.

We used to operate a chat room about 15 years ago, so this is a return to the tried and tested means of instant communication where Frugaldom isn't about reading what I do, it is about sharing our combined life experiences as money saving, frugal living trainees, graduates and experts.

Have fun in Frugaldom. :)


  1. Hello - only recently discovered your blog. Love the idea of the Frugaleur Challenge, but how does that work from a tax perspective? I'm going through redundancy at work and have my own little business idea to generate extra pennies if I'm out of work, but am confused as to the difference between earning a little extra pocket money versus what classes as an 'income'. Any thoughts?

  2. From a tax point of view, check out for all the details of what you need to do to set up a business from home. You register. Earning a few extra pennies os OK if it's sourced from your own existing property, like decluttering and flogging your excess belongings on eBid or eBay but the Frugaleur challenge is about earning via small business, which means being registered as self-employed with HMRC and being aware of the tax/National Insurance/account-keeping/annual tax returns implications or equivalent (if you're overseas). If you need to buy anything in order that you can sell your products, it's usually classed as business.
    Example 1 - Making anything (McGonks, cakes, jam, sweets, toys etc) to sell is business.
    Example 2 - Selling eggs when your hens lay too many for you to use IS NOT business.
    Example 3 - Turning your surplus eggs into lemon curd and then selling it IS business.

    Hope this helps. I can't help at all as far as the benefits system is concerned, I'm afraid, you'd need to contact social security or HMRC about that.

    Good luck with your business idea. :)

  3. Hello Tetris
    I am 6 months further down the line than you. Unless you want to hit the ground running by having the business up before you leave, sign on at the job centre once you are redundant, tell them that you are thinking of setting up a business and ask about Enterprise Allowance which is £66 a week for the first 6 months of your business. In addition you will be able to claim working tax credit. You will have to pay national insurance but no tax until you are earning over £8,000 which unless your idea is for a consultancy based business where you already have a lot of clients, may take quite a while.
    In my area there are links with the Chamber of Commerce who have provided me with a business mentor which is useful.

  4. Hi Mindo, £4,000 was the sum arrived at during the early years of the challenge when comparing a full range of incomes and it kind of stuck. This is basically the amount needed to sustain a frugaldom lifestyle for anyone but keep in mind that the £4,000 does not include rent (or mortgage) and council tax or any debt payments - this is purely for living.


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