MSE Forum Retrospective 2022

While it's the season for indulgence, we invite you to indulge in a little nostalgia – a fond backward glance at the last year in the MSE Forum. Reminisce over some of the top tier conversations of 2022 (and see if you can spot any of your own contributions). We hope you like collages, 'cause we've got four of 'em.

2022 saw three prime ministers, eight Bank of England base rate increases and 52 Money Tips emails. Meanwhile, we gained a new Forum team member: MSE Stace.

Near the start of the year we launched the MSE Forum Ambassador programme, and took on a cohort of volunteers (already seasoned MSE Forumites) to help us run things. Our eternal thanks to all 17 Ambassadors, without whom we'd be lost.

And in August we tried something new: the MSE Forum Ask An Expert event, with MSE Gary and MSE Andrew from the Utilities team answering your questions about energy.

Yet along with the new, the Forum's also been – as ever – a place for people to discuss what's on their minds. So here's a skim of some of the sagest, most useful and most popular posts that graced the boards this year, including plants, successes, challenges, comping wins and a whole lot more...

Plants of the MSE Forum

Let's start with an eye cleanse. Below are just a few of the prettiest shots taken by gardeners of the MSE Forum. Most were found in the Awful weather – typical Brits talk thread and a few other places within the Greenfingered MoneySaving board. If you've an allotment, garden, window box or merely a potted plant on a windowsill, consider sharing your tips and questions with our MoneySaving gardening community.

Important: When sharing photos on the MSE Forum, please make sure they don't contain any personally identifiable information, such as your face.

Most active discussions

Back in 2021, the most active discussions were 'The NEW waiting to exchange thread', '2021 mission declutter and clean', 'Bluestone Mortgages', '2021 frugal living challenge' and 'Time to face the music'. This year, the top five looked like this:

The Top Easy Access Savings Discussion Area
A hub for discussing MSE's regularly updated Top savings accounts guide.

It's getting tough out there. Feeling the pinch?
Life's getting more expensive. These posters share the ways they're cutting back on the costs of basics, such as the supermarket shop.

Participants of this recurring yearly challenge aim to declutter their homes, setting themselves goals such as a certain number of rooms cleared, or even by clutter weight shifted.

Giving Up/Cutting Down Alcohol Thread Part 17
These MSE Forumites cut down on their alcohol intake by setting a goal number of alcohol-free days per month. This popular yearly challenge was born in 2008.

Tighten Your Belt with SW
A place for participants following the Slimming World plan to encourage each other and log progress.

Join the declutterbugs of the yearly decluttering challenge

MSE news stories, blogs and guides that originated in the forum

Often, posts lead to investigations and become official MSE News stories. At the start of this year, we published one such story: Beware NHS Covid pass fraud – one MoneySaver was scammed out of £25,000 though he got his money back after MSE intervened. Many other news stories followed, including TSB customers 'left without cash' after duplicate payment error.

And a few threads leant themselves to full-length MSE blogs. This year we also began a new blog series, highlighting what's been happening in the community each week.

Many Forumite tips also made it into this important new MSE guide, which went on to be picked up by countless other publications:

Compers' prizes

The enduringly popular Competitions Time board saw some huge wins in 2022. Comper becks171 won £12,500 in cash and chezvic won a brand new Citroen C3, for starters. But every day there are smaller prizes being won, some of which are posted in the Winners, post a picture of your win! thread. Here's a small selection:

Creatures of the MSE Forum

We're often treated to photos of your pets, but also of wildlife you've spotted. Prime areas for this sort of content include the Greenfingered MoneySaving board, as well as Show us your Christmas pet outfits and the Keeping hens and ducks chat.

It's time to take a short break from reading and browse these pretty pictures instead. Why not look at them up-down-diagonally instead of left to right, to really give your eyes a change?

Craft projects of the MSE Forum

Our members are a talented lot. They can stitch, paint, knit and craft, all while keeping things MoneySaving and minimising waste. These images were taken mainly from the No Craft Spending and Cross Stitch and Craft Cafe 2022 threads.

A few of the most active challenges

Thanks to the aspirational spirit of many of our MSE Forumites, challenges are a big part of the community. There are monthly ones as well as yearly ones, all of which see participants supporting each other in meeting their financial goals. The majority can be found on the Old style MoneySaving and Debt-free wannabe boards. We're focussing on yearly challenges here, below are a few of the challenges that got the most participation in 2022.

Thanks & happy 2023

For every tip you supplied, question you asked, glitch you flagged, anecdote you told and picture you displayed, thank you.

And if you're a lurker rather than a member, thank you for reading. Though we must ask... as it's a brand new year, is it time to become an MSE Forumite?

From everyone on the MSE Forum team, have a wonderful and MoneySaving 2023.