How would you like to get your finances in better order for 2012? Still paying off those credit card bills after Christmas? February is a great time to start thinking about tackling money woes, and this year the Dollymix Crew have decided to take part in a fun online initiative called Frugal February, now in its second year.

Originally conceived over at Aigua Editor-in-Chief Gemma Cartwright's fashion site Big Girls Browse, the idea is to save what you can, make the most of what you've got and get better at creating fabulous outfits from whatever you have lying around at home. But we at Dollymix wanted to extend the idea to all areas of life, prompting us to think about what we'd do with a bit of spare cash and how we can cut get there by cutting back on unnecessary luxuries.

Want to take part?

A full list of everyone taking part can be found at BGB, and we'd love to hear from you if you want to join us in our efforts and benefit from some mutual support! You can also download a button for your website to encourage you by letting others know you're on a spending freeze! Here at Dollymix I've enlisted several members of the team to find out what we most need to cut back on next month. Here's what we came up with... 

gemma-frugalfeb.pngGemma: This year, I'm saving to buy a flat, so every penny counts and I'm cutting out every unnecessary expense I possibly can. No beauty products, no DVDs, books or magazines, no 'treats' and no big nights out...but most importantly, no new clothes! It's easy, especially when fashion blogging, to buy loads of stuff so you have something to talk about. But we all have unloved and unworn things in our wardrobe that could easily fill February's blogging quota, and now is the time to bring them out of retirement. Consider it a bit of early Spring cleaning!

jess-frugalfeb.pngJess: Given that my wardrobe is literally falling apart at the seams and my purse won't close due to too many receipts, I will be pledging to give up *takes a deep breath* clothes shopping for Frugal February. This means no clothes, no shoes and NO bags or accessories. If anyone catches me uttering the phrases 'But I simply don't think I can survive without it' or 'But it's such a bargain it's practically free' my friends and colleagues have been authorised to rugby tackle me to the floor and wrestle the item out of my hands.

abi-frugalfeb.pngAbi: I'm going to try and give up take-away coffee on my way in to work. This has always been a big expenditure for me, and is a habit I can't seem to kick. It costs me up to £40 a month to get my caffeine fix this way, and I really can't justify it when I really need to be saving to do up my flat, which needs some costly re-decoration and repairs. Will I get used to the taste of instant coffee in the office or ever get the hang of brewing my own palatable fresh stuff? This will be the month we find out...of course, if anyone wants to buy me a coffee I won't complain. Abi will also be trying to cut back on impulse clothes shopping, booze, and restaurants.

Kate will be saving some moolah by trying to avoid expensive evening meals out, using a voucher code or discount card if absolutely necessary.

Beth is going to be keeping an eye on her energy-consumption at home, breaking a habit of leaving various appliances running. She'll also be making her own lunches (although she's accepting offers from anyone who wants to be her chef for the day!)

Keep an eye on and throughout February for a host of moneysaving tips and advice on making frugal living less dull as we embark on four weeks of thrift!

[Image: Touchstone Pictures]