Saturday, April 7, 2012

$20K Savings Challenge.....MARCH Results for 2012


Ok, here is my March Savings Challenge Update post for 2012.
This post is NOT about bragging or showing off.  It's just what we are able to save given our income and being able to hang tough against "unconscious" spending.
Just to update, My Savings Goal for the Year in 2012 is $20,000.  It's well below what I've saved in previous years I know.  But we also have a goal of paying for 4 home improvement projects at Chez Sluggy this year.  We plan on cash-flowing these projects with the additional money we save.

On to the March report.....

I have posted my MARCH End of Month $20K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals.
Check out the side bar to your right for the specific numbers.

I have 2 goals each month.....
The 1st is to actually finish each month in the black and not the red.
The 2nd is to hit the targeted savings amount of $1,666.67.

I have to report that we finished up March in the black!
The extra cash amount we ended the month of March with?.......$1022.68!

Income
We had $1005.24 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Add in $16.99 in Rebates applied against the food expenses & .45¢ in interest and  you get a total of $1,022.68.

Outgo
Traditionally March has been a tight month as far as the money goes.  2 paychecks have to cover the usual monthly bills like utilities, food, etc.  But we also have the yearly local taxes due starting in March and I pay the Sewage bill for the year in March as well as make a quarterly payment to the garbage service.  If you figure that I use to pay around $1K to the mortgage payment(when we use to have one), if this was before having paid off that debt, we would have been breaking even when all the chips fell at the end of March.  Not having that debt and not inflating our lifestyle since paying off the mortgage means we get to stash away that wad of money instead!!

As for the expenses this March......

HERE are the GOOD THINGS

*  The mild winter temps continued, which kept our heating/electric bill lower than usual.  I like that...
*  The credit card bill(which is paid in full each billing cycle)was under $700 this month. 
*  #2 Son did not get his driving permit in March so we delayed the increase in our car insurance rates a bit.  I'll take anything I can get.lol

HERE are the BAD THINGS

* Quarterly and yearly bills and taxes were paid in March.  While it's definitely on the "Bad" side of things, having the money and knowing it's coming up and being prepared for it, takes some of the "Bad" out of it.  Having to shell it out still stings though.
*  Hubs car had a $400+ repair this month when it went into to the shop for inspection.  This seems to always happen now, since our cars are getting up there in age, so I mentally prepare myself for the potential of receiving a repair bill anytime we take a vehicle in for inspection.  Just a sad, sad fact of motorized toys.
*  Hubs paid for dog licenses this month.  Though he didn't warn me he was spending the money this month, it wasn't so much of an expense that we couldn't handle it.  But it would be nice to know beforehand....
*  The cash withdrawals were very Very high this month!  Part of that was due to my $500+ withdrawal for food.  Hubs also stopped giving me his receipts again, so I have no clue what all he spent it all on besides buying coffee and lunch at work and paying for #2 Son's music lessons.  sigh.

The Food Budget costs for March are in another post, which is located HERE.  I overspent my budgeted amount, including the excess from Jan. and Feb. that I hadn't used those months.  I feel bad that I topped out at $511 on food for the month, but I did get some great deals which should keep our April food spending lower.

YEAR-TO-DATE GRAND TOTAL.....
With 2 month behind us, our Savings Grand Total for 2012 is $4,016.59.
We didn't hit our monthly goal in March so now we are $983.41 behind for the year.
With 3 months done, we should be at $5,000 saved for the year.

So how much did YOU save in March?  Did you spent all your income or did you put something aside?

Do you have an emergency fund of 6-8 months worth of expenses?
Do you have debt?

Start living below your means NOW and put some money away for emergencies and/or start paying down your debt.
And once you get debt-free, continue to throw that debt repayment money into savings.  You won't believe how fast you can accumulate wealth once you have no debt!

It is NEVER too early or too late to SAVE SOMETHING.
And the amount you save is NEVER too small!
Anything you can spare will go a long way to make you more financially secure in this crazy unstable world we live in.

So come along and Challenge Yourself to Save Money each Month Toward a Realistic for YOU Savings Goal or Debt Goal!
Not everyone can shoot for $20K, I fully get that!
But everyone can shoot for some number, right!?

Find a money goal that works for you and put that number out there for everyone to see.  Put it into paying down your debt, put it into savings, invest it or put it toward the principle in your home mortgage....just get busy and do this!

It will help keep you accountable to your goal if other eyes are on you.
Put it out there online and let us all stalk your money too. ;-)

So how was your March financially?
Did you spend less than you made?
Did you stay within your budget or not?

Leave a comment and share with us what you did with your money, both the good and not-so good.   Do you have any tricks or tips that help you to end your month before the money runs out?    Let us know!
If you posted your financial progress on your own blog, leave a link in the comments so we can go check you out too!

Sluggy

6 comments:

  1. Yes I have ^%$#* debt! But I did manage to save about $1100.00 this month. Also paid a huge amount on last CC. I am smokin! I want to grow up and be just like you! Okay I think I am older than you, but still.....

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  2. We've had a great start to our savings thanks to hubby's bonus and vacation payout. I am now shooting for $30,000 in savings...and hopefully reach our 8 month emergency fund by December 2013. I'm trying to put more away by lowering our expenses so that I can start putting 15% away in retirement. Right now only 8% goes in. I've decided to focus on one thing at a time, and the EF wins!

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  3. Unfortunately March was a terrrible month for me, received our tax return and definately could have done better. Paid a few bills, but also spent some foolishly! Hoping to do better, need to keep reading everyones blogs that is for sure!! Thanks for the inspiration you give!

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  4. Great job Sluggy - I'm sure you'll make up the difference in another month. We actually live on about 34% of our income - the rest goes to savings and debt reduction. I'm practicing for retirement when my income will go down by about half!!

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  5. You are my hero! You are so impressive in the money saving category!And everywhere else!

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  6. *braggard* ;P
    You impress me! I wish we could be in half the boat you are!

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