Wednesday, October 3, 2012

$20K Savings Challenge....SEPTEMBER Update

As promised, this will not be pretty. 8-(

Ok, here is my SEPTEMBER 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.  Ok....not so much this month, but in general. lol

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 and/or our income tax refund.
Our background info--We are a family of 5(kids are 21-16)with one living away from home.  We have 2 dogs. We own 4 cars at present and live in/own free & clear a 4 bedroom house in a small town.

On to the September report.....

I have posted my SEPTEMBER 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 September in the RED!
The extra cash amount we ended the month of September with?.......Negative $153.54
So we went backwards and are now $153.54 further away from our goal for the year.

We had -$236.86 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Luckily we had a Stock Dividend, a car insurance Reimbursement and some Bank Interest to offset this net loss for September.  This combined $83.32 brought our net less down to -$153.54 for September.
Yes folks, the loss could have been worse without this little bit of income.

The usual along with large irregular bill AND an unexpected/unplanned for expense converged on September to make it our worst month for savings since I can remember.
As for the expenses this September......

* The school taxes were paid and planned for so the money was there.
* The credit card bill decreased by $250.85.
* The cash withdrawals went down $550.

*  The water bill went up $26.62-this was mostly due to Hubs closing the pool for the winter.
*  The electric bill went up $5.42.
* 2 unexpected car repairs totaling $1,551.75. Yah, THAT was the real bad ones.

The Food Budget costs for SEPTEMBER are in another post, which is located HERE.

With 9 month behind us, our Savings Grand Total for 2012 is at  $16,215.75.
Not only did we NOT save the $1666.67 we need to each month in September, but we lost $153.54 toward the goal that we had saved up to this point.
Luckily though, we had a few "better than our monthly goal" months so far so we are still on track to get to our $20K mark by the end of 2012.
With 9 months done, we should be at $15,000.03  saved for the year, so we are still $1K+ ahead.

At this point, I need to come up with $3,784.25 for the rest of the year to make my $20K goal.  This breaks down to $1,261.42  per month for the next 3 months.  Unless something untoward happens we should be able to meet this goal.

As for a look ahead at OCTOBER.......

*  No irregular bills are due this month.
*  Normal bills only are expected.
*  We have a trip to take so there will be some additional spending but it will not affect the budget.  Any cash needed for that will be taken out of the money I saved in 2011 for my Savings Challenge.

So how was your September financially?
Did you spend less than you made?
Did you stay within your budget or not?
How much did you save in September?  Did you use it to pay down debt or build your Emergency Fund?

Even if what you are able to save each month doesn't look like a lot of money, figure out what percentage of your income you saved.  You might feel that it's a more substantial amount in those terms!
We saved 12.71% of our take home income in August.  My goal is to shoot for 50% each month.
Our heavy expenses in August had us fall short of my goal.

Leave a comment and share with us what you did with your money, both the good and not-so good.
Did you have debt you were able to pay on?
Did you pay off a car, a house or a credit card?
Did something financial blow up on you last month?
What are you doing financially to change your life?

If you posted your financial progress on your own blog, leave a link in the comments so we can go check you out too!



  1. My school taxes are in my property tax. Is yours a separate bill?

    I had to have help to pay my bills in September. I saved nothing. Since I had not been able to take a bath or shower for four months, I finally was able to get it all fixed, and still owe $57. I also got the commode fixed so I did not have to cut off the water under the commode all the time.

    On a more cheerful and positive note, since I turned 65 last year, I do not have to pay property taxes this year. That's about $400 I don't have to worry about where to get it. Property taxes are very low in this town, probably in all of Alabama. Before I paid off the house three years ago, the taxes were paid from an escrow account. No, I don't have enough money to save 1/12 of property taxes each month.

    Getting old has its

    1. Yes, our school bill is separate from our local tax bill. They are both tied to your property value and considered a property tax.
      Don't the rest of us not in AL wish our property taxes were $400 a yr!lol

      We don't get that "not charged p. tax perk after age 65" here, but we do have a "homestead/farmstead" rebate. We save a small % due to that one.

      I'm glad you got your water works going again.

  2. Thanks to closing costs, painting our kitchen, new car tires, a new lawnmower, etc. etc. our savings goals are a bit behind. I'm hoping to have at least $20,000 in our EF by December 31st, which would mean we would need to save $2,151.33 for the next three months. I'm not sure that we will even come close....

    1. Well at least $6K+ to save in 3 months time sounds doable and this means you already have $14K +/- in your EF already so you'll get by even with an emergency, right? ;-)
      And you said "closing costs"....just think of how much more per month you'll be saving in interest once you've "covered" what you paid out in those costs. You'll have even more traction toward savings at that point!

  3. Curious Sluggy.... do you also save in a 401(k)/retirement? We had an expensive September because we had a party -- but we haven't paid a utility bill since we moved in because of overages at the old house. And the bills at the new house are waaaaay lower. We are getting about 20K a year into our 401(k) but probably just about 5 - 6K a year into liquid savings. I've stopped going coupon crazy and it really hasn't hurt much. Now, if only gas would go down! What do you spend on gas for the four cars?

    1. We don't have a 401(K) per se. We do have 2 other instruments through Hub's work. One is like a 401(k) and we max that out every year plus we get the full company match amount. The other is an Employee Savings Plan which replaced the company pension plan. We are currently adding $14K+ to that each year. I couldn't tell you what we contribute off-hand to the other account but let's just say, if things continue compounding for a few more years, even without SS, we'll be aok. ;-)
      The little bit I do in my saving challenge from the money Hub's takes home is just bonus for us.

      After taxes(35%) and all the savings, insurance, etc. $(15%) is taken out, Hubs brings home about 50% of his pay each yr. I try to save 33% of that 50%...which means I try to live on less than we pay in taxes! That's crazy....

      But with 2 in college now, it's very difficult. Kids are expensive!lol

      Once ALL the kids are off the payroll, we should have a few years of employment left to squirrel away more of the take home pay.

      As for #4, while we bought it is now #1 son's headache. He pays for everything related to that car, so while technically we "own" it, we don't pay for it.
      I give Daughter a gas allowance(per mile) to cover her mileage to and from school(she goes 2 days a week and I calculate the price based on the current week's gas prices here). Any other mileage(fun and to go to work)she pays. I pay about $8 or less a week for her gas.
      I hardly ever use my car anymore besides the grocery store or Rite-Aid trips in town. I can go 2 months between fill-ups if no one borrows my Hubs commute takes about $80 a wk. in gas. I might use $6 in a wk. for a normal week. It's safe to say normal for us is under $100 a week at the current $3.86-$3.95 price range. If hubs needs to go somewhere(hardware store, etc.)he does that on the way home to minimize the gas costs.

      Outside of Rite-Aid I hardly ever use coupons anymore. It's a combination of not having good ones and not buying the types of foods much that offer coupons.
      Just buying at rock bottom and stockpiling in that way is still saving us about35-40% for only food or 60-70% on the complete grocery/toiletry bill.

    2. My husband has an ESOP too which is a big bonus. We are doing some car juggling right now to try to bring down the mileage on my car. I think he is going to start walking to work soon too. Would you believe we have TWO Rite-Aid stores within a mile of our house? I think of you EVERY time I drive by one of them!

    3. I am so glad to see SOMEBODY thinks about me, and often!lol

  4. Stop bragging! Bahahaha, just kidding. I'm a little ornery today.
    No really, you are still my savings hero!

    1. My middle name is ornery....but you know that. This is why we get along so well, right?lol

      I have decided that I have now passed into the Cranky-Hood Years. My normal mood is now cranky. I want to tell people in RL to STFU! and then slap them. I am well on my way to Battle Axe status.....
      The only antidote is drinking heavily. ;-)


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