Wednesday, November 7, 2012

$20K Savings Challenge.....OCTOBER Update

Ok, here is my OCTOBER 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 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 October report.....

I have posted my OCTOBER 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 October in the black!
The extra cash amount we ended the month of October with?.......$3,372.72

We had $3,357.83 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted. 
Add in a teeny bit of interest at $1.89 and a couple of rebate checks worth $13.00 and it brought our gain to $3,372.72 for October.

As for the expenses this October......

* The water bill was $16 lower than last month.
* The doctor bills/rxs were $5 lower than last month.
* The credit card bill decreased by $250.
* The cash withdrawals were $80 lower.
And the big one....
* The car maintenance/repairs were $1631 lower than last month!

*  The electric bill went up by $16, thus negating the $16 savings on the water bill. lol
*  The medical co-pays were up $36 from last month.
*  The music lesson costs went up $30 this month.
*  The quarterly garbage bill was due for an additional $84 in spending in October.

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

With 10 months behind us, our Savings Grand Total for 2012 is at  $19,588.47!

With 10 months done, we should be at $16,666.67 saved for the year.  
I am so thrilled that at the 10 month mark we are only $411.53 away from our yearly Savings Goal!!
This means that if I can keep our spending within our means for the next 2 months and eek out a small $205.77 each month in savings we will hit our $20,000 mark for the year.  And there are 3 paychecks in November so saving at least $411.53 over 2 months is very doable. ;-)

As for a look ahead at NOVEMBER.......

*  No irregular bills are due this month.
*  Normal monthly bills only are expected.
*  November is a 3 paycheck month.

So how was your October financially?
Did you spend less than you made?
Did you stay within your budget or not?
How much of your income did you save in October?  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 approx. 55% of our take home income in October.  My goal is to shoot for 50% each month.
Some months I can meet that goal.  Months where we have irregular or unexpected expenses we fall very short.

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. Replies
    1. Thanks Theresa! Considering the extended family here, I think IT quite amazing. lol

  2. We had a nice surprise this month. An escrow refund. It was 500 hundred bucks and it went right into our savings account. I'm digging up the form to have it rolled into principle next time. That would pay almost three extra principle payments and if we did that yearly, it would amount to something!

    We probably do get around to saving at least 1/3 to 1/2 our income -- but for us, a large portion is for retirement. Since our goal over the next few years is to be able to live off of hubby's salary (which is currently lower than mine), my goal in liquid savings is to always have half that much in our big savings account. We are going to get there next year. We have a separate account that serves as our EF. That gets funded by direct deposit from the classes TBG gives three nights a week. Direct deposit is a wonderful thing!

    I also want to commend you because you count hard dollars as savings. Too many coupon addicts count what they save or get for free as savings -- but you can't pay a bill with a tub of margarine!

    1. Hey! $500 is nothing to sneeze at and kudos for rolling it into principle. Paying off our house early was the best thing we ever did, tho everyone told us it was stupid at the time. I told them I hope they have fun sending all those interest $s to the bank so that they could get pennies back on their taxes by keeping their home

      We also have money directly put into retirement. None of what I report here has anything to do with the direct deposit into retirement. This savings is just what I can save from what actually makes it to the paycheck. For now, it's a fund earmarked for whatever we need it for(raising kids is expensive!, even when you are cheap), but as the kids leave "the payroll", it will be our bridge fund for living expenses between Hubs leaving his job and when the various annuities/pension funds kick in. Not even "going there" with SS or Medicare plans.....

      We are getting about 50% of Hubs paycheck each yr. The other 50% goes to taxes(36%)and retirement & life insurance(14%). This year, I have saved 32% of that 50% we get(or 16% of the whole), which means we are living on/spending 68% of the 50% we get this year, which is 34% of his entire income. In the end, we are living on 34% of an income.
      How many people are living on 34% of their income? We "live" on less than the govt. takes in taxes.
      I realize that our expenses are going to go down when the kids leave, but other expenses will go up when we retire...and when we retire the govt. will continue to tax us. How are we going to live on the 14% we were able to save when we can no longer save anything else because the income is not there and the paltry returns on our investments lag behind a steep inflation rate? There is only so much you can do without.

      Hey, who you calling a coupon addict? ;-)
      And the only REAL way to count coupon use as savings is if you take the amount you save by using them and actually put that amount into a savings instrument.

  3. That is awesome!
    I'm sure that you posted about your projects but what are they again?

    1. Actually I never DID post the specifics on the projects. I am just a lazy
      1 of them was to replace the disgusting carpeting in the living/dining room with wood flooring, another was the redo our master bathroom, neither of which got done. I've still got our income tax refund set aside and $400 in home improvement store gift cards here but haven't pulled the trigger because we can't find anyone we trust to do the job right. Maybe since Gary Johnson is out of a job now, I can talk him into coming and taking the work, since he started out as a handy man. ;-)

  4. October was ok. Quite uneventful. A LOT of extra expenses I'm not particularly proud of (thanks, parents), but I managed to live it out in the black and save $40 (which went part to my EF, part to my Christmas fund). In October, I did pay off a car (woo hoo!), but other than that, uneventful month.


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