Monday, February 3, 2014

$24K Savings Challenge.....January Update

Every year I keep a close eye on our monthly expenses and our monthly income.
Our income is mainly the salary my Hubs draws from his job.  We have money taken off each paycheck from the top to put into savings, before we even get our hands on it.  This money that's taken goes into various insurance, health insurance premiums, long term care insurance premiums, investments and retirement savings.  It's automatic so we are never tempted to NOT put it into savings.

Once the automatic savings amounts, plus taxes and medical/dental/vision premiums are taken out, it leaves what we get to "live on".  From this amount we budget for bills, both monthly and irregular bills(semi-annual, etc.) and our variable bills(like food, eating out, etc.)  Anything left over once our monthly expenses are paid, I put aside into a Savings Challenge. 

For 2014 I am continuing my Yearly Savings Challenge.  I am raising the Goal amount slightly to $24,000 this year, $4K more than my goal for last year.

On to the January report.....

I have posted my January End of Month $24K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals.
Check out the Savings Challenge page tab at the top of the blog 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 $2,000.

I have to report that we finished up January with very little spare money to put aside.
The extra cash amount we ended the month of January with?.......$205.32.

We had $142.78 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in January totaled $62.54.  This brought us to our gain of $205.32 for January.
Since we have no debt anymore, this goes into savings.

As for the expenses this January, here are the good and the bad side of things....

*  Water and Phone were the same as December's totals.
*  I spent under $300 for food/toiletries in January.
*  The credit card bill was $300 less than December's bill.
*  The Cash withdrawals were $531.50 less than December.

*  The cable bill went up $5 per mo. after having been reduced by $5 for the last 6 months of 2013.
I believe they need to be called up and talked to.
*  The electric bill was $67 MORE than December's bill.  Ok, it's a Polar Vortex thing.
*  The garbage bill(which I pay quarterly)was paid.
*  An unexpected car repair bill of $982.59 paid in January.
*  Some extra credit card charges(store card & Hub's Discover) of approx. $94.
The Food Budget costs for January are in another post, which is located HERE. 

The 2014 GRAND TOTAL.....
With 1 month accounted for, our Savings Grand Total for 2014 is $205.32
Not a very auspicious start to the new year and nowhere near the $2,000 I need to put back each month.
Usually we do better in January and have at least $1,000 extra income after the bills are all paid.

In other financial news--
I figured out how much of my Savings Challenge from 2012 is left now(since in 2014 it is no longer being used as an emergency fund, like it was in 2013)and can be put into "permanent savings" mode.
Of the $28,907.08 we saved in 2012, $23,611.66 was spent in 2013, leaving us $5,295.42 to throw into our permanent savings.  Not very much savings realized at the end of it all.

Our new emergency fund is the amount we saved in 2013, which totaled $24,033.60.
So we are off to 2014 with a nice sized fund for all those nasty surprises that might happen during this year.
Looking ahead for February......

*  I will continue to do this Savings Challenge and report in each month on how it is going.
*  Hubs and I still need to sit down and go over how we did with the bills/savings in 2013 and see if there are any areas we need to cut back.

*  The car insurance is due in February and the bill is here already.  It's over $1600 for 6 months.
bleh.  We have been paying our oldest son's car insurance bill for the last 6 months(as he transitioned into the workforce full time and being on his own).  He was suppose to start picking up the tab on his share in February.  This might not be happening as he is looking for a new job and he may be unemployed very soon or even more underemployed than he is now.
If anyone wants to tell me that the economy is improving, just go tell someone else because I don't want to hear it! 8-(

*  February, historically, has been a higher expense month for us.  Besides 6 month's of car insurance being due, we usually have a fairly large credit card bill(that gets paid off) and of course, paying out of pocket for all medical bills still, since the deductible hasn't been met for the year.  And our deductible went up $1K this year so I am not very hopeful that February will end with us still holding much cash.  But there is always March and a new month to do better if February bombs out.
So how was your January financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in January?
Did you stay within your budget or not?
Did you pay off any debts or put extra toward your mortgage principle?

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


1 comment:

  1. If it wasn't for the car problems, you would have been a whole lot closer to your goal. Darn gremlins. I drove my inlaws to the airport and my van door decided to close itself cuz it was cold. It almost decapitated my FIL.


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.