Tuesday, March 4, 2014

$24K Savings Challenge....February 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 pots....life 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, annual etc.) and our variable bills(like food, eating out, clothing  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 February report.....

I have posted my February 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 February with a nice hunk of cash but not the target amount.
The extra cash amount we ended the month of February with?.......$1,359.15.

We had $856.52 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in February totaled $502.63.  This included interest made on accounts, blog revenue and our son began paying his own portion on the car insurance. 8-))

This brought us to our gain of $1,359.15 for February.
Since we have no debt anymore, this goes into savings.

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

*  Water and Phone were the same as January's totals.
*  I spent under $400 for food/toiletries in February.
*  The credit card bill was $1100 less than January's bill.
*  The Cash withdrawals were $98.50 less than in January.
*  The music lessons were $40 less(1 less lesson this month.)
*  No expensive car repairs in February.(Just a small one.)
*  Eldest son started paying his portion of the car insurance bill.

*  The electric bill was $62.09 MORE than January's bill.  March's bill should be less.
*  The semi-annual car insurance was due and paid in February.
*  There are 5 Mondays in March so we need to pay for an extra music lesson this month.
The Food Budget costs for January are in another post, which is located HERE. 

The 2014 GRAND TOTAL.....
With 2 months accounted for, our Savings Grand Total for 2014 is $1,564.47
Far short at this point of the $2,000 I need to put back each month.
February is historically a lean month for savings in our house because of car insurance being due this month.

In other financial news--Hubs received a nice sized bonus this month for his work last year.  I used part of it to finish funding #2 Son's college fund but have not "officially" accounted for the rest of the money yet.....meaning it's part of our Net Worth statement but no decision has been made about whether any of it will be put into this Savings Challenge.  We still have to decide where to put the rest of the funds.  I know some of it will go toward purchasing a car to replace the one Hubs now drives.  Perhaps I'll be able to put what's left toward the Savings Challenge but it's too soon to know.
Looking ahead for March......

*  I will continue to do this Savings Challenge and report in each month on how it is going.

*  We have yearly municipal taxes due this month. (They aren't actually DUE until 30 June but if I pay them before 30 April we get a discount on the rate.)  I usually pay it in April but I may pay it in March instead, just to get it outta the way.  ;-)

*  I am going on a quick trip to Delaware this month so lodging, gas & food expenses will happen.

*  No extra/3rd paychecks this month so no extra income in March.

*  And the annual Sewage payment is due. It is billed quarterly but if I pay it in full before 31 March I get a 3% discount and this is what I generally do so there's another irregular expense for March.

*  With 2 annual bills being paid in March and no extra paycheck in the month(that won't happen until May and again in October) we won't see much extra savings going toward this Challenge.  Perhaps our savings rate will pick up in April....
So how was your February financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in February?
Did you stay within your budget or not?
Did you pay off any debts or put extra toward your mortgage principle or into savings in an emergency fund or a retirement account?

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. Sounds like you had a pretty good month. Our electrical bill was significantly more last month too. Here's hoping for better March!

  2. Sluggy, I have been a lurker for a long time. I enjoy your blog and am trying to lower our daily expenses. I am tracking my spending this year. I am taking my grocery/household as my first challenge. I spent an average of about $50/day in January. I spent an average of about $35/day in February. Check out my blog at www.viewfrommynest.wordpress.com

  3. Financial progress... what's that?
    Sorry, I kid. I will have to take a look. I think it's been a hectic few weeks for a while, but I will hopefully have (most of it) sorted out by Wednesday.

  4. Good job! I am pleased to announce that we stayed within budget this month! WHEW! We won't next month...

  5. Well I replaced the stove and water heater without incurring any debt..paid cash. Can in under on food shopping by 24 bucks. So I guess I will call it a good month

  6. You truly are an inspiration to me!

  7. We always spend less than we bring in, which is good. February was better for us that January, since we did not need to lend son $600 in February. LOL! Yeah...he'll pay it back some day. We did buy him groceries a couple times and a couple tanks of gas, but we shouldn't have to do that again as his stipend is now coming and he got a part time job, so he should be able to manage without borrowing any big amounts. None of the money we used to help him came out of savings, so that is good.


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