Thursday, April 3, 2014

$24K Savings Challenge.....March 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, 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 March report.....

I have posted my March 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 March with a larger than targeted amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of March with?.......$3,192.73.

We had -$738.52 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Bad bad month for bills....between unexpected car repairs, yearly bills being paid in this month and a "higher than I like to see" credit card bill, the income outpaced the bills. 
Other monies received in March totaled $3,931.25.  This included interest made on accounts, stock dividends, a per diem from Hub's work and a federal tax refund.  Most of this was the tax refund.

This brought us to our gain of $3,192.73
Since we have no debt anymore, this goes into savings.

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

*  The electric bill went down almost $100 from Feb's bill.
*  I spent under $345 for food/toiletries in March.

*  Another unexpected car repair bill over $1K. ugh
*  2 extra flute lessons in March.
*  The yearly local taxes are due end of April but I paid them in March.
*  The c/c bill was $300 more than Feb's bill.
*  $310 MORE in cash withdrawals.
*  Sewage bill was paid for the whole year this month.
*  The local taxes were paid for the year this month.
The Food Budget costs for March are in another post, which is located HERE.

The 2014 GRAND TOTAL.....
With 3 months accounted for, our Savings Grand Total for 2014 is $4,757.20
$1,242.80 short at this point of the $6,000.00 I should have put aside after 3 months.
Looking ahead for April......

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

*  I have a road trip to go visit my daughter scheduled this month so lodging, gas & food expenses will happen.

*  The electric bill should continue to go down as the weather warms and we turn down/off the heat.
So how was your March financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in March?
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. I long to be where you are at! We still have a long road ahead of us. Sigh. We just need the house paid for then we can really save. Oh well, we will get there in time. Right?!?!?!

    1. Yes you WILL get there! You've got years yet......we are 12 yrs. or so ahead of y'all so don't panic. Just keep doing the right stuff.
      Don't forget to save something though even though you aren't mortgage-free yet.
      Once the house is paid off, you can chuck much more into savings.

  2. You're doing amazing! I can't wait til the day my debt is paid off, and I can actually start saving (beyond a few dollars here and there).

    1. Thank you.
      I can't help but wonder though, after the mortgage payments went away, I thought we'd be AWASH in extra cash, but other things seem to gobble up all that extra money that was freed up. I thought we'd be so much AHEAD of where we actually are now. NOT that I'm complaining but money has this habit of disappearing into the cracks and crevices called life. 8-)

  3. Your sewage must be figured differently than mine. The sewage is dependent on how much water I use. Is yours a flat rate?

    1. Our sewage bill is separate from our water bill. I suppose if we flush more the water bill goes higher tho. Our sewage is a flat rate.

  4. I went back to work a few years ago after 4 years of "retirement" to pay off a $50,000 debt I had incurred. I was able to pay it off 6 months ago and save a pretty nice sum. The original plan was to pay of the debt and go back to "retirement"...well, I love the job and the extra I'll keep the job for a few more years and build up a REAL NICE savings and retirement account. I like following your've given me a number of good ideas I've followed up on. Thanks.

    1. Thank you.
      Glad I could help in some small way.

      The gals up at Rite-Aid keep threatening to give me a "regular job". I love them but I'd hate to work a job like that.....even if the coworkers were awesome. But if we needed the cash I'd do it. Just thankful right now I don't have to do that.
      Having enough cash gives you choices in life...that is awesome. ;-)


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