Thursday, December 4, 2014

$24K Savings Challenge.......November 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 November report.....

I have posted my November End of Month $24K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals.
Check out the Savings Challenge page tab at the top of the blog for the specific numbers HERE.

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 November with a large chunk of change.
The extra amount we ended the month of  November with?.......$2,877.50.


We had $2753.83 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
The lower utility bills with College Boy away at school have helped us keep more of our income.
Other monies received in November totaled $123.67.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts.

This brought us to our gain of $2,877.50.
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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


*  The cable/internet was $89.68 lower than our new normal of about $40 because of a refund on a portion of October's bill when we got rid of cable.
*  The water bill went down another $5.10 from October's bill.  That's a total decrease of $37.79 since July's bill, the last bill with College Boy home fulltime.
*  Phone charges were approx. the same as last month.
 *  Electric bill was up $57.77 because the heat was on all of November, where it was only on sporadically in October.  We had our new heating unit repaired and didn't have to rely on the other electric heating system in the house.  I think the mini-split system is more efficient as we've never had a November heating/electricity bill under $200 before this month! 8-)))  Even though the electric bill was higher this month from last, I am putting this item under the "Good Things".

*  Cash spending increased by $70. 
*  The credit card bill(paid off each month)was up $574.34 from last month's bill.  Mostly due to some Xmas shopping and our OC mini-vacation.
*  We had some irregular spending too--a charitable $ donation, Kohl's Xmas shopping cc bill and final Vet expenses for our doggie.   Yeah, that last one was bad in more than the financial way. 8-(

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

The 2014 GRAND TOTAL.....
With 11 months accounted for, our Savings Grand Total for 2014 is $26,353.19.
We have surpassed our goal for the year and there is one more month to save even more $!

I will be curious to see how much we can sock away in December.  I am hoping at least $1K.  With Christmas and traveling plans(expenses)I don't want to get my hopes up any higher than that.  Last December we put away just over $1,200.
It would be nice to have that kind of a cushion going into January as our medical high deductible resets and I'll be paying retail for some pricey drugs. 8-(
Looking ahead for December......

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

*  We have no irregular bills due in December.

So how was your November financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in November?
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 out your progress too and celebrate with you or commiserate with you!



  1. With the broken water line since Oct 28th, I have had to go to the Laundromat, buy drinking water, drive to get hose water in vinegar jugs, eat out more, throw away food bought that did not get cooked due to not having clean pots and pans, ate out more--just cheap and sodium filled hamburgers. I cannot stand to do all this. The leaning ever so slightly makes me nauseous with pain.

    As you can see November did not fare so well. After having six inches of water in the basement, my water usage was still below the minimum. That seems strange, but not using water for the whole month actually made up for all the water that just ran for nothing out of the broken pipe.

  2. So let me get this raised your savings goal amount and you have exceeded that goal....with still a month to go! Well that is FANtastic!! A big part of that is being DEBT FREE sister - you are going to be SO ready for retirement. Proud of ya!


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