Tuesday, January 6, 2015

$24K Savings Challenge.....December 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 an interest bearing Savings Challenge account. 

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 December report.....

I have posted my December 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 December .
The extra amount we ended the month of  December with?.......$2,147.75.

Income

We had $1,908.85 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
 
Other monies received in December totaled $238.90.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts, stock dividends, a per diem for Hubs' work and a bank deposit from my electronic coupon account.

This brought us to our gain of $2147.75.
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

Usually goes into savings.......except we have already surpassed our $24K savings goal for 2014 AND we have a $4K insurance deductible that kicked in on Jan 1st.
Because of this, I am only sending half of December's savings amount toward the $24K Savings Challenge.  Half of what we saved in December is $1,073.87.

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

HERE are the GOOD THINGS

*  The cable/internet was $39.95.  This is slightly more than November's bill but we had a credit last month.
*  Phone charges were approximately the same as last month.

 
HERE are the BAD THINGS
.
*  The electric bill was up $126.13 over November due to heating.  This cost will continue to increase for the next 2 months and then start decreasing again.
*  The water bill was up $8.17 from last month, mostly due to College Boy being home in Dec.
*  Cash spending increased by $530 from last month, mostly due to Christmas and traveling.
*  The credit card bill(paid off each month)was up $267.16, mostly due to a car repair.
*  We had some irregular spending too in December--birthday monies, charity donations and driver's license renewal costs, all came to $279.50.

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

The 2014 GRAND TOTAL.....
With 12 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2014 is $27,427.06.

 Even with only sending half of December's leftover cash into the Savings Challenge we were able to surpass our $24,000.00 goal by $3,427.06.
Yeah us!!! 8-)))

THOUGHTS going forward---
In 2013 we were able to save $24,033.60 in our Savings Challenge.  Our 2014 amount saved was $3,393.46 more than the previous year.  I guess it was due to a slight pay increase for Hubs and a few lower costs/bills throughout the year.
I am still considering what $ goal to shoot for in 2015.  I don't see our income changing much this year and so far our expenses look to be stable so I may increase the goal a bit from last year's of $24K since we surpassed that one.
$28K perhaps???
More on this later in the month.
 
 
So how was your December financially?
  
Did you spend less than the income you had in December?
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?

How much were you able to save in 2014?
Do you have a regular savings goal?

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!

Sluggy

7 comments:

  1. Actual savings, about 10,000 a year. Now if I had no debt? Think of what I could do? I could take over the world!

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  2. I always check the dollar amount for utilities and compare it to the month before and the year before. But, I go further and check for actual usage that is apart from the cost. I am just wondering if you check usage/units of each utility--electric, water, etc.? Of course, the money matters, but checking usage helps me to temper my usage. That way, I can ask myself how to stop the rise in usage. Of course, my utility usage and bill are four times more in the water and sewage categories because of the water leak. The city will lower that to my usual amount that is lower than the minimum I must pay each month.

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  3. Do the Rite-Aid and CVS stores, etc. cringe when they see you coming? No doubt your thrifty shopping has assisted you in meeting your financial goals.

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  4. We spent more... Mainly because Robb got a bonus and we splurged a little. It was nice not having to remember exactly how much was in the account when we needed to buy groceries or a gift! I've got the next year plotted out tho and within 3 years, IF WE STICK TO IT, we'll have all but our mortgage to pay off, which if we get to 1.5 years we'll probably refinance anyway so that's not a problem...

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  5. What a lucky couple. You save more than I make in month.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  6. I ended up with some money left over in December which was thrilling - I don't think that's every happened before. Over the first six months of 2014 when I was still working I saved $2500 per month and since then not so much as I've been spending - my trip to England, my new flooring but that was also balanced by some extra $$ - $5,000 early retirement incentive and some $$ when I sold my PEI house. Now that I'm on a pension the plan is to save $350 per month plus whatever is left of my budget by month end. I posted a "page" at the top of my blog of my new 2015 budget.

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  7. We never spend more than we make, but we don't come close to saving what you do. We saved about $7500 last year. We are saving up to buy Hubby a new car in the spring and I want to pay cash. We could have saved more this year, but we have spent a lot on medical expenses and eating out. Hopefully that won't be the case in 2015.

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