Tuesday, February 3, 2015

$28K 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 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 2015 I am continuing my Yearly Savings Challenge.  I am raising the Goal amount slightly to $28,000 this year, $4K more than my goal for last year.

On to the January report.....

I have posted my January End of Month $28K $AVING$ 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 $2,333.33.

I have to report that we finished up January.
The extra amount we ended the month of  January with?.......$1,475.17.


We had $2,152.77 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
But we promised to pay for our Daughter's wisdom teeth extraction so another $807 flew out the door, leaving us with $1,345.77.
Other monies received in January totaled $129.40.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts.

This brought us to our gain of $1,475.17.
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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


*  The cable/internet was $39.95.  This is our new "normal" since ditching the cable component.  I am certainly enjoying NOT paying $70.81 that we were paying for basic cable last year.
*  Phone charges were approximately the same as last month.

*  The electric bill was up $55.47 over December's bill due to heating.  This cost will continue to increase for the next month(Feb is typically our highest electric bill month) and then start decreasing again.
*  The water bill was up $3.04 from last month, mostly due to College Boy being home in Jan. and all those extra showers and laundry.
*  Cash spending decreased by $550 from last month. Yeah!
*  The credit card bill(paid off each month)was down $222.06.  If not for a $1K+ repair/maintenance car bill it would have been half as much. sigh
*  We had some irregular spending too in January--a few small store charge card bills from Christmas spending and the dental bill we paid for the Daughter.

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

The 2015 TOTAL.....
With 1 month accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2015 is $1,475.17.

THOUGHTS going forward into February----

Along with the usual bills we have car insurance to pay in February.  The credit card bill should be under $1K(hopefully around $600 is possible at this time).  The electric bill may top $500(using Feb. 2014 as a guide) but we can cover that no problem.
We didn't make our $2,333.33 goal for Jan. but should be able to make it for February. 
Hopefully we can save more than the monthly $2,333.33 goal in Feb. as we have no travel plans no big expenses and car repairs.
But one never knows, do one?

With 1 month behind us we have $1,475.17 down and $26,524.83 left to save in 20015.
Let's just eat this elephant one bite(month)at a time and not worry about the whole pachyderm for the time being.  ;-)
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 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. do you reinvest your interest earned on investments? Mine automatically invests...taking advantage of compound interest...do you take yours out and use it like cash? Curious as you counted it as "earning". curious to see how others handle this?

    1. All account interest stays in those accounts. We don't withdraw interest. Dividends OTOH are cashed and either reinvested in other accounts or spent depending on needs.

  2. I'm just glad that we survived January. We bought new furniture and that was fine. We had almost all the money and we decided that instead of paying to have two sets delivered when I had the cash in hand we would just get all at once and save at least $100. I was $500 sort but I knew I could come up with it in a month. Then Den got hit by that girl and it was another $500 out the window. And her insurance won't pay it back. BASTARDS! I could have drank that money.


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