Thursday, April 2, 2015

$28K 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 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 or these other categories.

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 March report.....

I have posted my March 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 March with a good amount saved.
The extra amount we ended the month of  March with?.......$3,797.12

Income

We had $2,296.14 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
 
Other monies received in March totaled $1,500.98.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts, dividend checks from stocks held plus a partial refund on the money we paid out for our daughter's wisdom teeth surgery.  Also included is the 2014 Tax Refund we received.

This brought us to our gain of $3,797.12.
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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

HERE are the GOOD THINGS
 
*  Phone charges, internet and  were approximately the same as last month.
*  Water bill went down $2.04 from February's bill.
*  Credit Card bill went down $283.70 from February's bill. 
*  Gas charge card went down $37.66 from February's bill.
 
HERE are the BAD THINGS
.
*  Cash withdrawals went up $130.48 from February's withdrawals.
*  The electric bill was up $22.24 over Febuary's bill due to more heating.  Actually maybe this should be under GOOD Things since only using $22.24 more in energy in the middle of Winter is a "win".  This new efficient heating system is killing it! in terms of lowering our electricity usage.
*  We had a LOT of irregular spending too in March--we paid the sewage bill for the entire year in one chunk, additional tax was owned to the State, there were 2 small charges on store credit cards which were paid in full, and the local property taxes which was by far the largest amount paid out.I
In all there was $1809.34 in irregular bill spending this month.
 
The Food Budget costs for March are in another post, which is located HERE.  I actually came in under budget on food/toiletries for March.
 

The 2015 TOTAL.....
With 3 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2015 is $8,695.38.
That averages $2800+ a month so far and is about $500 more than we need to put away every month to reach the $28K goal for the year.

THOUGHTS going forward into April----

Irregular bills coming in April.... The only non-regular bill may be 2 dental bills as Hubs and I went to the dentist in Feb. and March so I am figuring at least one of those bills will come in during April.
There will be a cataract surgery bill(if I go with an upgrade)and we may have to foot that one instead of taking it out of the HSA fund as it's quite low after paying all those high deductibles for the year recently.

We will also be receiving an insurance bill in April for the "new- used" car we just bought.
If all the "regular" bills stay about the same as they were in March, those should amount to $1800.
Add in about $450 for the new car insurance charges and $300 or so for the dental bills and our nut in April will run about $2,500(not counting any cataract surgery costs).  April is a 3 paycheck month for us so next month's amount saved should be awesome!


With 3 months behind us we have $8,695.38 down and $19,304.62 left to save in 20015.  That breaks down into $2,144.96 per month for the next 9 months of the year. I think we can easily do this number each month.
 
 
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?
What did you do with any money leftover at the end of the month?
Did you pay off any debts or put extra toward your mortgage principle or into savings in an emergency fund or a retirement account?
Or did you blow it on something you wanted?
 
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

6 comments:

  1. Financially in March we did OK! We put 416.66 in my SEP, 365 into a Money Market account, 403.00 into an interest bearing savings that we just opened in January. I also have 150 monthly go into our HSA, and added another 200 as I knew we would have some office visit bills coming in. All bills were covered, AND we were able to get new tires for DH car and a minor repair for cash.

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  2. My lack of money cause big problems, and I don't see any way of improving the situation.

    This question has nothing to do with my progress or yours. But, just out of curiosity, how did your thriftiness evolve in your marriage. I know you have said things were tight in the beginning. Is there anything you wish you had done or known back then that you do now. I know, it is probably several posts worth of timeline to explain.

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  3. Financially, things are looking up. We consolidated a bunch of stuff and are looking to pay off almost all credit cards off within 18 months.
    If we can do that, then things will be healthier for us...
    Good on you!

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  4. all bills were paid in this household. Not much in savings though which was a shame.

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  5. I was THRILLED to see that me heating bill for March was $13 lower than the previous month even though it was 3 days longer!! Spring must be on its way!

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  6. Seriously March is over? Just a minute my mother is calling........

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