Tuesday, August 4, 2015

$28K Savings Challenge......July 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 July report.....
I have posted my July 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 July with a lovely amount of $.
The extra amount we ended the month of July with?.......$4,089.56


We had $3933.47 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in July totaled $156.09.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts and a per diem from Hub's work.

This brought us to our gain of $4089.56
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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

*  Phone charges and internet  were approximately the same as last month.
*  The gas credit card went down $85.41.  Hubs didn't buy gas at the Sunoco station because it was so high last month there, even with his .5¢ discount.  He put most gas charges on the reg. credit card and bought at a non-Sunoco station.  This credit card earns us point we can cash in for gift card.
*  The credit card charges went down by $2873.  There was no vacation spending on it plus we put very few charges on it before it closed mid July.

HERE are the BAD THINGS(and the not so bad)
*  Water bill went up by $10.63.
*  Electricity bill went up by $11.51(A bit more a/c used and the washer/dryer were run more with an extra person here.).
*  The cash withdrawals went up $326.52 due to using cash for some of the apartment hunting trip expenses and I bought a $100 Rite-Aid gift card this month.
The Food Budget costs for July are in another post, which is located HERE .

July has been out "cheapest" month so far in 2015.  Our expenses in July came to only $2200.00.
And that was even with a few out of the ordinary expenses(a Sam's club c/c charge, some medical co-pays, buying a gift card and paying the garbage bill ahead for the last 6 months of 2015.  These all came out to about $700+/- beyond our normal monthly costs.

The 2015 TOTAL.....
With 7 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2015 is $22,886.92.
That averages $3269.56 a month put into savings so far. 
We have left $5,113.08 to put away this year to reach our $28K Goal.

With $22886.92 saved already we only need to put away $1,022.62 each of the next 5 months to reach the $28K goal for the year and that's very doable for us.  ;-)

Finally thoughts on July---

I am amazed at how fast we've been able to pile up the extra/unspent $ this year!  It helped that in April we had that third paycheck.....this always builds our momentum and when it comes early in the year it gets me revved up to keep going.
July was NOT a third paycheck month but even so by not putting charges from mid May to mid July on the c/c we were able to keep the bills somewhat low.  Not having any car repairs last month also helped in that regard.
I am stoked to only be $5K+ away from reaching this savings goal for 2015.

THOUGHTS going forward into August----

As for irregular expenses.....
We have both the house insurance and $695 of car insurance due the end of August.
There are no trips planned this month, except for a one day trek to take College Boy back to school.  We will be renting a van for that trip so there is some expense for that.
The credit card bill is going to top out at around $1900 by the time it closes next Tuesday.  Yikes!  I blame eating out(both traveling and having kids home to visit in July expenses)plus a little retail therapy(mostly Hubs and getting a few things for College Boy before he heads back to school).

The last big irregular expenses coming is end of September and that is the school tax bill(local property taxes here are broken up into a school tax bill and a local tax bill).  I pay one in March and the other in September.  If we can keep the c/c spending down for the rest of the year we are golden for making our savings goal this year. 8-)

With 7 months behind us we have $22,886.92 down and $5,113.08 left to save in 2015. 
So how was your July financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in July?
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 a want?
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 or commiserate with you!



  1. I might have overspent last weekend and blown the budget. LOL
    I'm cutting back on everything so I don't feel so bad.
    Hey how much is your water for the month?

    1. July was $55.35 but that's a bit high for us even with College Boy home. His shower count per day may have hit an all time high. lolz

      Did you poop the UN yet?


Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Though I moderate it's partly to keep spam out but also partly so that I read every comment. I don't often respond to comments so if you need me to answer you please write me at my email addy posted on my "About Me" page, linked on the side bar.