Thursday, September 1, 2016

2016 $38K Savings Challenge......August 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 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 2016 I am continuing my Yearly Savings Challenge.  I am raising the Goal amount to $38,000 this year, $8K more than my goal for last year.

On to the August report.....
I have posted my August End of Month $38K $AVING$ 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 $3,166.66.

I have to report that we finished up August with a staggeringly low amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of August with?.......$964.60


We had $669.66 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in August totaled $294.94.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts, a small per diem payment and a medical refund for over payment.

This brought us to our gain of $964.60
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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


*  Phone charges, electric bill, internet and cash withdrawals were approximately the same as last month(Within $1 or so).
*  The gas card spending was down $65.47 from July as Hubs put less gas charges on the gas card.
*  The water bill was $9.69 lower than in July.  Obviously someone was not showering as much. ;-)
*  The direct medical spending was down $247.09 from July's total.  Lots of little co-pays and no big bills from Daughter's LA medical stuff....that is all paid off as of now.


*  The credit card bill was UP $1550.02 from the previous month's bill. Much of that was vacation spending.
*  The Electric bill was up 5.25.  Not bad considering more a/c was used in August than July.
*  House Insurance was due in August.  This is an annual bill.
* While I though I could get away with ditching car insurance on the third car, per state law we have to keep it insured until the designated dono charityr hauls it off, so I had to pay 3 months worth at $218.76.
We will get a pro rated refund once the car is physically gone.

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

With 8 month accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2016 is $23,253.64.

Final thoughts on August---

If not for the vacation spending on the c/c, a charity cash donation, an annual house insurance payment + a partial car insurance payment we would have hit the monthly goal of putting $3166.33 into the Savings Challenge kitty.
But life happens, doesn't it?

Compared to August 2015 we put $1897.55 LESS into savings this August.
We have $23,253.64 saved so far in 2016, and we have only $14,746.36 left to save over the next 4 months at this point to reach our goal of $38K saved.  That averages out to $3686.59 a month for the rest of the year.  This means for the rest of the year I need to average $519.93 MORE per month than our monthly savings target goal of $3,166.66.

Only 4 months left in the year to get to my savings goal.  We are quickly running out of time in 2016.

THOUGHTS going forward into September----
September Bill Armageddon month-Property Taxes are due. bleh.
Fortunately our 3rd paycheck month is September this year so that will offset taxes.
Add in that we have finally hit that mark in the year where the government taxes go down so we get a little more in each payment.
We should be on track to have a large amount to dump into the Savings Challenge at the end of September....unless life happens again.  ;-)

So how was your August financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in August?
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!

As we go forward into the last half of 2016 why not make this year the one were you clean up your finances and pay off your debts.
Plan to set something aside if you don't already now or increase what you bank now for your future self.
Or pay extra on the principle of your mortgage if your house isn't already paid off.

Live below your means and keep some change for a rainy day....because no matter how sunny it is in your life now, dark clouds come along and you'll be glad you have that umbrella to keep you dry.



  1. Hi Sluggy, this is Chris. I had emailed you earlier this year about saving for a new (used) car. I wanted to let you know that as of this month, we have made our goal and hubs will be starting to look for one. I will let you know what we get. :)

  2. I think you have done well, considering the things that have come along. Tomorrow, I will pay off a small balance on a store card.

  3. Life has a way of kicking our financial butts but you still saved, and that is huge. Plus, you have made major investments in your children-many, most, would not be able to do what you are doing to help your daughter and BF get set up again. If I was a betting person, I would bet you will still hit your $38 K goal.

  4. Well, based on oversaving in other years and having extra bodies in your home I think you are still doing fantastic. Our financial armageddon Month is June with property taxes, house insurance and car insurance being due. Due to a shuffling of vehicles though our car insurance is now due in October and January and no longer at the same time as property stuff so much easier to take and save for.


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