Sunday, October 2, 2016

2016 $38K Savings Challenge.....September 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 September report.....
I have posted my September 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 September with a yummy amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of September with?.......$5,543.68


We had $4998.87 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in September totaled $544.81.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts, stock dividends, blogging revenue, a medical refund for over payment and a car insurance refund for over payment.

This brought us to our gain of $5543.68
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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


*  Phone charges, electric bill, and internet were approximately the same as last month(Within $1 or so).
*  The credit card bill was WAY DOWN $2023.76 from August's amount.
*  We received a car insurance refund of $192.48 on the car that was donated to charity.
*  We received 2 stock dividend checks in September.


*  The gas card bill was up $115.66.  Hubs used it more than the Mastercard to purchase gas in September.
*  The water bill was $9.69 higher than in August.
*  The direct medical spending was up again $24.63 from August's spending.
*  We received a car insurance bill of $70.60(I don't understand why)but this now moves our semiannual car insurance payments to November and May from October and April.
*  Property taxes were due and paid.  'Nuf said.....  If they had to be due better to be due in a month with a third paycheck, right?  ;-)

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

With 9 month accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2016 is $28,797.32.

Final thoughts on September---
Though we had some high expenses in September(Hello property taxes, I am speaking to you!)the third paycheck more than covered that and gave us a bit extra to tuck away into savings.

Compared to September 2015 we put $3625.32 MORE into savings this September, mostly due to this year's September being a 3 paycheck month.
We have $28,797.32 saved so far in 2016, and we have only $9,202.68left to save over the next 3 months at this point to reach our goal of $38K saved.  That averages out to $3,067.56 a month for the rest of the year.  This means for the rest of the year I need to average $99.10  per month LESS than our monthly savings target goal of $3,166.66.  But even with that, this will still be a tight race to get to $38K this year.  We have higher everything bills now with 2 extra adults in the house + more medical co-pays.

Only 3 months left in the year to get to my savings goal.  We are quickly running out of time in 2016.

THOUGHTS going forward into October----
I don't see any unusual or irregular bills coming up in October since the semi-annual car insurance bill moved from this month to November.  The electric bill will rise as we will see the heat being turned on in October.  Credit card purchases should stay steady and we have no trips planned this month which always derails our spending.

So how was your September financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in September?
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. Wow You are actually going to hit that higher goal! I know you can do it Sluggy!

  2. Trying to get my spouse to sit down to do a budget may as well ask the Senate to approve something by the president.


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