Saturday, December 3, 2016

2016 $38K Savings Challenge.....November 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 November report.....
I have posted my November 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 November with a yummy amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of November with?.......$2,792.51


We had $2,645.68 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in November totaled $146.83.  This was solely interest made on non-retirement accounts.

This brought us to our gain of $2792.51
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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


*  Phone charges and internet were approximately the same as last month(Within $1 or so).
*  The electric bill was up $41.15 from October's total.  This is a "good" thing since the weather was warmer this year than in past years and very little heat was used/needed.


*  The credit card bill was up $972.60 from October's amount. Half of that was for groceries(and paying it in full each cycle)and the other half was mostly car repairs, and medical bills.
*  The water bill was $9.86 more than last month.
*  The gas bill was $57.29 higher than last month(more purchases for gas put on the c/c rather than the gas card.)
*  Semi-annual car insurance was due this month so there is $938.84 out the door.
*  Hubs had a dental bill for work done last month so there is $145.00 of irregular bills due.
*  Cash withdrawals were $50 higher(I took $200 rather than $150 this month, though I didn't spend it all.).

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

With 11 month accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2016 is $36,039.72.

FINAL THOUGHTS on November---

Compared to November 2015 we put $1,569.52 LESS into savings this November. 8-(
We have $36039.72 saved so far in 2016, and we have only $1960.28 left to save over the next month at this point to reach our goal of $38K saved.    We have higher everything bills now with 2 extra adults in the house plus can I mention that Christmas is coming!?!?

THOUGHTS going forward into December----

It's a two paycheck month here.  The credit card bill will be high again as there is over $1K in medical charges on it(co-pays, rxs, DMEs)as well as all the grocery charges. Other than a Kohl's charge bill there are no other irregular bills due in December.  But there is having to keep half of whatever we have leftover this month in hand to put toward offsetting the medical high deductible that kicks in Jan. 1st.  So all income leftover at month's end can't go into the Savings Challenge kitty, only roughly half of it.  It would be nice to have expenses in December come in at $3K or less as November's turned out to be just shy of $4K.  My personal "sweet spot" is $2K but with the added expenses that one isn't happening again anytime soon.  But we soldier on and do what we can to reduce costs.

So how was your November financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in November?
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. Saving money other than my pink change piggy is not happening here. It is bills, bills, bills, we are getting closer.

  2. I featured your giveaway on my blog. Here's the link:


  3. Second entry for blog post.

    Janie Junebug

  4. Third entry for blog post.

    Janie Junebug


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