Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2017 Savings Challenge......February 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 savings 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 2017 I am continuing my Yearly Savings Challenge.
I have decided to lower the goal amount to save for the year to $35K.
I barely made my $38K goal in 2016, what with our added expenses, so I think it's wise to back down the goal a bit again this year so I am not so stressed through out the year worrying about making the number.

We will have higher medical expenses this year and although the BF doesn't live here anymore the Daughter does still, so some everyday bills will be higher than when it was just Hubs and I(and College Boy here during school breaks).

If I do better than I think I will and save OVER my goal that's great too. 8-)

On to the February report.....
I have posted my Febuary End of Month $35K $AVING$ 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 $2,9916.66.

I have to report that we finished up February with a surprisingly to me large amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of February with?.......$2200.49


We had $2054.29 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in February totaled $146.20.  This was interest made on non-retirement accounts.

This brought us to our gain of $2200.49
Since we have no debt, this all goes into savings, BUT this month I am holding back $500 to put toward March medical bills, so only $1700.49 of that gain will go toward the Savings Challenge for February.

As for the expenses this February, 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 water bill was $9.08 lower than last month's bill.
*  The electric bill was $102.77 less than in January.  All this weirdly warm weather has paid off here.
*  Cash withdrawals were the same as last month.  With Hubs still working from home, he doesn't go out much or have much opportunity to spend cash on coffee and such.  Now and again, he gets a sandwich out or takes me to Bob Evans for lunch with this $ but that's about it.


*  The credit card bill was $798.09 higher in February.  $920.73 of this bill was medical charges.
*  The gas card bill was $69.52 higher than January's bill.
*  There was a Kohl's charge bill of $4.70 after I used a gift card to purchase supportive shoes for Hubs to walk in as he recovers from his injury.
*  We had 1 irregular bills due in February-3 months of garbage disposal service.

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

With 2 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2017 is $5700.54.

FINAL THOUGHTS on February---

I knew February would be a bit lackluster since we were still operating with a partial disability pay situation this month.  Plus I needed to hold back some excess income to use in March to put toward medical bills that would arrive then.
Compared to February 2016 we saved $305.08 LESS to put into savings this February. It would have been about the same amount as last February if I didn't reserve that $500 to use in March.

THOUGHTS going forward into March of 2017----

Now that Hubs is back on regular pay rates we should make better progress with our savings goals.
Well except for March being one of our irregular bills/property tax months AND all those medical bills that I expect to arrive this month.

Two months into the year and there is $29,299.46 left to hit our $35K Saving Challenge target for the year.  This averages out to $2,929.95 per month for the next 10 months.

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

I hope this year was the one were you cleaned up your finances and paid off your debts.
That you planned to set something aside if you didn't already or increased what you banked now for your future self.
Or paid 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. I love, love, love your last paragraph! Nothing could be truer!

  2. I am making progress and paying off some small bills now on to bigger ones!

  3. I have money automatically transferred from my checking to my savings account twice a month. When I needed a new roof last summer, I had enough in savings to pay for it. I also pay extra on my mortgage every month. Best of all, it's been years since I had a car payment.


    1. Good on you Janie for kicking that car payment habit!
      I feel after my years of financial experience, that the one single thing people can do to remain debt-free is to NEVER finance a car!
      Of all debts, it is the one that is hardest to escape the cycle of, once having fallen into.

  4. February was great for us. I saved about $7500. This month won't be as great as my check will be lower back but that is the world of commissions.

  5. Considering the huge income fluctuation well done. I'm hoping for a strong March.

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