Friday, June 2, 2017

2017 Savings Challenge....May 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 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.
Then Hubs decided to retire the end of June 2017, so this changes my goal again.

* I'm going to half my goal now, since I've got 6 months to get to the Savings Challenge Goal this year since Hubs is retiring effective June 30th.
This means the new revised goal is $17.5K for 2017 which was half of $35K.

On to the May report.....
I have posted my May End of Month $17.5K $AVING$ 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 May with a goodly sum.
The extra amount we ended the month of May with?.......$3393.75


We had $3092.13 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted which was over my targeted amount to save per month.
Other monies received in May totaled $301.62.  This was interest made on non-retirement accounts and a blogging revenue check.

This brought us to our gain of $3393.75
Since we have no debt, this all goes into savings.

As for the expenses this May, 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 $5.44 lower than in April.
*  The electric bill was $72.08 lower than last month's bill due to less cold weather.
*  The gas card bill was $29.73 less than April's bill.
*  The credit card bill was $1607.60 lower than in April, mostly because we didn't have any high deductible medical payments left to make.


*  The cash withdrawals were $449.50 higher than in April, mostly due to my trip to VA and Hubs buying crap not budgeted for.
*  The medical bills were $1.49 higher this month over last month's bills.
*  I had a small $24.79 payment due on my Kohl's account.
*  I paid 6 months ahead on our garbage bill in May, so a $168.00 irregular expense paid.
*  Our semi-annual car insurance premium was due this month so another $864.65 paid out.

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

With 5 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2017 is $18,145.63.
We have surpassed our revised goal by $645.63!
Sluggy does the Happy Dance!!!
And there is one more month to go to add to this total. 8-)

We had a fairly low expense month and we were able to tuck away over the monthly goal of $29916.66.  The only really negative about May was the increased cash withdrawals that Hubs made.  He had an out of town conference while I was in VA so I am sure he spent $ there that the company didn't pick up the tab for plus I know there was some Take-Out happening at dinner time too.
Even with irregular bills of car insurance and 6 months of garbage pick-up paid ahead we did quite well keeping money in our pockets in May.   ;-)

Compared to May 2016 we saved $1562.26 MORE to put into savings this May.

THOUGHTS going forward into June of 2017----
The regular bills will be about the same as in May except the credit card bill will be about $500+  higher in June.
As for irregular bills, we also have to pay half of the Louisiana house insurance payment for the year in June so another irregular bill to satisfy.
But we should get a partial refund on the insurance as the house going forward won't be a rental so the insurance cost will go down, and when we sell the house, we'll get whatever is left of the insurance payment back then.

If all expenses go as planned we should be able to put about 50% of Hubs June net pay into savings and finish this Savings Challenge for 2017 strongly.

Five months into the year and we have put $18,145.63 into savings.
We have surpassed our $17.5K Saving Challenge target for the year with one month to go to save even more.  I am hoping to top out at over $20K when I complete this Savings Challenge at the end of June.

So how was your May financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in May?
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. You continue to amaze and inspire me! Way to go with your savings!
    We managed to pay off $1,328.76 of baby step 2 debt (we are following the Dave Ramsey plan) plus cash flowed a lot of extra expenses. Progress!

    1. You are making great headway on your debt pay-off.
      Well done!

  2. Good for you. I paid a huge chunk on my quick lock loan! Yippee!

  3. Hi Sluggy this is Chris. I was wondering if you are going to do a different kind of Money Savings Challenge after Hubbs retires? May was good, I was able to stay in my budget and savings. We got a letter that they had over with held on our mortgage escrow account, so we got a small refund check and our payments for the next year will be $25/mo less each month. I took all of that and put it towards the principal. As of the June 1 payment, we have paid off 46% of our mortgage. I am so happy.

    1. Hi Chris,
      I'm not sure about a Savings Challenge in retirement. For sure it won't happen until after Oct. as we have 3 months to bridge until we can tap the 401K monies so things will be tight here.
      Go on you for putting that serendipity cash toward the principal. Also 50% paid off is awesome! You'll get there....

  4. I ended May in good shape. Maybe it was because I just bought milk, bananas, and salad stuff in May. I stocked up on nothing and did not buy the paper for ads and coupons. I did check all the grocery ads that come to the house and checked the rest online, using those savings for the produce. At any rate, I only was short for the last two days of the month, and stayed home because I had car in shop and they ran all the gas out! They had to keep the car running to check the freon.

  5. Okay, I did buy fruits other than bananas. Cherries were $.99/lb., so I got those and sale apples and oranges and grapes.

    The $0.78 head of lettuce lasted a week for salads and sandwiches. It was a huge head of lettuce!


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