Wednesday, July 5, 2017

2017 Savings Challenge......June 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 June report.....
I have posted my June 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 June and the end of my 2017 Savings Challenge strong.
The extra amount we ended the month of June with?.......$2954.79


We had $2570.23 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in June totaled $384.56.  This was interest made on non-retirement accounts, two stock dividend checks and two per diem reimbursements.

This brought us to our gain of $2954.79
Since we have no debt, this all goes into savings.

As for the expenses this June, 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 cash withdrawals were $$349.50 lower than in May.  I only withdrew $60 for the whole month and Hubs kept to his budgeted amount for WAM.


*  The water bill was $20.69 higher than in May.
*  The electric bill was $25.23 more than last month's mostly due to the washer/dryer running more and the kids turned on the a/c units in their rooms.
*  The gas credit card bill was $52.03 higher in June from May's amount.  This is due to Hubs putting less gas purchases on this c/c over the Master card.
*  The credit card bill was $630.71 higher in June than in May.  This was mostly May charges like VA trip spending.
*  The medical bills were $5.40 higher this month over last month's bills.
*  We had to pay 6 months of insurance on the LA house in June.
*  I paid a $178.20 dental bill which catches us up with what we owe on co-insurance to the dentist.

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

With 6 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2017 is $21,100.42.
We have surpassed our revised goal by $3600.42.  Woohoo!

We had a fairly high expense month in June.  Most of our regular bills were  higher than in May(though overall only about $400 more)and then we had two irregular bills due(one of them over $1K)plus the credit card bill was over $1K for various reasons.  So in the end, not a terrible month but not a great one either.

Compared to June 2016 we saved $992.13 MORE to put into savings this June.  June always seems to be a higher expense month for us.

THOUGHTS going forward into July of 2017----
The regular bills will be about the same as in June since the credit card bill for our trip charges in July will come due in August.  I won't be here for half of July to monitor the kids aka "them that leave lights and a/c on when not in the room people" using the utilities(water/electric)so who knows how high they will be.
As for irregular bills, we have no irregular bills in July but, that being said, we will have bills associated with getting the LA house on the market(putting water and lights on in our name plus changing the locks and paying someone to repair stuff)this month.
Between the trip and putting the house on the market July may be a budget buster since we will be operating on a reduced income until October.  Things will still get paid though, out of our deep cash reserves until Fall.
It will all work out in the end once we start tapping the 401K account and we get this LA house sold.

So this marks the end of my regular Yearly Savings Challenge feature.  Since we won't have regular paychecks coming in as income I was going to discontinue this feature on the blog.  We won't have enough disposable income going forward to have savings each month to put away.
Or at least I don't think we will.
But I'll put the question to you, the readers.
Would you find it instructive/helpful/interesting for me to post about trying to save going forward in retirement now?
Let me know.

So how was your June financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in June?
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. June was an excellent month for us. I posted our update over at A Dime at a Time for anyone interested in following my journey. We paid off over $2200 worth of debt. Woo hoo!
    I'd love for you to continue posting about your finances. It inspires me to keep plugging away at paying off debt!

  2. I too posted my semi-annual update. I pretty much stayed on target and on budget. I do have some challenges upcoming for July but in the end, I think it will be okay.

    1. How did I miss your update? Going to over to check it out now!

  3. You are so good and it really helps me to have someone who is so good to follow. I am always wallowing.

  4. Keep posting about efforts to save. When I had someone live with me for a month, I did not charge rent. I did charge her the difference in utilities for the same month the year before. Maybe that might be a motivator for them to use less utilities.

  5. OH YES!! Please continue to write about saving!!!

    Maybe this yearly savings goals won't be as high, but possibly having this goal to save will become a fun way to see how far your efforts can really go!

  6. I think that anyone posting in retirement is helpful to all people. If you are retired, it helps give the younger people an idea of what things will cost in retirement. Those who aren't retired are helped by how you cut costs, etc. So keep on posting Sluggy. I am hoping to get my blog moving again with those numbers when I return from helping my family in Eastern New York.

  7. Hi Sluggy this is Chris. I agree with AD, I would be helped by seeing how you handle your retirement income to keep costs down and make it last. Maybe the numbers might not be the same, as far as how much you are able to save from what you take out, but that is ok. I am especially interested to see how your health care will change since you are not old enough for Medicare yet. And if there are any other new categories I hadn't thought about.


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