Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Income & Spending Report.....September Update

* As Hubs retired effective July 1, I am no longer doing my 2017 Savings Challenge.
We ended that on June 30th.  The goal was $17.5K saved for the half of 2017 that Hubs was working.
We actually saved $21,100.42 all totaled, so $3600.42 over goal!

Now that we are living on an annuity and 401K$(no 401K$ until October)I am still going to keep track of our monthly spending and income, and hopefully we'll still be able to live BELOW our means and I'll have some leftover monies each month to tuck aside.
But this money leftover at the end of each month, at least for now(as we find our new financial "normal")won't be saved toward a yearly Savings Challenge.

The issue now is to cover all the bills with just the annuity payment each month plus some liquid savings(checking account cash)until October.
October is when Hubs turns 59.5 and then we can access the 401K retirement savings.  Until then things will be tight here at Chez Sluggy, so all the leftover monthly cash will get tucked aside to pay irregular bills that will be popping up in August and September.

Got it?
OK, let's move on.

Though nothing will be put toward it the rest of 2017(probably), the 2017 $17.5K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals are still available
Check out the Savings Challenge page tab at the top of the blog for the specific numbers HERE.

On to the September report--
I had 2 goals for September......
The 1st is to actually finish the month in the black and not the red.
The 2nd is to try to have a little cash leftover at the end of the previous month to apply toward irregular bills that are coming due in the next month.

I have to report that we finished up September in the black.
The extra amount we ended the month of September with?.......$3145.15


The income in September was the monthly annuity payment and the August overage of $562.41.
Other monies received in September totaled $5198.61.  This was interest made on non-retirement accounts, two stock dividend checks and almost $5K of that gain was a reimbursement of 3 months of healthcare premiums(paid back from our RMSA account).  (Going forward I won't include the healthcare premium paid each month on our monthly bills as it will be automatically reimbursed now.)

This brought us to our gain of $3145.15  Thank goodness that healthcare premium reimbursement came in when it did!  Had it not, we would have been in the negative and would  have had to dip into regular savings to pay all the bills that came due in September.

Since we have no debt, this will get put aside to apply to the irregular bills coming due in October--a quarterly bill for long term care insurance and a quarterly garbage collection bill and then carry over into 2018 if it's not needed to pay bills before 2017 is over.

As for the expenses this September, 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 $6.54 higher than in August.
*  The gas card bill was $50.59 higher than last month.
*  The cash withdrawals were $220 higher than in August(because no cash was withdrawn in Aug.)
*  The electric bill was $9.77 higher than last month's bill.
*  The credit card bill was $807.79 higher in September compared to August
*  The medical bills were $1.79 higher this month over last month's bills.
*  School taxes were due.
*  We had a small dental bill to pay in September.
*  We had to pay the September health insurance premium of $1771.94.
*  We made two donations to charity(Houston Food Bank and Americares for Puerto Rico relief).  While these aren't "bad" things, having received our RMSA reimbursement meant we could cut two checks this month to these charities rather than having to wait until better cash flow in October to do so.

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

So we end September in the black with $3145.15 to apply to the two irregular bills due in October.
This will be more than enough to cover those two bills.

FINAL THOUGHTS on September---Lots of bills both regular and irregular were due in September.  And most of the regular bills were all a bit higher than the previous month. 

I have to keep stopping myself from freaking out when I pay bills and remind myself that no, our bills aren't higher.  It's just that some bills were paid out of Hub's paycheck(before he retired)automatically from his gross pay, before I got his take home pay.  Now those bills are needing to be physically paid by me.  They aren't NEW bills.  They are just getting paid differently.  Maybe in a month or two I can get that through my thick head. lolz

THOUGHTS going forward into October of 2017----

I'll be setting up a sinking fund to cover our irregular costs for 2018, meaning I'll set aside a specific amount each month in 2018($650)from the annuity payment so that when these irregulars come due I have cash enough in that account to pay those bills without dipping into regular savings.

There is one more big irregular bill in 2017 coming in November--the semi-annual car insurance premium of approx. $900.  I should be able to cover that with regular income this year but I think I'll begin the Sinking Fund in October of this year anyway and get a jump on the 2018 irregular expenses so we can cash flow all the irregulars in 2018.
Other than this, all the regular bills should be about the same in October as they were in September.

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!

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. Well, what with the car purchase and extra flight to get home from Scotland I didn't end up with huge amounts going to savings. BUT, I didn't add any debt either and for me that's what counts. I hate debt with a passion!

    1. Avoiding debt wins you the gold star Jane! ;-)

  2. Quit freaking out, you can come live with me. Is your garage clean, I want pictures. :)

    1. Garage is a work in progress at the moment.

  3. I think you should include your health care premiums as part of your expenses and the RMSA reimbursement as income so everything zeroes out. Medical is so expensive when you pay for it on your own ... yours is one of the few places where I've seen that expense honestly addressed for an early retiree. It seems like most early retirees have employer sponsored health care as a retirement benefit or are very young with no pre-existing conditions and fairly low premiums. Anyway, it's just nice to see somebody putting out a real number for insurance premiums.

    1. Ms. Moreless, I can do that if it helps someone to see an honest number. We'll be looking at ACA plans next month too to decide if we stick with COBRA coverage for another year or not too.(fun, fun)


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