Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Income & Spending Report.....March 2018

Now that we are living on an annuity(like a pension) and 401K$ withdrawals(retirement savings), 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 these two sources of income and not have to dip into the regular savings(that I built over the last 10 years)to pay our month to month expenses.

Since I got another nasty anonymous comment and another comment about how my accounting sucks and about how I am misleading people since I refer to the overage I carry over from month to month as "income"(and no, I don't believe anybody thinks this is true income but I do have to account for it, don't I?)I will handle it differently going forward.

And no, I am not trying to fool myself or anyone else with my monthly spending reports.   I am trying to be as transparent as I can with how much is coming in and how much is going out.  8-)


On to the March 2018 report--

I had 2 goals for March......
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 tuck back into a slush fund.  This slush fun may be to apply toward unforeseen bills that are coming due in subsequent months, to spend on "extras/wants" during the year or to just sit there and grow until the end of 2018.

I have to report that we finished up March in the black.
The extra amount we ended the month of March with?.......$1,778.19

Income

The income in March---
* Monthly annuity payment of $3173.13(after tax withholding)
* RMSA(Healthcare account)reimbursement of $1813.48
* One third of 401K withdrawal balance for Feb. of $851.11 ##
* Interest earned on non-retirement accounts of $311.79
* Stock dividends of $98.07

Total Income for March......$6,247.58

## The balance of the 401K withdrawal($2553.31)got divided by 3 and gives us $851.10 in January to add to the income for the month(Feb. and Mar. will also get $851.10/$851.11 respectively)for general expenses.


Expenses in March---
* Healthcare Premium for March was $1813.48.
* Variable Expenses in March came to $2655.91.

Total Expenses for March......$4,469.39

$6,247.58-$4,469.39=$1,778.19 overage for March.

* Two Irregular expenses were due and paid-the Real Estate taxes and an Annual Sewage bill totaling $1802.53.  These were paid out of the Sinking Fund which was $2858.76.  SF fund remaining carries over into April in the amount of $1056.23 and there will be a deposit into it in April as well when we take the 2nd quarter 401K withdrawal.

The monthly overage will now be referred to as our "Slush Fund".  I call it that above in my 2 goals I try to reach each month.
Think of it as a Short Term Savings we can draw on if our bills are high in any given month and the Annuity/401K draw/Interest/Dividends/Other Side Hustle Monies don't cover all the bills.

We went into March with $6422.92 in the Slush Fund.
Add in March's overage of $1,778.19 to the Slush Fund and it stands at $8,201.11 going into April.


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

HERE are the GOOD THINGS

*  Phone charges and internet were approximately the same as last month(Within $1 or so).
*  The water bill was $14.66 lower the February.
*  The electric bill was $27.94 lower than last month.
*  The medical payments were $161.37 lower than in February.
*  The LA house electric bill was $7.91 lower than last month.
*  The health insurance premium was the same as in February.


HERE are the BAD THING

*  The gas card charges were $57.62 higher than last month due to Hubs trip to LA.
*  The credit card bill was $236.05 higher than in February.
*  The cash WAM withdrawals was $190 higher than last month due to Hubs trip to LA.
*  The long distance phone bill was $1.80 higher than in February.
*  Annual real estate taxes and sewage bill was due this month.  Thes two irregular bills were paid out of the Sinking Fund account.

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

So we end March in the black with $1778.19 in new general overage so once it goes into the Slush Fund that Fund goes into April standing at $8,201.11. ($6422.92+$1778.19=$8,201.11).
The Sinking Fund goes into April standing at $1,056.23.

FINAL THOUGHTS on March---No big charges I didn't know where coming in March and the "usual suspects" aka the variable bills were pretty low.

What I consider our "income" was the annuity and the partial 401k withdrawal of $851.11, and any interest/dividends/extra side hustle monies, so $4434.10 "income" for March.  The Mar. variable bills(without the Healthcare premium which is covered fully by the RMSA refund)were $2655.91 so we had $1778.19 leftover from "income" when the month was over.  If we can cover the bills(variable and irregular)each month with "income" leftover, this overage( Slush Fund)will continue to grow into the succeeding months.

THOUGHTS going forward into April 2018----This month there are two irregular bills due-our long term care quarterly premiums and these will be paid out of the Sinking Fund balance.  Electric should continue to go down.  The credit card bill will continue to be high(around $1500).  Once we get Hubs eye dr. charges figured out(they insist on him paying when he goes even though the EOBs they submit to our insurance vary a LOT(on the low side)from what they charge him....it is a nightmare!)the month should be a good and ho-hum one for us.  IF this house sale goes through in April all the better!!  And we should come out on the other side of the tax season in the black with a refund so two things to look forward to resolving in our favor in April. 8-))

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

Make this year was the one were you clean up your finances and pay off your debts.
Plan to set something aside if you didn't already or increased what you have banked 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.

Sluggy

14 comments:

  1. I was kind of laughing about the "blow it on a want" comment. This month I spent a whopping 147 bucks on extras. Nothing else paid or bought but regular household expenses. The extras? A new set of sheets and a hand held vac. The vac we could have lived without but it sure does make doing the stairs easier, and I am at the stage where I am willing to blow 89.99 for ease. The sheets are only a luxury item if you consider replacing the sheets used daily for nearly 10 years a luxury. (Yeah I am one of those who launders the sheets and put them right back on the bed)

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    1. Having made frugal choices in life on your income now let you decide where you want to spend that money. I won't begrudge you a mini-vac and a set of nice sheets! Good sheets IMHO are a necessity(once you pay off your debts). We are "blow it on a want" now and again, even moi! lolz

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  2. Good on you guys! Trying to get things under control on this end...

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  3. It's great that you are doing so well in your early retirement, but the amount of excess money left at the end of the month makes me wonder whether your budgeting is off. Would you consider taking a smaller withdrawal from your 401K? Or would it make sense to apply the extra to some specific goal or investment?

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    1. Hubs insists on taking this amount of 401K withdrawal....you should have seen the amount "HE" wanted to take before I talked him down!lol
      We are only 3 months into the 401K withdrawals and we are learning as we go. After we get this house in Louisiana sold and have 6 months of 401K draws we'll probably sit down and readjust the plan. It's a learning process still for us. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. No "wants" happening in my world right now. We managed to stay within budget for March and paid off a boatload of debt. Woohoo! For those who might not be familiar, I am blogging my journey to get out of debt (in my 50s) over at A Dime at a Time.com

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    1. Plug your blog all you want on here.....that's what I'm here for. lolz
      Seriously go visit Lucy if you are slogging your way out of debt. You might find some inspiration there! ;-)

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  5. Don't let internet trolls get the better of you. This past year, I had someone, under their own name, make some comments that were really creepy, as in recalling/following how much I spent on something months back and making some negative comments. Blocked her off of FB, wish I knew how/if I can block her from my blog. ((shudder)). My numbers are similar to yours, and I live off of 53% of my income. I am continuing to tackle home remodeling debt, throwing $$$$/month at a credit card used. I remain on track to pay that off by the end of 2018, my goal. I have additional upgrade debt (at 0%) but either make my required monthly repayment or my own decided upon monthly repayment (not due at all until 3/2019 but I would rather slowly chip away at it rather than have to cough up $XXXX next March, risk 25% interest charge, retroactively applied. Very do-able. I remain careful, live purposefully. Recent expenditures include $$$ sandals and sneakers (former ones are ancient or long recycled), sale priced tops through Kohl's. Since I really haven't spent any "clothing" monies for months, the monies are already there. I am actively saving for some outdoor projects, and tax man entered the scene. I have the cash on hand, as a result to pay it all, in full. I can still continue on my time line (for now) as regards projects. Meanwhile, I am getting quotes on a sump pump installation, stump grinding, water treatment filter installation. I'll work my magic, prioritize at the end of every month when I receive my income, and decide what to do with my "slush fund". My E fund remains intact, I hope never to touch it. 2 new tires are soon getting purchased and installed when I have my snows switched out. Again, monies set aside monthly, allow me to address these things without hitting anything else to do so, in my budget.

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  6. I really enjoy your blog and find your methods of saving incredible. My hat is off to you with the Rite Aid money maker, I have to confess that is a bit over my head! I have a feeling that the negative comments are due to jealously and nothing more.

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  7. March ended pretty good for me. Stayed pretty much within budget. Any overage I had is applied towards the next month budget, ie a carry over. However, due to unexpected crisis, April is not starting off too well. Still plugging away at the debt. - For more details - see http://planetdebtfree.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Sluggy, this is Chris. I wanted to tell Rhitter94 to hang in there with what is going on with her recent emergency. I am not sure how to comment on her blog, but I read it and am pulling for her.

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  8. March was OK, but not as strong as I would have liked considering we had an extra paycheck and a back pay increase. Still, we paid a lot of coss towards our annual goals and have a game plan moving forward. We are maxing our retirements funds (this month to pay the $13K on the Roth) and still enjoying life. Thanks for inviting me to post. I'd love some more readers. https://newframereference.blogspot.com/2018/04/march-money-wrap-up.html

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  9. Hi Sluggy, this is Chris. March was a spendy month for us with the bridal showers for my nieces and then the weddings will be this month. We have had a lot of medical bills for the first quarter, but are not quite to the deductible yet, so paying everything OOP. We are now 2/3 paid off for our mortgage. Doing taxes this weekend and if we get any refunds, I will apply to the principal. Still working on our goal for paying it off by the time hubby is 60 next year.

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  10. March was a great month for us. Hubby got paid 3 times this month but we always figure our budget based on 2. His extra check went into college savings. We got our federal tax refund. It was much higher this year then the past few and I'm not sure why but was happy to put that money to college savings too. We sold my husbands old truck so that money went back into the car fund. It was pretty low so that is making me happy. We also received some generous cash gifts and gift cards because of our anniversary. Not sure what we are doing with them so for now they went into our savings account. I love months like this.

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