Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2018 Income & Spending Report.....the December Edition

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.  This leftover cash will go into a "Slush Fund" for now to be used if we have any emergencies come up during the year.  If we still have Slush Funds at the end of the year we'll decide then what to do with those funds.

I have set up a page to track the Slush Fund.  Click on the tab marked "Slush Fund 2018" at the top of the blog.

  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 December 2018 report--

I had 2 goals for December......
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 December in the black.
The extra amount we ended the month of December with?.......-$1498.77

Income or Funds We Can Access

The "income" in December---

* Monthly annuity payment of $3218.16(after tax withholding)
* RMSA(Healthcare account)reimbursement of $1813.48
* Dividend income of $99.12
* Refunds/Rebates of $754.76
* Interest earned on non-retirement accounts of $377.86

Total "Income" for December......$6263.38

Expenses in December---

* Healthcare Premium for December was $1813.48.(paid with RMSA reimbursement)
* Variable Expenses in December came to $5948.67
Total Expenses....$7762.15

Sinking Fund--The balance in the Sinking Fund coming into December was $468.37. Nothing was paid from this fund so it goes into 2019 at $468.37

We went into November with $24,662,94 in the Slush Fund.
Add in December's overage of -$1498.77 to the Slush Fund and it stands at $23,164.17 going into January 2019.

As for the variable expenses this December, here are the good and the bad side of things....


*  Phone charges, internet and water bill were approximately the same as in November.(Within $1 or so).
*  The health insurance premium was the same as in November.
*  The cash WAM withdrawals was the same amount as last month.

HERE are the BAD THINGS-lots of bad. lolz

*  The c/c bill was $1299.506 higher than in November.
*  The electric bill was up $144.36 from than last month.
*  We paid Long Term Care premiums in December out of reg. income.
*  The gas card bill was $33.71 higher than in November.
*  I had to pay for my drivere's license renewal in December.
*  There was $996.47 in charges on my Visa card this month.
*  Hubs had a $29.84 in charges on his Discover card.
*  There was $22.28 in medical copays that didn't get put on the HSA account.
*  I spent $270 on discounted Target gift cards in December.
*  Besides stuff bought on the credit cards for Christmas I took $150 in cash out of the bank for Christmas giving.

The Food Budget costs for December are in another post, which is located HERE.  Food costs are covered in the credit card payment(sometimes our WAM cash too).

So we end December in the red with -$1498.77 in overage to subtract from the Slush Fund, leaving it at $23,164.17 heading in 2019.
The Sinking Fund goes into 2019 standing at $468.37.

FINAL THOUGHTS on December---
No quarterly 3rd quarter 401K withdrawal meant December was going to be tight since we paid the Long Term Care premiums out of reg. income instead of the Sinking Fund. Lots of big bills, mostly related to Christmas spending and buying a LOT of gift cards for use during 2019.  Some unplanned bills too(car inspection, car maintenance/repair, driver's license renewal, etc)and that sure added up.
I won't say December wasn't expensive because it was!!

Still, I am glad we didn't take a 401K withdrawal as that $ is making more where it is and we could pull from the Slush Fund which isn't somewhere earning a lot right now.  I really wanted to see if we could forestall a quarterly withdrawal in 2018 and survive.....and we did! ;-)

THOUGHTS going forward into January 2019----
January.......let's see what's coming up.

Normal WAM withdrawal this month(so far).
Normal or lower than normal food spending planned.
The credit card should be around $1K of usual charges in Jan. as there are no Xmas bills coming due on it.(Yay!)

Hubs and I need to sit down and run the numbers in January and see what we need to change in our budget for 2019: if we take more or less WAM this year, when to time the 401K withdrawals and how much, what to do with that $23K Slush Fund and what to do with a CD we have maturing the end of Feb....that sort of thing.

So how was your December financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in December?
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 increase 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.



  1. Financially we did o.k., all things considered.

    We just paid my youngest's last Winter and Spring college tuition payments. Woohoo! 2 kids college and living expenses, overlapping for 3 out of the 5 total years we've been paying for college, finally done!

    On the bad side, my husband has been sick with internal infections since mid-September, in and out of the hospital all fall, several emergency room visits and an ambulance ride. Found out the beginning of December that they were all caused by cancer. Having surgery soon so hopefully his health issues will be resolved come Spring. Thank God for good health insurance. Its bad enough we've had to pretty much live the last half of the year off of just my income but without health insurance we would have been utterly devastated.

    I am beyond happy to say goodbye to 2018. Hoping and praying 2019 brings us back to a normal life.
    Yours, DeeCee

    1. Hi DeeCee,

      I will pray for your husband and you that his health issues will resolve.

    2. Hi Sluggy,

      You have done extremely well in your retirement. Wow on that slush fund! It's terrific when you can have an emergency fund for any large expense or small that comes up. We keep enough in our "emergency fund" to cover the cost of a new automobile, new roof, new furnace or any other appliance needed. We also keep extra for those unforeseen things.

      I feel very fortunate that we saved for so many years and can live well in our retirement years. Our "small" pension doesn't hurt either. The stock market gave us some "hiccups" this year but we won't be moving any money out any time soon. We have been through many ups and downs over the years but the market eventually goes back up. Having many streams of income in retirement is the key. After 18 and 1/4 years of retirement, I can tell you that it seems like we can live well and still seem to have more money year after year. Part of it I am sure is the aging process and that we don't do as much as we used to so hence don't spend as much.But most of it is watching our money carefully and saving every dollar that we really don't need to live a nice lifestyle. Those dollars earn so much more money. I love that you label expenses going up as the bad things. That is the one thing along with inflation that can sink people. We also had a huge increase in our electric and gas bill but our daily temperature was much lower this year and commodity prices were up. I hate cc bills. Even though we have always paid them in full every month, I just hate getting that $1300.- $2200. bill every month because we put everything on them. Hubby agrees with me. So we are going to use them just for certain expenses and pay for the rest in cash. I think using cash makes you think twice about what you are spending. I hate parting with those $20.'s.

      I love how you track openly but I have a spouse that was not happy that I was tracking publicly. I am going to try to be a little more open this year but I do have to keep my Hubby happy! I will share what I can. Most of our high expenses that are going up are coming the next three months. We expect our yearly property tax bill in the mail today or tomorrow. We have no mortgage so we pay that directly at the town office. Our yearly cellphone bill that we pay to our son will be this month. Auto and homeowners insurances will be due for the entire year the end of March. Medicare went up and now totals $271. monthly for the both of us. Our healthcare premiums went up along with all of our co-pays.Social Security is going up this month 2.9% but Medicare eats up a bit of the increases. Since we turned 62 and started collecting SS, I think there has only been 2 or 3 increases in 10 years. I don't know how people who only live on SS survive. It has to be really tough.

      To answer your questions:

      1. We always spend less than our income.
      2. Yes we stayed within out budget.
      3. That money was saved to write a check for the property taxes so that we don't have to take it out our of investments.
      4. We are debt free including a mortgage and car loan debt. We pay our credit card bill off when due every month.
      5. Nope we didn't blow it. After the taxes are paid, the balance will be moved to investments.

      Here is to everyone making progress toward a debt free life in 2019. Happy New Year to you and your family.

  2. I got three $ surprises in December: a bonus check from work (nice!); a modest christmas check from the parents; an unexpected refund for insurance. This helps as December had the property tax and car insurances to pay.

  3. Hi to every , since I am in faϲt eagdr of reading this website's post to be updated daily.
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  4. Well I am over on Christmas spending, how did that happen? but I am happy and I will be good from now on.....*snark*,

  5. Wow, incredible blog format! How lengthy
    have you been blogging for? you make running a blog look easy.
    The total look of your website is wonderful, as well as the

  6. I am definitely late to the party on keeping up with you, Sluggy. I LOVE all the info in this post, and it gives me a great idea on what to expect in retirement when doing it early. (i.e. before medicare). I will have to binge read all past posts to catch up.


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