Friday, March 8, 2013

$20K Savings Challenge....FEBRUARY Update

In our family we save money.
It is important to us to put money aside for "rainy days".  You know.....those unexpected days when things happen in your life that you can't plan on, but that DO happen and they cost you money you didn't know you'd need to pay out.

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 insurance, investments and retirement savings.  It's automatic so we are never tempted to NOT put it into savings.
Once the automatic savings, plus taxes and medical/dental/vision payments 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, etc.) and our variable bills(like food, eating out, etc.)  Anything left over once our monthly expenses are paid, I put aside into a Savings Challenge. 

For 2013 I am continuing my Yearly Savings Challenge.  I am going to keep the Goal amount at $20,000 again this year.

On to the February report.....

I have posted my FEBRUARY End of Month $20K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals.
Check out the side bar to your right for the specific numbers.

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 $1,666.67.

I have to report that we finished up February in the black!
The extra cash amount we ended the month of January with?.......$1,375.97

We had $1267.88 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted. 
Add in a per diem check for mileage for some business traveling, some bank interest and some rebate checks, and we get another $108.09.  This brought our gain to $1,375.97 for February.

*Hubs did get a Bonus for the year in Feb.  I don't count that because this money is earmarked to go right into the College Account for the kids' educational expenses.  Yes, we could have gone and blown that money on a very nice trip, a new car, a full bathroom and kitchen remodel, or many other ways.
But since we are out of debt, have no mortgage and fund our retirement account, we feel it's better spent on funding the college costs.  We have taken yearly bonuses for many years and tucked them aside for college money for the kids.  With what we have now, we are just about $10K short of having enough to fully pay the last kid to go to college(a state school).  If next year Hubs receive 1 more bonus, even a small one, we will have finished funding college the year BEFORE the last kid here needs to enroll.  I never thought all those years ago we'd be able to have the money ready and waiting BEFORE the last one got to college!  That gives me greater satisfaction than any new car smell ever could. ;-)

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

*  The credit card bill was $385 lower.
* The "cash" withdrawals were $100 lower.

*  The electric bill(which includes heating)went up by $99.  Feb. is our most expensive month for electric.
*  The semi-annual car insurance bill was due this month.
*  The dental bills were high due to my tooth problem and a dentist bill I paid for Hubs work in Dec.

The Food Budget costs for FEBRUARY are in another post, which is located HERE
We managed to stay within our $400 food budget in February.

The 2013 TOTAL so far.....
With 2 month behind us, our Savings Grand Total for 2013 stands at $4,137.03.
We just missed our $1,666.67 target goal for the month, but not by much.  Considering the high electric bill every Feb. and the car insurance and unexpected dental bills, I'd call Feb. a WIN for us on the money front.

Looking ahead for March......

*  We have the Municipal taxes due this month.
*  The electric bill should start going down this month(thankfully!).
*  I'll pay the yearly sewage bill in one lump payment instead of quarterly.  It will save us about $10 a month this way and I have the cash aside for it so why not? ;-)
*  Medical bills will be a little higher since we are working on paying the deductibles to our limit, so the co-pays aren't kicking in yet til we get those paid off.
*  I was looking at the credit card bill to be about half of what it was in February until Hubs tv died last weekend.  There went $400 on the credit card and the bill is hovering at $900 now between that purchase, the $50 I spent on new nightgowns for myself and $100 of spending for #2 Son's birthday last month.
Between all this and cash withdrawals Hubs makes, we'll be lucky to hit $1,666.67 in savings after all is paid in March.

So how was your February financially?

Are you still paying off debt from last Christmas you put on credit?
Did you spend less than the income you made in February?
Did you received any "extra" or unexpected money in February and what did you do with it?
Did you stay within your budget or not?
Did you pay off any debt or put extra toward your mortgage principle?

If you posted your financial progress on your own blog, leave a link in the comments so we can go check you out your progress too and celebrate with you!



  1. We always spend less than I make. Thank goodness. Some extra money came in this month, but I don't know what will going to savings until we pay off some medical bills I am waiting to receive. But some will go into savings.

  2. Hi Sluggy - the first thing I do with my paycheque is put $1250 into savings (I get paid twice a month so end up saving $2500 per month). This is for long term savings but is also used for other things - $2400 went into my RRSP which is the max I can contribute since my school board deducts a large amount for my pension which is linked to my RSP contribution limit. Also I save for large purchases and plan to buy a pickup truck (used of course) by the end of June for my trip to the east coast (its time to start moving some furniture out there. So that said I hope to save around $20000 over and above these other expenses. IF ALL GOES WELL (hope Murphy heard me!) I do keep track in my side bar but haven't updated in the last month or two. I better get crackin'!

    1. That's an ambitious amount to save for a year!
      Just break the $20K down into monthly amounts of $1, doesn't sound so ominous if you say you are savings $4166.67 a month(that's added to your $5K a mo.)
      $20K should buy you a right nice pick-up....

  3. I am very impressed with your money management skills, my dear. Almost done paying for college and you kid isn't even there yet? Wow! We have two to get through and only have one year set out of 8. We shall see what happens!

    Great month!!

    1. Thanks Sharon,
      I wish we had started even earlier than we did w/saving for college....but getting the house paid off was the 1st priority with the extra money each year.
      Then that freed up mortgage $ and the yearly bonuses got dumped into the college acct. I just hope the college inflation doesn't ramp up more than it is now and the money holds out! 8-)

  4. I think I see where your family and mine differ. My family likes to spend money. dang.

    1. Hehehehe....mine does too, but I don't let them. ;-)

  5. Love to see your progress & how your handling college expenses! Nice work in February. :-)


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