Friday, April 12, 2013

$20K Savings Challenge.......March 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 March report.....

I have posted my MARCh 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 March in the black!
The extra cash amount we ended the month of March with?.......$1,352.60

We had $1280.04 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted. 
Add in 2 quarterly dividends, some bank interest and a rebate check, and we get another $122.56.  This brought our gain to $1,352.60 for March.

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

*  The water bill was $13.18 lower than Feb.
* The electric bill was $99.82 lower than Feb.(Our heat is electric.)

*  The credit card bill went up $98.91(but was still paid off at month's end.)
*  The cash withdrawals were up $200 over last month.
*  The doctor bills were up $67.05 from last month.
*  The long distance phone bill was up $4.01 from last month.
*  We owed $44 in state taxes.
*  The yearly sewage bill was paid this month.
*  The yearly local taxes were due this month.(I received a discount from paying them before April 1.)

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

The 2013 TOTAL so far.....
With 3 month behind us, our Savings Grand Total for 2013 stands at $5,489.63.  Only $14,510.37 left to save and 9 months left to accomplish it.
We just missed our $1,666.67 target goal for the month, but not by much.  Considering the yearly taxes and the yearly sewage bills paid, I'd call March. a WIN for us on the money front.

Looking ahead for April......

*  We don't have any quarterly or yearly bills due this month.
*  Since #2 Son got his driver's license, we have an additional car insurance bill due this month, to the tune of almost $400. sigh.
*  Due to my health scare and visit to the ER and hospital, the bills will start to roll in this month, so I can't even hazard a guess if we'll be able to make our monthly savings target of $1666.67 in April.  We shall see in the fullness of time.

So how was your March financially?

Have you finished paying off those presents from last Christmas you put on credit?
Did you spend less than the income you made in March?
Did you received any "extra" or unexpected money in March 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?
Did you receive a tax refund and what did you do with that money?

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. I did receive some extra money, but it wasn't necessarily unexpected. Just some rebates. I didn't charge anything from Christmas into any cards, so no paying that. I also paid my taxes at the very expensive tune of $1,100 or so. I did put over 40% of my pay into paying off part of my student loans. That felt GOOD!

    Hope you're feeling better.

    1. You keep that up Tanner and you'll be out from under your student loan debt early. I bet it will feel nice not to be dragging that old ball and chain of debt all the way through your adult life, like I see some people doing....

  2. I wish that were a habit in my family... It isn't, so I live vicariously through you.

    1. Well I'll try not to disappoint ya! ;-)

  3. Are you feeling better, Sluggy? Hope so! We stayed in the black but were required to donate $1500. MORE to the spend-it-like-drunkin-sailors fund in Washington. GRRR- sigh oh well. What the heck has happened to Judy again? Angela

    1. Angela,
      Yes, I am feeling LOADS better but still not my best.
      I am not allowed to think about Washington right now as my blood pressure would

      I don't know about Judy. She disappeared while I was gone it looks like. I've put in an email to her though.

  4. I hate the unknown aspect of seeking medical care. You should know up front what you are paying for.

    We did well this month. In the future, it will be tighter as I just received my last paycheck and we'll now be dealing with my lower income from unemployment insurance. In spite of that, we will continue to have all the money from hubby's second job deposited directly into savings. We'll put what we can that is left over into our big reserve.

    We got good news on the tax front. I thought we'd owe but then the accountant informed us we were due a refund. He made it sound small because he wanted to surprise us. The refund was actually *double* the amount I had originally expected to pay. DOUBLE! Most of the money will go into our big cash reserve savings but a small part will go to our mortgage as extra. We plan to pay a little extra off each year but not too much. The goal is to shorten our payment period to 15 years. We took out a 30 for the lower payments because I knew eventually my income would decrease. But we can pay it down when we can to make our own shorter term.

    Our tax refund was a huge surprise and it will be the equivalent of five months of what we used to save when I was on my full salary. And of course, we won't be spending it!

    1. Nice job on the refund. Sometimes it pays to have a professional do your return if you have complicated investments, capital gains issues, buy/sell house et al.

      And I've never understood why people feel they need to get a 15 yr. mortgage to pay their mortgage down in 15 yr. Just make yourself have enough self-control with your money to pay an extra payment or two each year on your 30 yr.
      Save yourself the time and expense of a new mortgage.....unless the new rate would be so much better of course, then it's a diff. story. 8-)

  5. I had great success with saving in March. My tax return was big because of lower wage last year and then I got a 3,300 income supplement from my work insurance. (I wasn't expecting or even knew I could get it) Total around 6,500.
    With no mortgage to worry about I gave 1000 to dh towards the LOC that he pays, paid the yearly house insurance that went up again (1,300), and the rest into savings.
    Thank goodness that we don't pay out of pocket for medical or all of the shyt that I've been through last year, and now what my little guy is going through, our finances would be a whole lot different! (We do pay for medical- high income tax, but at least not out of pocket so a person has no clue how much things cost)

  6. We have many pots in this house that we throw money in. It just seems that sometimes there are more pots than $ but we keep plugging along.
    Even if you aren't able to save any money in April because of all the Dr. bills, don't sweat it. I know that you will make it up in the months to come!!!
    Love to sluggy.

  7. You do a GREAT job with your savings! We are trying to lower our variable expenses to send more to savings in preparation of college tuition in the next 18 months! Yikes, that scares me!


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