Friday, January 3, 2014

$20K Savings Challenge.....December Update & GRAND TOTAL for 2013

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, health insurance premiums, long term care insurance premiums, 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 December report.....

I have posted my December End of Month $20K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals.
Check out the Savings Challenge page tab at the top of the blog 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.
But seeing as I hit the $20K goal in October, we'll just see how much more I can sock away in December.

I have to report that we finished up December with a little pile of cash to tuck away.
The extra cash amount we ended the month of December with?.......$1,281.68.

We had $1,157.18 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in December totaled $124.50.  This brought us to our gain of $1281.68 for December.

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

*  Cable, Phone, Water were all approx. the same amounts as in November.
*  I spent under $300 for food/toiletries in December.  (This almost makes up for overshooting that budget by $180 last month).
*  I didn't buy any living room furniture yet so no spending there. 

*  $310 more was spent in cash over November's total of cash spending.  I blame Hubs paying cash for Christmas stuff.
*  The electric bill was $100 MORE than November's bill.  I blame the cold weather/turning the heat up.
*  We had unexpected pet related spending of $104 due to the dog having ear infections.
*  The credit card bill was almost $500 MORE than November's bill. I blame Christmas again.
The Food Budget costs for December are in another post, which is located HERE.

The 2013 GRAND TOTAL.....
With all 12 months accounted for, our Savings Grand Total for 2013 is $24,033.60
We surpassed our goal by $4,033.60!  8-)))
Looking ahead for January and all of 2014......

*  I will continue to do this Savings Challenge and report in each month on how it is going.
*  I need to sit down with Hubs and have our Yearly Financial Meeting to go over how and what we spent on in 2013 and see where we need to cut back, change or expand the spending for 2014.  We'll break down the monthly spending and analyze how we did financially in each category.  Then we'll look ahead into 2014 and try to anticipate where we'll need to put our money toward and how much we can hope to save.

*  Figure out how much of the money saved in the year before's 2012 Savings Challenge didn't get spent in 2013, so it can now be tucked away permanently into a savings/investment instrument.  Going forward into 2014, any funds saved in 2013's Savings Challenge now become our mini-emergency fund for 2014.  Any emergencies that can't be paid for using extra income each month after the bills are all paid will be paid for out of this $24,033.60 Savings Fund.(Then when 2015 rolls around whatever was saved in 2013 and not spent on emergencies/extras in 2014 gets tucked away permanently into savings.)

*  January credit card bill will once again be large like December's(due to Christmas and travel expenses)but will be paid off this month.  No interest paid evah! ;-)

*  The quarterly garbage bill is due this month.

*  Semi-annual car insurance will be due in February so I need to keep an eye on credit card spending in January so we don't have to dip into the Savings Challenge funds to pay the insurance.  It's just a matter of watching WHEN we spent not so much NOT spending on something.
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?
Did you pay off any debts 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. I didn't even think to total December, but I am always in awe at your savings! I think I went slightly over during December. Too much travel (for work and to parents), and I'll confess I spent TOO MUCH for Christmas. Like $250 over what I was planning to. I did cover it all with my PT job's checks, but that's not what I wanted to use the money on! I guess I did end up even, but I would've rather ended up in the green than the black. But both of those beat ending in red! My insurance is also due at the end of Feb, but I save for that as I go, so it's a no brainer. It also went down by a whole $5 (total) for 6 months. Woo. Hoo. Not. But I'll take it.

  2. My goal is to save between $2500 and $3000 per month. Basically I live on one paycheque and bank the other. Like you everything comes off the top (my dad always said pay yourself first) and then live on the rest. Most months I don't have any problems meeting my savings goal but with all the renos I didn't save as much as I wanted to and am $1400 short in my savings which I hope to make up for with my tax refund plus the school owes me about $400 for purchases I made and haven't been reimbursed for yet. My debt is all paid so savings is THE most important goal of my financial life. People don't save enough anymore - here in Canada the average debt to annual income is over 160% - people owe way more than they make - I just couldn't live that way myself. I had a lot of very lean years but I always maxed out my RRSP somehow.

  3. Love the Savings goals! One day I want to have that kind of savings. *sigh* I need to have the matching income first.

  4. That's incredible... I was all excited to save $5K last year.. lol! The only way I could save $1200 in a month is if we didn't spend a single cent on *anything* unfortunately! But $5K is still a good chunk based on our income, so i'm happy. I'd love to add another $5K to our savings this year... :)


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