Wednesday, March 4, 2015

$28K Savings Challenge.....February Update

Every year I keep a close eye on our monthly expenses and our monthly income.
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 or these other categories.

Once the automatic savings amounts, plus taxes and medical/dental/vision premiums 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, annual etc.) and our variable bills(like food, eating out, clothing  etc.)  Anything left over once our monthly expenses are paid, I put aside into an interest bearing Savings Challenge account. 

For 2015 I am continuing my Yearly Savings Challenge.  I am raising the Goal amount slightly to $28,000 this year, $4K more than my goal for last year.

On to the February report.....

I have posted my February End of Month $28K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals.
Check out the Savings Challenge page tab at the top of the blog for the specific numbers HERE.

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 $2,333.33.

I have to report that we finished up February.
The extra amount we ended the month of  February with?.......$3,423.09


We had $3285.23 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in February totaled $137.86.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts and a couple of mail-in rebates for products I bought last year.

This brought us to our gain of $3,423.09
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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

*  Phone charges, internet and  were approximately the same as last month.
*  Water bill went down $10.20 from January's bill.
*  Credit Card bill went down $1,240.98 from January's bill.  I think it helped not to have a $1K car repair on it like in January.  lol
*  Gas charge card went down $33.94 from January's bill.
*  Cash withdrawals went down $300 from January's withdrawals.
*  The electric bill was up $23.14 over January's bill due to more heating.  Actually maybe this should be under GOOD Things since only used $23.14 more in energy in the middle of Winter is a "win".
*  We had some irregular spending too in February--we paid 6 months of car insurance and 6 months of garbage pick-up(I usually pay the garbage bill in 3 month chunks but we had the money now so why not pay ahead until July?).
The Food Budget costs for February are in another post, which is located HERE.  I spent more than I wanted to but it was still less than what was spent in January on food.


The 2015 TOTAL.....
With 2 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2015 is $4,898.26.
That averages a bit more so far than we need each month to reach our $28K goal so we are ahead of schedule for the year slightly.

THOUGHTS going forward into March----

We didn't make our $2,333.33 goal for Jan. but were able to make it for February with a bit to spare.

Irregular bills coming in March, after a glance at last March's bills, include our local real estate taxes.  Actually they aren't "due" until June 1st but I get a whole $26.97 discount for paying them before April 1st. ;-)  I know it's not much but why pay $26.97 more in June if you have the cash in March?  Spend a lifetime paying ahead for a small discount and over the course of your bill paying life it does add up.  8-)
We will also have the sewage bill to pay(I pay it once a year) and will be cutting a check for the state when I file the PA taxes(we always owe a bit, this year about $50).
Hopefully to offset the irregular/added expenses will be a modest federal tax refund.  The filing has been received and the money should be deposited into our account within 3 weeks(unless I screwed it up again this year(I always do-damn you Education Credits!)then it will be a week or so later.

With 2 months behind us we have $4,898.26 down and $23,101.74 left to save in 20015.
Let's just eat this elephant one bite(month)at a time and not worry about the whole pachyderm for the time being.  ;-)
So how was your February financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in February?
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 something you wanted?
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 with you or commiserate with you!



  1. I've been saving for a big purchase coming up soon, and added to my savings in February for that purpose. I made an appointment to get our taxes done too and want to add my income tax refund to the savings before the big purchase. Every little bit will help. And those small savings do add up over time. Just like your discount on paying the real estate tax now verses in July. That does add up over time. :)

  2. We got our tax refund back so I set it aside for our yearly expenses like refunding the car fund, the b-day fund and all the funds that we fund. That's a lot of funding but it makes life easier.

  3. I was able to save $1000.00 in the month of February. This money get's disbursed between my SEP (self employed 401k), a money market account and an interest bearing savings account. Each month going forward I'm going to try and increase the savings.

  4. For some reason, my credit card was about a $1000 less than any other month in recent history. I can't figure out why or what I did. I have to study it better. That was a surprise. We are going to get our taxes done on Friday. I can't wait to see what happens regarding the ACA healthcare that we opted not to get because the premiums would hurt so much financially. We opted out this year, but this year we filed for an exception. We got married this year, and since I'm on SSI, I don't know how all of this will affect our taxes. Too much up in the air. I need to be educated! We are way up there in our savings, too...enough to buy about 1/3 of a car if we need to. We decided, like you, to empty the freezer. We have extended it to the pantry, too. We weren't eating as much as we were buying. We will just be spending money on milk, fruits and vegetables, and anything that needs to be replenished on a fairly regular basis. That about sums it up.

  5. I stayed ON BUDGET :) with a little left over. That plus my regular monthly tsf into savings and sever rrsps generating interest this month meant a boost to my savings! Which is good considering my bill was due and I'm going to pay off my flight for this coming Sept. It's all good.


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