Thursday, September 3, 2015

$28K Savings Challenge.....August 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 August report.....
I have posted my August 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 August with a goodly amount leftover.
The extra amount we ended the month of August with?.......$2,862.15


We had $2155.35 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in August totaled $706.80.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts, a small bonus Hubs received, my blogging revenue, a small car insurance refund and some unused pet boarding vouchers I sold for cash.

This brought us to our gain of $2862.15
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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

*  Phone charges and internet  were approximately the same as last month.
*  The gas credit card went down $17.11.  Again, Hubs used the Mastercard more instead of his gas card to buy gasoline.
*  The water bill was down $1.03.
*  The electric bill was down $4.81.
*  Cash withdrawals were down $426.52.
*  Medical bills paid by check were down $121.24, mostly due to the cataract surgeries and follow-ups being mostly paid off in July.

HERE are the BAD THINGS(and the not so bad)
*  The credit card bill was up $1508.50 over July's bill.  This is mostly due to trips to VA and College Boy BTS stuff.
*  Irregular semi-annual expense of Car insurance was due for 1 car this month.
*  Irregular annual expense of House insurance was due this month.
The Food Budget costs for August are in another post, which is located HERE .

August has been one of our "most expensive" months so far in 2015.  Our expenses in August came to $4315.93 while July was our cheapest for the year(so far)at $2200.  High credit card spending, and 2 insurance bills in one month will do that to ya!  ;-)

Take those 3 bills in August out of the month and we only spent $1321.25.
I wish we could do that more often. lolz

The 2015 TOTAL.....
With 8 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2015 is $25,749.07.
That averages $3218.63 a month put into savings so far. 
We have left $2,250.93 to put away this year to reach our $28K Goal.

With $25749.07 saved already we only need to put away $562.73 each of the next 4 months to reach the $28K goal for the year and unless something really bad happens I can do that standing on my head. 8-)

Last September through December I was able to tuck away $14K from our income for those 4 months.  I am not sure if I can replicate that feat in the coming 4 months but I'll give it a shot.  Saving almost $40,000 in a year out of our take home pay + other miscellaneous income streams would be spectacular!

Finally thoughts on August---
More monthly bills were down rather than up except for the credit card.  2 irregular bills put a kybosh on putting even more money away this month.

THOUGHTS going forward into September----

As for irregular expenses.....
We have the school taxes due this month which adds over $2K to our September costs.
We also have the Family Reunion so a bit of travel expenses will be going onto the c/c this month.
Our daughter will be visiting for a week this month so there will be increased spending for this.
Electric and water bills should reduce a bit more in September but not enough to offset the tax bill.  It's going to be a fairly boring month with the money here.

With 8 months behind us we have $25,749.07 down and $2,250.93 left to save in 2015. 
So how was your August financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in August?
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!



  1. So impressed with your accounting and goals! This has been an odd summer financially here. Lots of out-go that was not necessarily unexpected, just not typical.

  2. August was a bust for us. Our trip to Tennessee cost a lot more than expected. But it was necessary and I don't regret it. Our savings took a bit of a hit with having to help pay for a funeral, but we will build it back up.


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