Saturday, October 3, 2015

$28K Savings Challenge.....September 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 September report.....
I have posted my September 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 September with a nice amount leftover.
The extra amount we ended the month of September with?.......$1918.36


We had $1679.09 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in September totaled $239.27.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts, a Staples rebate and stock dividends.

This brought us to our gain of $1,918.36
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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

*  Phone charges and internet were approximately the same as last month.
*  The credit card bill was down $1208.50.
*  The water bill was down $12.37.
*  The electric bill was down $31.94.  September is usually our lowest electric month as we don't use the heat or the a/c hardly at all.
*  Cash withdrawals were down $200.00.
*  Medical bills paid by check were down $91.97.  With the foot problem this month I foresee many medical bills being paid in October.

HERE are the BAD THINGS(and the not so bad)
*  The gas card bill was up $110.82 from last month as Hubs used that more than the reg. credit card to buy gas and the credit card bill went down as a result.  This is really not some much a "bad" thing, but just moving where the money goes to/comes from in the ledger.
*  Irregular annual expense of School taxes were due this month.
*  There was a Sam's Club charge paid.
*  There was a dental bill paid.
*  We paid for our Daughter's plane fare to come visit.(Not that her coming home was a bad thing but the expense was not planned for as it was a last minute decision for her to come visit.)
The Food Budget costs for September are in another post, which is located  HERE.

September was most expensive expense month for 2015.  Mostly this is because of the annual school taxes, an unexpected dental bill, plane tickets and a charge card bill(for a card we don't use much).

Take off those 4 expenses and we are down to $1773.58 in expenses for September.
I wish we could do THAT more often! lolz

The 2015 TOTAL.....
With 9 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2015 is $27,667.43.
That savings amount averages $3074.16 a month put into savings so far. 

We only have $332.57 left to put away this year to reach our $28K Goal!!
I wish I could have reached that landmark in September but it wasn't to be.  So close thought!

With $27667.43 saved already we only need to put away $110.86 each of the next 3 months to reach the $28K goal for the year and unless a catastrophe befalls us, it is a given that this goal will be reached next month, especially since Oct. is a 3 paycheck month.  8-)

Last October through December I was able to tuck away $11K from our income for those 3 months.  We also had a 3 paycheck month in October of 2014 which went a long way in reaching that amount.

Looking over our expenses from Oct.-Dec. of 2014 compared to what I foresee for Oct-Dec. of 2015 I should be able to tuck another $10K away from our income in the next 3 months unless something big and unforeseen happens in the coming months left in this year.  This is even with all those medical co-pays that will be arriving in the next couple of months for my foot issue.

Why don't y'all stick around and see how I do with this?

Final thoughts on September---
More monthly bills were down rather than up except for the credit card.  4 irregular bills put a kybosh on socking even more money away this month.

THOUGHTS going forward into October----

October is an extra paycheck month(3 instead of 2 this month)so it will be a great month for savings!
Most bills, except for electricity, should be about what they were in September.
As for irregular expenses.....6 mo. car insurance premium will be due in October.
More medical co-pays will go onto the credit card(which is paid off each month)and we go to a Church auction fundraiser this month so a bit more "fun" spending for that.

With 9 months behind us we have $27667.43 down and $332.57 left to save in 2015.   Our 2015 Savings Journey is coming to a close in just 3 more months and it is looking swell.  8-)))
So how was your September financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in September?
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!


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