Friday, December 4, 2015

$28K Savings Challenge.....November 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 November report.....
I have posted my November 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 November with a Large amount leftover.
The extra amount we ended the month of November with?.......$4362.03


We had $4085.11 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in November totaled $276.92.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts and blogging revenue.

This brought us to our gain of $4,362.03
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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

*  Phone charges and internet were approximately the same as last month.
*  The cash withdrawals were the same amount as in October.
*  The water bill was down another $8.38 from October.
*  The electric bill was only up $39.97 from last month.  With electric heat this is an amazing total for heat and lights, etc. for November in northern, mountainous PA.
*  The credit card was only up $38.05.  Seeing as it's the Holidays that practically being the same as last month.  ;-)
*  The medical co-pay bills went down by $718.64 in November.

HERE are the BAD THINGS(and the not so bad)
*  The gas card bill went up $49.03 from last month.
*  There were two irregular bill expenses--two store credit card bills totaling $185.35 which were paid in full.

The Bad List was nice and short this month.  8-)

The Food Budget costs for November are in another post, which is located  HERE.  I stayed under my $300 budgeted amount(on this report grocery money comes out of "Cash")on that expense.
Plus I included some spending for the Food Bank donation in those monies so a Win/Win.

November was a fairly inexpensive month for us, but not the least expensive for 2015. Cheapest bill month's for us so far in 2015 are July, November, February and April from 1st to 4th respectively. These are typically the months we don't pay the irregular expenses in so that makes perfect sense, right? ;-)

The 2015 TOTAL.....
With 11 months accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2015 is $38,451.79.
That savings amount averages $3,495.61 a month put into savings so far. 

We have well surpassed our $28K Savings Goal by $10K+ at this point in the year.
And there is one more month left to save some more though I don't expect to be able to shove much more into my goal for 2015 since we need to keep some of the December savings in reserve to put toward high medical deductibles which reset in January.  8-(
It would be "nice" however to be able to sock away another $1,548.21 into the 2015 Savings Challenge in December.  That would give us a total of $40 Thousand saved this year.
I like nice round figures, don't you? 8-)

Final thoughts on November---
More monthly bills were down rather than up this month and we kept our usual monthly costs fairly low.  Not bare bones low but still pretty low.

THOUGHTS going forward into December----

I'll have a $467+ co-pay from my first cataract surgery to pay as the insurance company finally sent the dr. a payment leaving me on the hook for another $467+. sigh.  But this is the last of the cataract surgery bills and I am NOT looking back! lolz
Same eye doctor's office screwed up Hubs bill which came last week to the tune of a $185 overcharge.  It is suppose to be about $31. Yikes!  The billing department was contacted and they are sending out a new invoice with the correct amount.  But still that's almost $500 more in medical co-pays(over and above our usual prescription & DME co-pays for a month)that are due in December plus about $40 in Physical Therapy co-pays which the bill for the PT should be arriving soon too.

As for the holidays, most everything is already bought and paid for, from gifts to traveling arrangements and will appear on the December c/c statement and then I need to write a few checks.
The credit card bill is paid in full each cycle so there will be no January c/c hangover nor any interest paid on any Holiday gifts.

With 11 months behind us we have surpassed our savings goal in 2015 by a wide margin!
Even so, I am NOT letting up on socking cash away for the last 1 month of the year.  Expenses in December should be about average for us so we will have some leftover money come Dec. 31st.

But with the 2016 high medical deductibles kicking in Jan. 1st I am unsure how much we'll be able to put toward the Savings Challenge in December.  I like to carryover at least $1K of any leftover $ from December into January to put toward those insurance costs.  I am guessing I'll have about $1000? more to put toward the Savings Challenge next month.  Not sure but come back next month to see how it turned out.

So how was your November financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in November?
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. We were pretty much right on track. (Our Christmas spending comes out of yearly expenses, so is not captured in the monthly budget). We were about $600 under, but we didn't pay our nanny until the first day of December due to the holidays. That was technically a November expense, so once you factor that in, we were under by about $80. Not bad, considering that's a pretty tiny margin of error for our budget!

    Nice work on your savings - you are rocking 2015!

  2. You are doing great!!!!
    I'm pretty much operating in the hole at this point. I think I have complained about this in the past. LOL. Sigh. I'll stress after the holidays. No I won't. All I do is stress.

  3. So with all that money you are saving, you are going to take cross country trip to see your old friend Kimmie?

  4. Wow. After taxes, retirement and health insurance are deducted from my pay, I get to take home $850 a month. I'd have to work 3 years to make what you saved this year. So depressing. I'd jump off a bridge but Mobile Bay is only about 2 feet deep. lol.

  5. It has been a BAD couple months for us. I won't give amounts, but it all adds up to BAD...


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