Wednesday, June 1, 2016

2016 $38K Savings Challenge.....May 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 2016 I am continuing my Yearly Savings Challenge.  I am raising the Goal amount to $40,000 this year, $10K more than my goal for last year.

I have reconsidered and changed my Goal from $40K to $38K for 2016.  With some things coming down the pike this year I thought it prudent to back up my Goal a couple of thousand.  8-)

On to the May report.....
I have posted my May End of Month $38K $AVING$ 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 $3,166.66.

I have to report that we finished up May with a less than stellar amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of May with?.......$1,831.49


We had $1666.14 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in May totaled $165.35.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts.

This brought us to our gain of $1831.49
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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


*  Phone charges and internet were approximately the same as last month.
*  The May electric bill was actually down $82.67 from April's bill.  Less heat means less electricity used and the a/c isn't being used much yet.
*  Water use was down $21.35 from last month.  Hubs didn't spend time flushing the hot water heater in May so that may account for the decrease in that bill.
* The gas card spending was down $65.78 from April.  More gas charges were charged on the Master Card account instead.
*  The direct medical spending was up $16.17 due to my DME company not sending a monthly bill on time.  I am sure they'll figure this out and send it.  Can I say their billing dept. is a disaster? ;-)


*  The cash withdrawals/spending was up $70 from last month.  I don't quite understand that is wasn't HIGHER since we spent $500 of our cash on our road trip.  I figured it would be more?
*  The credit card bill was up $103.09 from last month.  If you figure extra gas spending was put on this c/c rather than the gas card, the spending here is about what it was in April.  All but 1 hotel stretch(which I prepaid on last month's c/c bill)will be coming in June on THAT bill. bleh.
*  Hubs put the humidifier filter purchase on his Discover card so we had charges on that in May.
*  I am paying the Garbage bill quarterly this year so $84 was due this month.
*  $100 school deposit for the 2016-2017 terms for College Boy was due.
*  We had to pay $300 OOP for our HVAC compressor replacement(labor only).  Hoping to get that reimbursed from the manufacturer as they sent us a bad unit and spending to replace it is their fault.
*  Between a year of house insurance and the title transfer for the LA house we are out $1672.27.

The Food Budget costs for May are in another post, which is located HERE.

With 5 month accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2016 is $17,436.84.

Final thoughts on May---

May turned out to be a very expensive month for us.
No irregular bills due this month but over $2K in irregular/unexpected bills happened in May.
I am glad given our expenses this month we were still able to sock away something into savings.

But compared to May 2015 we put $557.29 less into savings this May. 8-(
It could have been worse I suppose.
We have $17,436.84 saved so far in 2016, and we have only $20,563.16 left to save over the next 7 months at this point to reach our goal of $38K saved.  That averages out to $2,937.60 a month for the rest of the year.
In 2015 we put $22,572.01 into savings in those 7 months so it's possible.  With our increased costs looming ahead for the rest of the year, it just might happen.
Stay tuned to find out which way it goes!

THOUGHTS going forward into June----
I don't even want to think about how much June is going to cost!  Trip spending on the c/c due in June is over $2,500 alone.  Then my food budget will probably go bust as we add 2 adults to the household.  Add in that electric and water costs will rise as well due to them.
On the good side of things, there are no irregular bills due in June.  August and September however will see large irregular bill amounts due(house and car insurance and property taxes).

Good things September is our other 3rd paycheck month, huh? 8-)

Darn you "life" for making me spend so much money and not save it all! lolz

So how was your May financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in May?
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!

As we go forward into 2016 why not make this new year the one were you clean up your finances and pay off your debts.
Plan to set something aside if you don't already now or increase what you bank now for your future self.
Live below your means and keep some change for a rainy day....because no matter how sunny it is in your life now, dark clouds come along and you'll be glad you have that umbrella to keep you dry.



  1. I think you will met your goal and then some.
    I'm right on track to be broke the rest of my life. ;p

    1. Oh stop! You just need to move away from there and live next to me. No wait!....then we'd drink all our money.

  2. Okay so you are saying I need to clean up my blog and actually pay attention to my financial life. Sorry too busy right now making poor decisions.

    1. You are forgiven as long as u have no proper kitchen.

  3. How many more years does your husband plan on working? That would be the key in retirement planning. Also do you plan on relocating? My house is all on one level with a walk in shower. My yard is too much but I can pay someone to mow/trim/take care of the pool. Do you have central air conditioning- that I could never do wothout. I've had it in every house I've lived in since 1971.I still think I'll rent an apartment but maybe wait until my sis is ready to retire. She has worked since she was 16.

    1. Not sure right now how long he will continue at this job, but if we didn't have responsiblities and all the money in the world he'd have left the job years ago. lol
      Yes, we are relocating once he quits/the kids are out of the house.
      All our plans are fluid at the moment.


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