Tuesday, August 2, 2016

2016 $38K Savings Challenge.....July 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 pots....life 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 July report.....
I have posted my July 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 July with a less than stellar amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of July with?.......$2889.54


We had $2620.34 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in July totaled $269.20.  This included interest made on non-retirement accounts and a blogging check..

This brought us to our gain of $2889.54
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.

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


*  Phone charges, electric bill and internet were approximately the same as last month(With $1 or so).
*  The gas card spending was down $53.63 as there was no traveling in the previous month, June(which this invoice covered).
*  The credit card bill was down $1300+ from the previous month's bill.


*  The cash withdrawals were up $200.  This mainly due to spending more on groceries in July.
*  Water use was up $23.05 from last month.
*  The Electric bill was up $24.08.  Not bad considering more a/c was used in July than June.
*  The direct medical spending was up $233.84 mostly due to paying from of Daughter's copays from visists she had to docs in Louisiana.
*  We had a garbage bill I pay quarterly due in July so another $84 out the window.

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

With 7 month accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2016 is $22,289.04

Final thoughts on July---

Compared to July 2015 we put $1200.02 LESS into savings this July.  This looks really bad on the surface until you realize that July 2015 was a third paycheck month.  Then it's not so hopeless.... ;-)
We have $22,289.04 saved so far in 2016, and we have only $15,710.96 left to save over the next 5 months at this point to reach our goal of $38K saved.  That averages out to $3142.19 a month for the rest of the year.  $42 per month less on target than June's average but still essentially on target.

Only 5 months left in the year.

THOUGHTS going forward into August----
August and September are my Bill Armageddon months.(House and car insurance AND property taxes.)
Add in credit card charges from our early August trip to Maine(the c/c bill cuts after we get home...ugh!)which will be paid off by the end of August.
Plus our three paycheck month won't happen until late September this year.
August will not be pretty financially.  8-(

So how was your July financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in July?
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 the last half of 2016 why not make this 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.
Or pay extra on the principle of your mortgage is your house isn't already paid off.

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. Astounding!!! I'm very impressed.

  2. Hubs is lucky to have you. I know, I have said that before.

  3. No doubt you'll succeed with a three check month coming. July was negative and August will be as well but these are because of planned/saved for expenses so I have some interesting accounting coming up.

  4. We are in crisis mode. I don't even want to talk about it. I'm just hoping that once I drop the boy off, we will get things under control. I feel safe saying 2016 was not in my bill comfort zone.


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