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 April report.....
I have posted my April 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 April with a large amount leftover exceeding my target amount.
The extra amount we ended the month of April with?.......$6,190.53
We had $5787.47 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in April totaled $403.06. This included interest made on non-retirement accounts, blogging revenue and items sold.
This brought us to our gain of $6190.53
Since we have no debt, this goes into savings.
As for the expenses this April, here are the good and the bad side of things....
HERE are the GOOD THINGS
* First off, April is a 3 paycheck month so the entire bonus paycheck goes into savings. 8-)))
* Phone charges and internet were approximately the same as last month.
* The April electric bill was actually down $68.78 from March's bill. Less heat means less electricity used.
* The cash withdrawals/spending was down $330 from last month.
* I received a check for blogging. Not much but it was something.
* I sold a book on Amazon. This was a surprise because I had forgotten I still had a few listed on there. lol
* I also sold some toiletries from the stockpile.
HERE are the BAD THINGS
* Water bill was up $12.95 from March as Hubs attempted to deal with a water heater issue.
* The gas card bill was up $58.98 as Hubs put more gas purchases on this card.
* The credit card bill was up $63.19 from last month. I bought some clothes in April(undies and a swimsuit)so we spent a bit more than in March on the c/c.
* The direct medical spending was up $30.92. This was co-pays for Hubs eye issue.
* Semi-annual car insurance premium was due for 2 of the cars.
* I bought quite a few Summer weather clothing items as many of mine needed replacing. I did however wait until there was a 50% off sale and I got good bargains on 8 articles of clothing including 3 dresses, another swimsuit and 4 shirts.
* I prepaid on 6 of our hotel nights for our trip in May. While not a "bad" thing per se, I'd rather put these charges on April's tally than on May's tally. It helps to spread out the spending between the 2 months rather than have them all piled up on May's income, especially since April is a 3 paycheck month.
The Food Budget costs for March are in another post, which is located HERE.
April was a pretty expensive month for us. The regular bills were very low this month coming in at under $1800, but we had car insurance, clothing purchases and hotel charges prepaid to offset that. Still, we were able to save quite a bit even with those expenses.
With 4 month accounted for, our Savings Challenge Grand Total for 2016 is $15,605.35.
Final thoughts on April---
I am very happy with what we socked away in April given the irregular expenses this month.
But compared to April 2015 we put $153.30 less into savings this April.
We have $15,605.35 saved so far in 2016, and we have only $22,394.65 left to save at this point in the year to reach our goal of $38K.
THOUGHTS going forward into May----
We have no big irregular yearly bills due in May. We will have a bit larger credit card bill however but nothing really huge.
Bills will go up in May with College Boy home for the Summer. I am not worried about the bills for May, it's the June bills I am NOT looking forward to as 2 kids will be home full time that month plus most of the vacation charges will be on that month's c/c statement(which we pay in full each month).
Darn you "life" for making me spend so much money and not save it all! lolz
So how was your April financially?
Did you spend less than the income you had in April?
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.
We are up $10,021.73 from last month's net worth overall(only liquid cash/investments, as I don't count housing or car values).
Two thirds of that gain was from the retirement account funds. One third from the monies I save and control.
We are up $126,899.31 from one year ago, the May 1st of 2015 net worth snapshot. Large sums of money generate goodly amounts even with a stagnant interest rate.
Curses on the FED though as we could really be earning much more if it didn't artificially keep the rates in the basement. sigh.
Once Hubs retires I will miss these little monthly look backs, when we move from acquisition mode with money to spend-down mode. ;-)
It's the "Got Another Giveaway Going On Now!" Edition......
There's another Giveaway going so be sure and enter. I'll also throw some more chocolate into the box so don't miss out! ;-)
Onward to the meal planning!
Here's what was planned last week--
1. Sunday--Smoked BBQ Ribs, Cole Slaw, leftover COC
2. Monday--French Onion Soup
3. Tuesday--Something Leftover and Easy.....Tacos?
4. Wednesday--Leftover Ribs, etc.
5. Thursday--BBQ Baked Chicken, Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes
6. Friday--Salmon, Noodles for Hubs, Veggie pulled from the freezer
7. Saturday--No clue yet
And this is what actually happened--
1. Sunday--Smoked BBQ Ribs, Cole Slaw, leftover COC
2. Monday--Chinese Take-out(I had a rough day.)
3. Tuesday--Leftover Take-out
4. Wednesday--Hubs had Leftover Rigatoni and Sauce, I had some Roasted Potatoes
5. Thursday--Leftover Ribs, Cole Slaw, Deviled Stuffed Clams
6. Friday--Meatball Subs, Tomato and Cuke Salad
7. Saturday--Hamburgers w/Lettuce and Tomato, Fries
4 meals cooked at home.
2 new meals, 2 nights of leftovers, and 3 nights of Take-Out(or their leftovers).
Mostly kept to the plan but no bbq chicken and French Onion Soup. This all moves to this week.
As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $39.05 on Sunday.
I have spent $39.05 in all for May so far and have $260.95 left of my food budget with 29 days to go.
Leftovers going into this week.......a chunk of bbq ribs. That's it. I didn't finish my portion of the ribs as the rub I made up was too spicy for me. Hubs will finish them this week, no doubt about that! lolz
This week will see 3 new meals cooked and 3 meals of leftovers or "Whatever You Can Find" and 1 meal of Take-Out on Saturday as that is when College Boy comes home.
What I need to buy for this menu.....nothing needed except maybe milk?
I'll also hit the bread outlet at some point.
Weis has Eight O'Clock Coffee BOGO until Wednesday so I'll use a Q and go get some really inexpensive coffee this week too.
What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?
Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?