Saturday, August 19, 2017

Income & Spending Report.....July Update

* As Hubs retired effective July 1, I am no longer doing my 2017 Savings Challenge.
We ended that on June 30th.  The goal was $17.5K saved for the half of 2017 that Hubs was working.
We actually saved $21,100.42 all totaled, so $3600.42 over goal!

Now that we are living on savings and an annuity(no annuity until October)I am still going to keep track of our monthly spending and income, and hopefully we'll still be able to live BELOW our means and I'll have some leftover monies each month to tuck aside.
But this money leftover at the end of each month, at least for now(as we find our new financial "normal")won't be saved toward a yearly Savings Challenge.

The issue now is to cover all the bills with just the annuity payment each month plus some liquid savings(checking account cash)until October.
October is when Hubs turns 59.5 and then we can access the 401K retirement savings.  Until then things will be tight here at Chez Sluggy, so all the leftover monthly cash will get tucked aside to pay irregular bills that will be popping up in August and September.

Got it?
OK, let's move on.

Though nothing will be put toward it the rest of 2017, the 2017 $17.5K $AVING$ CHALLENGE Totals are still available
Check out the Savings Challenge page tab at the top of the blog for the specific numbers HERE.

On to the July report--
I have 2 goals for July.....
The 1st is to actually finish the month in the black and not the red.
The 2nd is to try to have a little cash leftover at the end of July to apply toward irregular bills that are coming due the next two months.

I have to report that we finished up July in the black.....barely.
The extra amount we ended the month of July with?.......$154.88


The income in July was the monthly annuity payment and Hubs' last paycheck(which was only for 1 week of work, his last).
We had -$17.60 left over from our income after our monthly expenses were deducted.
Other monies received in July totaled $172.48.  This was interest made on non-retirement accounts.
I am thankful for the small crumbs of interest in July.  If not for that little bit we'd have been negative at the end of July.

This brought us to our gain of $154.88
Since we have no debt, this will get put aside to apply to the irregular bill coming due in August--the homeowners insurance.

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


*  Phone charges and internet were approximately the same as last month(Within $1 or so).
*  The water bill was $7.62 less than in June.
*  The gas card bill was $40.88 lower than last month.
*  The cash withdrawals were $220 lower than in June.


*  The electric bill was $17.46 more than last month's mostly due to the washer/dryer running more and the kids having the a/c units in their rooms turned on all month.
*  The credit card bill was $43.94 higher in July compared to June.
*  The medical bills were $5.72 higher this month over last month's bills.
*  We had to pay deposits to have the electric and water put in our name at the LA house which came to $600.
*  I have a c/c charge for $153.41 for replacement clothing for me(mostly underthings and a Winter coat).
*  We had to pay the July health insurance premium of $1577.66(this use to come out of Hubs' paycheck automatically).  We haven't set up using the health insurance account through his employer yet to pay this bill so it came out of our monthly income.
*  I sent a birthday check to our eldest son for his July birthday.
*  We had a small bill for electric at the LA house.

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

So we end July in the black with $154.88 to apply to the house insurance bill due in August.  That bill amounts to $668, so I just have to eek out another $513.12 from our August income to cover that along with all the regular monthly bills.

FINAL THOUGHTS on July---July kicked our asses mostly.
Between a high credit card bill, the utility deposits in LA and having to pay the health insurance premium OOP there were lots of irregular/variable bills last month.  These combined cost us $2100 or so over our usual "nut".  Making some interest on our accounts made the difference between making enough this month to cover all the bills.

THOUGHTS going forward into August of 2017----
August will be tight this year, I won't lie.
Between still paying the health insurance premium out of regular income and the yearly house insurance premium being due this month AND having a reduced income(just the annuity payment), August will be a "squeaker".  I am SO glad I have that $154.88 leftover after paying July's expenses to put toward the August bills!  That just might mean the difference between staying in the black for August.

The one good thing about August and September bills will be that all the Road Trip expenses put on the credit card(some due on August's bill and some due on September's bill)will be paid out of our savings and NOT our August income.  We planned and saved for this trip so it won't impact our regular bills/income.

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!

I hope this year was the one were you cleaned up your finances and paid off your debts.
That you planned to set something aside if you didn't already or increased what you banked now for your future self.
Or paid extra on the principle of your mortgage if 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.


Friday, August 18, 2017

Frugal Friday......the August 18th Edition

Vacations on the whole are NOT frugal in the least and we have been away from July 18th through August 15th.

Spending money is NOT frugal on it's own but by making spending choices you can be more frugal on vacation.....or not.

Here are some things we did the last 2 weeks or so that were frugal in one way or another.

Making a stop at Rite-Aid for an rx, the freebies and discounted beer.  I got 4 packs of light bulbs for free although no photos were taken before I gifted them along the way home.  Then I discovered that in Idaho you can sell beer/wine in most stores(including drugstores)so I bought a 6 packs and then discovered that yes, my 20% Wellness discount at Rite-Aid also worked on beer!

Taking full advantage of "good" motel breakfasts when we got one(so hit or miss).  We'd fill up and not have to eat lunch that day(or just have some car snacks instead of a full meal), thus saving some cash for other things.

Taking advantage of free food along the way(popcorn and coffee), when sometimes we didn't feel like eating the snacks we brought along on the trip.

And nearly running over a turkey along the highway and getting a free dinner out of it. lolz

Shopping at discount liquor stores for souvenirs/gifts because what's better than showing up somewhere with booze?

Finding offbeat activities and sights.  Hey!, free is FREE!!!

Before housekeeping threw out the Sunday papers in the public areas at the motel in Fargo, searching those newspapers for the coupon inserts.
Not buying newspapers and getting the coupons for Free?  Yes please!

Thrift store shopping with your cousin and finding a bank in the likeness of another one of your cousins......always a trip!

More historical free activities.

And an end of road trip splurge at the outlet shop.
60% off so I bought two!

Next week will be back to regular frugality stuff....blah, blah, blah.  Not as much fun but nobody can stay on vacation forever.

What did you do lately that was frugal?


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Food & Toiletries Spending....July Update

*I'm a bit late getting July's food spending wrapped up due to our trip.  But here it is now.*

Onward to July's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for JULY 2017.

I have posted July's totals on the Total Grocery Savings Page located HERE and have updated the Totals there.
I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in July.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 3-4(4 at home this month). No kids under 21.


OOP  $4.75
Value  $15.36
Savings  69.08%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/PPs  $390.51
Value  $390.51
Savings  100%

OOP  $85.18
Qs/Ads  $29.42
Value  $114.60
Savings  25.67%

OOP  $49.25
Qs/Ads  $23.48
Value  $72.73
Savings  32.28%

OOP  $186.29
Qs/Ads  $152.52
Value  $338.81
Savings  45.02%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, the Bread Outlet at 69.08% and Weis Markets at 45.02%.  My WORST savings rate was at that Shursave Market at 25.67%.

I shopped at 5 different stores this past month.  Or rather my Daughter and I shopped at 5 different stores this past month.

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$325.47
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$216.03
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$541.50
TOTAL Savings of ..................................39.89%
Total Value of Items Purchased w/Rite-Aid....$932.01
TOTAL Savings with Rite-Aid items..........65.08%

This closes out the July food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into July wanting to spend $250 the first half of the month and left the Daughter $120 for the rest of July, making my goal $370 for food spending for July.  I spent $224.42 in July before leaving for our trip and Daughter came in at $101.05 for the rest of the month.
We came in under $370 spent by $44.53.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went DOWN by 1.08% in July to 65.08% compared to June's 66.16% savings average.

With 7 months accounted for, I have spent a Grand Total of $2,426.40 on food/toiletries in 2017 which is a 70.64% savings rate for the year to-date and averages out to $346.63 per month spent in 2017. 8-)

LOOKING AHEAD To August........
Hubs and I weren't home half of the month.  I assumed the Daughter would spend the other $120 I left her for groceries in August before we got home.  I will probably have to restock some items in August.  I am going to say $300 for the second half of August so $420 total for the entirety of the month to spend on food.
It would be good if I spend less than $300 this month but we'll see how things go.  There are only 15 days left in August so how many trips to the grocery store can I really make? lolz

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in June?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?
*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Quick Update-Mostly About July's To-Do List

We made it home yesterday afternoon.
So glad to be home in many ways, but then again..........lolz

There is so much work to be done and all I want to do is go to bed. zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

And I LOVE my bed!  Especially after 28 nights of sleeping in other beds, some not so bad but others not so good.
I need to figure out a way to bring my bed along on my next trip.....or start paying for expensive hotels that have Tempur-pedic mattresses. Ha!, like that will happen.  ;-)

So I remembered that third book I read in July.
It was this one..........
It's a hardcover album of rarely or never before seen Kennedy Family Photos.  Not much text but enough to make it interesting.  The photos range from Rose Kennedy's youth to just before JFK won the Senate seat for MA in 1952.
A couple of interesting families them Fitzgeralds and Kennedys.

And that's all I got now.
Still slogging through receipts and such.
Might have the July Food/Toiletries Spending Update ready for tomorrow.
Stay tuned.....