Saturday, September 3, 2016

Where the Money Stands


In an effort to keep it real, I'm disclosing where I am at in my Part 2- 2016 budget goals.  If you recall, back in July I set a very aggressive set of goals, broken down by category.  Lumped all together, to not touch any previously earmarked savings, the target became a whopping $16,500 by December 31st. I already knew going into it that it was an uphill battle and would end July in a negative place. The categories and costs that made up the target is as follows.



Roth                             $5,500


Christmas                   $1,200


DD2 Activity's             $3,000


DD2 College Fund      $6,000


Get Away Trip(s)        $800


Total$16,500


At August ends, despite the negative savings in July, I am $721 closer to the goal than I was on July 1, with a new balance of $15,779. That breaks down to $3,944.75 per month, a laughable target. It improves a bit when I subtract out the third paycheck in September and a VISA point cash in, totaling $2,002, making the new savings goal from regular cash flow $3,444.25.  It is highly unlikely, unless DH's commissions double (which has happened in the past), but I still want to keep the challenge front and center as I decide where and how we spend money the next four months. We will need to decide where we eliminate or at least reduce. It will not be DD2's activities. Some might argue with me that these are indulgences that are unnecessary, but giving my kids access to experiences that help round out their character in positive ways, is a bargain. She will be contributing more to her expenses now that she has a little money coming in. She was fine with no new school clothes, understanding the cash outlay of these other things. Technically, since she chose not to run cross country, we can take $150 off the budget, but I have a feeling it could be replaced with a new activity. I had an idea of making one of the little get aways to DD1's place, if she will have us. She lives in a beautiful area, and for the cost of groceries, gas, and maybe a meal out, we can cut one of the getaways in half. 

Christmas can definitely be scaled down-experiences over stuff. The balance of what is saved after scaling back Christmas spending, and get aways, will be divided between the college fund and the Roth. I think we need to meet with a financial planner because with the amount I am putting away through work, all pre-taxed, I'm not sure in the long run if adding the max to the Roth is a better financial move than potentially taking out student loans if needed later, and helping her pay them off.  I'd rather contribute the goal amount to both, but it is looking like that might not be possible this year. That is where my piggy bank stands. I'll be looking for the best bargains, wasting not and wanting not as we check off the days of 2016. How are your goals coming along?

8 comments:

  1. Life happens and occasionally derails our best intentions. I love the creative ways everyone has to reduce their spending and costs.

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    1. I know I will learn oodles from your $200 a month grocery challenge. I need to figure out how to turn my junk into cash.

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  2. $3444 per month out of reg. income is large....ask me how I know. lolz

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    1. Your the queen of finding the savings but we plain and simple need more to come in the door to achieve the target.

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  3. I'm doing well with my savings goals. Now it's just a question of what's our next step, life & housing-wise. we haven't been getting much nanny support (not our choice), which has saved quite a bit. Hopefully we'll be back to more coverage starting next week, but it's $$$. We are splitting our savings between actually savings, boys college investment accounts, and some small paydowns on our HELOC. I like to see the balance go down, even though M would prefer to pay the minimum. The interest rate is low, so I can see the advantage, but I'm motivated by visuals just the same. :-)

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    1. It was a good feeling to pay off the mortgage, which is why I am so adamant that we don't take out anything on the house to support the house repairs and refurbishments or college, while making sure we have a healthy 6 months emergency fund. With current salaries and maxing all the long term retirement accounts avaailbe short of personal savings and investing, it makes things quite tight. Our savings as a percent of income is strong-the income has just been tough this last year on DH's side, and my own taking a 15% (worth it in the long run for health) cut in pay when changed jobs.

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  4. Just keep chipping away at it. I contribute 19% to 401K, my hubs 10% (not counting our companies' matching $). Plus I have a nice pension. Nothing to IRAs. We cash flow Christmas and keep it small, I pay an extra mortgage payment every month trying to get it paid off by the time we retire in 10 or so years. All the while trying to cash flow college for 2 which comes to about $50K per year for both (D1 is beginning Jr. year, D2 is beginning sophomore year). So far keeping afloat but no getaways, no new clothes, no golf trips for hubs, no new cars and have accepted small subsidized fed loans that will extend our money a bit and will be paid off as soon as they graduate. I am upping our e-fund a $100 a month as we had an HVAC system scare and I want to be prepared. Chip. . .chip. . .chipping away!

    Yours, DeeCee

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    1. That's exactly what we intend, and good description - chip, chip! As I feel really solid about the long term retirement, I can cut myself a little slack month to month for the short term including the Roth as I feel that is bonus to our overall plan for retirement but DH feels it is essential.

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