Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Reality Check-Budget Goals 2016


I've finally separated out planned and budgeted spending for the house, with new monies coming in to determine where I a at in my Budget Goals for 2016 Part 2. You may recall, I set a lofty target, more than likely unachievable target, out of touch with reality target,  of $16,500 to cover  mini get aways, college savings and current extra curricular activities for DD2, Christmas, and  Roth savings. It is not looking pretty. My tally as of September 30 is $3,700. this includes the third paycheck in September, plus the VISA cash back bonus. That leaves three months to save $12,800, or $4,267 per month. Starting this goal when July was already going to be a negative savings month didn't get me off to a good start. I'm hopeful that at least an additional $6,000 can be socked away, but that leaves us still with decisions to make on where to cut. It also means unless something dramatic happens, there will be no winter/spring vacation away. I actually am OK with that. I have some day trips I'd like to do and spend more time on writing and blogging. We also are looking at a driving vacation to Yellowstone next summer, frugally planned of course.

With the foundational stuff now done, we could trade off further cosmetic home updates that we already have set aside in savings to go towards either the college savings or Roth fund. I've already decided to scrape back Christmas by a few hundred, and the weekend get away budget will either be gone, or scaled back drastically, and I think we could find a nice one nighter for very little-the fun is in the planning. It is not all savings doom and gloom. We are net positive, better than the alternative as it was looking in early summer. I will have put away an additional $3,000 in my retirement account over 2015 by years end, plus we maxed out the Roth for 2015 back in April. We got some desperately needed repairs and replacements made on the house, making my outlook and mood so much brighter to be in my own home. I reigned in much of the needless spending on groceries and household, and have gone back to some of my frugal roots, which will position us well for 2017 savings goals. Reducing our grocery and household budget has not diminished our quality of life.

There are a few things I want to buy though in preparation for winter. We need new ice skates-blades and boots have seen their day. I'm looking out for used cross country ski's and snow shoes. With all the upheaval on the new cabin, I'd like my family to be able to use it and enjoy the open spaces around it.I'm dredging the budget to see if there is any other room to cut to find these dollars. While our entertainment budget is relatively small, we could skinny it further, since these items would after all, be entertainment. Do snow shoes count as clothing? I'm off to make myself a home brewed skinny latte, with some PB and J on toast, a good breakfast for pondering over a budget. If you have savings goals, how are your plans going? If like me, you are far from reaching them, are you buckling down harder, accepting it for what it is, or a combination of both? 

11 comments:

  1. First ice skates are not in the clothing budget. I would put them in either exercise/health or recreation/entertainment. Depends on how you look at it and use them.
    We have been seriously buckling down here. Son3 graduates in May so our college expenses will come to a screeching halt, which is great. Right now my mom is very frail, but she still lives at her home which is 2 minutes from mine . As long as she lives there we will stay in this house, but whenever she can no longer be there, we will move. Our house is rather large and needs a family in it, not just the two of us. This is a desirable community with very good schools so it should sell quickly when that time comes. We think there will be a few years between selling this and TheHub retirement so we are even thinking of getting an apartment or condo close to his office and splitting time between it and the lake place. Who knows? Life is interesting!

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    1. We're seven years behind your plan, and once DD graduates college we too will not stay in our house, but like you would still have years before retirement. As we don't have the lake place to ourselves, living there is not an option, but something small that suits the two of us sure sounds good at that time. I am thinking through what we can do without, and perhaps really think about selling stuff maybe just through the FB on line garage sale to raise some funds for the sports equipment. Yes, not clothing. Others have good luck with things they no longer need.

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  2. We are doing great so far this year, thanks to bonuses due to my company successfully merging with it's acquirer. We put away about $15K so far this year for college costs which we are cash flowing for 2 kids, we've added $4K to the car savings (my husband puts mad mileage for work on his car), and we began adding $100 a month to the house e-fund since the quote we got for a new HVAC system is $2K above what we've saved. Hoping college costs will go down a little more as both my girls will be in off-campus housing next year which will save money since I won't have to buy them the useless but expensive meal plan any longer. Quite the racket if you ask me.

    -DeeCee

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    1. Good going. I like hearing others success stories, and the fact that they put away when the bonus come instead of treating like mad money. I agree that you should see some savings, if tuition doesn't rise, with them off site.Unless you have a huge eater on an all you can eat plan, they are very costly meals. While tuition went up the years my kids were off site, the savings was still more with lower rent (though we had to commit to 12 months)and cooking for themselves.

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    2. Neither are big eaters, one is already in an apartment. So far since August she has cost me about $250 in groceries so definitely a savings over the $2300 per semester food plan, which neither of my kids were able to fully use due to having classes or labs or discussion sessions during meal times. Definitely a money making racket for the school. Plus my kids often pop home for a meal in a pinch and I send them back with leftovers.

      Tuition only goes up around a $100 a year and we are in-state so no huge hikes. And if all else fails they can move home, as we are about a mile from their apartments and campus. ;)

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  3. Our medical dental fund just got totally drained over the last 2 months, that is my first priority. I might have oversaved for Christmas so if I can shave any of that off when Christmas is done I will shift that money into the medical/dental fund. Need to continue saving for travel fund although looking good for our trip to Greece.You take what successes you can - and you have some. Your goal may have been a bit high, perhaps to a goal next year that is higher than your actual end result this year?

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    1. It was a massive stretch, but did help me focus and prioritize dollars. Not that I ever threw money away, but having to think about a purchase being part of a plan, or just frivalous was helpful. We had some savings the first half of the year, though those were part of the Alaska trip, last years Roth, and the house fund.I should do a net worth snap shot for my own review to see in the big picture, how much did we really save (not ocunting the savings pots toward expenditures.

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  4. I think you are doing great. Budgets need flexibility and reworking. It's a part of the process. We have a small bit of credit card debt and are now plugging away at it. I'm hoping by the end of the year it will be gone. Hard to believe we went without credit card debt for years and here we are back at it again. Darn me. I bought the car and then some furniture.

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    1. We have our no interest car payment for debt and that is it, but the cash flow is so tight this year. I need to keep remembering it is because we have so much going into retirement accounts, so that is a good move savings wise. We also have the 6 month living expenses saved and an emergency account, plus are not doing the household repairs, upgrades on credit. This means there is just not enough new money to put in those shorter term savings buckets right now.College is the one that is starting to freak me out-how will we be able to float those expenses for four years? I'm hoping we can have a better pot to draw on when we can't cash flow the tuition, room, and board. Granted, no car payment by that time, but fingers crossed, the second and third car (for DD when she gets her license) holds on.

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  5. With the added cost of food and electricity usage for two more adults plus the much higher medical bills due to Daughter being home/on our health insurance, is making reaching my savings goal doubtful this year.

    I'll still go at this goal full force whether I meet it or not and will be happy with wherever we land.

    It will be interesting to see how everyone's stats turn out at the end of the year. I am already starting to plan for what we'll do/save/spend in 2017 as Hubs income won't vary much from what it was this year.

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    1. I know what you mean. Even setting the goals has helped me be more disciplined that even if DH has another mediocre year, I've gone back to austerity roots in several areas-ones that aren't in the slightest bit painful, so hope to naturally see savings. I'm exploring low cost travel venues for our summer driving trip, and we will self cater a lot of the food, and after the new year sock little bits towards it like we did for Alaska.

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