Monday, April 3, 2017

2017 Savings Update-Quarter One is on the Books

Hello, Piggy. Our March savings numbers were greatly aided by a third paycheck for me and a bonus payment for DH. It's hard knowing exactly when his bonus payments come, and how much they will be, but this was a little higher than he anticipated. We always have to plan though that some needs to be set aside immediately, as potential tax bill next year.  We completed our 2016 taxes in March and even with the untaxed bonus payments, we almost broke even, paying in $350+ to state, receiving $800+ federal in return, but paying our accountant $200+, netting when all is done,a bit above $200, enough to cover one of our two nights up north for our nieces wedding. I know many of you do your own taxes, but this is an expense that gives us both tremendous peace of mind as ours are a bit complex (to us at least) with both taxed and untaxed income, and business deductions.

I didn't put any extra cash  into our December account, but $20 Kohl's cash at the beginning of March from DH's shoe purchases went towards DD2's spring clothes haul, and from that I earned another $20, which I used towards some Christmas and birthday gifts, bought early and set aside. I stretched those $20 into a set of four etched wine glasses on 70% clearance, which I will give for extended family gift giving, and two of an item for my girls, plus a birthday gift for DD1's October birthday. All are high quality brands and items, that even if bought on Kohl's sale's plus the usual 30% discounts I get through my card, the amount would have been well over $40. When we bought DD2's clothes, I didn't even realize we would earn Kohl's cash, so a bonus. I spent a grand total of $0.61 on these items. I converted the $40 in Kohl's cash to real cash, as they reduced cash outlay on clothing and gifts. This is part of treating gift cards and bonuses like cash-not as mad money.

March Wrap Up

Annual Savings Goal          $40,417
January Deposits                $ 2,200
February Deposits               $1,283
March Deposit                     $4,901
Perks to Cash                     $      72 
Savings Goal Balance          $31,961

December Fun Money        $     480
January set aside               $       70 
February Set Aside             $         0
March Set Aside                 $        0
Savings Goal Balance         $     410

Granted, without the extra pay checks, our savings would have been in the $1500 area, but these are real parts of our compensation, and we banked, rather than splurged. Because the Roth has to be paid by April 15, I'll have to report a negative dip into savings for April. We decided we are still going to put the max of $13,000 in the fund. I knew this was the reality when I set this target, as we wouldn't have the full $13,000 in new savings by the last date to put funds in the account. One thing is for sure, seeing a $13 grand dip is going to fuel our motivation for the rest of the year. 

If we maintain the same savings/earning rate, we will be a bit over $10,000 short of my target savings. We had already made some spending decisions that would have reduced the goal, but I chose not to commit those reductions on paper. This was a mind game to keep the focus.Two areas we decided will be reduced will be increasing the home items/upgrade budget  and travel, since we eliminated Yellow Stone in exchange for  an anniversary weekend and more cabin time, and DD2 not going to Ireland. I'm not taking a 2018 family trip off the table though. I'm also not giving up meeting the goal yet. Many of you shared ideas to increase money coming in and I'll continue to look for ways to reduce spending without impacting our quality of life. We are still putting 30% into our 401K's, plus a $325 per month into a fungible account for unexpected car and home issues (think the stupid clog and the vacuum purchase last month). How are you tackling your financial goals thus far in 2017?


  1. March was a good savings month....a third paycheck here too so that helped immensely w/last month's numbers. Even with r/e taxes due(making up half of our yearly property taxes)and annual sewage bill due the total bills weren't "killer" to the budget.
    We also just got our federal tax refund(won't be on March's balance sheet)and I have Hubs bonus check for 2016 now but still have to figure out where to apply it(probably to CB's college-the last year...yeah!!!).
    We thought about putting an extra $6K in the IRA for 2016 but in the end didn't.

    1. We decided we have to have more tac free savings/investment for after retirement so feeding that Roth. My pension will be a pittance and who knows what other changes are to come. I'm crossing my fingers we've saved and calculated for college well.

  2. Our savings picture looks a lot different than most - we quit funding our retirement accounts except a couple thousand a year as want to invest outside of them. That reason is that hubby is older than I by 8 years so we can access only part of the retirement funds when we need it most when we are both under 70. So we have a combination of company pay, investment income from outside our retirement fund and rent from the condo we own that Mom lives in. Due to the company we try and keep our tax rate low by splitting income as much as possible which is fully legal according to our corporate accountant. Having big saving goals is a good idea, even if you don't meet them I think you end up saving more than you would have and if there are any unexpected monies you know what to do with them.

    1. We all need to do what works for us. Over reaching is my for now strategy.

  3. Well, we are starting again really, after making the house purchase. But, slowly & surely making our way back from the brink of being totally tapped out. ;-) If we sell our rental house in 2017, that will obviously create a lot of flexibility. More to come!

    You did great with your savings goals. Love how you are tracking your "perks to cash". Very smart!

    1. I have a "wish we would have"-"glad we didn't" mixed perspective on property. It seemed to work well for you. I'm trying to plug leaks and the little perk money is a bit of glue.

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you. Now, need to keep my momentum.

  5. And when you reach my age you can turn around and start spending instead of saving :)

    1. My whole target, except the $19 k for retirement, will be spent-college, travel, and home. It will go faster than saved.


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