Author Topic: 66% Savings September  (Read 6554 times)

MoonPilgrim

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66% Savings September
« on: August 31, 2012, 11:46:22 AM »
My goal for September is to not spend any money outside of my regular bills, which will include the mortgage for my home and a rental property, utilities, and the next 6 months of car insurance. 

I've traded in some credit card points for gift cards that should cover other routine expenses for a month (pet food, people food, gas).  Anything else should be able to wait until October 1, right?

If I make it on the gift cards, I'll be able to sock away 66% of my monthly take-home for September. 

arebelspy

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2012, 12:37:25 PM »
A "spend nothing" month is a great challenge.

Good luck!
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starbuck

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2012, 01:48:13 PM »
Ooh I like this challenge. I think I'll join you! For me, I'm at 65% right now, so for September my goal is going to be the 75% mark. There's not a lot of fat left to trim from my budget since I'm in a high cost of living area, but I'd like to see if I can do it.

I'll need to really maximize our grocery budget, and keep discretionary spending to just the few social obligations I've already got for September. My 65% rate is comfortable, so I'm intrigued to see if I can bump it up 10% or not. It's not going to be sustainable, but I think it's a worthwhile exercise. Plus it's been 6 months since Maximum Mustache March, and I'm ready for another challenge!

TLV

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 01:57:43 PM »
I'm aiming for 90% in September, but I have an advantage - September is when my employer gives annual bonuses.

darkelenchus

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 04:33:13 PM »
We're slated for a 69% savings rate this month. In the spirit of the challenge, we'll try to raise it to 75%or more by reducing grocery costs and not buying anything that's unnecessary.

grantmeaname

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2012, 07:47:55 AM »
There are a whole bunch of badasses in this thread! That's seriously commendable, guys.

Someday I'll be making money again, instead of just spending it. :p

sowantere

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 06:48:16 PM »
Ive been in the 50s the last 3 months.  Im in for 66. wont be easy

thor800

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2012, 05:49:04 AM »
How is it possible to save 75% of take home ?

Is this after bills, mortgage, loans, etc or before ?

Congrats if you can accomplish this. Living in a high cost area with high mortgage and student loans definitely makes it difficult.

darkelenchus

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2012, 07:08:40 AM »
How is it possible to save 75% of take home?

Is this after bills, mortgage, loans, etc or before?

Congrats if you can accomplish this. Living in a high cost area with high mortgage and student loans definitely makes it difficult.

Income:

     TOTAL:              $3,834.06 (projected, will probably be between $50 to $200 higher).

Expenses:

     Groceries:        $225 (projected, could be +/- $25)
     Taxes:               $321.75
     Condo Fees:   $75
     Utilities:            $42.95
     Internet:            $39.02
     Health Ins:       $47.92
     Misc:                 $150 (projected, could be $25 lower, probably no more than $50 higher - includes a necessary $100 school fee expense)
     TOTAL:             $901.64

Projected Savings Rate: 76.48%  (High: 78.27%, Low: 74.52%)

No loans, no mortgage. If we still had a mortgage, whatever we'd put towards the principle would count as savings.

arebelspy

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2012, 07:48:43 AM »
How is it possible to save 75% of take home ?

Is this after bills, mortgage, loans, etc or before ?

Congrats if you can accomplish this. Living in a high cost area with high mortgage and student loans definitely makes it difficult.

Naturally that would be after all expenses.

The wife and I save about 75% of our take home.  On teacher's salaries.  It'd be much easier if we made more.  (Of course our take home includes lots of extra stuff, tutoring after school 3x per week, summer school, etc.  So we do make more than the base teacher's salary, but that's due to extra  work we put in.)

Here's (roughly) how we save 75% (the following is take home, after tax): base salary of ~40k each (we started lower, but both have Master's degrees.. Heh. 40k salaries with Master's degrees is just sad.). Earn ~15k in extra stuff. 

Spend ~24k/yr.  There's a 75% savings rate.  That doesn't count money made from investments (rentals, equities, etc.).  That money is saved as well, of course.  I don't count the principal amount sent to loans as saved either.

We have a mortgage, student loans (though, sadly, my wife's student loan is paying off this month, after paying the minimum for years.  Mine will end in another year or so.  Wish I could make them last even longer.)

But our mortgage is cheap, we don't pay other interest (except for business purposes).  We buy what we want, but we just don't want a lot of things.

It can be done, but I'm more and more convinced about the early mover advantage.  Once you're locked into a large mortgage payment on a house bigger than you need, interest payments on a car that gets too few MPG, giant student loans, etc... It becomes much tougher.  When you go for a simple life from the beginning, it flows naturally.

Our saving 75% isn't a sacrifice.  We live a very cushy life.  We could probably cut back and have a much higher savings rate.. I'd rather just spend whatever we want, though, like we do now.

If you're starting late, from a situation like that described above, there will have to be some painful adjustments made, IMO.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

MoonPilgrim

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2012, 06:52:19 AM »
So...how's everyone doing?

I have had a few unexpected expenses pop up and my gift cards arrived the second week of September so groceries and gas were out of pocket, but overall, things are going according to plan.  If I count the amount that goes towards mortgage principle as savings, I'm in a good zone--around 70%.

BUT, my checking account balance is up a little higher than I need it to be, so I may be able to put my entire paycheck away this month.  Kill the mortgage!

On a funnier note, Mr. MP was wondering why on earth I was going to a different grocery store--so I explained (again*) that I could only use credit card points for gift cards from a national chain.  I told him, "Spending no money at all is my September Challenge!"  "Well, I'm your September boyfriend, so I need to know these things."  :P 

It's kind of cool that we're halfway through the month before he realized I'm spending nothing this month--it must mean that spending zero isn't that different from our usual mode, right?

* He was with me last week when we went to the different grocery store because of the gift card.  And to the pet store, where I also used a gift card.  So I KNOW he was at least vaguely aware of the plan.  Our finances and financial goals are completely separate, so it's conceivable that he just kind of forgot. 

Use it up, wear it out...

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2012, 08:38:04 AM »
How is it possible to save 75% of take home ?

Is this after bills, mortgage, loans, etc or before ?

Congrats if you can accomplish this. Living in a high cost area with high mortgage and student loans definitely makes it difficult.

Naturally that would be after all expenses.

The wife and I save about 75% of our take home.  On teacher's salaries.  It'd be much easier if we made more.

Earning more doesn't necessarily make it easier. We earn a good amount, but unfortunately our taxes, even after 401K and other pre-tax withdrawals, are still higher than 25% - meaning we couldn't achieve a 75% savings rate in our current situation even if we saved 100% of our after-tax income.

arebelspy

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2012, 10:21:14 AM »
How is it possible to save 75% of take home ?

Is this after bills, mortgage, loans, etc or before ?

Congrats if you can accomplish this. Living in a high cost area with high mortgage and student loans definitely makes it difficult.

Naturally that would be after all expenses.

The wife and I save about 75% of our take home.  On teacher's salaries.  It'd be much easier if we made more.

Earning more doesn't necessarily make it easier. We earn a good amount, but unfortunately our taxes, even after 401K and other pre-tax withdrawals, are still higher than 25% - meaning we couldn't achieve a 75% savings rate in our current situation even if we saved 100% of our after-tax income.

Fair enough.  In general, earning more makes higher savings rates easier, as rent/mortgage, food, etc. eat up a smaller percentage of your income.  Then when you cut out unnecessaries, you can save a bunch.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

starbuck

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2012, 11:18:23 AM »
I should be able to hit my 75% savings goal this month. But man, it hasn't been fun. My expenses are pretty fixed, so the only areas to carve out some fat was the grocery budget and just about ALL of my spending money. (I don't commute via car, and when I do drive for work, I'm reimbursed for mileage.) I've put much more effort into planning meals based on the sales flier, and avoiding any food waste, and always bringing lunch, and always cooking dinner at home. So we've gone out and done very little this month with friends as a result. (One dinner with a visiting friend, and a trip to the drive-in w/picnic.)

What's helped is keeping a running list on my computer of things that I can do that don't cost any money. As a result, I've crossed off a lot of minor home projects, made good use of the library, and started a free course online at Coursera.org.

All in all, it's been a good exercise for me; helping me clear my head and figure out what I actually want to get out of my budget. Now I'm trying to decide what habits to keep going forward in October. Hmmm.

MoonPilgrim

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2012, 12:46:35 PM »
Keeping a list of free things to do is a great idea--I know that I've definitely done more cleaning this month than I usually do!  Most of my socializing is done on the cheap--we do potlucks once a week at a friend's house.  We also like board games, and I have friends who like to come over and try to fly kites or practice disc golf, so I'm pretty lucky to be part of a make-your-own-fun group of people.

The hardest thing for me about the no spending has been preparing for Halloween, my favorite holiday.  For the last two years, I've been wanting to make my own can-can costume for an annual costume party, and I put it off again last year because of money and time.  If I weren't on the zero-spending plan, I might have purchased the remainder of fabric I would need and ordered the parts I can't make myself.  So, instead I'm going to reuse a costume from a few years ago--I'll probably have just as much fun as if it were a new costume.  :)

darkelenchus

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2012, 07:49:30 AM »
We ended up with a 77.59% savings rate for September. How'd everybody else do?

Nancy

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2012, 08:24:41 AM »
I hit my highest of 80.19% in take home savings this month. I sent almost all of it to my student loan, but since that's on top of my regular payment, I figured it counts, since I would otherwise shovel it into investments. September was badass! What's on tap for October challenges?

Ottawa

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #17 on: October 01, 2012, 10:03:05 AM »
Alright, before I reveal savings...let me begin by stating that we just converted to Mustachianism 3 weeks ago!  We were already somewhat frugal before this conversion (which makes it easier and more fun!).  This conversion necessarily has some initial outlay.  For instance; a couple penalties for nuking cable and switching phone and internet service for more frugal options! 

I always thought we were around a 50% savings rate.  But this month is coming it at:

57.49%

Edit:  I forgot dividends and in - house 'cash jar' from selling some stuff:
Even better at 59.44%


I must say I was pleasantly surprised!  It will be interesting to see how these numbers start to improve. 

I tend to calculate expenses and income as they come in ... for example - property taxes for the year are paid in two installments.  So, these will not be spread equally over the year, rather, they will hit the bottom line the month they occur.  So, there will be some 'short term' swings in perceived savings..maybe not the best way to do it...in order to see improvements.  What do others do?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 06:30:37 AM by Ottawa »

TLV

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2012, 10:32:25 AM »
89.3% - just shy of the 90% target. Excuses can be found in my journal thread.

arebelspy

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2012, 06:11:52 PM »
I'll post mine in a few days.  I like to wait a few days after the next month has begun to reconcile to let any last expenses or charges appear and shake out before I calculate.

I tend to calculate expenses and income as they come in ... for example - property taxes for the year are paid in two installments.  So, these will not be spread equally over the year, rather, they will hit the bottom line the month they occur.  So, there will be some 'short term' swings in perceived savings..maybe not the best way to do it...in order to see improvements.  What do others do?

Some people average out over 12 months, mainly for budget planning purposes, but I'm of the opinion to let it hit when it will.  Yearly budget will have it correct, monthly budget will fluxuate.  Then you'll have a true test of the maximum you'll need in a month, as well.

So yes, some months I have an 80% savings rate, some a 50, etc.   I then have a lifetime average (well, since I started tracking) and a 12 month running average to see what it's at.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

starbuck

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2012, 06:21:58 AM »
After doing the math on my whizbang calculator, my savings rate was 73.5% for September, just shy of my 75% goal. And September was really unfun because of it. So I'm going back to my 65% savings rate, aiming for 70% occassionally if I can manage it.

Good news for October: bonus paycheck month! plus I worked a rare day of overtime last weekend which I'll receive with my next paycheck. So October will turnout to be a stellar savings rate month, AND I'll still get my Sunday morning Boston Globe. Best of both worlds.

MoonPilgrim

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2012, 10:45:58 AM »
Sweet charts, TLV--I like the format you use.

So, where I came in:

Expenses

Home   $1,552.83
Bills & Utilities   $507.40 (Normally BF pays for our phones, I covered mine this month.  Also, I won't usually be covering electricity at my rental property.  So about $200 or so over "normal")
Auto & Transport   $276.78 (6 months of car insurance)
Pets   $103.50 (Veterinary bill for unanticipated surgery--the cat I've had for eight years turned out to be un-spayed!  This surgery should reduce my cat urine removal budget.)
Food    $49.95

Approximately $450 of the "Home" expenses (my PITI, rental property PITI) went to principle, so my total expenses for the month were $2040.46.

Net Income: $5000

So, I ended up at 61% for the month. 

If the unexpected stuff hadn't come up, I would have been at 71%--but there are always miscellaneous expenses, so I'm reluctantly coming to the realization that I may not be able to get over 65% any time soon.  I don't know how else to cut my expenses further back than I did this month--as it was, we were living on ramen for the past week because I refused to go grocery shopping. 

I need to work at least 50 hours per week in my salaried position, but lately I've been thinking about getting a second job in the evenings so I can put away a higher percentage of my income.  Which sounds crazy--but this month's experiment proves that I need to make more to save more.  Or, at least, I think it does.  :)









arebelspy

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Re: 66% Savings September
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2012, 04:52:51 PM »
I'll post mine in a few days.  I like to wait a few days after the next month has begun to reconcile to let any last expenses or charges appear and shake out before I calculate.

Well this is embarrassing - mine is going to be the lowest in the thread.  :P

Mine ended up being a 43.31% savings rate.  My second lowest ever since starting tracking in April 2010.

Brought my overall average since April 2010 down to 70.6% and my average for the last 12 months (Oct 2011 - Sept 2012) down to 73.5%.

Reasons (not excuses): Bought a scooter, paid taxes for 2011 (had filed extension in April) and paid accountant, plus had high entertainment expenses this month.  All those added up to a lot of spending (4k, when typical 12 month avg had been around 2k).

I'd expect this month to be around my 70% average.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and are now settled with two kids.
If you want to know more about us, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.