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For 17 months, I released debt payoff updates at the end of each month to share how much mortgage principal we were able to pay off that month.
I did this for several reasons:
- To be able to look back at our progress and remind ourselves how far we’ve come.
- To hold ourselves accountable.
- To share our journey with others who are working to become debt free.
I continued to share reports at the end of each month after we became debt free. Though they were labeled Savings Reports, the reports over the next seven months were basically spending reports since our savings were used for traveling, home renovations, furniture, decor, a new lawn mower, and a new-to-us truck.
We got that little spending spree out of our system though, and as of last month when we began our new goal, my savings reports are now true to their name.
If you’re new to my blog or don’t follow me on Instagram, I’ll fill you in really fast.
As of September 1, 2018 – exactly two years since we began our mortgage-free journey – we are saving $100,000 to purchase our first investment property with cash.
How are we doing this? By living on less than half of our income and saving the rest.
While paying off our mortgage, we lived on my income and used every cent of my husband’s income as mortgage principal payments. As soon as we removed the mortgage line item from our budget, we decided to base our budget on $2,400 per month, an amount that is a little less than my husband’s income. We now save anything he earns over that amount, as well as every cent of my income, toward this goal.
For more details, check out the post that announced this goal here.
Alright, let’s talk about October!
I’ll start with our budget this past month.
Again, our zero-based budget is constructed based on $2,400 and includes three sections – bills, sinking funds and spending. You can view our budget at any time here.
Our yearly Halloween traditions include attending Boo at the Zoo and going to one haunted house. My husband – my narcotics investigator hero – is the bravest man I know, but he
is terrified of “hates” haunted houses. I absolutely love them though, so he’s a trooper and compromises by going to just one with me.
It was kind of a big month for groceries. We budget $120 per week and go grocery shopping each Sunday or Monday. The way the dates fell this month, we had to budget $600 instead of our normal $480.
I got my hair done this past month, which I only do about three or four times per year. I love paying well for the incredible service I receive, and it was $160 for my cut and color.
We budgeted $30 extra for gas since we’re driving back and forth to my dad’s house, which is about a 35 minute drive each way, to work on my husband’s truck.
It was also our month to pay for my stepdaughter’s gymnastics classes, which costs us $55 every other month.
Even with this month’s extra expenses and activities, our actual costs for the month were $2,378.29. The remaining $21.71 will remain in our checking account as a buffer.
Let’s move on to discussing how much we brought home in October.
I’m a salaried employee and earn the same amount, $888.79, every Thursday. There were four Thursdays this month, so my take-home pay was $3,555.16 this month.
My husband is paid by the hour (which is crazy to me since he never stops working) and is paid biweekly. He brought home $2,749.90 this month.
We also earned $16.15 in interest from the Ally savings account we opened when we started this goal. We keep our $5,000 emergency fund in this account, as well as our savings toward our future rental property purchase.
This brings our total take-home pay to $6,321.21, which is a pretty standard month for us. I’m excited for next month since there are five Thursdays, meaning I get an “extra” paycheck!
Now, let’s talk savings.
We saved 100% of the $3,555.16 that I earned.
As I previously mentioned, we generally save all of my husband’s income in excess of $2400, which would mean that $349.90 of this month’s $2,749.90 would have been saved in October. However, we are aiming to reach $16,000 by the end of the year, and we only needed $322.45 to ensure we’ll meet this amount, so that is all we saved from his income. We planned to use the leftover $27.45 to go out to eat or treat ourselves, but we’ll probably just leave it in our checking account as an extra little buffer.
The $16.15 in Ally interest stayed in our savings account as a little cherry on top of this month’s savings, bringing our total to $3,893.76.
This means that our savings rate for this month is 62%. It’s just a smidgen less than last month, but that’s completely okay. As long as we’re saving an average of 60%, I’m happy.
So, how much have we saved since starting this goal on September first?
We’re now at $8,017.04! I can’t believe it – we’ve saved over $8,000 in eight weeks. If you would have told me years ago that my future husband and I would be saving an average of $1000 per week, I would have told you that you’re crazy.
It’s amazing where you can end up after years of dedication.
Two months down and $91,982.96 to go! I can’t wait to let you guys know how next month ends up going!
How was your October? Let me know in the comments or on Instagram!