Not that much excitement going on with this pay check. I was able to move $425 to our savings account. My goal for this year was to save $12,000. I picked that number just because it sounded good. Wouldn't it be awesome to save $1,000 a month?! I knew it was a stretch going into this challenge. I mean, how could we possible have $1,000 a month extra just sitting around?
There were times during the year that I was extremely focused but way too many times this goal just fell to the wayside. Getting to experience new things and traveling are both very important to me and my husband. I know this is our main weakness money wise. We see a great deal and think "That would be so much fun!" And then we book it. Could we have completed the $12,000 savings challenge? Probably. But we would have missed out on so many great adventures and so many great memories. Some of the great memories from 2014:
- Went to the zoo lots of times with our zoo membership
- Took a day trip to the Columbus Zoo (something I've been wanting to do for years)
- Took the girls and a friend on an overnight trip to an indoor water park
- Our family camping trip that included so many great memories like dancing with the girls at "teen dance night". And one night when our waiter was really slow at the camp restaurant, we started playing a version of charades that had all four of us laughing so hard that it just made us all laugh even more.
- Mr. R and I spent 3 wonderful nights on a mini trip for our 10 year anniversary
- Spent a week in California visiting my Dad
- A chauffeured winery tour for Mr. R and I while on our California Vacation
- Big R's 7th birthday and Little R's 4th birthday pool party at grandmas
- Little R catching the 1,000 ticket in the ticket blaster at Chuck E. Cheese on her birthday
- The first time we took Little R roller skating
- Breakfast with Mr. and Mrs. Clause
- Playing Mall Madness (my favorite game from when I was young) with Big R
- When Big R got 3 strikes in a row at her bumper bowling league
Not all of our memories this year cost money. I just wanted to point out things that we could have given up if we hadn't wanted to spend the money but I'm glad we didn't. We also do a lot of things that don't cost money like reading together and playing games on the Wii. The girls love to help me bake and cook. We watch movies together and, recently, go driving around to look at Christmas lights. Every other Saturday when Mr. R has to work all night, the girls and I have a sleep over in the living room. We pop popcorn, they get to have juice boxes and we stay up late watching Goosebumps.
Back to the money talk: I also spent a few hundred dollars taking some continuing education courses to help in my job search that would have went towards the savings challenge. Hopefully those classes will look good on my resume and help me find a better, more secure job in the future.
So, I guess you figured it out by now... Did we save $12,000 in 2014? Nope. But we did save $8,502 towards our goal. The goal was to save $4,000 each for a new car/car repair fund, Emergency fund and vacation fund. Not only did we save $8,502 towards the challenge but we also:
- added $20 per month into each of the girls savings accounts (I know it's not a lot but its something. I figure once we're done budgeting $600 a month for childcare we can bump this up quite a bit.)
- saved $100 per month in a home repair fund
- saved $130 for this winter in case our electric bill jumps up quite a bit
Altogether, we were able to save a total of $10,312 this year. I'm pretty impressed that we put an average of $859 per month into savings towards some of our goals. It amazes me because I feel like we definitely don't have that much money just sitting around at the end of the month.
We've already spent some of this money but that was the reason we saved it. Like the vacation savings money paid for our upcoming cruise and our anniversary weekend back in October. Our brand new sliding glass door that was paid for out of our repair fund had been on the to do list for years. It's so nice to have a door that doesn't get stuck when we try to use it and actually closes all the way so there isn't a constant cold draft coming in anymore.
I have a plan starting for 2015. I'm going to set more realistic savings goals to bump up the emergency fund, increase the amount of money put into each of our girls' savings accounts, pay some extra on both our mortgage and the rental property mortgage. But we will also be saving for some more weekend trips and a family vacation.