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Monthly Financial Check-up

It's June and guess what that means? It's time for our monthly financial check-up. How did you do in May?

We began May at 45.5% of our house savings goal and we ended the month at 48.5%!

We're almost halfway to our goal and I'm hopeful that by the end of June, we'll at least be at 50%, if not more. We'll see!

By the way, if you're new here, you can read more about our financial goals for this year and our progress so far by scrolling down on this page here.

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How did you do in May? Whether
or not you posted financial goals for 2009, please take a moment to
post about your financial successes and failures in May and, if you'd like, the areas
you hope to improve in June. Then, come back here and leave your link
below. If you don't have a blog or would rather share anonymously, feel
free to leave your update in a comment. Let's all keep each other
accountable to be better stewards of
our resources!

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20 Comments

  • Ann says:

    In May, we made out a written budget. Something that we have never done. I see how it may take us several months to work all the kinks out and change some things here and there. It has been a little overwhelming. So many things come up that I haven’t thought of and then I have to decide what part of the budget that comes from.
    Right now, we are really focusing on our food/grocery budget. It is eye opening. I have definately been more consious of my spending. I plan ahead more so there is no unneccessary spending (vending machines, drive thrus, sodas at the concession stand, etc).
    We haven’t written out specific financial goals. That is something for us to work on for the month ahead.
    Thanks

  • Alicia says:

    I discovered your site and the beauties of couponing in May!!!

  • Kelly Hess says:

    Crystal – I am so excited. My husband and I both work full-time and are trying to see if we can drop one income or if I can go down to part time. In May we were able to put into savings 50% of my husbands take-home pay!!! We are going to keep trying. In June we are starting to work on keeping our grocery bills at $65/week. So far we are on track – but it is hard to feed a family of 4 on that budget!

  • Angela says:

    Wow, that’s great!!!! So inspiring! Can I ask what state do you live in and about how much are you intending to spend on your new home 🙂

  • Celia says:

    Well, we went out something like six times this month- which is outrageous. However, I had extra money in my pay check so at least it was there to spend.

    Basically we are just dying for it to be JULY because we will have an extra five hundred dollars a month at that point! We will put half away and using half for our snowball. For health reasons we feel it is better to save half than to use it all on the ‘ball.

    I feel really pressured to have a five thousand dollar emergency fund sooner rather than later.

    We are on track to have only our mortgage payment by next year! Which is SO exciting! I am telling you, I CANNOT wait to be a stay at home Mom. I am so glad that we will be able to afford it once we have children.

    A budget change I have made and stuck with is the move to organics. However sad I may feel to pass up 1.98 a pound chicken is mitigated by the feeling that I am doing what is best for us. It’s still painful, to know I am willingly paying double, and triple what I might spend. I spent 16 dollars for five chicken breasts. I feel somewhat better when I break it down into a cost per meal.

  • Melissa says:

    That’s awesome! My husband and I are at a point where we need to decide on our next financial goal. Our emergency fund is fully funded – we’ve got 10 months saved. We have been praying to see where God would lead us as to what to do next. In the mean time, we are just going to save our money and pay down our mortgage. We are at a crossroads with the birth of our fourth baby – a move might be on the horizon for us, so we are thinking about possibly saving for a down payment for another home. Great job on your savings!
    Melissa

  • Michele says:

    Our financial goals for this year are to:
    –put $16,500 to my husband’s 401(k)
    –put $5,000 each into a Roth IRA for both me and my husband
    –put $2,000 into an Education Savings Account (ESA) for each of our three children.

    To date, we have:
    –put $8,000 toward my husband’s 401(k)
    –put $0 toward our Roth IRAs
    –put $6,000 total toward out children’s ESAs

  • Trixie says:

    Way to go!! I’m so happy you guys are making good progress on your goal, once you get past the halfway mark things start to snowball.

    _______Here’s my Financial Check Up _______

    In February I bought a late model used car almost debt free (you can read about how I did it here http://farmhomelife.blogspot.com/2009/02/how-i-bought-new-car-debt-free-well.html). I took out a 1 year note for the balance and have been working like mad towards paying the note off early. It feels so good to be almost there!!

    Blessings,

    Trixie
    http://farmhomelife.blogspot.com/

  • Indymoney says:

    Wow! Congrats Crystal. I’m amazed to see your self dicipline. Even we’re trying to save 80% of what we earn. Somehow we achieved to save 73%. I know its a long way to go.

  • Janet says:

    You guys are making such great progress. How exciting to know you’ll be halfway to your goal by the end of the month.

  • Heidi says:

    Completely unrelated to this post; I recieved a full size bottle each of shampoo and conditioner (pantene nature fusion) from Harper’s Bazaar in the mail today! I was so thrilled but I cannot remember signing up for anything to do with Harper’s Bazaar. This isn’t suprising since I sign up for so much free stuff. (Thanks to you!!) Do you remember mentioning anything about it on your blog? I tried to look it up in the archives but it was a bit overwhelming.

  • jessica says:

    We now own 57.4% of our house, up from 55.3% last month. We also paid cash for a repair to our roof not covered by insurance.

  • Sabrina Pate says:

    crystal,

    i am interested in getting your ebook, but when i click on the link my computer is telling me your old site (the biblical womanhood site) has some kind of virus. is there any other way for me to get this?

  • Angela S says:

    I had a huge goal for the month of May because we had two mini vacations and a great need from our church to fulfill some needed meals and food items for a 4-day conference. I was successful in my endeavor as we spent only $188 for everything consumable (excluding gas for the car, house utilities and our vacations). Here is the breakdown:

    ~ May ~ [Note: Not including 8 days of vacation and purchase of new electronics]
    Grocery Store – spent: $74.86, saved: $1084.19 (Rebates = $3.06) [93.5% Savings]
    Local ‘Mart – spent: $13.20, saved: $100.89 [88% Savings]
    Drug Store – spent: $19.04 , saved: $111.85 ($0 RR, $17 ECB) [85% Savings]
    Farm – spent: $21.38 , saved: $82.07 [based on retail at Publix]
    Dining Out – spent: $38.94 , saved: $17.79 [31.5% Savings]
    Other – spent: $20.59 , saved: $88.61 [81% Savings]
    **Monthly total for consumables – spent: $188.01, saved: $1485.40; Total retail: $1673.41; Rebates/Rewards = $3.06; $0 RR, $17 ECB
    **% Saved: 88.8% (not including the $18.06 in rebates, GC, RR and ECB yet to claim )**
    [Many items have been donated to the church and given as gifts to friends. Our monthly consumable for ourselves is not nearly this high… it’s just great to share God’s blessing.]

    And… we were successful to also vacation at Disney on a dime and volunteer last minute at a conference out of town. We spent less than $500 at Disney and less than $200 at the conference for our entire family, including EVERYTHING!

  • We paid off our last credit card this month! Now on to building the 3-6 month emergency fund and saving for periodic expenses like property taxes!

  • Angela S says:

    One more note…

    The new electronics that we purchased included the digital box converter and antenna. We decided to give up cable (even though we paid less than $20/month for limited basic). We rarely use it, and it’s an unnecessary expense. We’re loving the freedom of not being influenced by the schedule of programs or the garbage on the networks. It’s FREEDOM!

  • Rachel says:

    We finished paying off our “5 year” used car loan in 10 months in January. We finished paying off the first of three student loans this month (got the letter in the mail today!), and the goal is to have NO debt by this time next year (~$20,000 left). We’re living on less than half our salaries–my entire salary goes to pay off debt, fund retirement, or maintain our emergency fund–so it’ll be easier for me to quit working whenever God blesses us with children.

    My current goal is to drastically reduce my grocery bill. I’m intimidated/frustrated by couponing but I think I just need more info/encouragement (which I get here–thanks!). I’d like to shave $50 off my bi-weekly grocery bill.

  • Karen says:

    This is the month I made it to non-retirement savings of $15K! Last year’s goal was to pay off all debt except mortgage; DONE. (I don’t feel too bad about this because I “own” 73% of my home.) This year’s goal is to get a 6 months’ nest egg: that’s $23K. I’m saving about $1K per month to this goal, so it’s just possible I may make it by Dec 31!

    I crunched the numbers and realize I’m saving (to retirement or non-retirement) over 52% of my gross income (and a higher % of my net income).

    Go me! And I feel even prouder to know I’m doing this as a single mom.

  • Denise says:

    My husband claims our budget is that we can’t spend anything. That’s partially true, because he is in sales and we don’t have a steady income, except for part-time jobs. One way we have saved money lately is by going to Goodwill for clothing. We’re not big clothing buyers anyway, but Goodwill has $1.00 day on Thursdays. Items with certain color tags (it changes weekly) are only $1.00. When I go on Thursday, I mostly look only at things with that color tag. This week I got two pair of Gloria Vanderbilt capris, and a pair of jeans–all for only $1.00 each!

  • Lea says:

    I really enjoy your blog and am inspired by your personal finance posts. I didn’t even imagine it was possible to purchase a house 100% cash until I came across your blog. We currently “own” a home (the bank owns most of it!), but I have incorporated many of your money-saving ideas to boost my savings rate. As a result of reading your blog, I have started using coupons everywhere (my husband now asks before he goes to any store if I have a coupon he should use), am adding a little extra to my mortgage payment (and paying it early to chip away at the interest), and am saving so we can pay for some home remodeling projects with cash. There really is quite a feeling of liberation that comes with making your purchases with good old-fashioned money.

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