Darren and I decided we're going to try and save 50% of our monthly income.
Yes, 50%. We really have relatively few fixed expenses: rent, cell phones, and his TriCare insurance (which has decreased considerably now that I have my own through work). We also have auto insurance, of course, but that's only every six months. Although that will be due again in April.
Pretty much everything else we buy is stuff we want. And food, obviously. Although heaven knows we could live for months on what's in the pantry.
We did really well last month. We saved 64% of our income.
I'm pretty excited about it, although I'm not expecting the next months to go so well. We had some extra income this month with a tuition reimbursement and our state tax refund, which is why we were able to save so much.
I've been doing a lot of work on my budget Excel workbook, including switching my credit card register over to Excel (I keep track of what we charge to our credit cards so I'm never surprised by the statement), creating a "savings worksheet" to track our savings, and a "status sheet" where I keep track of the end-of-month balances in all our accounts.
Type-A, you say?
Anyway, it's working out really well so far. Of all the money we save each month we designate 20% to saving for a new vehicle, 60% to a down payment for a house, and 20% for other savings. Other savings would be for trips or other things we need or want. We also have an emergency savings for emergencies. Obviously. And you already know about our Christmas Club savings, which I absolutely love.
Also I've decided to keep track of all the money I save with grocery coupons this year. I didn't use any in January since we were gone most of the month. In February I saved $27.98 with coupons. It's not as much as I've been savings since with work I don't have as much time to look for great deals. But I thought that was pretty good for not even trying that hard. Also, we're trying not to buy so many groceries, so I've been passing up a lot of coupons on things I would normally buy. We're trying to slim down that pantry, ya know.