2021: The Official YNAB Savings Challenge
Welcome to the official YNAB Savings Challenge of 2021!
It's that time of year where we reflect back and focus forward on what's to come in 2021! I know 2020 hit a lot of us in tough ways, but it was shocking to see how much we still managed to save in 12 months. Updates are still rolling in, but we managed to save over $1 million as a community in the 2020 savings challenge!
Everyone is welcome to join in on this challenge, regardless of the size of your goal or the date you join in.
To get started:
1. Claim your line on the 2021 Savings Challenge sheet.
Fill out all sections until Column F with your name (or forum username), what you're saving for, currency you'll be recording in, and the total amount you'd like to target in 2021.
2. Share a summary of your savings goals in this thread.
3. Check in and add your savings total to the sheet for each month throughout the year! Update this thread and celebrate with others!
Pro-tip: You can use ctrl+F (or command+F on a Mac) to search the spreadsheet for your name when the sheet gets filled up.
Let's set ourselves up for success in 2021! Happy saving, everyone 🤩
Alright broskies, here's the scoop. I'm saving up to quit my job next year! 🥳
What? That's right, I'm quitting my boring office job to start an apprenticeship as an auto technician! The money I save will go towards my tuition for a 30 week foundations course and my living expenses for those 7 months.
Here's the breakdown:
Living Expenses: $14,916.78
As of this moment I have $10,403.86 saved. I'm using my RPP and RRSP to save so I can take advantage of my employer pension matching and the interest. Sadly that will be all of my retirement savings, but that's a different savings goal for a different period in my life. 😬
I've calculated that I will save at least $6300 using my pension savings this year. I just need everyone to pray that my investments don't fail me. 🙏 I want to stretch that goal and go for a full $7000. I haven't accounted for 3rd paydays or potential interest so I think $7000 might be doable. Either way, good luck to me and to all of you! 🤑
This is my first savings challenge, and my goal is to add $4000 to my family's savings/emergency fund. We will hopefully finish our debt challenge in April or May to pay off our last credit card (Yay!!!), and then begin to save each month toward the goal. Therefore, I may not have any updates until then.
Good luck to everyone.
End of February check in: Exceeded my monthly goal. Took some money out of my vacation fund since I am not going anywhere anytime soon and want to max out my Roth by May if possible. Made a good dent toward that goal in Feb. Time in the market is what I am aiming for (vs. trying to time the market). Got some birthday money too, so that went to the car replacement and emergency funds (+ used some for "fun money" not counted towards this challenge.) Since I'm not sure what my fall income will look like, I am trying to put away as much as I can now.
Because got some cash - I was able to clear my debt. Woot Woot. So I will finally be able to set aside money for savings. I put some money in a GIC. And I'm going to be taking the money that I had been building to put into retirement investments. This year it will probably exceed what I planned with is really exciting.
So far I've only personally set aside 100. But because of family investment - I'll be getting additional money to go into my retirement savings. Exciting!
Also my car payments will be gone by June and insurance will drop - so I expect at least 300 a month to go into savings after June.
Line 75 checking in here!
I finished school (enough to work anyway) in December and got a job in January. I’m 31 and have no retirement. I had no savings until January. I’ve been living with family while I finished school, and I’m planning to move into my own place (hallelujah!) in June.
2021 is a hard reset for me. It’s like I’m 18 all over again, and I want to make it count.
I’m going to be using my savings account balance because I’m still new to YNAB and haven’t 100% figured out how to see my running totals for savings in the app. Any hints are appreciated!
Savings goals include:
- $1800 - Job change fund. (They purchased software for me, and if I don’t stay a full year, I will owe half the cost. After a year, this amount will roll into my general savings.)
- $3000-plus - General emergency fund
- $6000 - Moving and furniture fund
- $1000 - Paddle boards
- Getting ahead on monthly budgeting
January: saved $4000. A huge part of that was student loans that I took out just in case I needed the funds.
February: saved $2500. That’s more than I’ve ever made in an entire month at any previous job. I’m stoked, to say the least.
March: the month is young, but I already added another $1500 to my savings.
Since I’m paranoid to keep too much money in my checking account, I try to estimate what I’ll need between now and my next paycheck and keep my checking adequately stocked. So my savings amounts go up and down occasionally. I’ll have a think on this over the next month and figure out what I want to do for this challenge.
Early March Check In
I received our stimulus and saved the final $1,000 for our Medical OOP.
I added another goal which is a kitchen remodel for $3,000 but I was able to fully fund that too. 🎉
Total $9,500 / $6,500 or 146% of my original goal!
So crazy after years of paying debt to finally be smashing saving goals. Now I need to decide if I can think of any other big things to save for or if we are just going to switch to a general savings fund. There is a lot of year left!
Since interest rates prove to be rather abysmal these days I moved most of my savings to investments. Because of this, the monthly savings percentage does fluctuate rather heavily. So far, good January, bad February, and good March. Maybe April will be the worst, and May will top March - who knows? It's not a clear trend yet in any direction.
Currently at 41.6% of my initial rather hairy goal. 🎉
March check in: met my monthly savings goal. Since I have a decent emergency fund, I decided to pause my E-fund savings for April and use that money to help fund my Roth IRA more quickly. Feeling good about that decision, but really weird not to be putting money into my E-fund this month. It became such a habit with ynab to do this automatically. On target to meet my annual savings goal.
Joining in late. I just updated my savings goals in the spreadsheet. We've been avid YNAB'ers for 6 years and in that time we've paid off all our cc debt while also going to school. I'm out of school now and we have 2 incomes so our goal has shifted to saving for a large renovation project on our current home. This is the first time that we've shifted our focus to savings over paying off debt so I'm happy to have found this thread!
April check in. Met monthly savings goal. Paused Emergency fund goal so I can fund my Roth by May to increase time in the market. I have several months saved in my EF, so feeling ok about this. Might shift some monthly savings money in June to medical/dental and auto or month ahead money just to beef up those true expenses before I get back to my E-fund. It's nice to be in a place where I have options.
I've missed updating the past two months, but I'm pretty happy to say I'm doing a lot better than I expected! I thought funding my EF would take me until August, but it'll be fully funded next month. I'll bump up my retirement contributions in June to ramp up meeting that goal next!
EF - Goal $12,000 / Saved $11,136.33
Retirement - Goal $13,000 / Saved $2,230.85
House Down Payment - Goal $10,000 / Saved $0
I made a rather unfortunate rebalancing of my investments, but what's done is done - I'll try making better choices in the future.
As I sold all my stocks with good profit late last year, way before I should have done, I'm now reluctant to part with my current stocks for fear of selling too early yet again. Oh well, the stock's total worth is currently 1/10th of the total fund value.
I may have to withdraw some savings to finance some large purchases this summer or autumn. I'm looking forward to spending some money instead of just hoarding.
I'm currently at 47% of my yearly retirement contribution goal.
Hi! I was going to wait until next year to join the savings challenge as my focus this year is still debt payoff, but after recently deciding that I would (hopefully!) go on holiday this year after all and include a home project I figured some extra community and accountability would be a good thing.
My goals and YTD April check in:
- Holiday (Sept 21): €0 / €750
- Study Renovation (Oct 21): €575 / €2,000
- Emergency Fund: €0 / €1,000
- Total: €575 / €3,750 -> 15%
I'm planning a staycation in Ireland for September and it's booked with no deposit. This is probably more than I need (includes spending money, etc) but would prefer to overbudget than to be WAM-ing while on holiday.
I'm not totally sure how much my study renovation will cost. I've done some calculations and this is my best guess so far with a contingency built in but it might have to be revised. I've bought a sofa bed so the €575 that has been budgeted YTD has also already been spent. I'm also hoping that I'll get some vouchers towards this for my birthday in July so that would be a big help.
Lastly, I'd like to get my emergency fund back to €1,000 by the end of the year. It keeps getting depleted as I deal with unexpected (should have been expected) things or bills that have been higher than I'd budgeted. This year I've been more realistic about my true expenses (not including these in the savings challenge) so hopefully I can build this up again and maintain it.
Good luck all!
I am joining in on the challenge in May. I've got an increase in income and I want to save the extra through to the end of the year to build up my reserves. I am trying to avoid the risk of either letting everyday expenses creep up unintentionally and the risk of 'I feel rich' so I can splash out. When my reserves are full, I will have another think about which of the everyday expenses could be increased.
Been away for a bit. Lots have changed for me. I had this benchmark goal that I wanted $1000 saved for a special investment account. Just did that today! woot! I also registered into my government programmes and now have some hefty retirement savings. The goal is to set aside 1,500 each year. Also building on phase 2 of my 6 months buffer. So this year I'll have 1650 set aside. I'm currently at $334, looks a bit slow, but because I'm doing the 52 week challenge I'll hit it by the end of the year. Oh also new goal. I only have 1 month buffer for my bills, as each month varies so considerably, but now that my bills have be basically eliminated, I'm going to aim to buffer the full one month in advance.
Lastly, I'm going to be aiming to get 500 into my special investment account by end of year. Pretty excited and I hope I can surpass these amounts as I've just ended my car lease and have a very very reduced insurance payment. Overall, I'm feeling pretty happy and relaxed wrt savings.
So.... Despite the name on my journal, I'm jumping in here. We're saving for four things, to hopefully be fully funded before my husband dies, most likely some time in the next 2ish years.
1) Medical max out of pocket: 5,925.20/10,000 - this one will also get spent from once the FSA runs out, and the FSA spending counts towards the insurance company's calculations, so may be fully funded without meeting the numerical goal, technically...
2) Funeral/other death costs, because dealing with a dead body and what the person left behind is expensive. Not as expensive as my husband thinks, but since it's his estate's money, he got to more-or-less set the goal: 44,738.37/45,000
3) Income replacement fund, which is ~3x my take-home pay (called emergency fund, and may end up used for that if something comes up). 6,119.06/12,000
4) Saving to stay here or be able to move when my husband dies, because his social security is a small chunk of money that I can't fully replace on my own, because paying for one person is not half of paying for two. This is targeting four months worth of rent I can afford (first, last, security deposit, and realtor's fee - may not need all up front, but landlords can ask for that much up front here.) My goal is to have this by time husband dies, which is theoretically two ish years from now, but listing the full goal here anyway: 919.06/14,500
I'm fully expecting minimal savings here, and to miss my goals by miles. Making sure my husband has a good quality of life and doesn't feel like we're pinching pennies is more important than my having savings, right now, because I do have a fallback option. But if I don't set the goals, then I have no chance of meeting them.
These are numbers as of May 31.
June Check-in! Wrapped up my numbers for last month and a few things have changed from my initial goals. Originally I wanted to save for an emergency fund, retirement, and house down payment. With house prices going up so drastically and doing the math that renting makes more sense for the time being, I switched up my goals to be EF, Sinking Fund, and Extra Savings (most likely will invest some and use rest for travel!) still with a combined total of $25k. I'm still saving for retirement but it's pre-tax so it's easier for my to just leave it out of the picture for right now!
EF - Goal $11,000/Saved $11,000 (YAYY!)
Sinking Fund - Goal $1,500/Saved $1,500
Extra Savings - Goal $12,500/Saved $4,887
69% complete!! Pretty exciting to see the progress over the past 6 months since it can get a bit discouraging. Hopefully I can keep the momentum going the rest of the year.
First post is very late, but have been tracking progress for this challenge all year!
We're saving for job replacement, healthcare, travel, new house, new car, and tech upgrades. We're aiming to save $30,000 this year. We could definitely "move the needle" more, but our debt payoff goals are also aggressive and we want to stay on track with both challenges.
Our current progress:
JAN: $3602 FEB: $1718 MAR: $2193 APR: $2593 MAY: $1968 JUN: $2243 JUL: $3268 (so far) =========================================== TOT: $17585
I wrote more about our big budget shake-up this month and in my July Smackdown update. Basically, we simplified significantly, seriously recommitted to our goals, and made some decisions we hope will help us make faster progress. For 2021 we are trying to save $30,000 in a few specific categories, and to pay off $80,000 in debt principal! Both goals feel quite ambitious, but we’re enjoying the challenge, and we’re going to be really excited whether we hit those targets or not.
Saved in July: $3,553.35
Saved in 2021: $17,870.35 (59.6% of goal)
Goal Remaining: $12,129.65
Meanwhile, in the 2021 Debt Smackdown, we also paid off $7,942 of principal ($33,716 for the year)!