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 🤩

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  • Hi guys,

    Trying to save $1,000 for a general purpose emergency fund until I can figure out all my True Expenses.

    Like 1
  • 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

    Tuition:  $4754.80

    Total: $19,671.58


    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! 🤑

    • Space Cadet Hi there. What an exciting life change! Probably you already thought of this, but just a reminder to double-check if there are penalties, hidden benefits, or limitations for using your RPP and RRSP to fund apprenticeships or non-retirement expenses. (I'm not familiar with them)

      Also I would strongly suggest additionally budgeting a few months of emergency fund/income replacement on top of your apprenticeship tuition and living expenses. I say this only as somebody who used my own retirement and emergency fund savings to quit my office job in 2017 and attend a training program for my new career...but I didn't budget for the months afterwards while job searching / waiting for my income to stabilize. At one point I ended up in a pretty dire situation with almost all my life savings gone and dipping into credit card debt. It might not happen to you, but I wouldn't wish it on anyone else!

      Best of luck on your big career move!

      • Space Cadet
      • spacecadet007
      • 9 days ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      The Artist Formerly Known As Hi! Thanks for reminding me about the restrictions! I had actually forgot when I was detailing this. Luckily in Canada there's an option to borrow from your RRSP without paying interest, but the repayment is much quicker than student loans. The RPP doesn't have that option so I'll need to pay taxes on it, but I think I will get it back during tax time the following year since my income will be pretty low. 

      But those are more reasons for why it's so important to have extra saved, like you said. I honestly had not thought of what will happen after school so I appreciate the heads up. 😓 I think I won't get to start school until September 2022 (unfortunately) so that will give me some extra time to save. 

      It's great to get advice from someone who has gone through the exact same thing not long ago. Thank you so much! 😊

      Like 2
  • February Update:

    I've saved another $1,242.38 towards my goal this month. My tax refunds allowed me to fund my budget a few months ahead, so my current total saved is $1,659.05

    Like 1
  • 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. 

    Like 1
  • February Check In

    I received our tax refund and stimulus payments from our 2020 baby. I was able to save $3,000 for vacation and $2,500 for our Medical OOP. 

    Total $5,500 / $6,500 or 86% complete already!

    I may end up adding another goal but I'll wait until we finish up this one first. 

  • For the month of Feb the savings was a little slow. But that's ok. I was able to put roughly 200 dollars away. I'm still really struggling with the idea that it's ok to save even though I have debt. 

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